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Bobby Ferguson Park Sign Progress Continues

Texarkana, AR – Enter Bobby Ferguson Park near UofA Way or pass it as you come off the Interstate and you’ll see a nice, rock sign on the hillside just inside the park informing you of the park’s name.  However, if you enter from the Fairgrounds end of the park, there is no sign to indicate the name of the park.  Soon, the lack of a park sign will not be a problem near the Four States Fairgrounds. The Texarkana Arkansas Beautiful Commission works to improve the appearance and beautification of Texarkana, Arkansas.   In addition to having clean-up days, dumpster trash days, planting days, and coordinating education about keeping the city clean, the commission has overseen the implementation of signs for city properties.  The most recent sign, the huge “Welcome to Texarkana” sign on the Interstate was one of the larger sign projects the commission has undertaken in recent years. The commission usually, through suggestions of need, etc. attempts to take on a sign project whenever it can afford to do so.  Funding is supplied through the A&P Commission and the City Beautiful Commission seeks bids, designs the signs, and implements the projects.  Once completed, several other groups, including city maintenance, the Master Gardners, and other volunteer groups join in to assist in planting, watering, and maintaining the signs for the city. The commission’s latest project is underway right now.  The unfinished sign is coming together on the southwest corner of Bobby Ferguson Park.  When finished, there will be two flag polls, the sign, lights, water, and plants to celebrate and enhance the new sign’s location. Continue Reading →

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Eat Your Way Around The World

Hotels.com Reveals The Best Foodie Destinations

DALLAS, /PRNewswire/ — Paris (27%), Tokyo (23%) and Rome (22%) have topped a list of the hottest spots on earth for foodies, according to the Hotels.com® Tasty Travels* report. Paying tribute to these delicious destinations, Hotels.com has collaborated with food artist Carl Warner to bring foodies’ favorite hangouts to life, using each city’s famous food ingredients – Parisian buildings made of cheese, the Pantheon made of pasta and Mount Fuji made of seaweed. Every city looks good enough to eat. Top 7 Foodie Cities

Paris (27%)
Tokyo (23%)
Rome (22%)
London (21%)
Barcelona (16%)
New York (16%)
Madrid (14%)

Nearly two-thirds of American millennials (60%) admitted a destination’s cuisine is the biggest deciding factor when picking where to travel, with beautiful beaches (43%), the shopping scene (20%) and special offers (9%) being less appetizing. The younger generation in the U.S. is now even more focused on munching delicious local delicacies on vacation (65%) than visiting landmarks (49%) and exploring the outdoors (34%). Continue Reading →

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Indie Film ‘One Hand Clapping’ Filming in Austin

AUSTIN, Texas,  /PRNewswire/ — A new feature film production, “One Hand Clapping,” is currently being filmed in the Austin, Lockhart, and San Marcos area with an all Texas cast and crew. The timeline of “One Hand Clapping” has a long and winding development history. Writer/Director/ Producer Jerry Alden Deal wrote the first draft in the early 1990s, more than 25 years ago. It has been previously optioned by three different L.A. production companies, but none of those situations bore the fruit of ever going into production. Once the rights reverted back to him, he decided to produce and direct the project himself. Since then, the screenplay has gone through numerous drafts. Deal adds, “Returning to my Texas roots and filming with local cast and crew is actually very fulfilling. Continue Reading →

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Texarkana’s Night to Shine

Texarkana, AR – Social media came alive last night as people started to notice unusually bright lights to the north of the Interstate in Texarkana, Arkansas.  Almost immediately people began to post questions such as “Anyone notice those lights?” and “Anybody know what’s going on in Texarkana with the lights?”  It did not take long for the answers to come flowing in as people responded it’s the “Night to Shine” event at the convention center.  Spotlights could be seen from across town as they cut into the night to announce that the party was about to begin. Several hundred people descended into the Arkansas Convention center between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. in the evening.  At about 6 p.m., hundreds more began to flood through the doors.  They were met by police officers, the Pleasant Grove Hawks, and Liberty Eylau Football teams, Arkansas High Redline and the Arkansas High Cheerleaders along with dozens more as they entered the room.  The focus of all the volunteers from Football teams to dance teams and church groups and police groups was to welcome a special group of people to a Night to Shine. The annual Night to Shine is sponsored by the local organization of Night to Shine Texarkana  The local organization is part of the larger Night to Shine Sponsored by the Tim Tebow Foundation and is designed to allow people with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities to gather and party in a formal prom styled atmosphere and dance.  Surrounding organizations such as Evergreen Life Services, Opportunities, and many others worked to ensure the people they serve had formal dresses and suits for the evening.  Once they arrived, the Pleasant Grove Hawks and Liberty Eylau players helped escort the ladies and the Arkansas High Redline and Cheerleaders escorted the men onto the dance floor. The party rocked on from 6 p.m. until just after 10 p.m. Friday evening.  Several people noted that parking was full and that cars were parked as far away as the restaurants and other hotels around the area. Continue Reading →

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DPS Urges Caution in Summer Heat

Tips help residents beat the heat, stay safe

AUSTIN, TX – The Texas Department of Public Safety is warning Texas residents to be prepared for summertime temperatures, and to take precautions to stay safe as temperatures and heat indices hit 100 degrees and above in many parts of the state this time of year. Extreme temperatures increase the risk of heat-related injuries or deaths. “Summertime heat is a fact of life in Texas, but the dangers from high temperatures are real and should not be taken lightly,” said DPS Director Steven McCraw. “Heat-related deaths and injuries are often preventable if residents take the necessary steps to educate and protect themselves – and their loved ones.”

