Clinton S. Thomas, Th.D.

Clinton S. Thomas, Th.D.

A published writer of  poetry, fiction and non-fiction in both the digital age and the pre-digital age of publishing.  Currently serving as editor and writer for the Four States News all while living life across the four states region from Texarkana, USA.

Recent Articles

Cuff and Collar Final Days

Texarkana, USA- It’s been a downtown storefront for as long as most people can remember, but soon it will be gone.  Cuff and Collar for Tall and Big Men will be closing their doors on April 30th for the final time.  The business has been at 301 E. Broad Street in Texarkana for 40 years.  The store is going out with a final 75% off sale that ends at closing time on the 30th. While many other stores shifted west toward the mall and new areas of Texarkana, Cuff and Collar maintained its location and loyal customer base with very little advertising and no major fanfare.  Word of mouth seemed to keep the store alive as men, tall and big, would find their way into the store for anything from jeans and T-shirts to suits and ties.  No matter what your need in clothing was Cuff and Collar seemed to have exactly what you needed.   Even recently when people have been talking on social media about needing larger clothes, others have almost immediately mentioned Cuff and Collar. On April the 30th, the store will close at the end of the day like it has every year on that date.  There will likely be no great fanfare, no major press coverage, and no large crowd standing outside to see the final closing.  Registers will be counted out, inventory remaining will be stored away, and the owners will look for the final utility bills.  To be blunt, Cuff and Collars will likely close on the final day much like any other day with one exception…on May the 1st, there will be no “Open” sign flipped on the door. Cuff and Collar will quietly fade into the history of downtown Texarkana as a “What was once there” memory.  While the closing of the store will likely pass unnoticed, it is a guaranteed that to the tall and big men of the region and beyond, since the store served on the Internet too, that many will take immediate notice the next time they need clothing.   Continue Reading →

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City Beautiful Commission Presents First “Yard of the Month” for 2018

Texarkana, AR – The Texarkana Arkansas City Beautiful Commission awarded the first “Yard of the Month” Award for 2018, last Monday night.  Jeff Brown, the Chair of the City Beautiful Commission, was on hand at the City Meeting Monday the 16th to provide the award to Ms. Toni Nix.   Ms. Nix’s home is located on the corner of 23rd and Laurel and will proudly display the award sign presented Monday. For several years the City Beautiful Commission has awarded “Yard of the Month” Awards to various homes and yards around the city.  The only criteria to be nominated is for someone to recommend the yard to the commission.  Once recommended, the Commission members review the yard, present the information at the monthly meeting and vote.  The public is encouraged to recommend yards to commission members or through the commission’s Facebook site. Jeff Brown stated that he always enjoys the opportunity to provide an award to a homeowner.  Jeff said, “You’d be surprised at how many great yards there are in Texarkana.  Sometimes we have a real struggle picking out just one.”  Jeff also said he would encourage anyone to nominate a yard.  “Community involvement is very important to the Commission whether it’s in nominating a yard or helping with one of our clean-up projects throughout the year.  We need everyone in Texarkana to help make our city beautiful.” The Texarkana Arkansas City Beautiful Commission is an all-volunteer commission meeting on the second Tuesday of each month.   The commission maintains a Facebook site at:  https://www.facebook.com/TexarkanaArkansasCityBeautifulCommission/ Continue Reading →

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Governor Hutchinson Supports Texarkana Income Tax Exemption

Governor Asa Hutchinson continues to be a friend to Texarkana.  During various visits to Texarkana, the Governor has stated that he supports the Texarkana income tax exemption; however, it’s easy for people in the area to assume statements made in Texarkana to the people of Texarkana could be for election purposes only.   Friday Governor Hutchison made good on his words to the residents of Texarkana when he publically stated that the income tax exemption for Texarkana is “justified”.  The Governor made the statement in Little Rock and it was quickly picked up by the mainstream press. To date, the Arkansas Tax Reform and Relief Legislative Task Force has been considering over forty tax exemptions in the state which includes income tax exemptions and sales tax exemptions.  Among those exemptions, the Texarkana Income Tax Exemption has been in the task force’s sights.   This income tax exemption not only affects Texarkana, Arkansas residents, but it also affects those residents of Texarkana, Texas working in Arkansas.    Representative Carol Dalby has been watching the situation closely and working to ensure that the exemption remains in place.  Senator Jimmy Hickey has also been a strong advocate and voice of support for the exemption. With Governor Hutchinson’s public statement being made in Little Rock, the people of Texarkana, both Texas and Arkansas, can rest assured that the most powerful voice in state politics is publically supporting our Representative and Senator as they work to keep the income tax exemption in place.  This is a positive sign for the Texarkana area as the task force continues its work.    The task force could make public recommendations as early as April 25.   Whatever recommendations the task force makes, it is good news for Texarkana that we have Governor Hutchinson on our side in this important review. Continue Reading →

