Thomas, Th.D. Clinton S.

Thomas, Th.D. Clinton S.

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

Community Spirit Restores Ed Worrell Memorial Park Sign

Red River Softwash picture before and after

The Texarkana business Red River Softwash, LLC recently cleaned the Ed Worrell Memorial Park sign and City Beautiful members followed up with painting.  Red River Softwash, as they described it on Facebook, was between jobs when they spotted the need for the sign to be cleaned.  Without contracts and pay, the company stopped, power washed the sign, and went on about business.  The post immediately made the rounds on Facebook for the company’s willingness to give back to the community.  Wendell and Mary Warner, members of the City Beautiful Commission of Texarkana, Arkansas, decided to follow up with the lettering and paint needs on the sign. Surprisingly, Mary said they found that the sign had black
cardboard inserted as letter filling on the sign.  She stated that she and Wendell had to remove
the lettering and it made the 15-minute touch-up job take about an hour, but
they were glad to do it.  Mary said she
assumes the letters have been cardboard since the sign was put up and she has
no idea how they lasted that long.  A
small plaque on the back of the sign states the foundation was put up in 1994,
which would mean at a minimum the cardboard letters have lasted twenty-five
years.  

Wendell Warner painting sign

Mary and Wendell reported on the project at today’s City
Beautiful Commission meeting.  Other members
did not realize that the sign was being addressed and the two were commended
for stepping out and stepping up for the community.  When asked by other members about how hot
it’s been, Wendell responded, “Oh we went in the evening.  There was no way we could do it in the heat
of the day.” 

If you know Mary and Wendell Warner, then you likely know
they have restored homes here in Texarkana and they have a long history of
service.  Mary and Wendell’s service at
the sign is just another example of the spirit of community that shines through
these two amazing people.  If you know
them, take a moment to say thank you for all their hard work.  In truth, you have no idea how many little
projects likes this one they take on all the time behind the scenes. Sign after cleaning and painting

As for Red River Softwash, check out their Facebook page and keep them in mind for all your power washing needs.  They do windows, sidewalks, homes, etc.  If you have a project that needs attention, spend money with someone that invests and donates time back into your community.  Red River Softwash took the time to go above and beyond for our community, and they deserve our business and support as they grow in Texarkana.  See the link below for more information or call them up at 903-276-3990. On Facebook -click here: Red River Softwash LLC. Continue Reading →

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T-Town: Texarkana Town or Trash Town

A recent photo of Bobby Ferguson Park. It seems that the old “T-Town” reference to
Texarkana may mean “Trash Town” for the Arkansas side of town.  If you drive down the north side of Stateline
Cemetery, you cannot help but notice litter along the fence line.  It seems to blow into the fenced area and
become trapped there.  If this was the
only area of town, then it might be a unique issue, but unfortunately for
Texarkana, Arkansas it is not the only area.  

I had been noticing trash around Texarkana, Arkansas for some
time.  Not only was the cemetery area on
Stateline affected, but I was seeing it downtown, along the main streets and
even on less-traveled streets in Texarkana. 
The trash seemed to range from aluminum cans, to drink cups, to plates,
to paper, and even entire bags of household trash at some places.  To further the issue, it seems to be
everywhere.  So I decided to experiment. 

On September 4th, I got into my trusted pickup
truck with my son, and we drove around Texarkana.  We targeted the main roads for the Arkansas
side.  On Stateline, we quickly found
that we could not go even a half a block without seeing trash either on the
road or on the property beside the road. 
I traveled from the Federal Courthouse downtown clear to the Interstate.  I could not find one single block, or half-block
for that matter, where some form of trash was not on the ground.  I then traveled Arkansas Boulevard, and it
was not surprising to find the same level of trash along both sides of the road
there.  For Arkansas Boulevard, I went
from Stateline to the loop access.  For
Jefferson, I traveled from I-30 to Arkansas High, and for County, I moved from
Kline Park to I-30.  Surprisingly, the
results of this little experiment were all the same.  Trash could be found within every single
block of those roads. 

