Economy/Money

Recent Articles

Miller County Delinquent Business Tax List Hits Social Media

Miller County, AR – Some are calling it “Public Shaming,” but for the Miller County Tax Collector, she is calling it “Public Accountability.”  What is that “Public Accountability”?  It’s a list of  over $200,000 of taxes owed to the county that is hitting social media today.  Several media outlets have already published the list.  Most of the responses from the public have been supportive so far; however, there have been a few that prefer to call it all “Public Shaming” and feel that it should not have been done. Continue Reading →

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Rep. Ratcliffe votes to strengthen national defense and support military

Protects jobs at the Red River Army Depot in Texarkana

 WASHINGTON – Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas) voted for the passage of the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act(NDAA), which boosts support for America’s military, enhances national defense capabilities and provides a 2.4 percent pay raise for U.S. service members. The bill authorizes the $696 billion in funding necessary to restore adequate readiness for our armed forces, protect our homeland from rapidly evolving threats and provide our troops with the resources they need. “Our country is continually faced with serious threats posed by radical Islamist extremism and burgeoning nuclear powers like North Korea. This means that providing our military with the best training and defense capabilities in the world isn’t an option – it’s a necessity. The safety of the American people and the stability of the free world depend on it,” Ratcliffe said. Continue Reading →

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Thrifty Bird Brings Walmart Markdowns To Email

A few months ago a friend of mine shared a new business he has running with me called Thrifty Bird (Thriftybird.com).   He signed me up with my permission and I started to receive daily emails at roughly 3 a.m. each morning.  By the time I would stumble out of bed, I could pull my Thrifty Bird email and see all the latest mark downs at my local Walmart stores. Now I’m sure that a lot of folks are thinking, “Big deal, I can see the sales paper or go see the mark downs myself.”  Yes, that’s one way of doing business, but then you miss the bigger picture.  Thrifty Bird does something that sale papers cannot do.  It captures daily mark downs.  Did you know that Walmart marks prices down daily on many items?  With such a large inventory, they have clearance items, stock reduction items, and even outdated items – think digital copies free with a purchased DVD or Blu-ray that have expired.  These items do not always make the local sales paper because the item or items may be exclusive to one or a few stores.  Let’s say that all the Walmart stores nationwide sell out of a “Top Notch” television sets – don’t worry, there is no such thing to my knowledge as “Top Notch” – but the store in Texarkana, Texas still has three units on the shelf.  The main Walmart sales paper- which goes nationwide – is not going to advertise that those “Top Notch” televisions are about to be marked down.  You cannot have people in Dallas running to a store, searching for a “Top Notch” and then not finding one!  So, “Top Notch” never makes the main sale paper.  If you happen to go into Walmart in Texarkana, Texas, then you find “Top Notch” televisions have been marked down from $300 to $75 and they only have three of them left.  Because you happened to go into the store, you lucked out and got a “Top Notch” television for a great price.  But, what if you don’t go to the store that day?  You miss out and there’s no “Top Notch” television in your future.  Enter Thrifty Bird! Thrifty Bird will send you an email with your selected store – in this case Texarkana, Texas – and you’ll see a post that says something like this:  “Top Notch” Television set, 3 in stock, Reg. price $300, marked down $75 in electronics row 33”.  Now you know how many sets are there, what the mark down price is, and where to find the television once you get to the store.  You’ve received your email early in the day – remember, they just marked it down around midnight – and you can quickly run to the Texarkana, Texas Walmart and buy your set.  Thrifty Bird brings you the clearance or reduced prices before anyone else gets them…. well, before anyone other than other Thrifty Bird uses. Continue Reading →

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CableOne – Is it time to do away with bandwidth limits?

 

Bandwidth is a term associated with the amount of data you use.  People have had bandwidth to deal with for as long as the Internet has been cellular, cable, and DSL in format and with some companies even by telephone usage, but that was long ago.  We have all likely seen the commercials or heard about someone going over their bandwidth.  It’s gotten to be such a hot topic and such a major issue for some people that they have opted to pay more for plans that offer no bandwidth limits.  Unfortunately, not all companies offer a no bandwidth limit, and the ones that do not act as if you have sinned the greatest known sin there is when you exceed your allotted bandwidth.  But can we really afford to live in a bandwidth limited society any longer? To determine if we need a “No limits” Bandwidth society, we need to first know exactly what uses bandwidth.   It’s hard to say for everyone and to cover everything that may use bandwidth, but consider the following areas that use bandwidth: email, Internet surfing, Netflix, music streaming, music downloading, game downloads, gaming, movie downloads, computer backups, online security systems and cameras, Internet based thermostats, Internet based of VOIP telephones, weather station reporters, postage machines, scanners, printers, and on and on.  You get the idea, and if you use the newest movie streaming services or watch movies in high definition on a service such as Apple TV or Netflix, then you will eat up tons of bandwidth in no time at all. So, if you have limited bandwidth, what can you do?  The first thing you can do is cut down all those high definition movies and games to regular definition.  It will save you a lot.  You can limit your use of YouTube – by default most of the YouTube apps automatically adjust to your Internet speed to give you the best video possible.  Unfortunately, that best video also eats up your bandwidth.  Some allows you to control the video quality and some do not, so YouTube can be a real burner when it comes to bandwidth. It seems that no matter how much you cut your bandwidth, some people still go over.  Take me for example.  I’m with the fastest and in my opinion best Internet service in the Texarkana area, CableOne.  Unfortunately, I do not always agree with CableOne’s ability to count their bandwidth when it comes to my usage.  In 2015, I found that several days on the CableOne list indicated that I had zero usages.  That means my thermostat did not even check the weather that day!  It also means that me sitting here in my home using the Internet used none of my bandwidth.  When I originally brought this up to a VP at CableOne, and he in turn to it to others for review, I was told that “we had stirred up a hornet’s nest.”  Apparently, at that time there was some major issues in bandwidth counting. Now, a little over a year later and after being assured that those “issues” had been resolved I found myself again exceeding bandwidth usage.  It seemed odd to me that I was exceeding at just about the same time that CableOne came out with new plans, but maybe that is just a coincidence.  I decided by the middle of the last billing cycle to make some changes.  I changed the router’s password, cut off two extenders, and made sure that everything on my network was named – meaning I knew who was connected to my router.  I also started again monitoring my data usage on my router. Continue Reading →

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Robbins Toyota A+ Customer-Based Service

Texarkana, USA- Nobody likes to have car repairs, but when the time comes most of us search out a trusted mechanic if the car is out of warranty and avoid a dealership at all cost.  That was exactly my mindset when our Toyota had a steering issue this week.  As we tried to decide who would service the vehicle best, I completed an Internet search and found that there had been several reported issues like ours.  I decided to look up the national Toyota hotline number and see if there was any known defects or recalls dealing with the steering issues. I reached Toyota and a very helpful young lady was delighted to let me know that there was a recall for my car and the problem I was facing. Continue Reading →

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