August 31, 2011 Edition

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Lt. Gov. Mark Darr (left) talks about The Beatles tribute with Danny West, who has donated countless hours of labor to create the sculpture that will be placed in The Beatles Park in downtown Walnut Ridge.

Darr visits WR,
learns about efforts

Gretchen Hunt

Lt. Gov. Mark Darr was in Walnut Ridge last Wednesday to meet with leaders from the Chamber of Commerce and the Downtown Walnut Ridge organization.

His visit included a short meet-and-greet at the Chamber office, followed by a visit to the site of Beatles Park, under construction in downtown Walnut Ridge.

Darr also visited with Danny West, who is creating the sculpture to be placed at Beatles Park, and viewed the work of art underway.

The lieutenant governor told those gathered that it is projects, like the current tourism projects, that create excitement that can make a difference.

"Northwest Arkansas used to look just like Walnut Ridge," he said. "It takes someone being willing to fail."

Darr also noted that individuals working on the local projects represent different aspects of the community.

"It is neat that people from all different areas are working together," he said. "It's about getting jobs done and getting people jobs."

While in the area, Darr also visited property owned by Charles and Jackie Snapp that is being offered as part of a new "Invest in Your Dreams" program. (See related story).

While in Walnut Ridge, the lieutenant governor was also presented with a custom turkey call and a gold album of the British Invasion of the Rock and Roll Highway from the Chamber of Commerce Tourism Committee and a Beatles tribute T-shirt from the Downtown Walnut Ridge organization.

Chamber Board President Mike Montgomery told Darr that local officials, businesses and residents are willing to work to see growth in Lawrence County.

"We are taking things into our own hands," he said. "We can point to Little Rock and cry that we need help, but we have to be willing to step up and do the work ourselves."

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