Friend or pet may save a child’s life

October 7, 2010 In the fall, the outdoors becomes a wonderland of color as the leaves change into the colors of the rainbow. The weather’s cool, and the chance for adventure will lure many families into wilderness areas for hiking, camping, picnicking, photo shoots and opportunities to be outside and observe nature at this most-beautiful time of the year. However, fall is also the time of year when many children get separated from their parents and become lost in the wilderness, which is one of the reasons I’ve written the book, “How to Lost-Proof Your Child.”

Tracing family history

October 7, 2010 After wondering for years where my great-grandfather James Franklin “Jim” Wolfe was buried, I learned just how forgetful I am.One of my aunts, Esther Stroud, cleared up the whole thing one day last week.

Extremists found on both sides

October 7, 2010 “What” are we voting for? Local politics is the same as usual, races between candidates from the two primary parties with a smattering of independents, write-ins and third parties. Local is always where races are decided, and rightfully so.You’ve heard how the progressive-liberal-elite-consortium has described TEA Partiers: far right-wing extremists, way outside of mainstream America. National media are focusing on repercussions of a TEA Party-inspired ripple, wave or tsunami of conservatives winning seats over Democrats.

Meaningless alert issued

October 6, 2010 The federal government has issued an official terrorism alert regarding Americans travelling to Europe. This, of course, has everything to do with information gathered by intelligence sources and absolutely nothing to do with distracting the public from the failing economy.

Somebody say the blessing

October 6, 2010 When I confided to my cousin Arleen in Atlanta I had been snookered into going with the family to Kansas for a mini-family reunion her response was, “It will be such a blessing.”Blessing is not the terminology I would have used. Like her, when my other cousin suggested taking her mom and mine to visit their brother I thought it was a great idea also.For her, not me.Just how I ended up packed and ready for the Griswold 2010 trip is still questionable. At the time it was discussed and not an outright plan, I could pass all the required drug and alcohol tests.

Columnist authors new book

October 5, 2010 Purity: What if everything you thought you knew was wrong?Authored by Rick BaberIt’s as if someone instructed Rick Baber to “write what he knows” and make it interesting, intriguing, funny and spell-binding.He did just that. “Purity” takes the reader to northwestern Arkansas where an insurance adjuster, Jeff Davis, is assigned to investigate an accident. Sound dull? Not a chance. Four young girls have disappeared, each looking just like the last; each simply missing until, at the scene of the accident, he finds a fifth girl: Dead.

Rockin’ good time

October 5, 2010 I woke up Monday morning to a pounding headache, feeling hung over, and I hadn’t had a drop of alcohol all weekend. I think I’m just getting old. In college I could go 90-to-nothing all the time, and now a weekend of it just leaves me exhausted.Friday night, Gary and I went with friends to see Lady Antebellum at Arkansas State University, and easily could have spent another couple hours listening to them. They put on a great show, and I don’t think anyone there was disappointed.

Diluting the Tea Party gene pool

October 5, 2010 Say what you will about the tea party, but it has been remarkably effective at pushing select fringe candidates to electoral victories.In late 2009, you would have been hard pressed to find anyone in Washington who would have believed that a Republican would soon fill the Senate seat held for decades by the late Ted Kennedy.Enter tea party-backed Scott Brown.Brown — a state senator at the time of his election — was the first in what would become a long line of tea party endorsed candidates with rather colorful pasts.

Lawsuit challenges proposal

October 4, 2010 LITTLE ROCK —  A lawsuit filed last week asks the state Supreme Court to remove a proposed amendment on usury limits from November general election ballots The proposed amendment would raise maximum interest rates that non-bank lenders, such as car dealers and furniture stores, may charge Arkansas customers.The amendment under challenge is one of three referred to November general election ballots by the legislature during the 2009 regular session. It is called Issue 2 to distinguish it from the other two proposed amendments referred by the legislature last year.

Gilley highlights festival

October 4, 2010 Cousin to 1950s rocker Jerry Lee Lewis and the Rev. Jimmy Swaggart, Mickey Gilley made a name for himself in country music during the 1970s and ’80s with songs like “Room Full of Roses,” “Stand By Me” and “Don’t the Girls All Get Prettier At Closing Time.”At 74, Gilley showed a crowd of about 300 at the Rock ’n’ Roll Highway 67 Music Festival in Pocahontas on Saturday that he still had it despite performing while sitting in a blue office chair.