Courthouse move could pose new dilemma (03/05/15)
Encouraging signs are pointing toward the consolidation of the Mississippi County courthouses.
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Friday, Mar. 6, 2015
Courthouse move could pose new dilemma (03/05/15)
Encouraging signs are pointing toward the consolidation of the Mississippi County courthouses.
Narrative of murder case sounds familiar (02/26/15)
Here's the narrative: In a small town in northeast Arkansas, a young person goes missing. Family, friends and neighbors begin searching, eventually being joined by local law enforcement officials.
Encouraging signs in community storm response (02/19/15)
A little less than a year ago, after a winter storm left the area more or less paralyzed for several days, I wrote a column that was critical of the community's preparedness for the winter storm.
Retail activity is step forward for community (02/10/15)
For those looking for reasons to feel good about Blytheville, the recent growth in the community's retail sector ought to be something that gets your attention.
King/Lee holiday not a prudent combination (02/05/15)
As the son of a U.S. history teacher, I have always had a deep-seated appreciation for our national heritage. It's imperative for us to remember who we once were, if we want to know who we are going to be.
Super Bowl spectacle just a few days away (01/29/15)
It's only a few days before Super Bowl XLIX, and I haven't really decided if I'm going to watch the game or not.
Computer games offer life lessons (01/22/15)
On any given weekend these days, you can find my 12-year-old son, Drew, spending hours upon hours playing on the computer. I suppose there are some folks who might have a problem with that.
No need to root for natural disasters (01/15/15)
Well, it looks like this year's first threat of nasty winter weather came and went Sunday, with not much more than a glancing blow, if that. Surely it won't be our last brush with snow and ice and sleet, as there is still a lot of winter left. But for now, a sigh of relief.
Always interesting to look back at the top news stories (01/08/15)
Last Saturday's edition of the Courier News included our annual ranking of the top 10 news stories of the year. It's a tradition which we've done for quite a few years now, and it's always an interesting way to look back on the year in local news.
A few predictions for the year to come (12/31/14)
With 2014 coming to an end, and with another new year upon us, it seems fitting to take some time to reminisce about the year just concluded, and to look ahead at the year to come.
While visions of iPads dance in their heads (12/18/14)
It's Santa letter time again at the Courier News. Saturday is the day when we will publish our annual special section containing letters to Santa Claus written by local children.
Christmas lyrics add meaning to the season (12/11/14)
When it comes to the various genres of music, I think it's kind of odd that there's this happy little niche known as "Christmas music."
Major deja vu for Blytheville voters (12/04/14)
Blytheville voters must be experiencing a severe case of deja vu, after hearing the results of last week's mayoral runoff election.
Giving thanks for the intangible things (11/26/14)
As we prepare to give thanks this holiday, there are no doubt a number of things on our minds.
Spirit of seasonal greeting is what matters (11/20/14)
Let's be very clear about something. There's nothing wrong with saying "Merry Christmas."
Faith in humanity restored at 4-way stop (11/13/14)
For anyone who believes that civility is dead in modern America, I urge you to consider the four-way stop.
No easy answers on right-to-die question (11/06/14)
When they teach you to write commentary in journalism school, one of the things they say you are supposed to do is take a firm position. Yea or nay. In favor or against. Pro or con.
Technology age? More like the Era of Ranch (10/23/14)
So we all know the world is changing, and pretty quickly, too. It's an age of technology, and future anthropologists will surely describe this era as the age of the smartphone
There's no more denying seasonal reality (10/09/14)
I don't think there's any doubting it anymore. Oh, I've resisted it for weeks ... living in a state of denial. But I can't pretend anymore. It's time to put on a brave face and face the facts -- summer 2014 is truly over. The official and unofficial ends of summer passed us by weeks ago. The kids returned to school. August came to an end. Labor Day and the autumn equinox came and went. Heck, it's October for pete's sake...
