Thumbs: Bielema's mouth, eminent domain, Vilonia's outgoing superintendent

Early indicators. Temperatures were in the high 20s a couple of mornings ago when we spotted blooming daffodils in a Conway yard. Too early? Maybe, but it is a sign that spring is approaching. Soon it’ll be time for a visit to Wye Mountain, and if you haven’t experienced this treat, make a point to do it this year.


Getting it right. There have been noticeable problems with Conway’s new Rogers Plaza, what with the giant Christmas tree that did not work right and the fountain that did not function as planned. The fountain has been fixed. Sure, there have been criticisms, but the project is and will continue to be an asset for Conway.

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Talking too much. Razorback football coach Bret Bielema is taking heat in state and nationally for some comments, including social media remarks, about slowing down games. He apologized for some of it, but our take is the naysayers will not be so harsh on him if the Hogs produce a winning season in 2014.

Understand the procedure. Eminent domain is a well-rooted legal procedure in which a public entity can “take” privately owned land for essential purposes. This nearly always draws heavy flak. In the procedure, owners of these lands are paid court-approved appraised values. The biggest bugaboo is the forced sale aspect, however.

A job well done. Vilonia school superintendent Frank Mitchell is retiring, and Missourian David Stephens is replacing him. Mitchell’s lengthy tenure has been in a period of much growth for Vilonia. Certainly, some problems have cropped up as they always do. It’s called growing pains. Mitchell has done well over the years as a school and community leader.

New in sports. Get out to Hendrix soon and watch a lacrosse game — men or women. It’s an ancient game with Native American origins but not at all familiar in this area. Our limited knowledge is that lacrosse is not for the timid or the out-of-condition folks. Maybe it’s a good prelude to crowded shopping malls and such.

“It’s just amazing to be a part of a school where we really are just one big family.”

— Sarah Luyet, about a fundraiser

for St. Joseph student Keegan Smith.


Thu, 05/25/2017 - 15:03

Davidson: The worst guilt of all

McCollum’s Column: New CBC coach a proponent of love, sometimes the tough variety

Chris Wright, Central Baptist College’s new men’s basketball coach, says he has desired to become a college basketball coach since age 14.

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Guest Column: Can a US exit from the TPP make America worse?

President Trump has recently signed an executive order withdrawing the U.S from negotiations of the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal, calling his order “a great thing for the American worker.” Although this move by the President was not at all surprising, one of the main themes of his election campaign was to immediately end TPP talks, the remaining participants of TPP are left wondering whether they can save the deal without U.S involvement. Steve Ciobo, Australian Trade Minister, said that perhaps China could fill the vacuum left by U.S withdrawal. Sentiments expressed by Chinese diplomats suggest that the country is quite intrigued by the idea of increased global leadership. To quote the Director General of the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s international economics department, Zhang Jun, “if China is required to play that leadership role, then China will assume its responsibilities.” Consequently, I assert that the U.S TPP exit may weaken its position as a global leader, opening the door for China to step up and occupy the void.

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