Appropriateness. The recent funeral of a well-regarded Greenbrier resident was held in Panther Pavilion, the Greenbrier High School facility. Yes, clergy and prayer were involved. In our eyes, nothing is wrong here, but somewhere, the extreme church-state separatists may cluck tongues. This was a wise and logical use of a public building.
Not the time. With withdrawal of Dustin McDaniel from the 2014 governor’s race is understandable. He was damaged goods with the “inappropriate conduct” thing of recent news. We haven’t seen the last of McDaniel. He is a person of much ambition and with quite a bit of drive. Sitting quietly on the sidelines doesn’t seem to be his style.
Changing picture. With the departure of Dustin McDaniel from the Democratic governor’s field came, almost instantly, the entry of Bill Halter into the race. Don’t sell this Conway native short. He may be outside the Democratic Party power core, but he has a track record as a lieutenant governor, and that also gives him name recognition.
Where did they go? Heavy state and local government subsidizing of major new industries is not new. Sometimes it backfires. There is a huge factory sitting empty in south-central Tennessee where Saturn automobiles were produced for a number of years. Some smaller buildings are also unused in towns around Arkansas, sites of once busy factories.
A prime setting. With fanfare, a major steel mill project has been announced for the Osceola area in northeast Arkansas close to the Mississippi River. A few years back, the state lost in a quest for an auto industry plant a little to the south near Marion. The new jobs should be a major boost for an area long depressed economically.
“I think everybody is excited about the announcement (of a major steel mill near Osceola), excited about the long-term possibilities, excited about the location and hopefully being a trigger to economic activity in that part of the state…that’s a separate issue from whether it makes economic sense for us (the legislature) to get involved in the ways we’ve been requested to.”
— Davy Carter,
speaker of the House of Representatives.