No more denying seasonal reality (10/09/14)
I don't think there's any doubting it anymore. Oh, I've resisted it for weeks ... living in a state of denial. But I can't pretend anymore. It's time to put on a brave face and face the facts
Busy times in Blytheville area (09/25/14)
This is one of the fun times of the year. For the next several weeks, the local calendar is jam-packed with community events.
A good week to read up on the Constitution (09/18/14)
A weeklong national celebration is kicking off today, and most Americans probably aren't even aware of it -- but they should be.
Finding the time (and money) for travel (09/11/14)
I've spent some time over the past couple of weeks researching Yellowstone National Park. We're contemplating a trip there, potentially next summer.
Hospital plan kicks the can down the road (08/28/14)
Whenever any new tax has been proposed over the years for our community, I admit my first reaction is always the same: "Heck, no!" But then, I've listened to the rationale. I've listened to the reasoning behind the proposals.
Tales from another first day of school (08/21/14)
One of my favorite first-day-of-school traditions in the Weld family is the annual photo, taken every year in front of the same little hibiscus tree in our front yard.
Robin Williams: One of the great ones (08/14/14)
More often than not, I find myself feeling like our society makes too much of celebrity deaths.
Compromise ought to be considered a virtue (08/07/14)
If you paid any attention in history class, you might recognize the name Henry Clay. Most folks probably know Clay as some kind of U.S. legislator from back in the 1800s or so. And that's basically accurate.
Mayoral candidates bring contrasting styles (07/31/14)
For the first time this election cycle, Blytheville's three candidates for mayor appeared at the same forum last weekend.
Scouting the camping spots of NE Arkansas (07/24/14)
Earlier this year, my wife and I bought ourselves a new toy -- a little popup camper. It's nothing fancy, just an older model previously owned by a relative who sold it to us for a good price.
CN won't be the same without Tennyson (07/17/14)
In nearly 15 years of working with David Tennyson, I think I can count on one hand the number of times I've seen him truly angry.
In what world is that t-shirt a good idea? (07/10/14)
I don't consider myself to be a stodgy person. I can get a joke. I can appreciate edginess. Foul language, used in the right circumstance, doesn't offend me. I can respect people who are developing their own identity and striving to be unique.
Playing the name game with state politicians (07/03/14)
As someone who, among other things, writes headlines for a living, I am kind of hoping Mike Ross defeats Asa Hutchinson in this year's race for Arkansas governor.
Financial uncertainty threatens success (06/25/14)
It was good news last week when Main Street Blytheville announced its intention to move ahead with plans to hire a new executive director.
Did you know your newspaper could do this? (06/19/14)
If you are reading this, you are obviously aware of the Courier News newspaper, which is a good thing.
Learning (or pretending) to be a real sports fan (06/11/14)
This is one of the times of the year when a lot of folks pretend to be a fan of a sport they really wouldn't care about any other time of the year.
If I had a million bajillion dollars ... (06/04/14)
Suppose you had a million bajillion dollars. What would you do with it? Buy a fancy house? Pay off debts? Get a new car or two (or three)? Create a college fund for the kids? Retire to an island in the Caribbean?
Remembering the mundane 'firsts" of life (05/28/14)
I got to thinking the other day of some of my personal "firsts." The major "firsts" of life are easy to remember, of course -- things like your first date with your future spouse, your first kiss, your children's first steps or your first day on a new job.
Valedictorian tag should signal elite status (05/21/14)
Earning the title of class valedictorian is the highest honor a high school student can achieve. Traditionally, the valedictorian is the student with the highest grade-point average after four years of scholastic work.
Why the SEC is getting better and better (05/14/14)
Last weekend's NFL draft provided the latest in a string of statistics that point toward the dominance of the Southeast Conference when in comes to collegiate athletics, and specifically, college football.
Natural State has plenty to offer in-state travelers (05/07/14)
In the nearly 14 years in which I have lived in Arkansas, I have had the fortune to travel to many areas and communities across the state.
