BITS & PIECES: Tuesday, July 19

Are door-to-door salesmen legit?

Our friends at have reported in recent days that a company has been permitted to send a team of 10 door-to-door salesmen to peddle solar panels to residents in that municipality. On Tuesday morning Arkadelphia’s Building Department had yet to grant any permits to that company, but residents should be forewarned to expect Lumio here at some point in the near future. Residents who are unsure of a salesman’s legitimacy should question whether he or she has filed for a permit through Town Hall. If they haven’t — the sketchy ones never do — it’s time to close the door in their face. In our experience, if they’re trying to sell magazine subscriptions so they can win a free ride to Amsterdam, give them a stern but polite “no thanks” and notify the police department at 246-4545. It also doesn’t hurt to don a pair of brass knuckles (correction: “paper weight”) when you open your front door to a stranger.

No passing in construction zone?

Some have noticed that the work on Highway 67 has left a double-yellow line on the straight stretch south of Arkadelphia, indicating motorists are not allowed to pass. No worries about this being a permanent fixture, as we’re told the state highway department has yet to complete the project (you’ll notice the shoulder has no stripe). Once the highway work is to their specifications, markings to allow passing will be added.

More FAQ

More questions and comments come through. We’ll answer them here and eventually compile a list for a page on our editorial policy. Keep in mind, folks, that although we’re experienced in reporting the news, using the digital format in an ever-changing culture is a trial-and-error process, but one we take seriously.
Reader: “You don’t publish marriage and divorces anymore because of the impact on the community. Have you ever thought that arrests and people being cited for different offenses impact the community also?”
Arkadelphian: Absolutely. The difference is that divorce filings have no measurable impact on the community (unless, of course, there’s a curious influx or decrease in filings that mirrors a trend on the state or national level). Compiling police reports and publishing them is important to a community, as otherwise the public might not know of a potential burglar or car thief prowling in their neighborhood at night. Whereas divorce filings are easily found online, there is no online database of police reports other than what you’ll find on sites like this one, and compiling such reports requires manpower you’ll only find from reporters like us.
Reader: “Have you heard anything about [a local fast food establishment] being shut down for business due to health code violations?”
The Arkadelphian: Ah, the restaurant health inspections! We once answered to an editor who tasked us with reporting on monthly health inspection violations at local eateries. Any time a short-order cook at “Bubba’s Burger Joint” was caught with a lidless drink, it made it in the paper. For the next month or until people forgave his help for their reckless disregard for topping their cup with a plastic covering, Bubba would lose business because of the food police. This idea might have been ideal for a readership in a larger city like Conway, dotted with the likes of Applebee’s and Buffalo Wild Wings, but not in a town where restaurants are owned and operated by local business owners. That noted, next time the county health department shuts the doors on a restaurant for multiple violations, we’ll report on it!

Just like parents preparing to send their first-born to spend a night away from home, it’s difficult to step away from a company you’ve started. You’re constantly worried you’ve forgotten some important detail (“Did we remember to pack her favorite blankie? Her allergy meds? What if an emergency arises?”) This past week we’ve been checking off the list of “what-if’s” to leave The Arkadelphian in the capable hands of someone who wants to carry the torch for a while. If readers or advertisers need to contact us, check the homepage and/or Google The Arkadelphian for an updated phone number. The email will remain the same:

Special thanks to Jackson Carter at Ouachita Baptist University’s media/communications department for a crash course on better SEO practices. Our readers may notice some different formatting in articles because of this.

Don’t forget to take our reader poll! Desktop users will find it on the right-hand side of the homepage, and mobile users should scroll past the homepage stories to find it.

Creature in the Woods
Part 10/10
Without a sound, Mom nudged at Dad’s shoulder until he shuffled quietly awake. There was a rustling outside the tent, then a light snort within yards of our heads. With the light of a half-moon, Dad set what focus he had on the thin fabric of the tent, to see the silhouette of Dog’s ears perking erect. The three of them listened in stone silence as the Creature outside rummaged. Dog growled. Creature let out another sharp wheeze then galloped along the edge of the campsite, away from the campers.

“What is that?” Mom asked. 

“Don’t know, but it’s not a cat.”

“Should we leave?”

“Don’t know.”

Creature thundered back toward camp, its snorts alerting and frequent, its footfall heavy and clumsy. It stopped shy of the camp’s edge and stood without sound. Dog growled louder, rousing Daughter awake. All three sat erect as Creature plodded at the edge of camp. Eventually, Creature retreated, snorting loudly as it left the campsite.

“Let’s get out of here.” Dad said. Mom and Daughter agreed. It was past midnight. Mom escorted Daughter to the pickup as Dad rolled up the tent, all the gear still inside, and tossed it in the bed of the pickup.

The family retreated back home to Arkadelphia and piled into a queen-sized mattress, safe from the creature in the woods. 

Joel Phelps is publisher and editor of The Arkadelphian and is chock-full of entertaining stories from his experiences outdoors. Email him at or call him at 501-304-2134.

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2 replies »

  1. I love the bits and pieces. This story was soooo you guys. Cant wait to see the wife and ask her, “you hear that?” Lololol…..

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