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 …

COVID-19 has highlighted some of the shortcomings of our broadband connectivity, but the pandemic also has created opportunities for us to accelerate our expansion of internet service, which I’d like to talk about today.

As Arkansans work to protect the health of their family and friends, juggle school and childcare needs, and face challenging household finances, the list of things to worry about during the COVID-19 public health emergency seems endless. In addition, at a time when we all have a lot of quest…

Arkansas is home to 2 million acres of national forest, a national park, America’s very first national river and several national wildlife refuges. 

Amid all the troubles occupying our attention, one of the more worrisome is also one of the least visible. It is the loss of public faith in the effectiveness of our representative democracy.

We are daily reminded about the vast spread of COVID-19 and the impact that it has on our lives.  Last week the Arkansas Legislative Council (ALC) met in Little Rock to consider requests from the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) for CARES Act Appropriations.  Much of the testimony and que…

You’ll be hard pressed to read many headlines on American infrastructure, and I doubt most of us think about it on a regular basis. Yet our infrastructure is what keeps us moving, from the roads we drive to the waterways that transport goods. Without it, our economy would immediately cease t…

Reading. It is an ability that perhaps you take for granted as you easily scan these grouped letters and purposely placed spaces and understand their message. Chances are that if you are a newspaper reader, you have been reading for a long, long time. Newspapers are not in the children’s sec…

Last week was a slow one for legislative meetings, but we will make up for that this week. The Arkansas Legislative Council will meet this Friday and many of its subcommittees meet earlier in the week, including the Arkansas Game & Fish/State Police subcommittee, and the Higher Education…

Thirty-two Crossett kids are now less likely to be one of about 730 kids killed by drowning each year. That number comes from some math done to a CDC stat. 

From the water we use in our homes, to the roads we drive on to work, to the food we buy at the grocery store, our nation’s infrastructure is a fundamental component of everything we do. Our ability to be connected and efficiently move goods across the country is a significant reason why we’…

I began last week in Little Rock in a Joint Education Committee meeting, where we heard updates on the ongoing adequacy study. We also met Tuesday, where Arkansas Department of Education (ADE) Secretary Johnny Key reported on the Arkansas Ready for Learning initiative. This planning and guid…

I have said it before, and I don’t mind saying it again: Crossett is simple, and that is simply perfect. I am reminded of this by our recent Fourth of July bash at the Crossett City Pool. It was a very last minute event planned to give the community a patriotic celebration to replace the ann…

When I substituted for teachers at Anderson Elementary  — that’s what it will always be namde for me — I quickly started the mantra, “Hard, but not impossible.” I did this because the students have their own mantra: “But, it’s haaaaaarduh.”

How did you celebrate our nation’s birthday?  I hope you found a few minutes to reflect on what it means to be an American, and said a prayer and thanks for all those that went before us to make it possible for us to live, work, worship and speak freely.

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These are uncertain, divided times for our nation. Unemployment is at mind-boggling levels, a virus we still don’t fully understand is stifling the course of ordinary life, many businesses are struggling, nationwide protests continue against systemic and deep-seated racism, and local policy …

On June 15, 2020, the Supreme Court handed down a ruling in the case of Bostock v. Clayton County. It’s a landmark decision, for several reasons. In their majority opinion, six justices wrote that sexual orientation and gender identity fell under the protections of Title VII of the Civil Rig…

There is just something so carefree about a Crossett summer. Even as we unfold from the interruption of a pandemic and settle down from national unrest, it is as if we in Crossett get to take a deep breath and relax. Now, I’m not saying this is all because of the Crossett City Pool, but its …

The anger and frustration brought on by the horrific deaths of George Floyd and others at the hands of those charged with protecting the public have pointed a spotlight on the need for reform. We need to ensure all Americans have faith in law enforcement.

We set a goal to test every resident and staff member in long-term-care in June, and today I’m pleased to say that nursing homes, and assisted-living and residential-care facilities will be able to resume limited family visits and other activities on July 1 if they have complied with the pub…

Arkansas’s Commission on Law-Enforcement Standards and Training is constantly examining ways to improve the already high quality of law enforcement in our state, and today I’d like to talk about the task force I’ve created to further that good work.

We’ve seen plenty of evidence lately of the deep polarization in this country. Even in the midst of this crisis, national politicians, the political parties, and their adherents are finding plenty to fight over—even as, for the most part, ordinary Americans have been remarkably united and ma…

We’ve witnessed a lot of frightening and discouraging scenes over the last few weeks. Already in the midst of a pandemic, our nation has been further gripped by turmoil and grief in the aftermath of the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and others whose lives were cut sho…

In the Parks and Recreation Department, our expertise is event and program planning and execution.  Our medium, or mode of carrying that expertise out, is community. What does that mean? It means that we do what we do for and with our community. Without you, Crossett, we are ineffective and …

The Economic Recovery Task Force has submitted its interim report to me, and today I’d like to talk about some of the steps we need to take to boost our economy after COVID-19.

Arkansas children struggling with hunger during this public health crisis will be getting additional support now that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has approved the state’s operational plan for the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) program.

We  have been getting our hands dirty over at the Crossett Farmers Market. Crossett now has a demo garden, and if you don’t know — as I didn’t — a demo garden is used to teach the community about self sustaining gardening practices along with all the capabilities that come with having a gard…

We are blessed to live in a free country, but that freedom doesn’t come without a price. Every year, Memorial Day is an opportunity for us to remember our fallen heroes and reflect on all that they sacrificed for our country. While many of us can’t gather in person this year, that shouldn’t …

We are all eager for a return to normalcy after strict measures were implemented in Arkansas and across the country to slow the spread of the coronavirus and prevent hospitals from becoming overwhelmed with patients infected by the disease. We have made significant progress, but what’s equal…

With all eyes focused on COVID-19 relief efforts, it’s easy to lose sight of others in our health care system, those with chronic illnesses or underlying medical issues. One particular group in need of assistance is veterans who were exposed to Agent Orange during the Vietnam War and are suf…

May is National Foster Care Awareness Month, and today I’d like to thank our foster families and all the people who work so hard to put our neediest children in homes and other safe settings.