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  1. “Dillers”…Should they stay or should they go?

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    May 24, 2010 by wcobserver

    By Ben Few     Spring is here and Observer readers are asking the traditional vernal question, “WHAT’S DIGGING UP MY LAWN AND GARDEN?!”  Without even looking, I can tell you it’s the usual villain, the armadillo, on its nightly quest for grubs, bugs and worms.    A native of South America and Mexico, the armadillo — locally referred to as the diller — has been expanding its range northward and is pretty much here to stay, barring another ice age.  And of course it has its friends as well as foes.  There are people who can tell you the exact tonnage of harmful grubs and bugs the diller destroys each year, and others who can quote the precise number of lawns and garden vegetables it wrecks in the process.  So if you want to get rid of your diller, be aware that it’s a trade-off; you can have more bugs and grubs or a better lawn and more veggies.   Of the twenty different species of dillers, the only kind we have here in North America is the Nine-Banded Armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus), also known as “possum on the half-shell.”  Other types have tried to sneak in but haven’t had …

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  2. The Flea Life Cycle

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    May 24, 2010 by wcobserver

    Vet Pet Digest      May 2010 By Linda Ford, DVM “That Frontline stuff doesn’t work anymore.”  You don’t know how many times I’ve heard that statement. But, after extensive interrogation of the person telling me this, light is shed and we proceed to have the whole flea life cycle discussion. Studies are being conducted continuously on Frontline and many other reputable flea products on the market. I can only speak for the products I carry but so far, there has been no evidence that Frontline is not working. While it is true that many bugs, bacteria, viruses etc. mutate or somehow become adapted to living with the thing that was designed to destroy them, so far, it is not the case with the newer flea and tick products. The newer products are designed to attack the nervous system of the insect and basically cause them to stop breathing which then causes their death. It’s kind of like nerve gas. So far, I don’t know of any humans or animals that have become immune to nerve gas. And yet, these products are extremely safe to use and easy on the environment. You don’t have all that dip to pour down the drain. …

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  3. WORST BIRDS WANTED! For Crimes Against Our Sensibilities

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    May 24, 2010 by wcobserver

    Special dispatch from the front lines of birddom By Joseph C. Neal I know everyone really wants to know how come the sparrows have taken over their bluebird box? Or maybe what you’re wondering about is how it is that bee martins (AKA, Eastern Kingbirds) ride on the backs of crows? Is it RRRRREALLY true that migrating hummingbirds cross the Gulf of Mexico on the backs of geese? But this week I want to talk about some really BAD birds. The Worst Birds. WANTED! For Crimes Against Our Sensibilities. The Worst Birds. Where I want to start this tour of Worst Birds is with Canada Goose (Branta canadensis). I can remember the days before this goose took a bad turn. We revered them for their musical honking as they flew over in long graceful “v”s. The goose-for-Christmas-dinner was a staple of pioneer lore. They were welcomed to our skies and we enjoyed seeming them out at the lake. It was a “rush in the house and tell momma” moment when a pair of Canadas landed on the farm pond and then built a nest. Those cute yellow goslings, following momma across the pond – can you remember back to when …

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  4. The Night Bus to the Border

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    May 24, 2010 by Steven Worden

    Fire on the Mountain By Steven Worden        Next time you feel too stale, too dragged by the same ol’, same ol’, head on up to Fayetteville and out on Wedington where for a couple of hundred, you can buy a roundtrip Jefferson Lines’ ticket to Brownsville, Texas.  Hop on the southbound around noon and you will be in Shreveport, gazing at the lurid red lights of the Boomtown high-rise casino by 7:30 that evening.  A scant five or so hours later at 1:00 a.m. you will be admiring the death-like downtown of Houston.  By 6:30 in the morning, the sparkling lights of Corpus Christi refineries will be appearing off to your left.  By 10:00 a.m., you will be stepping out into the morning heat and humidity of Brownsville, a homeless man curled up by a palm tree off to your right.  Just up the street:  the International Bridge to Matamoros, Mexico.                  Although a mere twenty-one hours in duration, a night run to Brownsville opens up a whole new reality to the middle-class guy wearied of a white, skinny, affluent, non-tattooed, non-mentally-disordered, non-addicted world.  If you yearn for the sound of a young man screaming m-fing words into a cell …

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  5. “Devil’s Den State Park before the CCC”

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    May 24, 2010 by wcobserver

     Devil’s Den Diary Lucas Caldwell Often when we think of the history of Devil’s Den we think of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), but there were visitors and residents of the Lee Creek Valley before the CCC and the construction of the park.  One family of those residents happened to have been the Wain and Lucinda Dotson family.  The Dotson home place, located near the Fossil Flats trails near camping area “A”, consisted of a barn on the east side, their house to the west, where the crumbled chimney still lay as a pile of rocks, a well, and a smokehouse, of which the foundation remains as well.   The Dotson family was one of the last to leave the valley.  They worked the land until it had very little left to give.  Some recall that Wain planted just about every kind of crop at one time or another.  Records in the Washington County Courthouse show that Lucinda sold their 80 acres to the State for $1,500.00 on January 3, 1938. One of the local stories told about the Dotson family involved the twins Otis and Otto. They were known to be a cantankerous pair, but no more so than when …

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  6. Dinner Party Promotes Arkansas Farmers

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    May 24, 2010 by wcobserver

    Ropp Ramblin’s By Terry Ropp   Last week we had eight people from around the country over for dinner. What makes this group of people of interest to you is their purpose for being here. A national program called the Outstanding Young Farmer Program of the US Jaycees was started in Iowa in 1951 and became a national program in 1954. Its purpose is to each year honor four young farmers aged thirty-nine or under for outstanding achievement in both agriculture and their community. The young farmers, male and female, come from all areas of agriculture which include crop and livestock production as well as truck and floral production. Arkansas had one winner early on in 1957, Alex S. Curtis whose base of grain operations was in Leland, Arkansas. The big news now is that during the second week of February 2012, the national awards program is being held here. Larry was heavily involved in the Illinois Jaycee Outstanding Young Farmer Program in Geneseo, Illinois where he came from. He helped sponsor over thirty candidates to the state program, six of which were state winners and two of whom became national winners. Needless to say, Larry was disappointed to learn …

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  7. Letter to the Editor 3/4/2010

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    May 6, 2010 by wcobserver

    Clerk Questions Angel Statue To the Editor, I have begun hearing a lot about the Christmas Box Angel Statue that will be placed at the Riverside Park in West Fork. I believe the park is a tax-payer supported public park. Apparently, this decision was made by the Parks Committee in 2007. It has been stated that the West Fork City Council did not need to comment on this decision or approve a resolution. The first I heard about this artwork was December 2009. It is pretty obvious that many of our neighbors in this community have heartfelt opposing opinions. In February at our regular city council meeting, a lady from our community suggested a more publicized public discussion might be nice so that we can get a better understanding of the opinions from our residents.  She also suggested that now that we are accepting artwork on our public parks she may know a few artists in our local area that would truly cherish the opportunity to share their art with our town. I would like to know the considered opinion of our City Attorney Rusty Hudson along with each of our aldermen and alderwomen. Cities that suddessfully placed this Christmas …

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