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

World War I Tree Dedication Ceremony Friday

Texarkana, AR- In 2018, the world will recognize the 100th anniversary of the year that the first great worldwide conflict ended.  It was called the “Great War”, “The War to end all Wars,” and eventually “The First World War,” or “World War I”.  The war would originate in Europe and drag almost all nations into it.  It would see the first major use of air power to gain an upper hand on scouting enemy troops and eventually the first air-to-air combat casualties would begin to pile up.  It would be the last war to see any major use of cavalry troops and the first to see iron vehicles rolling to kill both troops and civilians.  Trench warfare, only introduced in previous wars when armies were severely outnumbered, would become a normal day on the front.  Gas would be used to kill troops, and the bertha gun, a fully automatic machine gun, would introduce the world to the ability to kill like never before.  Despite all the stories, sometimes lost with the history of the second war, the surprising fact is that in 2018, it will be one hundred years since the guns went silent.   The Arkansas WWI Centennial intends to ensure that the year is marked and remembered for generations to come. This Friday at 10:00 a.m. the Arkansas WWI Centennial will provide a memorial tree to Miller County, Arkansas.   Working with the Arkansas Department of Heritage and the Arkansas Forestry Commission the Centennial tree will mark one hundred years since the end of World War I.  According to Mary Beck with Texarkana, Arkansas the tree is a two-year-old Willow Oak.  The trees have been offered to all counties in Arkansas on a first come, first serve basis. In addition to the tree being planted the local Veterans organization will have a short program and dedication.  The tree will be planted with soil from the Meuse-Argonne cemtary near Belgium.  The cemetery is the final resting place of 14,000 U.S. soldiers who are part of the AEF fighting in the war.  Mary Beck, whose grandfather was a WWI Veteran, stated that there is water near where the tree will be planted and that later they plan to place a memorial on the site. The dedication will be Friday 15th at 10 a.m. at 350 E. Front Street, Texarkana, AR.  The public, press and all Veterans are invited and encouraged to attend.  

The planned event will follow this outline:

Opening by TAVC President Greg Beck

Prayer by Robert Hernandez

City of Texarkana, Arkansas Mayor Ruth Penney Bell

Mary Beck, City Planner for the City of Texarkana, Ark. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , ,

Texarkana Masonic Lodge Holds Installation for 2018 Officers

Texarkana, AR-  Texarkana Masonic Lodge #341 held an installation for the 2018 officers on December 14 at the lodge hall in Texarkana.  The installation was open to family and friends with many from the community attending the event. Texarkana Lodge #341 holds a charter in the state of Arkansas and is governed by the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of Arkansas.   More information pertaining to the Grand Lodge of Arkansas may be found at their website (http://www.argrandlodge.com/).  Officers are elected and appointed to serve a one year term.  Officers may serve more than one year at the discretion of the individual lodge. Freemasonry is considered one of the oldest and largest fraternities in the world.   The first recorded lodges were formed in London, England in 1717.  In 1731, the first lodges were formed in the North America.  Freemason organizations include extended organizations for Freemasons and others connected to the organization such as the Scottish Rite, York Rite, Grotto,  Eastern Star, Amaranth, Rainbow, and DeMolay among others. Freemasonry can be found in Arkansas, Texas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana.  Lodges and their connected organizations are encouraged to submit news of events, fundraisers, and charity to the Four States News at any time for publication or notification.  

  Continue Reading →

Filed under:

County Government Slows to Honor Veterans

Miller County, AR- Many people let Veteran’s Day slide past last weekend without much notice, but the elected officials and staff at the Miller County Courthouse did not as they rose above their office duties to do more.  In the middle of fall decorations, pumpkin contest, preparations for the Christmas season, and the recent influx of taxpayers taking care of taxes, officials and staff paused last Friday to honor veterans. Each office decorated, put up signs, prepared food and snacks, and opened their doors wide to those who have stepped up to answer the call to defend our freedoms.  Everyone from the county judge down to the maintenance staff in the building knows that without veterans, there simply would be no national, state, city, or county government to run. Stephanie Harvin, Miller County Clerk, posted several pictures on the office Facebook account.  You can see staff decked out in red, white and blue, and flags, banners, and food all around.  The event was not to be dismissed as little.  Miller County Judge Roy John McNatt stated that it was a great event and that he was able to visit each office in the courthouse and see the decorations.   Veterans from across the area dropped in, had a snack and visited with local officials and staff. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , ,

