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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1894 City Market Building Defaced Over Weekend

Texarkana, AR-It is called the most photographed building in Texarkana, and it has become the centerpiece for the new 1894 Second Saturday Trade Days in Texarkana.  With care and devotion, David Peavy set out to revitalize the building located at 105 Olive Street – more commonly known as the corner of Front and Olive Streets in Texarkana, Arkansas.  The building has long been the site of prom photographs, wedding shoots, and even tourist passing through the city would stop in front of the unique structure and take pictures.  Peavy set out to bring life back into the building and the area by providing a second Saturday sale and ensuring the building remained prime and beautiful for photography and events for years to come.  Peavy, and many of his friends and supporters, saw the hard work vandalized this past weekend. The building is constantly visited by people, and most of them are respectful of the work being done, but someone this last weekend chose to disrespect Peavy, the building, all of Texarkana and ultimately himself or herself.  Someone wrote in spray paint of black and red “I love you So much” and included a big red heart.  Peavy immediately took to social media looking for signs of the culprit.  He also offered a $100 reward for to anyone who can help find the responsible person. As people began to search, monitor media outlets and make supportive comments to Peavy, it quickly became apparent that the community is not likely to find the responsible person.  There is a chance that somebody will come forward that saw something, that a nearby camera may have recorded something, or that friends of the person may turn them in to authorities.  But ultimately does that really matter?  Is $100 much of a reward?  Can the paint be cleaned off?  Well, the answer is no it doesn’t matter much, $100 is not much of a reward, and yes, the paint can be cleaned off.  The bigger picture needs to comes to the person who did this.  We know you’re out there somewhere reading this, or at least hearing about it, and we at the Four States News have to wonder exactly how you feel about what you’ve done?  Do you feel happy with yourself?  Do you love the thought that people in your town are disgusted with your actions?  Maybe you did not even think about it when you did it – maybe you just thought it was a fun night to do a little spray-art.  Whatever your thoughts are at this time, we can tell you what they should be….. The person, or persons who did this should be ashamed.  You have taken a historic building, one photographed by people from all over the region, and slandered it.  You have taken a building that David Peavy and many others have spent time, money, and a lot of effort to make beautiful for YOUR community.  He has allowed everyone, including YOU, to come to the building, see it, take part in the Saturday trade days, and take pictures in front of it.  David Peavy has given back to the community, and what he has given, YOU have tarnished.  So, today when you look in the mirror, or you check out the cool “I love you so much” sign you wrote, or you talk to the friends you may have been with when you did it, why don’t you stop and ask yourself how you really feel about this act?  Are you proud?  Are you happy with yourself?  Do you like knowing so many in your community are ashamed of what you did? Maybe if you spend a little time reflecting on your actions, you will come to realize that you have two choices.  Sure, you can go on and never say a word and maybe nobody will ever catch you.  Or your second choice has more honor and dignity for yourself and your community.  You can show everyone that mistakes can be made, but that people in Texarkana can take responsibility for their mistakes.  Maybe it’s time for you to go find Mr. Peavy and tell him what you did, clean up the mess, and make amends.  Although I can not tell you what Mr. Peavy will do, I can tell you that he is a man who has chosen to give back to the community and that should make him a decent guy in anyone’s book.  You just have to decide if you’re going to be as decent a Mr. Peavy is and take responsibility for your actions or not.  The choice is YOURS and all of Texarkana, USA is watching to see if you’ll do the right thing. Continue Reading →

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Making Texarkana Beautiful and Moving on Up….or Over

