July 14, 2010 Edition

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Frankly speaking....

John Bland
Publisher

Bryce Baldridge of the Lawrence County Cooperative Extension Service explained that the rains received by our area Sunday through early Tuesday were a "Catch 22," both good and bad. "I heard on the radio that it was called a million dollar rain," he said. For rice farmers, it means a break in pumping water to irrigate and thus a break in fuel costs.

"You want to see rain and get some moisture in the soil, but on beans it could be bad," Baldridge said. If water remains on the beans and the temperatures get as hot as predicted this week, then the bean plants will cook, he added.

At our house, the rain gauge showed exactly four inches of rain around noon on Monday. That amount had fallen Sunday afternoon, night and early Monday. At midday on Tuesday, we had another 1.6 inches of rain.

We understand not all areas of the county or Northeast Arkansas received that much rain, however, we believe most of the area received a significant rain. A rain such as this in mid-July is noteworthy, especially when several locales in our area have received little or no rain since May.

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We are pleased to learn that the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program has awarded a Historic Preservation Restoration Grant of $44,000 for the 1942 Commandant's House located at Williams Baptist College. The grant is for roof restoration. The Commandant's House has a lot of potential uses for Williams and will complement the Wings of Honor Flying School Museum and structures that were originally part of the World War II Airbase.

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We appreciate former TD staffer Susan O'Connor for giving encouragement for support of The Children's Shelter in her column, "Life Notes" that appears monthly in Jonesboro Occasions magazine. She wrote that the shelter has served "191 children from 21 counties, with 41 from Craighead County, 26 from Greene County and 34 from Lawrence County."

She noted that The Children's Shelter needs the support of Craighead County and Jonesboro, "the most powerful county and city in Northeast Arkansas," which is also known for its generous spirit.

While the Shelter continues to be supported, it continues to have great financial needs. See our story on page one.

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It is the heart of summer, but we are beginning to look toward fall. I am never ready to see back to school promotions, although I know that parents and students do need to prepare and purchase supplies and clothes for another school year. It seems our culture is always pushing us on to the next season or holiday. The trick must be to strive to live in the present but also to prepare for the future.

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Speaking of our culture, I think of two individuals from my church, First United Methodist, who passed away this past week. Carma Rice and Janet Stuart were very different from one another, but both lived in a manner that was true to their beliefs, despite worldly influences.

Carma was proud, honest and direct regarding her Christian faith, without being boastful or self-promoting. Janet had a gentle and kind spirit, and took pleasure in art, beauty and nature.

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