Presidential Portrait Still Missing in Federal Courthouse Lobby

Update –  A good friend just contacted me after reading this article and shared an article from another publication stating that the President and Vice President have just released their official portraits.  Thank you for the feedback and thankful for friends taking time to point these things out to me!  
The Texarkana, USA Federal Courthouse is a unique building that sits in both Texas and Arkansas.  The building can be seen on post cards, is a frequent photoshoot site for tourist, and is the location where many U.S. Presidents have spoken going clear back to President Kennedy’s famous speech before his ill-fated trip to Dallas.  Walk inside the doors and, although security concerns have modified the entrance, you can not help but be in awe of the design, the ceilings, the doors, and other significant features leap out at you filled with history.  Walk around the main lobby of the Courthouse, also home to the post office, and you’ll notice the President and Vice-President’s pictures hanging just above the doors as you go out.  They hang there as a reminder that this is a federal building and that they are part of the decor requirements of our federal buildings.  As far as anyone can remember, the President and Vice President has had their portraits in the lobby of the famous Texarkana Courthouse always.  Well, at least until January 20, 2017, when the tradition apparently stopped for some unknown reason. On Inauguration Day 2009, George Bush walked out of the White House in our nation’s symbolic exchange of power and Barack Obama walked into it.  On that day it wasn’t about being Democrat or Republican, it was only about the fact that the President of the United States had served his term, and a new President was now taking office.  On that same day in Federal Courthouses across the land President Bush’s picture came down and President Obama’s was placed on the wall.  In Texarkana, the lobby of the U.S. Courthouse saw the same exchange.  President Obama would go on to serve two terms and on January 20, 2017, like Bush, President Obama would step down as President and hand over the reigns to the new President.  Across the land in Federal Courthouses the exchange of pictures started.  In Texarkana, President Obama’s picture came down, only this time, and perhaps for the first time in the courthouses’ history, no new President’s picture was hung from the old nail over the entrance to the courthouse lobby. Within a few months the Four States News noticed the lack of the President’s picture and an article was published.  Social media stirred with pictures and questions.  Some expressed anger that the picture was not there while others expressed relief as they did not support President Trump.  Through all the questions, nobody seemed to know why the new President’s picture was not hanging in the lobby. A few more months rolled by and rumors regarding there being no official portraits of the President seemed weak at best.  Postal workers stated that they had no control over the pictures.  They noted that the General Service Administration or GSA had oversight and was responsible to hang up all pictures and federal postings. A quick search of the Internet reveled a GSA number for information pertaining to the Federal Courthouse in Texarkana.  After several calls, and no answers, the Four States News opted for the online email site.  It requires a citizen to complete the form, press send and it goes off through the government’s email system.  A sender gets no copy of the email.  Despite sending the email through the government’s site a couple of months ago, there has been no response from the GSA to the Four States News’ inquiry regarding the President and Vice President’s portraits missing. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , ,

Happy Birthday We’re Increasing Your Premiums to Celebrate!

A few years ago, I reached the awkward age in life when the insurance companies no longer send you a happy birthday card, but instead send you a premium increase to start on or after your next birthday.   Needless to say, I was not happy about my birthday present from the insurance company when it arrived in the form of a letter to increase my cost, but that was to be expected.  This year, my birthday, most fortunate for me, once again rolled around and another letter came from my insurance company.   Much like the letter from the previous year, this one again congratulated me on reaching my milestone in life with a slight premium adjustment.  Naturally, that adjustment was in the upward, or insurance company’s favor. I had just about accepted the change of status that my aging body, which somehow must be breaking my so-called “Non-Profit’s” bank accounts, when I received yet another letter- and yes, my insurance company has a non-profit status.  The Arkansas Legislature, the insurance company blamed them, had given approval for a rate increase.  This letter was dated eight days after my “Birthday Letter” and announced yet another insurance increase.  This time I was mad. I immediately did what any old man my age would do…. I took to social media.  I blasted the insurance company the age increases over the last few years, and then for the update letter of new premiums.  I told them this was ridicules and that my insurance for health had gone up over $100 dollars in just eight days!  That was not to even mention the increase from the previous year.  In our time of social media, the insurance company was quick to respond and offer me the opportunity to speak to a representative if they could call me back.  I agreed to a Monday call. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , ,

Four States News Launches Events Pages

During a recent review of post a good friend of mine made a comment about the need for a good community events page.  She stated that there had been a lot of great events last weekend, but there was no real central location to see these events. After a quick look around the Internet, it was easy to find post on Facebook, News sites, and even the home webpages for some of the events.  What was not easy to find was a central location where the event managers themselves could submit an event, edit the event, and have it posted to the entire community.  We needed a site where people could not only list the event, time, place, need or lack of need for tickets, and location, but we also needed to be able to provide a link back to the homepage for the event sponsor. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , ,

