Recent Articles

Old Tyme Burger Shoppe to Change Hours


Texarkana, USA – It’s no secret that Old Tyme Burger Shoppe is one of this writer’s favorite places in town to eat.  They have some of the best Chicken Fried Steaks and Chicken Fried Chicken in the region, they are family owned, and the atmosphere is friendly for anyone.  If someone comes to town, and intends to eat out, the Old Tyme Burger Shoppe is always one of the best options. Speaking with Thomas “Tombo” Collins today I learned that the hours at Old Tyme will be changing soon.  Tombo said that they have received a lot of feedback and request for additional hours at the restaurant.  To help with this, a new manager has been hired to assist Tombo, and new ideas are floating around the restaurant all the time.  Tombo said the hours would change starting May 1st to meet customer request. Starting May 1, the new hours will be as follows:

MONDAY, TUESDAY, WEDNESDAY                                                                           OPEN 6 AM TO 3 PM


The new hours should allow families and friends to stop in and pick up dinner or eat in the restaurant on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings before heading out on the town for other events.  It will be easy to go eat, and then head over to a movie or even a football game once the season rolls around again.   In a town saturated with mainstream, fast, food restaurants, it’s good to know that Old Tyme Shoppe is around to meet the needs of people wanting fast, quality food. Continue Reading →

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For the Children: A Cost-Cutting Measure That Hurts Kids

With a $900 million budget shortfall dominating this year’s legislative session, many lawmakers are looking to balance the budget by cutting government spending. As advocates for children, our job at OICA is to shield Oklahoma’s youngest and most vulnerable residents from any “cost-cutting” measures that would adversely impact them and, in some cases, negatively change the trajectory of their entire lives. One of those measures is Senate Bill 81, which seeks to lower the grade level at which a student can be suspended from school. Currently, out-of-school suspension is only allowable at the 6th grade level and above. SB 81 would allow children as early as third grade (only 8 or 9 years old) to be suspended.  In addition, the bill would reduce the requirements for counseling programs available to these children, who are the ones who need it the most. Continue Reading →

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Be a Part of the Solution During Child Abuse Prevention Month

April is national Child Abuse Prevention Month, and I believe child advocates must use this as an opportunity to advance two important goals: first; to help our friends and neighbors fully grasp how widespread and terrible the problems of child abuse and neglect are; second, to encourage them to be part of the solution. When it comes to evaluating the prevalence and impact of child abuse and neglect, the numbers tell a frightening tale. The KIDS COUNT Data Center, a joint research product of OICA and the national Annie E. Casey Foundation, reports that of the more than 200,000 children in Oklahoma County under the age of 19, 41 percent have had an adverse childhood experience

On a statewide level, the Oklahoma Department of Human Services’ statistics paint an equally grim picture. Since 2014, over 363,000 cases of alleged abuse and neglect have been reported to the agency. More than 44,000 were eventually confirmed. Continue Reading →

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Indifferent Survivor

When I was in college, my professor taught that the opposite of love was indifference.  Throughout my life, I have witnessed the truth of his teachings.  This past week, however, forty years later, has disproved his teachings and erased my belief that he taught me the truth. This weekend I worked for a family full of love for each other.  Many of its members had not seen the others for years as they live far distances apart.  In fact, the time of separation between family members has been so long, that some did not recognize those with whom they had grown up playing.  I watched this family closely, for they were in my building under the very tragic circumstances of murder.  I expected angry outbursts, inconsolable grief, and temper flares all week, but they never surfaced. The core group of this family is matriarchal, educated and cultured.  They arrived at the funeral home early Monday morning to arrange funeral details.  Their young decedent, who had been orphaned early in life, had been reared under the tutelage of his widowed grandmother. The tragedy and senselessness of murder bring uncontrollable raw responses to the lives of co-victims.   They will experience both physical and emotional responses.  Physically, the body will attempt to protect itself from the trauma.  This response is commonly known as the “Fight or Flight Response.”  One may experience physical shock, disorientation, hyper-alertness (brought on by adrenaline rush,) heart palpitations, nausea, vomiting, sweating, hyperventilation, difficulty breathing, tightness of chest, uncontrollable sobbing, inability to cry, a void of emotion, panic, and/or numbness.  Emotionally, co-victims may respond with anger, rage, fear, terror, confusion, guilt, self-blame, shame, sorrow, frustration, humiliation, or overwhelming grief.  Any or all of these responses, both physical and emotional, have the ability to overpower the brain.  This creates a dangerous situation for co-victims.  It thrusts them into a grave potentiality of not surviving the murder of their loved one. Murder is surrounded by public curiosity and rule of law.  Co-victims must endure news reports, police interviews, public speculation, ongoing investigations, and trials.  They may be caught in the lair of constantly reliving the trauma of their loss as justice tries to right the wrong they have been dealt.   They may begin suffering nightmares about the murder, anger toward their beloved decedent for being murdered, rage toward the murderer, rage toward law enforcement for an inability to establish justice, depression, helplessness, loneliness, isolation, or disbelief or hatred toward God.  These added emotions compound the functional inability of the brain and can create long-term impact on the co-victims character.  They interfere with grief work and create complications too great for unassisted recovery.  The impact may affect several generations. Continue Reading →