Two stretches of I-55 tell two stories (04/30/14)
By most statistical measures, Mississippi is a poorer state than Arkansas. But driving Interstate 55 from Batesville, Miss., to Blytheville, Ark., you'd never know it.
Little downside to MLK Boulevard proposal (04/23/14)
If I had a vote on the Blytheville City Council, I'd go ahead and vote in favor of renaming Ash Street in honor of Martin Luther King Jr., if the proposal ever actually came up for a vote.
Sportsplex deserves continued investment (04/16/14)
The local youth baseball season is expected to officially get underway tonight, after soggy fields delayed the start of the season by a couple of days.
"Songs for My Kids" offers words of wisdom (04/09/14)
One of the great things about the rise of digital music is the ability to create playlists. It's not really a new concept, mind you. Back in the '80s, we had our "mix tapes;" and in the '90s, people started burning their own CDs.
Paying college athletes still a bad idea (04/02/14)
The news last week that football players at Northwestern University had won the first battle in their quest to form a labor union is but the latest in an ongoing debate about paying college athletes.
2014 mayoral election looks kind of familiar (03/26/14)
I guess the 2010 Blytheville mayoral election was so much fun, we're going to do it all over again in 2014.
An ode to an icon of the snack world (03/19/14)
I was struggling with a case of writer's block this week, so I asked my 11-year-old son, Drew, to think of a topic for this week's column. He paused for a few seconds, and then said, "crackers."
Public officials, citizens were unprepared for winter storm (03/12/14)
Unprepared. That's really the only word that can be used to describe the response to last week's winter storm, which dropped more than 7 inches of sleet and snow on the region, leaving the community virtually paralyzed for almost a week.
Epic experience at latest half-marathon (03/05/14)
The Little Rock Marathon/Half-Marathon is billed as "Arkansas' Race for any Pace." The theme for this year's event, which was held Sunday morning, was "Epic" -- a fitting theme, considering the race was run as a winter storm descended on the region.
One man's long journey through the cola wars (02/26/14)
When it comes down to it, I've only been drinking soda for a little over 20 years.
Renaming streets should be rare, but not impossible (02/19/14)
Once upon a time, I opined in this space about renaming streets in Blytheville. I made a number of suggestions, most of which I never intended for anyone to take particularly seriously.
Still a little hope for aging Olympic wannabes (02/12/14)
I was encouraged to learn earlier this week that a couple of the medal winners at this year's games are in their 40s. Ole Einar Bjoerndalen of Norway won gold in the biathlon, while Armin Zöggeler of Italy took the gold in the luge.
Not sure how to celebrate this month (02/05/14)
Apparently, this month is "Ford Truck Month." This is a factoid I learned Sunday night, while watching the Super Bowl (at least until I got bored with the game and started reading a book instead).
Am I the only one who skipped the Grammys? (01/29/14)
Reading through my Facebook news feed Monday morning, I felt kind of like the only guy who had just missed a good party.
Mother Nature not very nice these days (01/22/14)
We're three weeks into January now, so if there's a time to start griping about the winter weather, this is it. (If you haven't already.)
Coaches deserve support from parents (01/15/14)
I have a new pet peeve. It's something that's been growing for several years, but only recently have I been able to identify it as a persistent irritant.
City can't please everybody with parks & rec money (01/08/14)
One of the big issues in the months ahead will be what the city of Blytheville will do with its $561,000 parks and recreation fund.
The top stories of 2014? We will see (01/02/14)
With this being the first issue of 2014, it's interesting to think about what the top stories of the coming year will be.
How about a nice doll for Christmas? (12/18/13)
One of the endearing things about Christmas is that there are some toys that always seem to stand the test of time.
Hooray! We survived the ice-pocalypse (12/11/13)
The big joke on Twitter and Facebook last week was people posting pictures of empty milk aisles at area grocery stores -- evidence of the inevitable rush on bread and milk that occurs every time there is snow in the forecast.
