BITS & PIECES: Saturday, June 25

We were saddened by the news this week that the Salt & Grain will be closing its doors in early July. It has been a real treat to be able to shop at a small business that sells freshly butchered meats, specialty sauces and seasonings, and an assortment of other delectables. And to see the butcher at work through a glass separating the market from his work area has been an additional novelty. On the bright side, owner James Pruitt is hinting at a future endeavor. Whatever it is, we know it will be great.

Tuesday’s runoff between two school board candidates was an exciting event for us to cover. We left the school board meeting while it was still in progress to head over to the courthouse to await the results. An hour passed before we got our hands on the results. On the way home (we figured the school board had adjourned by now) we noticed several cars in the parking lot at Dawson Education Cooperative where the meetings are held, and swooped in to hear the end of a highly emotional meeting. We kept our eyes on Casey Motl, wondering if he had heard yet of his narrow defeat. It was obvious he had at the conclusion of the meeting as he shook hands with fellow board members. Dr. Motl has been kind to us, and his balance of humor and professionalism as the board’s presiding member have made school board meetings enjoyable to attend. We congratulate Matt Johnson for his victory, and welcome him as an elected official. We look forward to what Mr. Johnson has in store for our school district.

We now publish our content to 3,941 readers and are well on the way to surpassing our goal of reaching half a million page views this year. We’ve had 175,000 visitors and 441,000 page views. This means people are visiting the site to read a story and sticking around to check out other stories during their visit. It’s the old-time equivalent of picking up a newspaper for one headline and flipping through its pages to read more articles.

Have any of our readers noticed something different about our homepage? We spent some time this week unlocking some features to the site’s appearance. Desktop and tablet users will find sports, education and outdoors stories in one particular area. There may be changes later as to which categories go in that spot. We’re always open to suggestions from our readers. Drop us a line at

Our reporting on a fatal car accident this week was scrutinized on social media because some readers felt the news was broken sooner than the family could learn about it. We would not release the name of a victim of an accident or an incident until the authorities (Arkansas State Police, in this case) have notified relatives. The information we gathered from this report noted that the relatives had been notified, the information was already on the internet, and earlier that morning we had published a death notice that came from a funeral home.

Creature in the Woods
Part 6/10
In the days following this camping-trip-turned-midnight-fright, I searched the Internet for the curious cat sound and discovered it was the call of a gray cat bird. Some 10 years later, Daughter and I still give Mom a hard time over her that’s-a-cat moment. One of us will spontaneously hush her and whisper, “That’s a cat!” But back to our story: We stood still for minutes until Dad deemed the thing was no threat, deducing that wildcats are likely to shy away from a trio of humans. Besides, we had dinner to prepare.

It’s time to clean the news desk. On the other hand, Taco Bell sauce packets make great paper weights.

Categories: People, Voices

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