Four States News (https://fourstatesnews.us/author/cablewriter/page/2/)
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.
The state budget is guided by the Revenue Stabilization Act (RSA) which is typically one of the last items passed every session.
Members will be reviewing RSA in the Joint Budget Committee Monday morning. We have posted details of the proposed budget on our website. We expect to vote on the budget next week and conclude our business for this session. This week, the House passed two proposed constitutional amendments for the November 2020 ballot. SJR15 addresses term limits for legislators. This amendment would limit state legislators elected after January 1, 2021 to 12 years of consecutive service. Those legislators would not be eligible for subsequent service in the General Assembly until four years after the expiration of the last term in office.
Current legislators could serve under the existing term limit of 16 years. Those members would be subject to a 4 year waiting period for before running for a subsequent term in the General Assembly.
Doddridge, AR – Bright Star Lodge in Doddridge, Arkansas will hold a medical fundraiser for Walter Burnett on April 6. The fundraiser will start at 5:00p.m. and will consist of a fish dinner. The event will be held at the lodge and is open to the community. All proceeds from this fundraiser, and donations will be put toward medical expenses for Walter Burnett. The original posting can be found on the Doddridge Facebook page (Facebook Page). Continue Reading →
Mainstreet Texarkana is encouraging citizens and friends of Texarkana to vote for Texarkana. “America’s Main Street’s” is offering a $25,000 award to the winner. STIHL company is the sponsor of the award and the last day for voting will be June 3. Mainstreet Texarkana is accredited and recognized by both Texarkana, Arkansas and Texarkana, Texas. The unique position of Mainstreet Texarkana allows the organization to serve both cities. Continue Reading →
It was once the the place where the music blazed out into the night from piano players, guitar pickers, drummers, and vocals arriving by way of Highway 67. Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, and Conway Twitty were just a few of the names to become legends that would perform in the early days of the Texarkana Arkansas Municipal Auditorium. Perhaps the most famous performer of them all was Elvis Presley, the boy who would become the King of Rock and Roll. But, all those greats faded away from the Texarkana spotlight over forty-five years ago. For Texarkana, the Interstate arrived, planes began to carry the performers from city-to-city and Texarkana’s small auditorium simply would not accommodate the growing crowds of fans. Continue Reading →
George Orwell once predicted that “The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.” It might be thought that Orwell could see into the future with his book 1984 and other predictions he seemed to make. These predictions did not unfold though in 1984, they are unfolding now. It appears that there are those in society, especially in positions of authority with the government, set on denying and obliterating our understanding of history. These groups first targeted schools, and then national monuments, but they met more resistance with national monuments than they did with school. Once they ran into that blocked doorway of resistance, they opted for the next best thing…obliterate recent history that few people will be overly concerned about. Obliterate first Confederate history and that will open the doorway for a firm assault on U.S. History. Dallas has again jumped onboard with a desire to deny history, and their target this time is a statue in a cemetery – yes, you read that right, a cemetery where we bury our dead to remember them. You may remember that a year or two ago as Confederate Statue Hysteria rose, many city governments said that the statues belonged in museums or in cemeteries. Well, Dallas targeted first Lee Park and successfully removed the statues there despite overwhelming opposition from the public. With that step done, they are now moving to cemeteries – “But Wait,” you say! They said these statues should be in the cemeteries, right? Well, you were told they would not put the statues in museums – remember those in New Orleans? They are still sitting in a city yard. The statues from Lee Park? Still in storage. Now, they are targeting Pioneer Cemetery and the Confederate Statue that will cost the people of Dallas over $400,000 to remove. You know there must be a need for immediate and fast removal! After all this statue has stood on the same location since 1896 or 122 years. Further, consider what was originally said about these statues – they are in public view and should be in museums or cemeteries to remain out of the general public view. At that time, many people warned that these governments would not stop with the public view, but that they would also focus on cemeteries and deny the statues a place in museums. The same people who warned of the cemetery assault also told us that attacks on the founding fathers would be next. Now, you may not believe that these groups will target the founding fathers, but consider this – the last Confederate veteran died in the 1950s. Prior to that, the only honor that he had for fighting in a war came from his friends, family, the Union army, and the communities. Since there was no country, and they did not have veteran status at the time, the statues were erected around the country to honor them. They were erected, as almost all documentation