Dueling bus ads

August 28, 2009 Atheists are on the bus in Des Moines, Iowa — and that’s good news for freedom of speech in America.Earlier this month, transit-authority officials in Des Moines removed bus advertisements paid for by Iowa Atheists and Freethinkers after receiving calls from people offended by the message: “Don’t believe in God? You are not alone.”But now the controversial signs are back on the sides of 20 buses, thanks to a nudge from the American Civil Liberties Union.


August 27, 2009 HDC or KGB?Dear editor:I was not surprised to see a front page article on Monday involving the HDC (KGB) and a conflict with a business owner. It is probably just the first of many and will probably lead to a very costly battle between business owners and this so-called preservation organization before the dust settles.

If you don’t know Cindy Walker

August 27, 2009 For some reason, the writer of  some of the greatest songs of the past 100 years was unknown to me until I stumbled onto information about her last week — although she died three years ago, on March 23, 2006.Cindy Walker was a prolific songwriter who had No. 1 hits in country and/or pop charts in every decade from the 1940s through the 1980s. See if you recognize any of these song titles: “You Don’t Know Me,” “In the Misty Moonlight,” “Dream Baby (How Long Must I Dream)” and “Cherokee Maiden.”


August 26, 2009 Standing groundDear editor:When I read the headlines in Monday’s Batesville Guard Aug. 24th about Jennifer Davidson and her window, I got so mad I couldn’t see straight.I was so proud of the way she handled the situation. She didn’t back down to the threats but stood her ground. Folks, if you remember, it was Jennifer that was trying so hard over a year ago to shed some light on the condition of Main Street in getting it cleaned up. I was grateful to know that someone would speak out like she did.

Undermining the abstinence message

August 26, 2009 The abstinence message is coming through loud and clear to Christian youth, but another message promoted in many Christian churches is undermining it.

First full-time job

August 25, 2009 I missed my calling, career-wise. I discovered a talent for writing at a young age. We were given an essay assignment in sixth grade. I wrote about a cousin who briefly ran away from home, from his point of view. The teacher asked me to read it aloud to the class. When I finished, the class erupted with applause, catching me completely by surprise. Later, the teacher told me it was the best essay she’d ever read written by a sixth-grader.


August 25, 2009 Crazy tea partyI went to a tea party the other day in hopes of finding Alice, whom I hadn’t seen for a long time. She was there, but very despondent. It seems she had been shooting up to 10 feet tall again. She had filed a claim with her private insurance carrier, but was denied. It seems she has what they call a “pre-existing condition.” Alice was trying to find her old friends to see if they could help her.

DCFS to get more money

August 24, 2009 LITTLE ROCK — Earlier this year the legislature approved additional resources for the state child welfare system. The governor ordered a top-to-bottom review of the agencies that provide services for children from broken families.The review is now complete and the state Division of Children and Family Services is hiring additional employees so that they will not have unmanageably large case loads. The division will hire 113 new case workers this fiscal year and an another 50 next year.

Mausoleum crypt nets millions

August 24, 2009 A down economy is usually the catalyst for change, a tightening of the belt you might say. Families will opt to eat out less and eat in more, find entertainment at home rather than at a theme park or movie theater, all while carefully watching their dimes and nickels. In one widow’s case, the economy has got her looking to EBay to sell her late husband’s resting place in order to pay the mortgage on her Beverly Hills home.

Two-year status is changing

August 21, 2009 Two-year colleges have long been in the shadows of other higher education institutions in America. However, their perceived second-class status is changing now that President Obama is shining a spotlight on these invaluable institutions and recommending money to improve their ability to educate Americans.