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A far flung investment

Twenty-five years ago this weekend, NASA launched the Hubble Space telescope. The Hubble represented a significant breakthrough for astronomers. First envisioned in the 1940s, design work didn’t begin until the 1970s. Construction took another decade; and launch happened on April 25, 1990.

What he knew and when

The letter began, “Dear Mr. President, I think that I should have a talk with you as soon as possible on a highly secret matter. I mentioned it to you shortly after you took office but have not urged it since on account of the pressure you have been under.”

Out of the mouths …

If you’ve ever stood in front of a funhouse mirror that appeared to turn you upside down, then you know what the most recent Pine Bluff City Council meeting was like. It was a scene where nominal adults acted like children and a boy acted like a man.

Military medals warranted for stateside attack

We read often about about service medals being given to men and women years after their retirement from the armed forces. Sometimes paperwork was misplaced, or some other connection was missed. We are proud of the work by military branches and often the staffs of members of Arkansas’ congressional delegation to get these medals awarded.

A brighter day for energy production

In a recent filing with the Public Service Commission, Entergy Arkansas announced a deal to build an 81-megawatt photovoltaic solar energy generating facility near Stuttgart. This installation will be Arkansas’ first utility-scale solar energy plant. The project will employ 200-300 workers during construction. Entergy is to be congratulated for this progressive and forward-looking move.

Economics out of Africa

Karen Dinesen, Baroness Blixen-Finecke, whose birthday we commemorate today, is hardly a household name. Born on this day in 1885, the Baroness Blixen-Finecke is better known by her pen name, Isak Dinesan. Her poignant memoir, Out of Africa, helped illuminate the Dark Continent for millions of Western readers.

Contests and Promotions

The pipeline to nowhere

A new term has been introduced into the debate over the controversial Keystone XL pipeline: irrelevance. With crude oil prices at their lowest point in recent memory, folks on both sides of this debate are forced to refine their polemics.

An attack on freedom

On Wednesday, the world was shocked and appalled by the deplorable attacks at the Paris office of the French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo. Twelve men and women were murdered for expressing their freedom of speech. Sadly, it is not an isolated incident.

Picking up by tearing down

As recently reported in The Commercial, the city of Pine Bluff will soon begin using inmates from the Arkansas Department of Correction to remove blighted structures from the community. The inmates will be close to parole and are involved in a skills-training program. Focusing on vacant and abandoned houses, the program will start in February.

Looking back looking forward

Over the past couple of weeks The Commercial has taken a look back at some of the most talked about stories of the year now past. We celebrated accomplishments. We decried injustice. We gave a narrative voice to the timeline of our community.

Bad advice exacts heavy price

Ninety-eight years ago today the Russian mystic and courtier, Grigory Rasputin, was murdered by members of the Russian nobility. Rasputin claimed to have miraculous powers through which he healed the hemophiliac son of Russian Tsar Nicholas II and his wife, Alexandra. This mystical power drew him to the inner circle of Russian politics, a position from which he would make many enemies.

Justifiable homicide facts and fiction

As we look back on all the news that captured the American viewer in 2014, no national news item stands out more than stories related to use of deadly force by police. It seems as though a day hardly passes that we don’t have to hear about yet another police-involved shooting.