March 21, 2012 Edition

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Spring brings good news

Spring officially arrived Tuesday, but as all of us know, spring-like temperatures arrived a number of days earlier. Even though we expected it, the trees, shrubs, flowers and grass seemed to begin blooming and greening-up in a 24-hour span.

Keeping up with the sudden growth and explosion of spring is hard to do. All at once, lawns are in need of mowing, landscaped beds need weeding and shrubs will soon need trimming. Even though I've yet to adjust, Daylight Saving Time gives us that extra daylight for spring yard work.

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It is good to see that both Hoxie and Walnut Ridge will have spring cleanup April 9-20. As always, this is a much-needed spring rite of passage in which we should all participate and take advantage.

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Almost weekly in recent months, we have published news stories of good things happening to help revitalize downtown Walnut Ridge. News of a potential film about Walnut Ridge and the weekend The Beatles landed at our airport is exciting and fun. Each time we report on a new business opening on or near Main Street, it gives up hope that our downtown can again be vibrant.

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Mark your calendars now to attend the Lauren Gray concert scheduled for May 11 at the Walnut Ridge Community Center. The Downtown Walnut Ridge organization is sponsoring the event. As our readers know, Gray was a contestant on this season's American Idol. Her father, Mike Gray, who is also a performer, is a Walnut Ridge native and graduated from WRHS.

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Another noteworthy event coming up soon is the beans, cornbread and bluegrass music benefit on Saturday, March 31, to benefit The Children's Shelter in Walnut Ridge. The event will be held at First Baptist Church's MAC building in Walnut Ridge. Advance tickets can be purchased by calling the shelter at 886-5191 or Judy Turnbull at 886-6796.

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Last, but not least, our community and others will want to note that Dr. Jerol Swaim, president of Williams Baptist College, will be honored at a retirement reception on April 14. Swaim is retiring as WBC's president in June. The reception will be from 3:30-5:30 p.m. in the rotunda of the Swaim Administration Building.

As Williams marks its 70th year, Dr. Swaim is leaving that campus much better than he found it. The buildings and grounds are the most appealing they have ever been.

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