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White Hall millage round 2

The city of White Hall has done a lot of growing over the past couple of decades. From traffic lights to businesses and all manner of residential developments, White Hall is growing up. One thing that hasn’t kept pace with all this growth: The White Hall High School. If you were a student there in 1981 the core amenities would look pretty familiar.

Tired approach awakens resources

It is so refreshing to see government working as it should. Last week The Commercial published a report detailing innovations in the Jefferson County recycling program. In specific, the article highlighted a process in which the county produces and sells fuel made from discarded tires.

Prisons, diamond clad and breaded

Since the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced its nominees for the upcoming awards presentation, there’s been a bit of a furor over the demonstrable lack of diversity among the current cohort. While those nominated certainly reflect the demographic character of those in charge of nominations, they aren’t very reflective of the U.S. population. In specific, the nominees in most of the major categories are all white.

Landmark slips slowly away

A few days ago The Commercial reported a recent act of vandalism at the historic Saenger Theatre located in downtown Pine Bluff. While thieves destroyed property and took things that weren’t theirs to take, the real damage is found in what they have exposed. They have cast a harsh light on Pine Bluff’s darkest secret: nobody cares.

In baseball a metaphor

While plans had been underway for more than a year, on this day in 1936, the U.S. Baseball Hall of Fame elected its first members. At the Cooperstown, New York ceremony a cohort of early baseball legends, Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner, Christy Matthewson and Walter Johnson were inducted into the newly formed pantheon. While the facility itself would not be dedicated for another three years, the event set in place a time honored baseball tradition.

Royalty at the White House

On December 21, 1970 one of the more curious meetings with a sitting U.S. president took place. Photographs from that meeting are kept by the National Archives and Records Administration. Of the millions of images maintained by the National Archives one might guess that the most requested photo reproduction request would be of something like a battle scene or a poignant moment form the civil rights struggle. You’d be wrong.

New era in animal keeping

We are heartened at the imminent opening of the new Pine Bluff Animal Shelter. After decades of backward-looking management and a facility that can only be described as medieval, the city is poised to inaugurate a new era of progressive, humane and positive animal keeping.

Ugly reflections of self

An evocative set of findings has just been released by the Harvard University Institute of Politics (IOP), at the John F. Kennedy School of Government. The GFK-Knowledge Panel survey from which the observations are derived, tracks the opinions of 2,011 18- to 29-year-olds, members of the so-called “millennial” generation. Some of the findings support the view that millennials tend to be more narcissistic than their parent’s generation.

Dollarway failed yet again

For years The Commercial has published reports covering one cataclysm after the next at the Dollarway School District. Whether it be the failures of district administration or the teaching staff or the policy and financial irresponsibility of the school board, the district has become an abject failure. With the predictability of the swallows returning to San Juan Capistrano, the Arkansas state Board of Education voted unanimously Thursday to place the Dollarway School District under state control.

Benefits of thinking small

As recently reported in The Commercial, several local retailers are experiencing an uptick in seasonal sales. Both long established stores — such as the Record Rack and Doc’s Pawn Shop — as well as relative newcomers — like the Honey Hole and the Country Chic Chocolate Co. — have reason to be optimistic.

Walker less than transparent with ‘no’ vote

As recently reported in The Commercial, the Pine Bluff City Council just approved a $29.6 million budget on a 7-1 vote. Mayor Debe Hollingsworth had proposed the $29,459,937 budget for the upcoming year. The council then added an additional $198,924, including $92,557 to hire two firefighters and an extra $50,000 to the city’s program that provides summer jobs to teenagers.

Needless expense in special election

Last April, The Commercial reported the outcome of an election in which the White Hall School District administrators had hoped to increase the millage rate so that certain capital improvements could be made. The voters sent a resounding negative reply. The final tally was almost 2-to-1 against.

From one bondage to the next

One hundred-fifty years ago, the 13th Amendment to the U. S. Constitution was ratified, ending the institution of slavery. “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.”