April 30, 2008 Edition

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Walnut Ridge group's
presentation well received

Lorra Whitmire, who chairs the Walnut Ridge committee applying for membership in the Arkansas Downtown Network, reported that our local group made its presentation last Wednesday in Little Rock. Although approval is pending, reports are that our group was well received.

Lorra told us enough to make us hopeful that we'll get to see a repeat performance of the presentation. The group impressed the panel with a basket full of walnut brownies, and the presentation that included a Mayberry RFD theme from The Andy Griffith Show, explaining how everyone knows each other by name in downtown Walnut Ridge.

The presentation included video clips with interviews from young and old, photos of the downtown area and narration by Cathy Harthorn.

Others representing downtown Walnut Ridge for the presentation, besides Lorra and Cathy, were Mayor Michelle Rogers, Paula Haskins and Lauraetta Melton.

The Arkansas Downtown Network is a part of the Main Street Arkansas Program, which provides expertise, education and other support in the revitalization of downtown areas.

*******

Bees and possums, what's next?

Walnut Ridge Alderman Johnnie Fears told The TD early last Wednesday morning that he discovered a hive of honeybees while trimming shrubbery in the yard of Pauline (Mrs. Pat) Chaney in the southwest section of Walnut Ridge.

Johnnie inquired if I knew of any beekeepers and invited us to take a photo. Knowing the importance of bees to Mother Nature, Fears wanted the bees removed but unharmed. In the meantime, Herb Ginn of the Lawrence County Cooperative Extension Service, put Fears and Chaney's daughter, Marilyn White, in touch with a Jonesboro beekeeper.

When the woman came, dressed in safety clothing, she discovered not one but two hives in the front yard. She removed the bees late last Wednesday afternoon.

On Thursday, Marilyn had another surprise discovery when she uncovered a mother opossum and six baby opossums in her Mrs. Chaney's carport shed. That's when she realized why the resident cats had been avoiding the area. Animal control came and removed the possums.

As of Tuesday afternoon, the saga was not over. Another hive of bees has been discovered on one of Mrs. Chaney's backyard hedges. Another call has been placed to the Jonesboro beekeeper.

Johnnie Fears said a large hive must be located close to the yard, as the bees naturally split off when a hive becomes too large.

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