Voices

BITS & PIECES: Sunday, May 1

While my collegiate alma mater faces major financial turmoil, the school where I spent my formative years is in even more trouble. The students at Sparkman High School are expected to be ousted from the halls of SHS next year to attend Harmony Grove High School. The 5-2 decision by the Harmony Grove School Board will affect 40 pupils, with the remaining 68 elementary students to continue classes at Sparkman (until complete consolidation). My 2004 graduating class was comprised of 12 seniors and was the last official class to graduate as seniors from the Sparkman Public School District; since then the two campuses have been under Harmony Grove’s control, and despite many years of legal battles it appears this is the last hoorah. Perhaps some of these parents living on the eastern side of this geographically massive district will make the wise decision to bus their children to Arkadelphia for their education. Long we’ll hold the memories dear, I say. I hate it for those who truly cherish the community, but at some point the inevitable is bound to happen. All I know is prior to launching this website I spent four long years working back home as an adult, and it wasn’t the town I remember from my youth. As my favorite author Bill Bryson once penned, there’s three things you can’t do in life: you can’t make a waitress see you until she’s ready, you can’t beat the phone company, and you can’t go home again.

The Arkadelphian on Thursday heard inquiries of gunshots being heard somewhere on North 26th Street. After asking the police chief about this, we learned there were so many reports phoned in on Wednesday night from that area west to Country Club Drive that officers were unable to pinpoint the location from which the gunshots originated. We heard of more gunshots reported at Killingsworth, a mobile home park located west of town. We’ll be checking the police reports at the Clark County Sheriff’s Office to validate this.

We got a message from a 24th Street resident who is missing a cream-colored Golden Retriever. This marks the second “missing pet” report we’ve gotten. Not sure if The Arkadelphian is the appropriate platform for helping in these cases. The person could purchase an advertisement, but our ad rates aren’t priced for the average citizen. However, we have a soft spot for pets and may eventually work out an affordable option for those missing a pet. In the old days one would have to print out a flyer and distribute it across town/staple it to light poles everywhere (we once did this very thing when we thought our Tico was missing; turns out he was in the car waiting for us to take a drive!). Anyhow, here’s the photo of the missing dog. There’s a cash reward if he’s returned to the owner. Let us know if you’ve seen him and we’ll put you in touch with the owner.

We broke the news sometime Saturday night that the Arkadelphia Fire Department had been summoned to Walmart for a report of an alarm and the stench of smoke from the “back” side of the retailer. By Sunday morning we’d learned that the store was closed, likely because of whatever happened to prompt AFD’s response. Based on our past newspaper experience, it’s difficult to get anyone from the local “big box stores” to give any information to the local press. It being Sunday and having our young niece and nephew at our home, we opted to chase them around rather than some public relations person who would likely give us vague information about the store’s closing (UPDATE: a Facebook follower reports the store is open but not taking checks). We had a blast with the kids, ages 6 and 4, walking a stretch of Feaster Trail.

Part 1/9
This is the interesting story of how I met my bride-to-be, and proof that sometimes the hardships in life are mere segues to happiness. One of my all-time favorite song lyrics comes from the Goo Goo Dolls’ “Name”: “Scars are souvenirs you never lose.”

“We” and “I”
You’ll notice sometimes The Arkadelphian uses different pronouns, typically “we” or “I”. “We” is used in an editorial sense, as a news/media business. “We broke the news …” means The Arkadelphian as a company put out a news story or social media post. Anytime you see the personal pronoun “I” used, it’s a personal note from the editor/publisher, Joel Phelps (also Yours Truly). It’s akin to Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, if you will. Sometimes Tom would release a solo album, but for the most part he had The Heartbreakers backing him (The Arkadelphian is still looking for those Heartbreakers!). It’s essentially the same product, but the artist behind the words gets the credit.

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