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Texarkana Arkansas City Beautiful Plans Cleanup Day

Texarkana, AR – The City Beautiful Commission with support from the Keep Arkansas Beautiful Commission will sponsor a cleanup day this Saturday, April 14, in the morning from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.  Citizens, volunteer groups, churches, Scouts and other organizations are encouraged to arrive at 9:00 a.m. at Bobby Ferguson Park and at the Sandflat Glendale Shannon Neighborhood Center.  Groups are encouraged to select areas around Texarkana, Arkansas needing cleanup. While the City Beautiful Commission is not assigning any specific areas, the commission has noted a need for clean up on the 32nd Street area beside the Stateline Cemetary, and around the 71/Hickory Street overpass.  Jeff Brown, Nedra Turney, Rick Hall, and others members of the commission will be on hand with bags, stickers, and other supplies at both locations. The City Beautiful Commission meets the second Tuesday of each month at City Hall in Texarkana, Arkansas.  All organizations and individuals interested in improving and cleaning up the city are encouraged to attend meetings or contact the commission.   You may also visit the commission’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/TexarkanaArkansasCityBeautifulCommission/ 

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Miller County Republican Committee to Meet Tonight

Miller County, AR – The Miller County Republican Committee will hold a monthly meeting this evening, Tuesday April  10, at 6:30 p.m.   The meeting will be held at the New Haven Golf Club on 2321 Line Ferry Road, Texarkana. The Miller County Republican Committee maintains a Facebook page and during presidential election seasons rents a headquarters in the Texarkana area.  The committee has a goal of assisting Republican candidates to obtain office.  All current Republican officer holders are encouraged to attend meetings and provide updates regarding their offices. The committee also maintains a website at Texarkana-MillerCountyGOP.com 

The following list is current State and local Republicans holding office and representing the Miller County area:

Senator Jimmy Hickey

Representative Carol Dalby

Representative Lane Jean

Judge Roy John McNatt

Sheriff Jackie Runion

County Clerk Stephanie Harvin

Treasurer Teresa Reed

Tax Collector Cathy Hardin-Harrison

Circuit Clerk Mary Pankey

Coroner Josh Hawkins

JP 4 Carl Standridge

JP 5 Lois Toombs

JP 6 Ernest Pender

JP 7 Jimmy Hickey, Sr.

JP 8 Andy LaGrone

JP 9 John Haltom

JP 10 Jimmy Cowart

JP 11 Rodney Watkins

Constables Chuck Wise, Art Parish, Robert Tibbit, Bill Fuller, Tom Harness, Larry Burgess, and Hollis Rhoden Continue Reading →

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April 4, The Day They Silenced Him

For most people April 4, 2018, will roll slowly by and pass just like any other day.  People will work, shop, eat, and spend time with family and friends.  Some will surf the Internet in the evening and others will watch television and catch up on the latest news.  Around the nation, there will be some celebrations, some parades, and a few speeches made today, but in all honestly most people will end the day thinking it was a just another typical Wednesday during the month of April, in the year 2018.  The significance of the date will be lost on many, and that is sad.  It is sad because fifty years ago to this day, a voice was silenced whose words and actions have had a profound and lasting impact on all of America, and in fact on all Americans.  April 4, 1968, was the day they would silence a voice calling for equality, rights, and decency in America.  They would silence the voice of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