After noting all the places where the trash was located, my
son commented that we could quickly fill up the back of the truck and more with
all the trash.  Sadly, I had to agree
with him.  Apparently “T-Town” now means
“Trash Town” for those of us living on the Arkansas side. 

The question should be, “Who is at fault for this
trash?”  Should the city be cleaning
it up?  Should property owners along the
way clean it?  Should organizations such
as the City Beautiful Commission clean it up? 
Should local church and youth organizations clean it up?  Where should we look for someone to clean it
up? The facts are simple. 
The city does not have the employees to keep the city clean.  Often city employees are mowing vacant or
abandoned lots.  They have assigned areas
to water and care for around the town, and they have several parks to maintain
as well as streets and other duties.  The
fact is the city employees do not have the time or the employees to keep
Texarkana, Arkansas cleaned up. Property owners could be held accountable, but most of the
trash appears to have been dumped on edge, or it has merely blown there with
the wind.  Even if property owners went
out daily and cleaned up the trash, there would be new trash there the next
morning.  I know, I have that problem in
my neighborhood as well. The City Beautiful and other volunteer organizations try to
help make a difference.  However, even
with their help, the fact is they are all volunteers, and many of them have
other full-time jobs and obligations. 
They cannot be the city trash collectors.  Church groups and other volunteer
organizations have the same issues as the city. 
They are often short of volunteers or help, and many times their
volunteers cannot get out in the heat to work. 
To depend on these organizations to clean up the city is not logical. Continue Reading →

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Local Student Finds Joy and Income as a Texarkana Rising Artist

Texarkana, USA: It’s no secret that college students need income, and Blake Butler is no different from other college students.  Blake has worked his way through school, starting with his associate degree, then a Bachelor’s.  He is currently working on his master’s degree in Social Work.  Like other students, he needed additional income, and like other students, Blake had various levels of interest.  One of those outside interest was fulfilled last year with an early Christmas gift.  Blake took a class with Keegan Kidd of Primal Flow Studios of Texarkana.  Blake found he enjoyed the course and started producing some artwork with the techniques he learned.  Immediately friends and family began to encourage him to create more. The class with Primal Flow Studios allowed Blake to complete
a variety of art called acrylic pouring. 
He noted that one of the first things he learned was that this was not
merely “pouring” out the paint. 
There is an entire process that Blake described that includes words such
as “Crazing” and “Floetrol.”  It did not
take him long to start producing more works, and he found that he enjoyed it as
a hobby and interest outside his schoolwork.   He says that he can spend up to two or three
hours at a time going through color palettes and finding just the right colors
for the combinations he wants to make. 
When making the art, Blake says he has a great “feeling of exhilaration”
with the entire process from start to finish. 

As Blake started sharing pictures of his artwork on social
media with more friends, he started receiving positive feedback.   Feedback was supportive and uplifting, but
as all artist can tell you, friends and family are often too kind as
critics.  The real test came when
feedback rolling in from people outside his social circle.   The feedback continued to be positive, so Blake
decided to take his art to the next level. 
He started selling his artwork on a website called Art Station.  At Art Station, Blake was able to display his
art in a portfolio style and then extend out to sell on an Etsy store.   

Blake has seen his artwork sells climb higher than he
thought possible.  He has even had a
commission for a piece from California. 
He said that he would name paintings, and while some people accept the interpretation,
others will see something entirely different. 
That is one of the things that Blake finds exciting.  He says when someone sees something different,
it simply means it has been interpreted differently, and that is great.  He will often find himself reevaluating the
work based on the comments he receives.   So far, feedback and has been positive and
supportive, and income has started to rise slowly.  At this time Blake says he is happy because
the income helps support the work.  When
he sells a few paintings, he can purchase the supplies need to complete
additional works.    

