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.


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.


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?

We need to talk

January 19, 2009 I didn't answer it, but the question had me thinking after visiting one of my favorite blogging Web sites, Livejournal.com, recently. "What is your first reaction when someone says 'I need to talk to you'?"

New author introduced

January 16, 2009 Last summer I discovered a contemporary novelist you may enjoy as much as I do. He's a North Carolinian named Ron Rash. I just finished his fourth and latest novel. Rash creates plots with plenty of tension, themes he allows you to see both sides of, and prose that flows so smooth and easy you're surprised how fast you read his novels. Here's a brief description of each:

Dad’s Army buddies

January 15, 2009 My dad, Alvie Stroud, never talked about his World War II combat experience while I was growing up. Many years later, after he started getting Alzheimer's disease, his mind went back to, in particular, four of those combat experiences and he talked about them then, over and over.


January 15, 2009 Dear editor: On the economic development program, all information disseminated encouraged an overwhelming vote for. I voted against the proposal. I won't criticize the panel; neither will I take part in anything other than civil diatribe. Apparently, they worked hard, with the best interests of the people in mind, but sometimes a camel built by a committee comes out looking like an elephant. Invited to join the group, I don't now want to snipe, but I believed that a new tax was the target, even during a severe recession.