The perfect holiday song for any occasion (12/04/13)
Christmastime is officially here, and with it comes the onslaught of Christmas music, played 24/7, at pretty much any public place you go.
NBA basketball, no; brown overpass, yes (11/27/13)
So it looks like the new overpass is going to be brown. The new coloring appeared sometime over the last week or so. Those in the industry apparently refer to it as a "tex-coat."
There can be more than 1 sound of music (11/20/13)
Come Dec. 5, NBC will be airing a new version of "The Sound of Music," -- this rendition being performed live, and starring country superstar Carrie Underwood in the role of Maria.
Other groups deserve appreciation, too (11/13/13)
It was good to see the way our community stepped up for Veterans Day in the past week, honoring those who have served our nation in the military.
Doubts raised about American supremacy (11/06/13)
The question was posed to me the other day about whether or not the United States is the greatest country in the world.
Oh say, can you see I need some more snacks? (10/30/13)
Between college football and the World Series, I've been watching a lot of sports lately. And though I have been a sports fan for several decades, there are still some things I don't understand.
Looking for something good on TV (10/23/13)
What do the TV shows "Walking Dead," "Breaking Bad," "Game of Thrones" and "Downton Abbey" have in common? Don't know? Here's some more shows that contain the same common thread: "Vampire Diaries," "Mad Men," "The Sopranos" and "Arrested Development."
Consolidating city parks could save city money (10/16/13)
If you want to know why the city of Blytheville is having financial problems, you only need to look at Census data.
IRS debt satisfied, but could it happen again? (10/09/13)
With the city of Blytheville's $3.2 million debt to the IRS seemingly satisfied, Blytheville citizens can breathe a sigh of relief that the ugly financial crisis is at last concluded.
Maybe it's supposed to be a passing lane (10/02/13)
Has anyone else noticed that the lane markings on Ward Avenue in Caruthersville are the wrong color?
Threats challenge newspaper industry (09/18/13)
I am a newspaper editor. To hear people talk, this means I am no more than an endangered species on the brink of extinction; an occupational dinosaur, simply biding time until my professional existence is wiped from the face of modern society.
A look back at the news of Sept. 11, 2001 (09/11/13)
The lead story in the Sept. 11, 2001, edition of the Courier News was originally going to be a story about the old Blytheville city incinerator.
Three votes of Olympic importance (09/04/13)
When folks think about upcoming elections, the first things that no doubt come to most minds are the next presidential election (in 2016), the next congressional elections (in 2014) or even the not-so-far-off municipal elections (also in 2014).
Is there hope for the "group project"? (08/28/13)
About the worst kind of assignment I could ever get back when I was in school was the group project.
School's start signals summer's end (08/21/13)
If I had to guess, I'd say Shel Silverstein wrote the above poem at the dawn of a new school year. I can certainly say it pretty much sums up my feelings this week.
Wisdom found in the unlikeliest of places (08/14/13)
Today's topic is Ashton Kutcher. Kutcher is well-known for his roles on the TV shows "That '70s Show" "Punk'd" and "Two and a Half Men," as well as movies like "Dude, Where's My Car?" and "What Happens in Vegas." His most recent role is as computer mogul Steve Jobs in the upcoming flick, "Jobs."
Camping has always been about making memories (08/07/13)
I went camping last weekend. Camping ranks high on my list of things I wish I could do more often. Instead, I end up going about once a year. If that.
The evolution of thought on a complex issue (07/31/13)
One summer when I was in high school, my school's show choir traveled to the International Thespian Festival at Ball State University in Muncie, Ind.
Suspicions and confrontations on dark nights (07/24/13)
One night, not long after I moved to Arkansas more than 13 years ago, my dog went missing. Bailey was a black dog, and it was a dark night, so spotting her was no easy task. I went outside, called her name, and eventually took to my car see where she had wondered off to.