Gov. Hutchinson to Speak at TASD Grant Event

Texarkana, AR – Governor Asa Hutchinson will speak at the “Red Wall” on Wednesday October 6 at 9:30 a.m. about Texarkana Arkansas School District’s (TASD) new grant.  TASD has received the Magnet Assistance Program Grant.  The grant will continue to help TASD prepare students for post graduate lives in Texarkana and beyond. The event will be held at Arkansas High School at the Red Wall.  Parking will be reserved for the event next to the high school on Jefferson. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , ,

Local Karate School Offers Classes During National Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Texarkana, USA – October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month and Lacy’s Shotokan Karate is aiming to make a difference in 2017.  Lacy’s Shotokan Karate will be teaching free self-defense lessons to any woman who has been or is being domestically abused. Wayland Lacy stated on a Facebook post “If you are a victim of abuse, please come by and talk with me.”  Lacy feels like a little knowledge can help save a victim a lot of pain. The lessons are being offered free of charge to those feeling they need help.  Lacy’s Shotokan Karate is located at 36th and Magnolia, Texarkana, Texas.  More information may be obtained by calling 903-793-5010, visiting the school’s website at https://www.lacys-shotokan.com/ or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/lacysshotokan/

Wayland Lacy operates a traditional Dojo that has been in Texarkana since 1973.  It is the oldest martial arts school in the four states area.  Classes are offered for students from age 5 and up.  Lacy holds a 7th degree Black Belt in Shotokan Karate, a 3rd Degree Black Belt in Kuk Sool Won Hapkido and Shorin Ryu Karate, and a 2nd Degree Black Belt in Kobujuts.  He was also number one as a National Champion and ranked number 3 in the world twice.  Lacy is also an international instructor and travels extensively to teach seminars to military and law enforcement groups around the world. Due to the seriousness of domestic abuse and Lacy’s extensive knowledge and contacts, anyone experiencing domestic abuse is encouraged by The Four States News to speak with Lacy, local law enforcement, or another organization for assistance. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , ,

Sidney Lodge in Fouke Hosting Scholarship Fundraiser Saturday

Fouke, AR- On Saturday, October 7, Sidney Masonic Lodge in Fouke will be working again to raise funds for their scholarship program.  The lodge will serve BBQ sandwiches, chips, a drink and a desert all for $5.00.  Proceeds go directly into the scholarship fund.  The fund is awarded to one or more local high school graduates. In addition to the work and funds to help local high school graduates, the lodge also has several door prizes to award guest on Saturday. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , ,

Motel 6, You Might Try Leaving the Light Off

You may remember a commercial where Tom Bodett would proudly announce “We’ll leave the light on for you” to make customers feel at home, but apparently leaving the light on invites another unwanted guest in Livingston, Texas as well.  Imagine slipping into the only room left in town while you’re tired, stressed, and just ready to unwind with your evening meal and catch some reruns of an old television show.  You roll your bag in, set your dinner on the table and flip on the light.  What greets you could easily be a scene from a horror movie for most people.  The room is filled with creatures of an unknown type in the windows, floor, walls, and light fixtures.  You pause just a moment and brace yourself for the onslaught that you are certain will end your life through an unexpected heart attack. Does it all sound like a horror movie?  Well it should because it seemed that way on September 18 as I strolled into the last room of Motel 6 in Livingston, Texas.  The only saving grace, and perhaps the reason I did not succumb to an unexpected heart attack, was the fact that all these little creatures…these bugs…were dead.  They were dead in the window sills, dead behind the door, dead along the edge of the floors and even dead hanging from the walls. I began checking the rest of the room and found a microwave spattered with food on the inside top, a light fixture in the bathroom full of dead bugs, and even a water bottle cap stuck between the mattress and wall which indicated the bed must not have been moved much.  The worst part was that I am confident that the cleaning crews must have seen these bugs since the window curtain was pulled back and clearly revealed a sill covered with bugs. Once I determined there was no bed bugs and there were no other rooms within a fifty-mile radius, I resigned myself that I was going to sleep in the car or the room.  I ended up pulling the sheets down, and sleeping on top of the fitted sheet in my clothing.  I had to leave my shoes on as well since the floor was dotted with little dead bugs. One thing I have learned in the age of the Internet and social media is that major chains look for their hashtag and at symbol’s mentioned.  These chains are especially conscious of Twitter.   I took to my own Twitter account at https://twitter.com/ClintonSThomas and started posting pictures.  By the time I was finished, I had posted twenty-five pictures of the room, and made several comments @motel6 to get their attention or with the #motel6 to get their attention.  Within a short time, I received a tweet back from the fine folks who have assured me they leave the light on for me – that’s apparent by the dead bugs who must have been attracted to the light.  Motel 6 wanted me to contact their customer service number at 1-855-303-0045 between the hours of 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. Eastern time.  It was now 10:30 p.m. Central time. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , ,