• What’s that in the sky? It’s the ISS

    I’m sure it had something to do with clear skies but three times last week I watched the International Space Station pass over Batesville. Isn’t it amazing, and a little scary, what you can find out on the Internet? I visited http://spotthestation.nasa.gov and put in …

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  • 6-ton mastodons once roamed Delta

    “Mona” looms large inside the Arkansas State University Museum at Jonesboro. She is a full-sized prehistoric mastodon skeletal-cast. The bone parts that make up Mona are identical to the hundreds of fossilized mastodon remains found in eastern Arkansas. Surprisingly, Arkansas has more known mastodon sites …

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  • Confederate army facing long winter after series of failures

    One hundred fifty years ago, the Confederate army was licking its wounds following a series of devastating failures in Arkansas, including Prairie Grove, Pea Ridge, Helena and Little Rock. The headquarters of the Trans-Mississippi Department was now in Shreveport, La., and the district, up until …

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  • Bye-bye, Miss American Pie

    Each day I watch as the ideals and morals that this country were founded on fade away. What the founders and veterans of this country worked so hard for and died for is now being squandered by their spoiled grandchildren who don’t appreciate it and …

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  • Time to taper Halloween celebrations in schools

    Principal Orlando Taylor believed he was doing the right thing last week when he sent a letter home announcing to parents that Halloween celebrations will be banned this year at Inglewood Elementary School. But Taylor underestimated how many parents in Towamencin Township, Pennsylvania are emotionally …

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  • Boy leaves Batesville, resurfaces later as clown on TV

    When Robert Ford looked at the obituaries in the Oct. 6 Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, he saw that one of his childhood friends had passed on — a friend who left Batesville as the result of a tragic murder that occurred Jan. 2, 1935. The obituary was …

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  • Columbus, friend of Santa, discovers Halloween

    Well, I tried. With the holiday season approaching and more things coming across the news, I was determined not to say a single thing this season and just let people bask in their delusions. And personally I think I did a pretty good job. After …

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  • Anybody else hate bifocals?

    This summer, shortly after turning 53, I finally “upgraded” to bifocal eyeglasses, and I must admit that I am underwhelmed. I was in denial about needing glasses at all until high school. Until about the time Fonzie made it cool to wear eyeglasses in one …

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  • Paid journalists pay off

    I am a nationally syndicated op-ed columnist. My column runs, I’m told, in nearly 90 newspapers each week and it just turned two years old. You might assume this means I went to journalism school, started at a paper and worked my way up. You …

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  • Remembering the excitement of trip to town in days of old

    On Saturday, Oct. 12, as my wife Debra and I cruised down the main street of Batesville, Arkansas, it was as if we had stepped back in time. The parking spaces were full. We saw friends and family walking down the streets laughing, talking and …

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  • Don’t need to leave country to find adventure

    “Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?” “That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.” “I don’t much care where –” “Then it doesn’t matter which way you go.” —Lewis Carroll, “Alice in Wonderland”   …

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  • Some of the perils of nasty ‘netiquette’

    Editor note: This is an excerpt from Tom Purcell’s new book, “Comical Sense: A Lone Humorist Takes on a World Gone Nutty!” available at amazon.com.   Boy, is technology making us ruder. I read with great delight a Wall Street Journal story about a couple …

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