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For the Children:   The Good, the Bad and the Ugly After Key Legislative Deadline

Oklahoma – Last Friday marked the end of what political insiders call “deadline week” at the Oklahoma State Capitol. It is the last opportunity this year for legislation to pass in the chamber (House or Senate) where it was originally introduced. Legislation that fails to advance is “dead” in 2017. It is a major turning point in the session, as it gives us an opportunity to evaluate what ideas and reforms are gaining traction and which have fallen by the wayside. The House of Representatives, for instance, began with 1370 bills and resolutions, but only 316 made it past deadline week and remain active. Continue Reading →

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Finding the Right Funeral Director

I like to think that I can get along with anyone.  I also like to think that everyone likes me.  If I am completely honest, however, and analyze my life, I find that this is probably not an accurate perception of my personality nor of my friends list.  In fact, as I think back over my life, I find that not only am I not friends with everyone I have ever met; I really don’t want to be friends with them after all.  When it comes right down to it, I’m actually a rather picky person when it comes to spending time with other people.  In all honesty, I’d rather not spend my time with people for whom I do not deeply care.  If a person is not an intimate friend of mine and I do happen to see them, I really only want  a casual exchange of pleasantries and to be quickly on my way.  I am always busy, and unless someone needs my assistance, I’d rather be off to someplace where I might be helpful, or with my children, or grandchildren.  So, that is me; that is my personality; that is how I live my life. I have been a licensed funeral director for 10 years.  It took me 10 years from the day I decided to become a funeral director to the day I was able to open my funeral home.  In all, I have been actively involved in the funeral profession for 17 years.  In all of those years, I have worked with many families.  I like to think that I have been able to get along with all of the families I have served.  I also like to think that they have all been satisfied with their services.  If I am completely honest, however, and analyze my professional record, this is not an accurate analysis of my professional career.  I have interviewed with families that in the end have decided to go elsewhere.  I have interviewed with families that in the end, I wish had gone elsewhere.  Fortunately, these families are very few in number. When I meet with a family, I try to determine their needs, their traditions, their budget, and many other details relating to funeral planning.  I try to understand the relationships and issues slinging across my conference table.  I begin to formulate methods to separate families from historical pathologies that will cause complications for their recovery, and I try to help facilitate an experience that will accommodate and move them toward a healthy grief rehabilitation.  My service and client satisfaction ratio has never fallen below 99%. What then of this other one percent?  It is easy to say, “You can’t please everyone.”  Well, why can’t you?  If you take on a client, why can’t you please them?  If you contract with them to do a job, why are you not capable of doing that job to their complete satisfaction?  In my case, I find that it is usually an issue of communication.  Perhaps the family did not clearly communicate their wishes, or perhaps I was unclear in my descriptions of what they might expect.  Sometimes neither is the case.  Quite often it is confusion within the family itself.  If two members of the family are in conflict over a particular issue and cannot come to an agreement, only one will get their way.  Very often family members will feel invalidated when this happens and feelings get hurt.   In my history as a funeral professional, I find that open and exhaustive communication, prior to contractual obligation, is the best practice for client satisfaction. If you are searching for funeral services, take your time.  Interview various funeral directors and multiple funeral homes.  Nothing says you must use the same funeral director your grandpa used.  You don’t use the same razor he used, do you?  Or only use a land line?  In today’s world, we have access to enormous amounts of information.  Utilize the internet, investigate your options, do phone interviews, ask questions, and get to know your funeral director before you even meet her or him face to face.  Once you narrow your possibilities down, make appointments and meet with them.  When you arrive at each funeral home, ask for a tour.  See if you are comfortable.  Do the funeral homes and personnel meet your needs?  Will they accommodate your family?  Do you communicate well with the funeral directors?  Are they forthcoming with the information you seek?  Are they accommodating to the things you want?  Do they go the extra mile to ensure your comfort?  Are they traditional or modern? Continue Reading →

