I guess the biggest news this week was John Ed Regenold's election as chairman of the Arkansas State Highway Commission. I know John Ed pretty well, so I don't think he'll mind if I say my biggest concern with his appointment has nothing to do with whether or not he'll juggle state highway funds toward northeast Arkansas (no doubt of that, up to a point, and thank you very much, John Ed), nor has it anything to do with John Ed's basic honesty and concern for the public welfare, two things I'm pretty sure of being a constant.
I am a little concerned about his health. Anybody who shanks the ball as much as he does is prone to an emotional breakdown, at any time.
Plus, he's already older than dirt, so a three-year appointment might be a little optimistic.
I guess we'll have to wait and see.
Another headline caught my eye this week, about the selection of a new president for Arkansas Northeastern College to replace Dr. Robin Myers.
One thing I really liked about Robin was that he was pretty easy to beat on the golf course. I played him a couple of different times in the Country Club Championship over the years and he presented no real problem (too many duck hooks). But I have noticed that the college was functioning pretty smoothly under his leadership for several years now, so I guess his shortcomings on the golf course can be excused.
Of the two (final) candidates to replace him, one has been in the college administration business in South Carolina while the other has been vice president of finance at ANC. Those two names are Dr. Dale Doty and Dr. James Shemwell, in the order I introduced them.
At this point, with absolutely nothing to back it up, I'd say Shemwell has the upper hand, simply because he's here already. Sullins and Myers were here already also, so it seems like a given that Shemwell would be the choice.
But like I said, what do I know?
I would like to congratulate the latest City Council members on their victories in the runoff, that would be Elder R.L. Jones and Tommy Abbott. My ward (2) elected Kevin Snow without need of a runoff.
Elder has been on the Council before, representing Ward 3 for 16 years.
That's right, 16 years.
I asked him in the office the other day if he'd lost his mind, running and winning again, and he just smiled a little bit and went back to talking to Harry about some "ward meeting" flyers.
Anyway, if you know Elder the way I do, you'll know he'll worry the pants off you if he wants something done. And that's a good trait for a Council member.
As for Tommy, he put up a good, close race for mayor against Jamie Sanders last municipal election, and now he gets to sit where the real power lies, on the City Council.
Get 'em straight, Tommy.
I would like to take a few moments to brag.
For one thing, I'm now solidly in the middle of the pack in the Pigskin Payoff picking pool, which for me is pretty good. As the high school games fall away, my picking improves.
I noticed that Mary Rose won the contest last week, and if I'm not wrong, that was the first time she's won this whole year.
Considering that hundreds and hundreds of people enter the contest each week, you'd think winning would come along only once in a great while.
Not so with Mary.
She wins once or twice or three times EVERY YEAR.
I don't know if it's her or Richard or somebody else, but somehow she turns in a contest form that wins WAY MORE than anybody else. It's kind of amazing, actually.
And by the way, after hiding for several weeks, Dr. Matt Jones made it out to the golf course Wednesday afternoon only to duck-hook his way to a one-down loss on the 18th hole in our recently resumed drink bet match.
If Bo Smith raises the price of drinks one more time, we're going to have to play for half a drink, not being able to afford to lose a whole one.