BITS & PIECES: A mule-kick to the teeth

The Reddie Spirit has been kicked by a mule

By JOEL PHELPS | arkadelphian.com

Henderson State University reports a 15% decrease in enrollment, while Southern Arkansas University reports a 14% growth. That feels, at least to us, like a kick in the teeth. Blame whoever you want — Glen Jones, Brett Powell, that Board of Trustees, Chuck Welch, Chuck Ambrose, negative publicity — but you simply can’t put toothpaste back in the tube. If Henderson lost 15 apples and SAU gained 14 apples, it’s pretty evident that one basket has a hole in it, and someone else is picking up those dropped apples. At the end of the day, one university has a peck and the other has a bushel. The record should reflect that SAU still has a liberal arts program. Are we kicking a dead horse? No (but the mule is). Do we have hope? Of course — what’s the other option? When the dust settles and Henderson rises from these ashes, we’ll be rooting for a mascot re-branding. “The Phoenix” has a nice ring to it, yeah?

While we’re on the topic of Magnolia’s success, power companies are planning to invest billions of dollars to tap into subterranean resources in Columbia and Lafayette counties. The end product of this mining, lithium, is used to power electric vehicles (like it or not, fossil fuels aren’t forever). Just this week the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported three major truck manufactures want to build a battery plant in the U.S. “to help accelerate production of electric trucks” because “battery-powered trucks are next in line in reducing emissions from the transport sector.” Where will this factory be? That remains to be known, but given the amount of lithium that will be available in South Arkansas, now is the time to market Clark County to these interested parties looking for the perfect place to make their batteries. Here’s looking at you, Alliance.

We didn’t send a newsletter this week because of an issue with that service. Our apologies.

Our rain prediction was wrong — going against tradition, rain fell before the Clark County Fair began — but who’s complaining?

Why is Gov. Sanders/Arkansas State Police being so secretive about her company whilst traveling to Europe? Arkansas attorney Matt Campbell, known for his investigative work on the Blue Hog Report, aims to find out. Campbell filed suit this week against ASP for what he contends to be multiple violations of the state’s Freedom of Information Act. We side with Mr. Campbell, and hope he is victorious in the battle. We’d also like to offer a belated “attaboy” for calling out Jacob Oliva for abusing his R&R privileges — including an overnight trip in Arkadelphia earlier this year.

Jimmy Buffet went to the Florida Keys to write his songs. Tom Petty went to the stratosphere to write his. Buffet was good. Petty was better.

Joel Phelps is editor of arkadelphian.com. Opinions expressed in Bits & Pieces — even the salty ones — are his own. Contact him at editor@arkadelphian.com. Now, where’s that salt?

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