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This year brought incredible challenges. COVID-19 protocols required many of us to change the way we live and work and that meant finding a way for my staff and I to continue deliver critical help and provide answers to questions about federal agencies. Constituent service is always my top p…

As we close out 2020, I am also closing out my responsibilities as District 9 state representative, including these weekly articles. I hope my successor will find keeping you informed and traveling around Drew and Ashley counties as delightful as I have for the past four years.  

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I happen to have one of those jobs you can take home and still experience rest, relaxation and quality time with family.  That’s a good thing, too,  because I also happen to have one of those personalities that can’t leave work at work. 

We are smack dab in the middle of a season rife with traditions. Traditions comfort us with familiarity. They honor families with sanctity. They mark moments with a sense of importance. Traditions partner up with the concept of  time to give us a sense of life at a slower pace. They have a h…

Sherian Kwanisai stepped into Arkansas history this week as the first person in the state to be vaccinated for COVID-19, and today I’d like to talk about the significance of this in our nine-month battle against the coronavirus.

If you pay attention to global affairs, you know that increasing numbers of people believe US leadership in the world is coming to an end and the West more broadly is being eclipsed. I think these predictions are exaggerated, but they are not without some basis. Our challenges have grown. It…

Crossett is not a vacation spot. It is not a destination town full of white sands or lofty mountains or bustling tourist strips, neon lights, giant rollercoasters or headlining music acts. Crossett is not those things. Crossett is, however, a place people come home to. 

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On Thursday, the Advisory Committee of the Federal Drug Administration said “yes” to the emergency use authorization of the first Coronavirus vaccine in the United States, and today I’d like to talk about what that means for Arkansas.

This is the season of giving, and many of us have an opportunity to personally give back to those recovering from COVID-19. Blood donations have plummeted during the pandemic, and the Arkansas Blood Institute (ABI) is in desperate need of donations, especially convalescent plasma to save the…

When the history of this era is written, special attention should be reserved for the prominent US politicians who dismissed or misrepresented the COVID-19 pandemic for political purposes.

Today I’d like to talk about the Natural State’s spirit of giving, which I’ve witnessed consistently through the years. When a friend or neighbor is in need, Arkansans show up in a hurry with pickaxes and open wallets.

I hope you enjoyed a safe Thanksgiving.  Spiking virus numbers across the state and concerns for the safety of loved ones made this Thanksgiving one that likely looked much different.  I hope you found ways to touch the lives of friends and family and to be thankful for the blessings in your life. 

The Bill of Rights was key to getting all of the original states to sign and ratify the U.S. Constitution. Our Founders had fought for freedom against the strongest military of that day, and they were still in a fighting mood if the new government threatened to act like the one they had just…

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At the Stagg house, westerns rule the television. It is just one of those things I had to accept when I took the Stagg name. At first, I hated it — I couldn’t even stand listening to the silly sounds of an actor talking out of a crooked mouth saying things like “Well, Pilgrim,” and “Sure as …

Every year right after an election, I’d find a small pile of requests waiting for me from journalists. They wanted some sort of comment on what it all meant. “What are the voters telling us?” they’d ask. 

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Get on board the Crossett Christmas express! Our town has so many holiday activities planned, you need to make a list and check it twice to make sure you don’t miss out on any memory-making moments!

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It has been said that a noble life has been led if one leaves the world even a tiny bit better than they found it. Your Parks and  Recreation Department hopes to apply that to our community. We aim to enhance our small town not just by providing events and programs meant to return annually, …

Arkansas is blessed with a wonderful landscape and incredible wildlife that people from all across the country come to our state to enjoy. Preserving and protecting our environment is vital to enabling future generations of Americans to participate in popular outdoor activities. This Congres…

Like any American who cares about this country, I have a deep interest in the results of this election. But as a politician (I think one never really retires from that job), I take a professional interest, as well. Not only for policy or partisan concerns, but because I’m always interested i…

This week’s column is unique for reasons other than the fact that it is a fresh train of thought. I am writing it while outside the  Crossett city limits and am just one of a number of the throngs of people and traffic and hurry-scurry of a big city.  

At the end of the ballot, far below the names of all the politicians we’ve learned to love or hate through social media or non-stop advertising are important voter questions that change our state Constitution and shape government policy for generations.

