February 09, 2011 Edition

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Frankly Speaking...

John Bland
Publisher

Efforts to determine the beginnings of the Lawrence County Basketball Tournament thus far go back to at least 1937. Terry Belcher, superintendent of the Lawrence County School District, reported that Sharon Kennedy of Walnut Ridge had found an entry about the tournament in her father's 1937 yearbook. Her father was the late educator and coach, W.R. Glenn. His yearbook noted that the county basketball tournament had been held that year in Portia.

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Our newspaper files, which only survive back to 1956, make mention of the county tournament and the winners, but no indication is given to how long the tournament has been in existence. It appears that in the late 1950s or early 1960s the junior high and senior high tournaments might have been played in separate weeks.

Jimmy Snapp noted that his WRHS basketball team played the Portia High School basketball teams twice one year. This further confirms that teams in the tournament once consisted of Black Rock, Clover Bend, Egypt, Hoxie, Lynn, Portia, Sloan-Hendrix, Strawberry and Walnut Ridge.

Another gentleman from Missouri has emailed us a list of the senior high boys winners in the county tournament from as far back as 1957.

Lawrence County still has five schools competing in the tournament, and the 2011 games, especially the finals, were as close and exciting as about any in the past. See the results in this week's special section.

We would still welcome further information regarding the history of the county tournament. I can be contacted at The TD, 886-2464, or by e-mailing jbland@thetd.com.

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Scams are apparently on the rise or as rampant as ever. Last week, we published a story about grandparents being called to wire $2,000 to Canada for their grandson, who was in trouble there. The caller asked the grandparents not to contact the boys' parents to save embarrassment for the grandson. Luckily, one grandmother thought to call the grandson, and he answered his phone at home. She was able to stop the wire transfer in time.

Jay Childers of Walnut Ridge told me that he had received a call last week informing him that he'd won $2.5 million and a new car. All he needed to do was send a $495 processing fee to collect his winnings. Mr. Childers felt certain it was a scam and kept the caller on the line for a while. The caller said he didn't think Childers was taking him seriously, and Mr. Childers told him that he believed he was being scammed.

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