indicates, to promote healing, unity, and to honor the people who lived through the Civil War on the Confederacy side. In the late 1950s, Congress made all Confederate Veterans, American Veterans. This now means that the government will place cemetery markers for those veterans, and that they are just as honored as veterans of the United States. With the consideration that the Confederate Veterans are American Veterans, then it is conceivable to view statues in their honor no different than those honoring Vietnam, Korean, World War I or World War II veterans and so on. However, over 100 years later none of the original daughters or sons of those Confederate Veterans are alive. There are small groups of decedents around the United States who honor, assemble, and remember as well as study the history. But the core group who supported and erected these statues are long gone. Since they were not “National” statues, they are generally not afforded the protections of a National Park or a National Monument after the late 1950s. The fact that they have a small direct defense base with no federal backing makes them the easy target. The goal is simple -remove the Confederate statues from public places, including cemeteries, lie about it if you have to – remember they wanted some of the statues moved to cemeteries, but they have not, and they have not put them in museums either- get them out of sight and then set the goal on others such as founding fathers. The target will shift to national statues once these groups have forced the nation to accept the removal of the Confederate statues. Once people are complacent and have accepted that the city government can and will simply remove statues at their own desire, then when it comes time to target Washington, Jefferson, and others, it will be easy. We will have grown to expect monuments and statues of and about our history to be taken down.
Ultimately it does not matter whether you like the Confederate Statues or not. It really doesn’t matter what your understanding of Confederate history is as far as that goes as well. The fact is, the Confederate Statues are a part of our national history. They were put up in the south, north, east and west to honor and help healing. No matter what anyone tells you or dreams up about them being put up to harass or cause fear in people, the actual history from the period does not support this – Even if you believe the history does support that these statues were put up to scare people, then you have to explain exactly who was being scared by a Confederate Statue in Pioneer Cemetery? Did the Daughters of the Confederacy have some great master plan that would scare away people by posting these statues in graveyards? Was their target the ghost of other people? It simply not likely. The fact is, the period of time when these statues were put up is collectively known as the “Cult of the Confederacy”. It is a period of healing, honor and remembrance. In many cases, it gave the only grave markers known for some soldiers who died in the war. It was a way to promote unity in the United States and Presidents, Congressional members, and others all supported and even attended the dedications for many of these monuments and statues. Continue Reading →
Warning – the essay below contains situations and history that may not be appropriate for all readers. As we come to a close in February, most of the Black History Month events in Texarkana will be winding down. Celebrations of great African-American contributions to our nation, state, county and to the city of Texarkana will come to a close. Many people will have learned about names like Scott Joplin, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., The Little Rock Nine, William Still, and others. The list of African-Americans making an impact is long, but there is also some names you will not hear mentioned. Maybe you will not hear them mentioned but they are names like John Carter, Edward Coy, and Bud Hayden. These names may be left out of Black History Month Celebrations, at least publicly, because as politically correct goes, their names can and often do make people feel uncomfortable. See, the names John Carter, Edward Coy, and Bud Hayden are three of the famous African American names from Arkansas because they are three of the most famous cases of lynching in the state. In fact, two of them, Edward Coy and Bud Hayden, were lynched right here in Texarkana, Arkansas.
The two men were lynched in Texarkana, Arkansas a little over six years apart. Edward Coy was lynched in February 1892, in a moment of history that shocked people across the nation and headlined newspapers from Little Rock to New York. Perhaps even more shocking is that Mr. Coy’s lynching was elevated to being burned alive at a stake. Mr. Coy was accused of assaulting a white woman in town. Once Coy was captured, a mob decided he was guilty, tied him to a tree, cut his skin, poured coal oil on him and then had his alleged victim light him on fire. Mr. Coy’s lynching, with no trial, no judge, no jury, is perhaps one of the most brutal lynching’s in this despicable part of our history. By any standards, today’s or those of 1892, Mr. Coy was outright murdered. Roughly 1,000 people stood by and watched. It was rumored that Mr. Coy and his alleged victim had been seeing each other. It was further reported that before the woman set him on fire, Mr. Coy pleaded with her asking how she could burn him when they had been “sweethearting.” Mr. Coy died near Iron Mountain Roadhouse by some accounts. Other accounts place the murder on Broad Street in Texarkana, Arkansas.
