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Medal Presentation

Shown in the accompanying photo is Arkansas 2nd District Congressman Tim Griffin (at far right) presenting the Army Good Condct Medal to Peter Smykla. Smykla’s wife, son-in-law and grandchildren are seen to the left in the photo. “Fifty-six years ago a 24-year old soldier was discharged from the Army after serving with the Military Assistance Advisory Group on Taiwan. Specialist 3 Peter Smykla was awarded the Army Good Conduct Medal when he was discharged from the Army, but never received it. That oversight was rectified at the Hot Springs Arlington Hotel recently. Smykla, chairman of the Jefferson County Republican Committee, was attending the State Committee Meeting. Congressman Tim Griffin, a serving U.S. Army Reserve lieutenant colonel, JAG, presented the medal to Smykla after Party Chairman Doyle Webb read the award citation authorized by then Secretary of the Army Wilber Marion Brucker. “The United States Army has awarded the Good Conduct Medal to Specialist 3 Peter Joseph Smykla, Junior, for exemplary behavior, efficiency, and fidelity in active federal military service from 11 January 1956 to 24 December 1957.” The presentation was a suprise arranged by county committee members after they learned Smykla never received his medal.

A day in court

I have a lawyer friend. A friend, that is, who just happens to be a lawyer. And she invites me to spend the morning at criminal court, observing. And I say “yes,” the same way I agree to a lot of things in life.

Festival of Tables coming up

Tickets for the annual Christmas Luncheon and Festival of Tables, sponsored by the Pine Bluff Salvation Army Auxiliary, are on sale. The event is scheduled from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Dec. 7 at the Great Hall of First United Methodist Church, 200 W. 6th Ave.

In the Military

Navy Seaman Nicholas C. Johnson, son of Verdine and Emmitt Johnson of Pine Bluff, Ark., recently completed U.S. Navy basic training at Recruit Training Command, Great Lakes, Ill.

Packing a decorative punch with pumpkins

Now that it is fall, many of us consider decorating our porch and home interior with colorful, inexpensive varieties of pumpkins. Remember autumn is about harvest, so load up on all the different varieties of pumpkins and gourds that are currently on the market. Mix it up and add pizazz by incorporating other autumn accessories such as terra cotta aged pots, old outdoor antiques and tools, corn stalks and even firewood. Placing these items together in casual displays will give your home a warm vibe for this fall season that will last into the holidays.

Jefferson County native at 4-H Volunteer Forum

LITTLE ROCK — 4-H volunteers provide students in rural America with the knowledge and tools necessary to succeed in life. These individuals dedicate their lives to the betterment of ag youth and focus on providing lifelong skills. This October, when 4-H volunteers from across the Southern Region gathered in Little Rock to train and share ideas at the Southern Regional 4-H Volunteer Forum, they also received a little motivation from a 4-H success story, Pine Bluff native, DeWayne Goldman.

Soil health workshop Oct. 30 at UAPB

Landowners and land managers are invited to a soil health workshop on Oct. 30 at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. The free event is from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the S.J. Parker 1890 Extension Building, 2300 L.A. "Prexy" Davis Drive. The workshop is designed to be a practical approach to improving soil health for profit and stability on the farm. Topics include: What is soil health and why should I care? How can I tell if my soil is healthy? How do I manage for good soil quality on my farm?