April 4, 1968, fifty years ago to this day, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was silenced by a bullet.  Perhaps, being a man of prayer and having a strong love for God, King knew his time was ending.  Perhaps he knew the end was near in his heart and soul when he spoke publicly the last time before his death and said, “I’m not worried about anything.  I’m not fearing any man.  Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord,” to a group of around 3,000 gathered to hear him.   He would say those words with confidence and assurance to his friends, family, and supporters.  He would say them to the nation, and as the six O’clock hour came and passed, King would lay dead in a pool of his own blood, on a small concrete balcony, at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee. Within hours of King’s death, uprisings and riots would spread like wildfire across the nation.  While some would pray and cry, others would seek vengeance and destroy.  Nobody seemed to know exactly what to do, and the man who had told, lead, and guided was now silenced by a single bullet. Maybe King always knew he was meant to have a short life since he strived to accomplish so much before that bullet struck him at 39 years of age.  He had attended Morehouse College, was ordained as a minister by the age of 19 and would have his Ph.D. by 26.  Later he would be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize by the age of 35.  He had lived to see the repeal of the Jim Crow laws, he had lived to see the Civil Rights Act of 1957, The Civil Rights act of 1960, and the act that would propel change across America, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which he would not only push for, but witness being signed into law.  Dr. King would also write five books and leave behind countless speeches.  He would go from marches and serving time in jail, to meetings with Presidents and Senators.  He would become a symbol for the movement of equality and in fact become the very voice for that movement. By April 4, 1968, King had done so much more than most people can do in a lifetime that it is no wonder that he spoke confidently when he said, “I’m not worried about anything.”  His voice had been spoken, his words had been shared, his mission had been preached, and King- better than anyone else – knew that he had done what God had called him to do. Today there isn’t a life in the United States that is not affected by Dr. King’s work.  The impact of his work can be felt from the disabled person who is no longer required to be put away in an institution somewhere, to the worker who can no longer be hired or fired based on sex, religion of heritage.   The Muslim who cannot be fired because of his faith has King’s work to thank.  The African-American who can attend any university in the country has King’s work to thank.  The woman who cannot be harassed on her job has King’s work to thank.  The LGBT person that cannot be discriminated against has King’s work to thank.  The list is perhaps limitless for the people that King has impacted not only during his short life, but since that fatal day of April 4, 1968. Continue Reading →

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Texarkana Resources Presents the 6th Annual Ark-La-Tex Challenge

Ark-La-Tex, USA – Cyclists it’s time to ride the Ark-La-Tex again!  Texarkana Resources is presenting the 6th Annual Ark-La-Tex Challenge. It doesn’t matter whether you’re young or just young at heart there is a route you can take.  So, get your tires aired up, get your safety gear on, load your bike and get ready because the ride is this Saturday, April 7th. New and experienced riders alike can join in on this ride.  It will cover three states for the experienced riders.  The challenge is offering five different distance categories ranging from 0 miles (my favorite) up to 70 miles.  The 70 mile trip will cover the entire scope of the race – Arkansas, Texas, and Louisiana.   Imagine riding all three states on your bike!  There’s a list of rides and information on the website and even the kids can join in for a 3 mile ride! If you ride, or  if you just want to support a great cause, take the link here ARK-LA-TEX CHALLENGE and “ride” on over to the website for more details! Texarkana Resources is a non-profit organization that supports individuals with disabilities. Continue Reading →

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Roseanne Episode Two’s Subtle Little Message to America

The television series Roseanne has never been one to shy away from political, social, family and religious topics in the least.  With the launch of season ten, or as some call it the reboot or relaunch, the show continues to be true and relative to the issues we face today.  With so many issues on the table such as voting, medication and insurance cost, surrogate parent decisions, moving back home with parents, sibling issues, mixed families, it is almost easy to lose sight of one message tucked away in the young character Mark. Mark is Darlene’s young son and he has some unique views on fashion.  While people like Dennis Rodman, Liberace, Elton John, or the Culture Club – yes, I know who the Culture Club was from the 80’s – can dress in clothing that most would consider “for girls,” an elementary student is not in the eyes of his peers, a major star.  Simply put, he cannot get along without expecting some trouble at school.  Even Roseanne, who can intimidate most people, is unable to intimidate all of Mark’s class when she warns them that she is a witch.   The young man still faces a rough first day. After the first day, Darlene confronts Mark about a knife he had school.  Perhaps her fear is that the bullying by others was leading Mark to take action that would cause harm to other.  This fear is quickly stopped when Mark informs her he was simply going to give it to the other kid in hopes that he would stop bullying him and play with him.  The bully, unseen, had told Mark that he would tell everyone not to play with Mark.  As Darlene tries to reassure her son, he calmly informs her that “…nobody played with me anyway.”  It’s at this moment we see the tears of a parent who supports and loves her child.  She hurts for her young son, fights back the tears and informs him that things will get better.  Mark, always the optimist so far in the series, agrees and goes back to doing his homework. The show carefully shows that Mark has the support of his family.  His support system includes a Trump Supporter Republican who thanks God for Making America Great Again during meal-time prayer in Roseanne, a “life-coach” aunt who wants them all to get along, a grandfather who wants a “manly grandson”, a concerned mother, and siblings and cousins who appear concerned and uncertain of the young Mark.   At the center of it all, despite being bullied at school, Mark is happy as he plays basketball with his supportive family.  He even climbs a stack of boxes and chairs set up to allow him to slam dunk the ball to which his grandfather notes that his grandson can wear a skirt if he wants, but he has to wear underwear with it. While Roseanne can be a loudmouth and somewhat socially awkward family-based show, it does manage to get one thing right that many Americans miss.  Mark is accepted just as he is by the entire family.  Mark will, as his grandfather states, “get beat up,” but he’s going to have the support of his family at home, and this fact seems to drive the character to continue to be happy even when no one is willing to play with him at school.  This powerful message needs to be shared. Continue Reading →

