September 8, 2010 Edition

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Frankly speaking...

John Bland
Publisher

The Shepherd Care clothing ministry, a project of the Lawrence County Ministerial Alliance, has found a formula to be financially sound. Read about this worthy non-profit ministry on page one. The Ministerial Alliance has even been able to use some of the surplus funds from Shepherd Care to help support another ministry, The Children's Shelter.

It is our sincere hope that The Children's Shelter can also find a formula or revenue stream to allow it to become financially solvent. Judy Turnbull, Shelter board president, introduced me to a couple of the smaller Shelter "guests" recently. She knew what she was doing by showing me the children who need and are benefitting from the Shelter. Receiving a hug from these little people makes an impression much greater than facts and figures.

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Pocahontas lost one of its leading citizens Aug. 25 with the passing of Joe Martin, age 85. Martin was a civic leader who helped with the establishment of what is now Black River Technical College, an institution that serves many Lawrence County residents. As president of the former Pocahontas Federal Savings and Loan, he was instrumental in the success and growth of that institution, which grew to several branches, including one in Walnut Ridge. More recently he had donated a building on the square in Pocahontas for the Randolph County Heritage Museum. The Pocahontas Star Herald quoted Linda Bowlin, a Pocahontas attorney, who noted Joe Martin's love for Pocahontas and Randolph County. He was also a good friend and supporter of The TD.

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I am happy to see first-hand the improvements underway at Stewart Park. Any park or public facility requires much upkeep by the park staff. However, making improvements is equally important. The parking area for the ball fields is in the process of being doubled. The additional parking will add convenience, but most importantly, it will increase safety. When the ball fields are in full use, cars and people are everywhere. Other improvements are also planned or recently completed. In 2009, a new half-mile addition to the walking trail at the park was completed.

While visiting Fayetteville, we spent some time in Wilson Park near the U. of A. campus. The park was in full use on Sunday afternoon, and that park keeps getting better all the time. It even has its own greenhouse, and many of the plantings around the park are labeled. Fayetteville, like many other towns and cities, has added walking and biking trails over the years. It makes me proud that Hoxie, Walnut Ridge and College City have a Rails to Trails project. Another stretch of the trail has just recently been paved along the area across from McDonald's and Harps.

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