In June of 1898, downtown Texarkana, Arkansas again became the site of a lynching. This time Bud Hayden was accused of assaulting a twelve year old girl. The girl identified Mr. Hayden as the man who assaulted her, and this would result in his death. There was no trial, no jury, no judge again in this case. Articles from the time period do point out that Mr. Hayden did have the benefit of several citizens speaking about the event. Naturally, their speeches were made while Mr. Hayden had a rope around his neck and was being prepared to hang, and most were made in favor of lynching Mr. Hayden. Statements from the time said they “adjusted the rope so it would not choke him and ran to a tree near Iron Mountain Railroad crossing.” Once again, the incident is nothing short of murder. Mr. Hayden was hung and shot several times.
It should be noted that both of these lynching’s occurred with what newspaper articles of the time called “Over 1,000 people” in attendance. Since the 1890 census placed the population of Texarkana at 3,528 and the 1900 census placed the population at 4,914, it would be safe to guess that the likely population at the time of the their deaths was around 4,000. If over 1,000 people attended the lynching’s, then this meant that roughly a quarter of the population stood by, contributed or condoned, and watched as two men were murdered without a judge, jury, or trial. Even the laws on the books at the time would not have supported hanging or a death sentence for assault of an adult or a child, but yet the people of the Texarkana area stood by and watched.
The lynching of Edward Coy and Bud Hayden is a shameful, horrible, and pathetic moment in the history of Texarkana, Arkansas. Maybe that shame and horror is the reason few people hear the names today of Edward Coy and Bud Hayden. Maybe it’s easier for us as the current residents of Texarkana, Arkansas to look the other way and praise the African American contributions to society by the greats like Scott Joplin and Dr. King. Maybe, praising men and women for their great contributions makes us feel a little better, eases our minds and allows us to forget men like Edward Coy and Bud Hayden.
I have traveled up and down Broad street. I have looked around the railroad areas and I have found no mention, no plaque, no sign, no statue…nothing at all to indicate that Edward Coy and Bud Hayden were lynched in those areas. I have to stop and wonder what if Mr. Coy or Mr. Hayden had been the next Scott Joplin, or the next Dr. King, or the next William Still? What if they were destined to make an impact, make a difference, or become “somebody”? Well, we will never know that answer, and the reason we will not know the answer is because they were lynched right here in Texarkana, Arkansas. Yes, maybe a plaque, or a statue or a memorial of some sort would be uncomfortable for our community, but you know what? I bet that Mr. Coy and Mr. Hayden were far more uncomfortable and terrified as they faced the last few minutes of their lives in the hands of an angry mob that operated freely outside the law. A statue, plaque or memorial would certainly be uncomfortable for our little town, but maybe we need to be reminded not only of the great African Americans, but also of the African Americans who were so horribly wronged during this period of our history here in Texarkana. Continue Reading →
“Changing lives one gown at a time!” “Formal Attire Required” is the words that hundreds of young ladies and gentlemen will hear as prom season rolls around and other “formal” events get into full swing. It’s that time of year again when parents open up pocket books and sigh at the cost of dresses. For gentlemen, they can often get away at a formal attire event with anything from a Tuxedo to a dark jacket and pants. The cost is usually a rental or the cost of a jacket from a local shop, but for the young ladies the cost can be much greater.