Blake says he does not expect to make a full-time living off
his art and that he is happy to be able to support the work.  It’s also fulfilling when someone compliments
a work or purchases the work.  As for
long term plans, Blake says he will finish school and hopefully teach Social
Work in the future.  He has already had
the opportunity to show some paint pouring to employees of a local clinic.   Blake can see that there will be many ways
to incorporate his art into the area of social work in the future.  He feels that paint pouring can help some
people deal with anxiety or depression. 
Blake feels that if he can help make someone’s day a little brighter by
teaching or sharing the art form, then the early Christmas gift will have paid
off tenfold. You may view or purchase Blake’s artwork at the two sites below:

Blake Butler’s Portfolio Online Website

Blake Butler’s Website of Art for sale. Continue Reading →

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Football Scores on Four States News

We would like to take a moment to remind everyone that football scores are featured on The Four States News. Our home page features a readout for Friday night High School games and for college games on Saturday. Our college scores covers all known teams in Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Oklahoma. Friday night scores covers the four states area for about 60-70 miles worth of high schools. As a reminder, if you team is not on the list and you want them added, please let us know. Continue Reading →

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Arkansas High ROTC Program Raising Funds for 75th Anniversary D-Day Project

The Arkansas High AFJROTC (Air Force Junior ROTC) is busy once again with the new school year and a new project.  The ROTC group plans to create a Diorama of the World War 2 D-Day Normandy Beach Landing.  The class instructor, MSgt. Douglas McLane, USAF Ret., is planning the project as an educational tool and a 75th Anniversary event for the history of the landing.  The project will take a little over $1,120 to complete but will benefit not only the ROTC program at Arkansas High but all students at the school and beyond.   (Donate)

The ROTC program has a long history at Arkansas High dating
back to its establishment on September 1, 1967. 
The program is designated as AR-022 which notes that it was the 22nd
program of its kind put in place.  The
agreement between Arkansas High and the United States Air Force has allowed
several retired Air Force to serve as instructors and mentors for young people
since the founding in 1967.  Like many instructors,
MSgt. McLane was not looking for a job when he saw the advertisement for the
position.  Intrigued, he called to find
out that there were no applicants for the position which indicated to him that
this might be a calling.  McLane answered
the call of service once again.   Work started
to build on the program to help enhance the lives of those in the ROTC
program. 

Unit patch

In 2019, the program won the Outstanding Unit of the Year Award with Merit.  This was the first time the program has ever won the award.  In 2018, the unit attended the Drill and Fitness Competition along with 14 other units.  Arkansas High’s united won several awards at the event including 2nd Place Unarmed Drill Exhibition, 2nd Place Armed Tandem Exhibition, and 2nd Place Uniform Inspection.  The unit then brought home the 1st Place in the Individual Female Fitness Award. Before 2019, and in recent years, the unit has had several successful competitions and recognition that include:

2nd Place Unarmed Regulation Drill 20173rd Place Armed Regulation Drill 2017Recognized at the LA Tech’s Veteran Ceremony at Bulldog Stadium before the game with Rice UniversityWon Outstanding Civic Marching Group in the Veterans Day Parade 2018Won Outstanding marching Group in the Veterans Day Parade 2018Outstanding Color Guard Unit at the Live United Bowl for 2016, 2017 and 2018

With so much success and promise coming from the program,
Instructor MSgt. McLane is now reaching for more for the unit with the D-Day
Project.  Ultimately, any major project
like McLane has developed will need funds. 
The unit has created an online web page where community members,
business leaders, retired military, and anyone with interest in helping this
unit can donate specifically for the project.  
The project is described in detail on the page:

“The students will learn about the historical event of D-Day and the importance of the major military operation during World War 2. Continue Reading →

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President Trump To Nominate Ratcliffe as Director of National Intelligence

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A little over twenty minutes ago President Trump took to Twitter to announce his plans to nominate Congressman John Ratcliffe as Director of National Intelligence. According to the President, Ratcliffe will replace Dan Coats on August 15th. The President plans to nominate an interim director during the interim before Ratcliffe takes over. The President’s Twitter account may be followed at realDonaldTrump. Ratcliffe’s office has not released an offical press release as of this time. Continue Reading →