Warmer weather places children at greater risk of injury or death if left unattended in a vehicle. Every year children die from heat-related injuries after being left in a vehicle or by entering a vehicle unnoticed. Continue Reading →

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Best Ways to Cut Funeral Costs

I have been an Insurance Agent for quite some time. When one becomes a Funeral Director, Insurance is one of those collateral duties that compliments your skill set and assists clients as they come to the funeral home looking for assistance for their future end of life (death) needs. Insurance offers a vast selection of products based on the needs of the client. The issues related to product selection are that although clients can vocalize their concerns, they often do not understand which product provides the most efficient solution for them. In most cases, their purchase decision will be based on one of two facts. Continue Reading →

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Isolation Increases Risk of Suicide

Last night I was surfing social media when I came upon a friend’s post stating that upon reflection, he was taking a break from social media.  He stated that since the passing of his wife six months ago, his opinion posting had become offensive to his son.  He was confused and hurt by his son’s chastisements, and to discontinue causing his son discomfort or embarrassment, he had concluded that his withdrawal was in order.  His post was filled with sadness, despair, pain, and anguish.  Regret was apparent that he had not foreseen that his posts might wedge a wound in his father/son relationship, and he was solemnly announcing his intention to bend to his son’s harsh rebuke. To show my support of this man’s right to post his opinion on a social media platform based solely on opinion posting, I went through his history and began liking every one of his opinion posts with which I could agree.  It was not enough though.  As I lay in my bed last night, I found that sleep was elusive.  I tossed and turned all night worrying about this friend.  
Grief Brief 7
Social Withdrawal
People who have recently lost a loved one may tend to withdraw from family or friends in intimate and social situations. This tendency is generally brief and usually corrects itself without intervention. If one continues to withdraw from social interactions over an extended length of time, one might find it comforting to consult with a counselor. Continue Reading →

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July 4, Fireworks, Shows, Parades, and God

It started with a suggestion in June, followed by a meeting on July 2, and finally a formal signing on July 4, 1776.  From that moment on, the cry would go up around the world that the colonies of the North American Continent, all thirteen of them, had declared independence from Great Britain.  Like any country, Britain would not take kindly to losing the colonies.  In fact, no country in the history of the world has ever simply said, “Sure, go ahead and leave us and take all the investments we made into your area with you.”  No, instead the greatest empire in the world set out to reclaim the colonies and force them back into the British realm.  The rest of the story, you know as the United States won independence in the war that followed.  To this day, we still hear our friends across the pond in England wish us a “Happy Traitor’s Day.”  Naturally, this is done more in good humor now that we are friends so many years after the revolution. The founding fathers were by no means blind to the fact that they were setting in motion something that would be celebrated for years, and perhaps forever.  John Adams wrote to his wife of the importance of the entire event that officially started on July 2 and ended on July 4.  He sent his letter on July 3, 1776 that included the following statement:

“The second day of July 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.” 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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Gumbo

Some of my fondest memories as I was growing up are of those spent with my family.  Moments in time with parents, grandparents, and great grandparents that were once common are now priceless recollections that I hold dear to my heart.  Yesterday as I sat in church, I sent out a text to my brother asking him to cook a Cajun dinner for my eldest daughter and her family who are visiting us from the northern states for a week.  Fortunately, he graciously accepted, so last night, we traveled from Texas to Louisiana for dinner at his house. As I arrived at his home, the aroma of his cooking brought precious memories back to my mind of my childhood.  Arriving at my grandmother’s house in south Louisiana was always a culinary treat.  We entered his house through the back door directly into his kitchen and immediately my children and grandchildren began hugging their aunts, uncle, and great grandparents.  The moment was so touching, I could barely hold my emotions. We enjoyed our dinner.  The gumbo was excellent.  Afterward, we walked next door to my father’s home.  We gathered in his music room, played our instruments, and sang fun songs.  When my father was a schoolboy, he played the bass clarinet.  It just so happens that my granddaughter plays the same instrument.  As my father played the bass guitar, he asked my granddaughter if she would like to play it.  She accepted the invitation and within 60 seconds was playing the foundation base of each song.  Her younger sister strummed along on the autoharp and we all learned the complicated vocal control needed for yodeling. We had a wonderful family evening.  An evening I hope they will recall with fondness when they are grandparents and have the opportunity to spend time with their grandchildren.  I see my grandchildren rarely, but that does not mean I do not love them.  It means that they live far away and that my heart yearns for them daily.  I was fortunate to grow up in the company of my grandparents, great-grandparents, and multitudes of cousins.  My grandchildren do not enjoy that privilege. When I was a child, summer vacation meant fun and play to me.   Now that I am a grandmother, it means my heartbreak will have a moment’s relief when my grandchildren pull up in my driveway and stay with me for a week.  I hope last night will be one of those memories that will bring them strength and comfort once I am gone.  I hope they will know that I loved them, that I lived all year for the moment I would be able to see them, and that I would give my last breath on earth in their defense. Continue Reading →

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