Formal Attire for a young lady almost always means a dress, and not just any dress, it must be a formal gown. These dresses can range anywhere in cost from a few hundred dollars, up into the thousands. When our family recently purchased one, we found the average cost range hit about $350 to $700 for something nice. While most will charge, or purchase, and move on, the fact is some people simply cannot afford to push out big bucks on a dress that will be worn once, maybe twice by a young lady. The cost is too high and that means that some young ladies simply will not be able to attend the formal attire dance or event of a lifetime. Being unable to attend due to financial cost can, and often does, impact self-worth and self-esteem. A young lady may feel that she simply does not measure up to her friends as they purchase the new dresses. She can feel lost in the shuffle and left behind as friends get their dresses, make-up and shoes ready for the big event. The cost of a dress should never hinder a person’s once in a lifetime opportunity to be involved in prom and other formal events, and this is when Gowns for HER comes into the scene.
Gowns for Her operates with one mission in mind – “To promote self-worth by providing formal gowns to young girls who desire to attend formal activities regardless of financial circumstances.” The group gathers gowns, shoes, and accessories through donations and provides them to young girls at no cost. According to Apolonia Pacheco, MSW, the founder of Gowns for HER, the group has a goal to “give away gowns to as many girls in need in the Ark-La-Tex and surrounding areas as possible.” The group also continues to collect gowns throughout the year along with other donations such as shoes, accessories, and even new make-up is accepted.
A Giveaway even requires no ticket or fee. The group provides the services at absolutely “NO COST”. This year there will be two giveaways. The first will be March 8 and the second will be March 9 as follows:
March 8, 2019 – 5p.m. to 8p.m. at the Couture Closet, 4038 Summerhill Square, Texarkana, TX, 75503
March 9, 2019 – 12p.m. to 4p.m. at Lakeridge Apartments Clubhouse, 3708 S. Lake Drive, Texarkana, TX 75501
People interested in the event, or interested in donating, can contact Apolonia Pacheco at 813-385-6273 or by email at Gownsforher@gmail.com
Self-worth and self-esteem is most often started at a young age – if you are someone in need of a formal gown, or you child needs one to attend a formal event and you simply cannot afford it, reach out and attend one of the Gowns For Her events. Sometimes these formal events only occur once, but the memories will be there for a lifetime. The group also has a Facebook Page at Gowns for Her. Continue Reading →
If you have ever needed to look a property record up for Miller County, Arkansas, then you may have used the online service known at “ActDataScout”. The service offers access to several counties and the opportunity to search property records, and see mapping for properties. What you may not know is that the service has expanded to cover assessments. Nancy Herron took over as the new Tax Assessor for Miller County in January. Nancy and her team wasted no time rolling out the online assessment coverage for Miller County. Now if you have an existing assessment with the county, you can go online and easily add new vehicles. Not only can you access the site from your computer at ActDataScout.com, but you can also find an app for those wishing to use their cell phones or tablets.
Assessments are required for new vehicles, boats, motorcycles, RVs, etc. You have to have completed an assessment with the county assessor before you can register for tags. In the past this has meant a trip to the Assessor’s office or a call to talk with someone about your assessment needs. Now with the online service, you can complete your assessments without going to the courthouse.
Nancy is encouraging everyone to spread the news and use the app or the online service as needed. However, if you are still more comfortable talking with someone on the phone or coming by the office, then please do so. Nancy and her crew will be glad to help you complete your assessment needs.
Post from Keathley’s General Store’s Facebook Page
Keathley’s General Store was an old idea ahead of its time. With all the excitement about downtown apartments, the Grim project, and a growing set of restaurants and small retail stores, Keathley’s was an old idea returning to the downtown area as a fresh new face.
It’s hard for many of us to remember a time when people in Texarkana walked, rode the trolley, and inched their way into a crowded downtown Texarkana to purchase needed items. In a time before large chain grocery stores, big retailers, and shopping centers on the edge of town, downtown was the place to go. You bought supplies you needed such as flower, eggs, meat, and other grocery items downtown. You also bought things like books, toys, and housewares downtown. To the point, downtown was the place to be and go. It was not unusual to find a “general store” to meet these general needs. Items were purchased, friendships were made, and people eased back to home happy with their hometowns. Those days faded with the arrival of the supermarkets and the outward growth of Texarkana. As people moved away from downtown, the general store closed up and went away.