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Dot’s Ace Hardware to hold Texarkana’s Third EggFest this Saturday

Texarkana, USA- Dot’s Ace Hardware and Dot’s Rentals & Sales invite area grilling and food enthusiasts to the Third not-so-annual Texarkana EggFest this Saturday, March 25, 2017. The event will be held outside at the hardware store, 3411 Richmond Road in Texarkana, TX and tickets are $15 with free admission for kids under 12. EggFests are held all over the United States for Egg-Heads—or Big Green Egg enthusiasts—to show off their cooking skills on the Big Green Egg. Ticket holders, also called tasters, come to the event to watch the cooks, get recipe ideas and insights, and—of course—to try all of the teams’ tasty creations. Picture a circle of smoking Big Green Eggs with new foods to sample each hour, from sweet to savory, breakfast to lunch and beyond. Continue Reading →

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Free Outreach Saturday March 18 at Bramble Park


Texarkana, USA – Life House Church is holding an “OUTREACH”  this weekend on Saturday 18th.  The event will be held from 10:10 a.m.  until 2:00 p.m.  There will be ton’s of fun and events for the entire family!  The event will be held at Bramble Park. Unlike other events of this nature, this outreach features a “Free Garage Sale.”  A free garage sale is simple…..bring no money. Continue Reading →

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Consecutive Miscarriage

My daughter is seven days away from delivering my new grandchild, and due to distance, I am unable to be there.  I have lamented over this fact trying to find a solution, but alas, there is not one on the horizon.  I have worried about her health as I have watched her over her last trimester.  She has endured the fatigue and pain that accompanies the final stage of pregnancy without anyone to help her.  She lives in Hawaii, a recent transplant due to her husband’s occupation, and therefore, finds herself without friends or family to love or assist her.   Yesterday after she got home from church, she told me something that was absolutely horrifying.  While she was in her women’s class, her women’s group leader announced that she had suffered her twelfth miscarriage this past week.  Wow, how could you not feel badly for this woman’s emotional pain and suffering?  My daughter immediately asked me what she could do for this woman.  In order to help someone who has suffered a miscarriage, one must first understand the confusion and grief that accompanies such a profound loss. Eight Important things to know about Miscarriage and Grief


Miscarriage is classified as a non-loss within society.  Unfortunately, when a mother miscarries a pregnancy, many people may not have known that she was pregnant.  Sometimes the pregnancy announcement is delayed for one reason or another.  Parents who have previously suffered miscarriage are less likely to share the news of pregnancy early on due to an apprehension of potential recurrence. Human beings are experience driven.  If one does not have personal experience with a certain thing, one is generally unmoved by it.  The missed opportunity of holding, touching, kissing, or cooing a newborn baby leaves us without a tangible experience from which to draw.  The parent couple, grandparent couples, and perhaps siblings are potentially the only human beings on the face of the earth who will mourn the loss of a premature infant.  This small circle of awareness does not offer a support network of understanding or assistance for those suffering the very real experience of grief following the death of a wee loved one. MISCARRIAGE IS THE DEATH OF A CHILD

Ask anyone, “What is the worst sort of death known to mankind?”  The answer will always be, “The death of a child.”Although others may not have experienced the life of an expectant couple’s baby, the expectant couple has.  These parents have planned, prepared, sacrificed, and experienced the life of their child.  The death of their baby brings with it the death of their plans and hopes for their future.  It brings the same chaos and fears survivors experience at the death of any other loved one.  Expectant parents may experience a loss of identity, unity, and purpose.  These losses may spill over into other aspects of their lives.  Unfortunately, for parents grieving a miscarriage, there is little understanding, or patience found for them within society.  They are expected to bounce back as though nothing has happened by people who have not experienced the devastating death of a child. Continue Reading →

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BBQ at Sidney Masonic Lodge in Fouke to Support Scholarship Fund

Sidney Masonic Lodge will host a BBQ Scholarship Fundraiser on March 18 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.  Sidney Lodge is located in Fouke, Arkansas.  All proceeds from the event will be awarded to students in Miller County, Arkansas. A BBQ lunch will consist of a BBQ sandwich, chips, drink and desert.  Each meal cost $5.  In addition to the BBQ, everyone will have an opportunity to win one of two door prizes. Continue Reading →

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