Eye on Arkansas

January 27, 2009 There were a lot of reasons I decided to move to Arkansas three years ago. I was familiar with the area from family vacations growing up. The great fishing at Greers Ferry and Bull Shoals lured my dad. My sister and I loved the forbidden fruit of legal fireworks, which are strictly verboten in Illinois. Since we were all happy, my mom was happy, too.

Week of disaster

January 27, 2009 I think I have been channelling my friend Camille this past week. She used to, and still does I think, have things happen to her. I can't explain it, and neither can she. Stuff just happens. And last week, Gary and I had a series of, shall we say, mini-disasters at our house, just one right after another, and that never (or rarely, anyway) happens.

Uncertain but hopeful

January 26, 2009 A new year. A new Monday. A new president. A new hope. I couldn't help but feel excited last Tuesday when watching the millions of people, young and old, of different backgrounds and races, crowding Washington, D.C.'s National Mall at the inauguration of President Barack Obama.

Beebe takes risks

January 26, 2009 LITTLE ROCK (AP) - In late 2006, Mike Beebe said he was prepared to battle legislators, if necessary, to fufill his signature campaign promise - cutting the state's sales tax on groceries. "I think it would be a mistake for people just to assume this is a done deal," the then-incoming Democratic governor said. "I think it's a fight. We've got to be prepared for a fight."

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

January 22, 2009 Letter to the Editor: Exceptional. Extraordinary. These are words that a teacher uses for outstanding student work. In some instances, it can also be used by a teacher to comment on the hard work and dedication of another teacher. These words describe the life and career of Steve Cremeens.

Who was the phantom?

January 22, 2009 OK. That didn’t work well. My Jan. 8 column abut the “Phantom Marine” did not produce one call. Not one e-mail. Not one letter. The column about U.S. Marine William Willard Langston’s appearance in Newport and other area towns in January of 1946, almost a year after he was — according to the Department of the Navy — killed in fighting on Iwo Jima and buried there, was written not just to tell the story. It was also written in hopes that Langston family members or friends would call and provide additional information.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

January 20, 2009 Letter to the Editor: The ICYAA Swim team is about to start its 2009 season. Registration is 4:00 to 6:30, Jan 26th and 27th at Lyon College, Becknell Gym. It is not only for Batesville kids but all of Independence County. Any child that is 5 or older and can get across the pool unassisted can join the swim team. I saw a lot of doggie paddling turn into freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke and butterfly stroke thanks to the great coaches that are blessed with patience and absolute, unconditional love for these kids.

Getting Spring fever

January 20, 2009 My mother and sister are ready for spring. This Sunday, we had dinner at my sister's in Mountain Home, which is sort of halfway for me and Gary in Batesville (well, Gainesboro, but close enough) and for my mom and stepdad in Springfield, Mo.

Soldier’s life continues

January 19, 2009 Local business roll call: McDonalds? Check. Burger King? Present. Pizza Hut? Yep. Subway? Of course! Throw in Taco Bell, assorted coffee stores, hair salons, novelty and antique stores and, of course, a department store or two and you have a nice, relaxing Saturday afternoon in beautiful Batesville, Ark, ... or your average military post in the barren deserts of the Middle East.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

January 19, 2009 Thankful for gas prices Dear editor: Congratulations, Batesville. I have been going to the Heber Springs/Greers Ferry area for about 40 years. I went Wednesday to check on some things, and guess what?