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Miller County Conducting Water Drive for Dierks

Miller County Arkansas is currently conducting a water drive today for the community of Dierks, Arkansas. Dierks was recently hit by major storms and several people are without water. Those that have access to water, are currently under boil orders through next week. Community members from the four states area are being encouraged to drop off bottled water by the case, individually or by the gallon in front of the Miller County Courthouse today. The drive is officially between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. today; however, if for some reason you can not make it during that time, please contact the Miller County Courthouse. Continue Reading →

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Ruby Tuesday Garden Bar Falls Flat

Ruby Tuesday is usually one of my preferred restaurants in town. I love their food, the atmosphere, the staff, and I love that Garden Bar. You know the Garden Bar, right? It’s that long bar just as you want into the Texarkana Ruby Tuesday location and glance to your right. It has over 50 wonderful garden fresh, their words not mine, items on it. Continue Reading →

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Texarkana Loses a Friend, Ross Perot

Ross Perot at Scout-O-Rama

The Texarkana area lost a famous native son and a friend
this morning with the passing of Ross Perot. 
Long before Perot would gain the spotlight by running for President of
the United States on a third party ticket, he was well known and loved in
Texarkana.  While some grow up in
Texarkana, leave, make it big, and never look back, Perot was not this way with
his success.  Ross Perot always knew his
roots, respected his roots, and held tightly to those roots and those roots
were firmly grounded in Texarkana. 

The Texarkana region came alive on social media around 10
a.m. as news of Perot’s passing spread online. 
The national reports stated that the 89 year old had suffered from Leukemia
and passed away, but here in Perot’s hometown stories, pictures, and memories
were already spreading like wildfire.  People
posted pictures of Perot in his Scout Uniform along with other young men at the
local Scouting events.   Texarkana
College, where Perot was a graduate, immediately sent out urgent notices to the
press and scheduled a special press conference. 
Others talked about how nice the man was, how friendly he was, and how
generous he was to his hometown.  Several
comments were made about how Perot partnered with Texarkana College and helped
pull the college through some difficult financial times.  It seemed like everywhere you looked on
Facebook, Twitter and other outlets, there were positive stories and many “thank
you” messages to Perot. 

The national news has called Perot a “Presidential Candidate,” a “Patriot”, a “Billionaire” a “Boy Scout” a “Businessman,” and dozens of other titles.  They have talked about his two presidential runs, they have commented that he may be the reason Bill Clinton was elected, and they have talked about the company he built.  As I listened to the national news and compared it to the local comments, one thing came shining through in the Texarkana area.   There was one type of comment that seemed to rise above all the national news and reports when it came to Texarkana.  The people in the area did not call him the same fancy titles the national news seemed to cling to, what the rest of the world knew Perot to be, but instead, the overwhelming local comments called Ross Perot a “Friend of Texarkana.”  Here in Texarkana Ross Perot was loved for his devotion to the area, his help with Scouts, his work with Texarkana College, and perhaps most importantly and above all for simply remaining a “Friend” to his hometown long after many others would have left Texarkana behind in the dust of success.  Ross Perot will be a footnote on the world and national stage as history goes, but in Texarkana, he will be an inspiration and lost a friend for generations to come. Continue Reading →

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Sitterley to Speak to Miller County Republicans

The Miller County Republican Committee (MCRC) will hold their monthly meeting Tuesday July 9, at Big Jakes on Arkansas Blvd in Texarkana, Arkansas. The meeting will start at 6:30 p.m. and open with guest speaker Rob Sitterley, the President and CEO of AR-TX Redi. Sitterley’s presentation and the meeting are open to the public and everyone is encouraged to attend. Sitterley will speak first and a short recess will be held before the business meeting portion. Those wishing to attend Sitterley’s appearance and not attend the business meeting, may leave during the recess. Continue Reading →

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