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The “Whose Who” of Miller County Continues to Grow

Miller County, AR – Like most Facebook pages, The “Whose Who” of Miller County started out as a small page to share political information for the county.  Unlike most Facebook pages, The “Whose Who” quickly has become a “go-to” page to gain information about political candidates and the happenings involving government in Miller County. Ronnie Dancer, Sr. started the page a couple of years ago to simply share information.  Like others in the county, Ronnie wanted to know more about the candidates running for office.  He wanted to share their message, information about the candidate, and clarify to the community exactly “Whose Who” in office, and what each candidate has on his or her platform. So far the group has held “Meet and Greet” sessions, published videos of candidates speaking, presented candidate profiles, and shown voters side-by-side listings for each office.  Today the “Whose Who” presented their first “Whose Who” Retirement of the Year Award.  Founder Ronnie Dancer was on hand and presented the award to Mary Stuart, Miller County’s beloved Tax Assessor who is retiring this year. The “Whose Who” of Miller County page has a little over 1,000 members at this time and shows no signs of slowing down.  You can see videos there of today’s events and get the latest information as the election process proceeds in Miller County, Arkansas.   If you have not visited yet, now’s your chance:   The “Whose Who” of Miller County.  Continue Reading →

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Miller County Assessor Mary Stuart Retires

Miller County, AR –  She has been a true Arkansas diamond at the Miller County Courthouse for thirty-eight years as an employee and Assessor, but on March 22, 2018, she will celebrate her final days in office.  Mary Stuart is known to anyone in Miller County who has ever owned property, had to assess, or has taken time to go into that little office to the right of the main entrance to the courthouse.  She has a warm smile, an enduring personality, and a light that enters the room and makes everyone’s day a little brighter. For twenty-two years she has served as the Assessor for Miller County.  For the last several years, she has run unopposed for election after election.   Despite being one of the last Democrats holding office in the county during the 2016 election cycle, even the Republican committee did not run a candidate against her.  The general feeling by Democrats and Republicans alike has been that Mary Stuart is everyone’s Assessor.  True to her form, she is currently helping a Republican candidate running for the office to replace her.  The two ladies have worked together for years and Mary hopes that in 2019, her former employee will be sworn in as the new Assessor. On March 22, 2018, from 11-2 p.m. the public can visit with Mary during her retirement celebration.  The celebration will be held in the third-floor conference room at the Miller County Courthouse.  Supporters, friends, family, and others will be on hand to thank Mary for a job well done. I personally will miss Mary’s smile, her friendship, and the joy of talking with her at the courthouse.  While Mary may leave the courthouse though, anyone who knows her, knows well that those fantastic traits are not just reserved for the political arena and county arena.  Mary is warm and friendly in the grocery store, at public events, and even school functions where she is often seen supporting her family. After several years of unopposed races, there will be two Republican candidates willing to take over as Assessor.   Nancy Herron and Danny Lewis will both be on the ballot for the Assessor position.   Nancy and Danny are both great and qualified candidates to be the new Assessor for Miller County.  One of the two will win the office and that winner is going to have some mighty big shoes to fill.  Mary is truly an Arkansas diamond, and there is nothing more wonderful, beautiful, and fantastic than a well-polished and shining Arkansas diamond like Mary Stuart.  She is my friend, but she has been Miller County’s diamond so much longer. Continue Reading →

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