August 23, 2017 Edition

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Heading into fall

John Bland

It may still be August, but fall activities and events are starting up and coming soon. Another successful Lawrence County Fair, with pageants, carnival, rodeo, cattle show and educational exhibits, has come and gone.

Public schools have begun their second full week of classes. Volleyball season has begun for the Hoxie and Walnut Ridge schools. Football season openers are slated for Aug. 31 and Sept. 1. (See The TD's special section highlighting fall sports in next week's edition.)

Williams Baptist College has come back to life in full-force. Freshmen moved in on Friday, and upperclassmen returned on Sunday. Classes began Tuesday, and the opening Convocation Chapel is being held today in the Manley Chapel.

The Cavenaugh Thumperthon 5K race is set for Sept. 9 at Stewart Park. This event raises money for the Northeast Arkansas Humane Society and brings runners, walkers and their dogs from all over Northeast Arkansas to town.

The following week, Sept. 15 and 16, is Beatles at the Ridge. This event draws folks from around Northeast Arkansas and beyond. Two full days of events and entertainment are lined up, including a special tribute to Newport native and rock 'n'roll legend Sonny Burgess, who died Friday night. Burgess had been scheduled to perform at this year's festival, but his band, the Legendary Pacers, is scheduled to go on with the show.

The Northeast Arkansas Chorale, which provides an outstanding pre-Christmas concert each December, is announcing plans to begin their rehearsals. See more details of this and other activities in this week's TD.


Monday's solar eclipse has come and gone. Thanks to some kind folks at the courthouse, several of our staff borrowed their special glasses and equipment to take a look at the big event. Conditions were great for viewing, with very few clouds in the sky.

In our area, day didn't exactly turn to night, but there was a definite change in the lighting. It made one feel like you were wearing dark sunglasses, as the midday lighting dimmed. Shadows seemed darker, and if you looked toward building windows, you could see indoor lights shining, an odd thing in the midday summer sun.

One of the most interesting things to us, were the crescent-shaped patterns of sunlight shining through the leaves on the surfaces of parking lots and vehicles.

Apparently, we won't have to wait 30 or 40 years for the next solar eclipse in our area. Most of Arkansas is in the path of a total solar eclipse in just seven years, on April 8, 2024. NASA has outlined that eclipse stretching from Texas to Maine.

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