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A random sampling of observation

February 25, 2013

By Steve Boggs

It has been an eventful week here in Saline County. We can’t seem to shake a stubborn winter, the Benton boys and girls basketball teams are on historic marches toward the state playoffs, and real progress is being made on the worthwhile Saline Crossing Regional Park effort.
It is also worth pointing out that Wednesday’s edition of the Courier was 100 percent local. It was our first in a while, but certainly won’t be our last. The newsroom’s efforts to drive more local content into our pages are paying off, and our readers will certainly see that moving forward.

Common Sense: Easy like Sunday morning

February 25, 2013

By Brent Davis

Sunday is a day of rest. It’s the last day of the weekend. According to the Bible, it’s the day that God took time off from his creation and it was good.
It’s a day of worship, relaxation, recharging, family and friends. By its very nature, Sunday is different than the other days of the week.
So, shouldn’t your newspaper be different on Sunday also? The answer is … yes.
During the coming weeks, watch for changes in the Sunday edition of the Saline Courier. A few of the changes are already in place today.

COMMON SENSE: It's hard to visualize $16,000,000,000,000, just ask your uncle

February 24, 2013

By Brent Davis, editor of The Saline Courier

At 10:30 a.m. yesterday, my debt was $52,504. By the time you read this, the amount will grow second by second … and there is nothing I can do to stop it.
The $52,504 represents my share of the national debt which was $16,538,350,597,830. Visit the website www.usdebtclock.org, but do so at your own peril. The site is full of information, but the most disturbing part of the site is watching the U.S. national debt grow by hundreds of thousands of dollars before your very eyes.

ENTER THE NET: YouTube great site for hands-on research

February 24, 2013

By David Hughes

My younger brother Steve (he’s in his 60s) comes out with some profound ideas in his old age. Recently, he struck again with a concept I had not thought of in all my years of being on the Internet.
Steve has embraced photography in his later years full tilt. He has invested in all kinds of camera bodies and lenses and the accoutrements for the mechanics of making a good photo. But, speaking as a journalist photographer of almost 40 years, the old saying of “it’s not the camera that makes the photo, but the nut behind it,” (grin).

They say 'Men are from Mars ... '

February 19, 2013

By Jennifer Joyner

It's not uncommon for us in the newsroom to engage in a spirited debate. (Read: bicker like a dysfunctional family.) Topics of discussion range from serious political and social issues, to the best Beatles song, to the question of who is scarier: Freddy or Jason?
I have never shied away from this type of discourse because in my opinion it's a good way to broaden one's perspective.
There is no shortage of opinion in the editorial department, but, in all seriousness, our little arguments are always lighthearted. It's all in good fun.

Common Sense: The voice in your head sometimes might not be yours

February 19, 2013

By Brent Davis, editor

Another season of American Idol has begun. The early shows of each season are filled with teasers of the good singers that made it through to Hollywood. However, most people tune in at this point to see the rejects and how they react to being told their effort was "karaoke" or "pitchy" or only to be heard in a lounge on a cruise ship. It has been several years since I watched American Idol, but I never could understand how these singers confused the judges comments with their perceived talent.

Sense and Nonsense: The view from the obituary desk can be revealing

February 18, 2013

By Lynda Hollenbeck

When I first started working for this newspaper — which was then known as The Benton Courier — one of the first assignments I drew was writing the obituaries.
In those days this was a pretty usual practice and, as far as I know, it continues today.
Obits, as a rule, aren't difficult to write. In my rookie days, we had a set style for all obits unless it was a feature obit highlighting the death of a community leader.

If we give them Bigfoot, will they go home?

February 18, 2013

By Steve Boggs, publisher of The Saline Courier

All things rural are hot in America right now.
Thanks to shows like Duck Dynasty, Moonshiners and Hillbilly Hand Fishing, life in the sticks is all over the boob tube these days. At any given time, on any number of channels, one can watch city folks learn how to noodle, or watch film crews look for Bigfoot. We can watch moonshine being made, or see a bunch of idiot high school kids in rural West Virginia running wild.

Common Sense: Solving the world's problems, one truck bed at a time

February 18, 2013

By Brent Davis, editor of The Saline Courier

"What is your platform?" asked the beauty contest host of a pageant finalist. "I want to see world peace and an end to hunger around the world." came the response. With all due respect for beauty pageants, contestants or hosts, this particular venue is not the think tank that it appears. World problems are not solved at pageants.
They are solved around the beds of pickup trucks.

We the People: Are our public schools being threatened?

February 18, 2013

By Clark Hopper

A few weeks ago, I wrote a column on public schools versus private schools. Now that the Arkansas 89th General Assembly is in session, I am going to revisit this issue. Educators and parents are on the same team, we are all accountable for student success and need to be a united front, putting students at the center of reform and education.

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