With the revitalization of downtown Keathley did his research, found that downtown was going to be booming again, and decided to jump ahead of the competition. The family opened a general store. Keathley’s General Store, to be specific, opened in late September 2018. The fanfare from newspapers, to social media was big. People praised the idea, including me, and people were excited and talked about the new store. People all over town made comments about how proud they were to see a downtown store coming back. Texarkana was going to have a general store again – not a knock off big chain – but a real general store owned and operated by a local family. We were all excited, but then we did what we always do…we failed downtown and more specifically we failed Keathley’s General Store.
Less than five months into the return of the general store to downtown, Facebook broke the news on the store’s page. They were going out of business. Like all going out of business sales it started with 10-20% off, followed by more and eventually today 95% off was hanging from the sign outside the store.
When I first heard about the store, I was excited just like many others in Texarkana. I love the downtown Texarkana atmosphere, and so like many others I decided I would start visiting the new downtown store. With all the new apartments, I knew they would thrive. Apparently, several of us in the community felt the store would thrive because if you are like me, your good intentions of supporting the downtown store never came to pass. It seems that just about the time I decided to go to the little store, the notice came out they were closing. But I have to admit…I did not go in September, October, November, or December. I finally went today and found the store in a state of what would be the last few hours. When you put your stuff up for 95% off, it doesn’t take the public long to come clean your shelves. I arrived today to find a few books, some toys, and a lot of empty freezers and shelves. The Keathley’s were warm and welcoming and surprisingly to me, they blamed nobody for the store’s failure. In fact, they admitted that they may have simply been too early for the downtown area to support the store. I on the other hand was certainly quick to blame myself, and others who called the store a great idea and talked it up without ever setting foot into it during a regular day of operation.
With the growth planned for downtown Texarkana, assuming regulations and requirements do not kill it off, there will be a booming population in the area someday. People will go for walks downtown, they will enjoy parks, the library, the street lights, and the local dinners. Maybe when that growth finally expands, a general store can survive in Texarkana. Unfortunately, until that day comes, any general store in Texarkana will be dependent on those of us who do not live directly in the downtown area. All our talk and good intentions simply will not pay the bills to support a general store or any business in the downtown area. No, Keathley’s General Store was a great old idea that simply came too soon. It came at a time when we as a community were not willing to put our money behind our talk and good intentions. Maybe we will learn from this lost treasure of Texarkana and make sure the next downtown business has our talk, good intentions, and most importantly our financial support as customers. Continue Reading →
If you display the U.S. Flag or a State Flag, then you know that with time it wears out. The wind will eventually cause damage, the sun will fade the flag, and sometimes just time itself will cause the flag to come into a status where it no longer should be used. When this happens, many people have heard that the retirement of a flag has established rules. In many cases, the flag is put on a shelf and replaced with a new flag instead of having a retirement for the flag. While everyone may not know the established rules to retire a flag, on Saturday, January 5 a Flag Retirement Ceremony will be held in Fouke, Arkansas at the Fouke Veterans Memorial Park. The event will start at 2 p.m. and will allow anyone from the community to bring worn, faded or damaged U.S. Flags for a free, and proper retirement. While the focus of the event is the national flag, the organizers say that state flags will also be retired properly at the event, and they are offering this service.
Ronnie Dancer, Sr., a local Fouke resident and veteran, said that he and a group of veterans from the area wanted to do something to allow people to retire flags appropriately. He said that Home Depot and Walmart had already given flags to be retired to the group and that the community is encouraged to bring flags which need to be retired. The Walmart Neighborhood Market in Wake Village provided three flags for retirement. Ronnie also stated that active military in the area, and veterans in the area are encouraged to attend and participate in the event.
The event is being hosted by the Major John B. Burton S.C.V. Camp #1664 of Texarkana, Arkansas. The group and veterans in the area hope to make the event an annual one to allow community members to retire their state and national flags appropriately and according to the established standards in one place yearly. Ronnie Dancer stressed that all flags will be treated with respect, dignity and retired according to appropriate and established rules and regulations. Continue Reading →