Texarkana, Arkansas – Mary and Wendell Warner not only have a passion for the beatification of Texarkana, Arkansas, but they live that passion daily.  Mary is the former chair of the Texarkana Arkansas City Beautiful Commission and Wendell is the current Vice-Chair.  Both continue to serve on the commission and contribute to the city’s efforts to be….well, beautiful.  Mary and Wendell have taken their passion for Texarkana and applied it now to home – in fact not just one home, but two. In 2001, the couple purchased their home at 801 East 12th in Texarkana, Arkansas.  Over the next few years they poured work into not only their passions for the city and the area, but also into the home.  The home became a masterpiece in Texarkana.  With more home than couple needed, they decided to do what any couple would with a passion to make the city better….they bought the house next door. In March of 2016, Mary and Wendell embarked on another beatification project.  This home, roughly the same size as their current home would be a move up….well, a move over.  The house is located at 721 East 12th  and is right next door to the last house the couple renovated. After purchasing the house, the couple dedicated themselves almost completely to the renovation.  They took time off from other ventures and focused daily on the work at 721.  Anyone passing by the home in the morning, afternoon, or evening was sure to see Wendell or Mary somewhere around the house.  They were painting doors, on scaffolds, having plumbers in, having electricians in, and having the floors sanded and redone.  Those friends on Facebook and other social media outlets were able to follow the progress along as the couple worked tirelessly to complete the beautification and renovation of another home on East 12th. After months of hard work, moving day finally arrived.  When I heard that the move was happening, I couldn’t help but hear the old Jefferson song from the series running through my head “We’re moving on up…” except this time I kept hearing it as “We’re moving on over….”  The newly renovated house is now home to Mary and Wendell.  Their previous project, and beautiful home, is now listed for sale. 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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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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DPS Urges Drivers to Practice Safety During Spring Break

AUSTIN – The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) is reminding Texans that Spring Break represents a break from school and work – but not safety. In expectation of increased highway traffic, the department is urging drivers to obey all traffic laws and use extra caution when driving during the weeks of Spring Break.  “DPS is calling on all drivers to do their part to keep Texas roadways safe for travelers during the busy spring vacation season,” said DPS Director Steven McCraw. “By always driving sober, obeying traffic laws and keeping your attention on the road, Texans can decrease their chances of being involved in a life-threatening situation or crash.”   
 In addition, DPS troopers and local law enforcement in the coastal areas of Texas will be enhancing enforcement efforts during Spring Break, watching for speeders, drunk drivers and seat-belt violators.  DPS offers the following tips for safe travel during the Spring Break holiday:

Slow down – especially in bad weather, construction areas, heavy traffic and unfamiliar areas. Continue Reading →

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Youth Justice Leadership Institute Seeking Applicants

OKLAHOMA CITY – A national partner of the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy (OICA) is now accepting applications for the Youth Justice Leadership Institute. The Institute is organized by the National Juvenile Justice Network (NJNN), and offers fellowships to advocates or organizers who focus on juvenile justice system practices and policies. The fellowships are geared towards individuals of color working as professionals in the juvenile justice field, who may also be young adults who are system survivors themselves, or family members of someone in the system.  Each year, 10 fellows from across the country are selected to develop their leadership and advocacy skills in the context of a robust curriculum around youth justice reform. The fellowship is completed concurrently with fellows’ current employment, so fellows do not have to leave their jobs to participate in the Institute. Continue Reading →

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Rich Blessings

I am often asked about funding unfunded funerals.  I am sure it is because I am in the funeral business that I see death as a common occurrence; however, it is interesting to me that there are those who do not understand that one day we shall all die.  I guess some people feel as though they shall live forever.  Inevitably, the truth of the matter is, that should you fail to prepare for your death, not only will grief slap someone you love square in the face, so too will a hefty financial burden. This morning I experienced this very scenario.  I was called by the hospice center to attend a family that had lost a loved one who had failed to prepare for his death financially.  This burden now falls upon those who mourn his loss.  His young adult daughter may need to delay her dreams of college to procure the necessary funds to pay for his burial.  His mother may need to economize her retirement to assist her granddaughter with the expenses.  There may also be others within the family, who might be able to help obtain the necessary funding to cover these costs, but times are tough, and this family is not wealthy. There are several ways to fundraise for funeral expenses.  The primary obstacle is time.  The funeral home must be paid in advance of services being rendered, and a dead human body does not wait indefinitely for burial.  Additionally, each day above ground adds to the expense of interment.  With these issues pressing upon the family, fundraising becomes increasingly stressful. In past articles, I have reported on successful fundraising techniques that several of my client families have utilized. (Funding an Unfunded Funeral, Mourning Coffee for the Mourning Soul, II, Tracy Renee Lee) Today, however, I am broaching a new method of payment.  This type of payment is not often available in the funeral profession; however, the family I am serving today has an extended family member who has a unique skill.  This particular skill happens to be one that I stand in need of at this moment in time; it happens to be of great value to me.  This family is in the unique position of being able to offer a skill rather than funds for payment of their funeral services.  Their extended family member and his crew of workers must, however, agree to accommodate their need. Continue Reading →

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