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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.

A contemptible tenth anniversary

Today marks the tenth anniversary of New York Times reporter Judith Miller’s release from federal detention for failure to testify in the investigation into the leaking of the identity of covert CIA officer Valerie Plame. Miller had been jailed since July 2005 because she refused to reveal a confidential source and for refusing to testify before a grand jury empaneled to investigate the so-called Plame Affair. Miller agreed to testify only after her source, I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney’s chief of staff, signed a waiver giving her permission to speak.

Shining new light on economic development

We were heartened to learn that the Arkansas state Public Service Commission gave its approval on Thursday for Entergy Arkansas to enter into a 20-year power purchase agreement with the state’s largest solar energy facility to be built by NextEra Energy Resources. As reported by Arkansas News Bureau, the deal paves the way for construction to begin on an 81-megawatt solar energy generating facility on 500 acres southeast of Stuttgart. Entergy projects the facility will produce enough clean energy to power about 13,000 homes and will reduce the demand for fossil-fueled energy.

Berra, Paige two wise performers

This week we note two milestones in baseball. The New York Yankees’ most memorably ineloquent All-Star, Yogi Berra, passed away at age 90. Then there’s an anniversary. Fifty years ago today, legendary pitcher, Satchel Paige, became the oldest person to pitch in a major league game at age 59.

Two faces on Cuban future

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson proved once again on Monday that the fourth unofficial color on the Arkansas flag is green as he told representatives of the state’s rice industry he is excited about his upcoming trade mission to Cuba. Hutchinson also said he is hopeful that Arkansas farmers will have new opportunities to export rice to the island nation. The governor’s excitement about potential new markets for Arkansas’ rice crop are emblematic of the Republican bifurcation on Cuba.

Obesity costs more than health

It’s an old familiar feeling: Arkansas sitting atop a “worst” list. Thankfully, we’ve managed to stay off many that we used to inhabit. Unfortunately, a new study by Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, titled “The State of Obesity: Better Policies for a Healthier America,” found that Arkansans are on average, the most obese people in the entire nation.

Court looking for a sign

A recently reported by The Commercial, several members of the Jefferson County Quorum Court have voiced their support for an ordinance regulating the placement of campaign signs. We applaud this move. As fractious as local campaigns have become, we need a few strictures, and this is a good place to start.

Editorial: What’s in a gown?

Chances are, if you’re from the Natural State, it’s a fact about which you’re proud. While all of us likely have things we wish were different about the state, at its core, we know we come from a good place. Arkansans tend to have a strong identity and we don’t mind telling people how much we love our mother state.