As the Senate held hearings and debated the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, attention understandably focused on the policy implications of a 6th conservative vote. What got less notice was an important political fact: If she’s confirmed as expected, it will mean a…

 Here we are on top of that season in Crossett when the sky just turns gray and a funk threatens to settle over most of us. Fall and winter in the pine tree capital of the nation can be a challenge. But this year, thanks to our Paint the Town event, it’s nothing but blue skies at the corner …

The Nobel Peace Prize is awarded to those “who shall have done the most, or the best work, for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses.”

If you’ve ever spent any time with me, you’ll know that I’m passionate about sound environmental policy. As a licensed forester and lifelong resident of the Natural State, I believe we have an unchosen obligation to steward our resources well and leave the world in better condition than we f…

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Bridge nights at the Hollimon household back in the 80s were a huge ordeal.  Regular readers will know that must be true since I have mentioned those nights in this space before. But it is also apparent that they shaped a life truth for me: you need to get the house gussied up before invitin…

I’ve been in and around politics for a long time, and not once, ever, have I encountered a candidate who said he or she might not accept the results of an election. Until now.

Concerns about virtual students not participating in classes are resonating through every school I visit, and every teacher and administrator I speak with. While educators are spending so many extra hours to try and educate all our students during this crisis, legislators are giving our best…

It is with much humility that I write this week’s column. Since taking on the assistant directorship of your Parks and Recreation Department, I have been called a lot of things. The names said to my face — ha ha — have ranged from “a Godsend” to “a spark.” I have not quite figured out how to…

It probably feels like the 2020 elections have been going on for years, and in a sense they have. Ever since Donald Trump won the presidency in 2016, the political world has been girding for this moment. 

As wildfires burn across the West, many Americans have lost their loved ones, their homes and all their possessions. My prayers are with everyone who has been displaced or who is heroically fighting the fires, and I hope these blazes are quickly contained. 

 In the tiniest of increments, human interaction is disappearing.  We can shop from home, hear or watch a church service on our couch or in our car, have restaurant food delivered to our door, have whole conversations via text and never see the person we are talking to and have groceries bro…

As if 2020 had not generated enough contention in America, Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died Friday, September 18. Interestingly, RGB, as she was affectionately called, died on Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. Rest in peace, RGB. You were an admirable justice, and you have left a…

I was talking to a friend not long ago who was pretty down on politics in all its forms. “I actually find real enjoyment in politics,” I told him. He asked if I was nuts.

If — as the saying goes — a dog is the only thing on Earth that loves his owner more than he loves himself, then the dogs sheltered at the Crossett Animal Shelter on Kentucky Street love you, Crossett, more than they love themselves. Because these dogs are being sheltered by the community, t…

As students begin the new school year, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced that summer meal program operators can continue serving free meals to all children until the end of the calendar year. 

This is Labor Day weekend, which means summer is over, and we’re heading into the election season. This election will be unlike any our nation has ever experienced, and today I’d like to talk about some of the things we are doing to ensure that every eligible voter has the opportunity to saf…

Arkansas ended last week with positive COVID-19 cases ticking back up on Friday (838 new cases) and Saturday (795 new cases). On Sunday the governor reported 478 new cases and an additional 12 deaths. While some have expressed concern about declining numbers of tests, as of Friday, we were c…

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We are a nation adrift. Even before the pandemic and George Floyd’s death, the US was piling on problems with little sense that we had either the leadership or the political will to address them. The coronavirus and Black Lives Matter protests have amplified those challenges, throwing older …

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While Crossett is undoubtedly the best lil’ hometown on earth, there are times we just need a change of scenery; a time to see and do the different. And with those getaways and road trips and all-out vacations comes an opportunity for us to spread the word about our hometown. Basically, I am…

As the summer heat ebbs into the lighter lights of the fall, a different change is in the air. It’s a shift from sitting back to sitting up and moving forward.  And every Crossett citizen is a part of that shift. 

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I’ve lost track of the times over the years I’ve heard a politician say, “This is the most important election of my lifetime.” In fact, I’ve said it myself. And I’m sure we all believed it at the time. But in my case, at least, I know I was wrong in the past. Because this year’s election is …