May 27, 2009 Edition

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Frankly speaking...

John Bland
Publisher

Judy Turnbull, board chairman of The Children's Shelter, called Tuesday en route home from Little Rock to report that she and a delegation had a license from the State Licensing Board in hand to open the shelter. She said the shelter could be open as early as Monday, June 1. The group who went to Little Rock to obtain the license included Judy, as well as Lee Turnbull, Amber Hampton - administrator, Judy Clark, Junior Briner, County Judge Alex Latham and Sheriff Dan Ellison.

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Perry Webb, who has been at the helm of the Springdale Chamber of Commerce since 1994, gave the featured address at the Walnut Ridge High School commencement Friday night.

I especially like two points he made to the class of 2009. He told how an injury abruptly ended the football career of his son, Bartley. He was sidelined playing football at the University of Notre Dame. Calling it a "Bartley-ism," Perry quoted one of his son's wise sayings that, "A setback is just a setup for a comeback."

Perry also urged the graduating seniors to give back to the community that invested in them.

At the commencement, Supt. Terry Belcher announced that the recently enclosed "square" in the center of the campus has been named for the late Freda Willmuth, former Student Council advisor and reading teacher at WRHS for many years. Mrs. Willmuth spent most of her waking hours dedicated to the Student Council and turning the muddy square into a rock garden with ponds was one of her many projects in the late 1970s.

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Since last summer at a press convention, I continue to hear a lot about Facebook on the Internet. In a seminar at the convention, the presenter asked how many of the newspaper publishers, editors, reporters and so forth, had a Facebook account.

Since then, I have heard from former classmates and friends who enjoy communicating with each other through Facebook. Perry Webb also mentioned that he asked for suggestions or words of wisdom from the 270 or so WRHS graduates registered on Facebook.

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For Memorial Day, Turner Classic Movies broadcast a marathon of war-related movies. I caught one of them, "The Fighting Sullivans," based on a true story of the five Sullivan brothers who were all killed when their ship was torpedoed in World War II. Since then, brothers are split up. Another movie that looked interesting was "Sergeant York," based on the World War I diary of a man by of the same name.

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