Actor's epiphany offers a wider lesson (07/17/13)
One of the viral videos making its way around the social media world in the past week is a vignette from actor Dustin Hoffman, explaining what he learned while filming the 1982 movie "Tootsie."
A state of contemplation on US travels (07/10/13)
I got to thinking the other day about the number of U.S. states I have visited. I'm not sure why this thought popped into my head.
Nothing is more American than blowing stuff up (07/03/13)
Among holidays, there are few better than the Fourth of July.
Outsider's perspective on Blytheville insightful (06/26/13)
In any discussion of the things going right and the things going wrong in our community, one of the problems is that we all live here.
Is it time to rethink the Chickasaw mascot? (06/19/13)
In Idaho, a high school recently dropped its long-held "Redskins" school nickname, and plans are underway to revamp the school's uniforms, logos and signs.
Harrison missteps in request for reimbursement (06/12/13)
Not long ago, I swore I was done writing about Barrett Harrison and the city of Blytheville's IRS situation. I'd said everything I had to say on the subject, and anything more was just an exercise in redundancy.
It's a long way down the holiday road ... (06/05/13)
The summer travel season is upon us, and no doubt many readers are planning family trips of one sort or another in the weeks ahead.
New birds provide sweet song and a life lesson (05/29/13)
A fact of life for those of living in the Greater Armorel Metropolitan Area is that our neighborhoods don't tend to have a lot of trees.
Finding a good movie not so easy anymore (05/22/13)
This weekend, my wife, Jena, and I will celebrate our 16th wedding anniversary. As luck would have it, we have a break between softball tournaments, school functions and other child-related activities, giving us a chance to mark the occasion with some mom-and-dad time.
Advice for new grads -- and everyone else (05/15/13)
This is the time of year when people who deem themselves older and wiser find it necessary to dole out advice to new graduates.
Students deserve choices in education (05/08/13)
Talk to most educators, and one of the things almost all will agree on is that when it comes to teaching kids, one size does not fit all.
A new reason to visit Dallas (05/01/13)
With much fanfare last Thursday, the George W. Bush presidential library was dedicated on the campus of Southern Methodist University in Dallas.
Boston bombers turned triumph into terror (04/24/13)
Of all the images and video that has been seen since last week's deadly terror strike at the Boston Marathon, there is one bit of footage that has stuck with me the most.
What kind of retail growth can we expect? (04/17/13)
Among the conversations you tend to hear over and over in the Blytheville area these days is on the notion of retail growth. In simplest terms, folks want to have more places to shop and more places to eat.
Just a few questions ... (04/10/13)
I've got a few questions ...
Impact of new steel mill mostly guesswork (04/03/13)
I am no expert on the steel industry. When it comes to knowing what will work and what won't work, I defer to those who have been in the business for years -- companies like Nucor Steel, or individuals like John Correnti.
Cactus, Canadians dominate spring break trip (03/27/13)
I guess I'm just not that big of a fan of cactus. That was among the things I learned during my recent spring break trip.
Legislators wasting time making a point (03/13/13)
One thing I've always liked about living in Arkansas is that our State Legislature, for the most part, has concerned itself more with the business of running the state government than with making headlines.
Believe it or not, government can be good (03/06/13)
One of the most popular pastimes in America these days is government-bashing. The government is too big. The government is inefficient. The government taxes too much. The government is a monstrous bureaucracy.
Media coverage of pope sure to be criticized (02/20/13)
When it comes to the resignation of Pope Benedict and the soon-to-be-named new leader of the Catholic Church, the mainstream news media is pretty much damned no matter what it does.
Wrestling deserves a place in the Olympics (02/13/13)
From the files of "things that annoy me but nobody else really cares about" is this week's news that the IOC -- the board the governs the Olympic Games -- has voted to drop wrestling as an Olympic sport, beginning in 2020.
Andy Weld is editor of the Blytheville Courier News.