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  1. Fireworks Stands Fear Fizzle

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    June 30, 2010 by wcobserver

    By Nick DeMoss County- With the Fourth of July quickly approaching, Washington County residents are planning family get-togethers for some fun in the sun and to celebrate the nation’s independence. Once the sun goes down, however, many will grab a box of their favorite festive explosive and settle in for a night of fireworks at home. However, some who live in south Washington County may have a harder time getting a hold of their fireworks this year, thanks to a few policy changes around the county. Greenland residents will be the hardest hit, officials said. In a town that typically has as many as four fireworks stands, new regulations on banners in the city are driving off out-of-state vendors who would normally set up shop in the area. Under the current banner ordinance, businesses looking to set up advertising banners in Greenland must go before the planning commission to be approved, meaning long drives or flights for outside vendors, said Greenland building inspector Troy Enoch. Officials in Greenland are, however, working to change the ordinance, Enoch said. The change under consideration would allow permits to be obtained through a fax machine, thereby eliminating the problem, he said. Banner permits aren’t …

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  2. West Fork Cafe

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    June 30, 2010 by wcobserver

    By Susan McCarthy Within just the first three weeks of beginning our caloric rampage to eat our way through South Washington County, we’re noticing a trend.  The portions down this way are HUGE and we always leave full. This week was no exception as we officially lunched at the West Fork Café.  We say, officially, because our office is located across the street and over the past several months, we have eaten our way through most of the menu.  The café has been a West Fork steady since the mid 1960’s and is now owned by Gary and Rebecca Looney, who bought it in 1999. Our WCO crew sampled chicken fried steak, Chile Rellenos, a turkey sub, a turkey club and the seasoned fries.  I’ll admit we were a little slow in discovering the seasoned fries; we just learned of them this month and they’ve quickly become a staff favorite. One of the things we love, and we may be a little biased is the “Observer Lunch Special”.  Every week, Gary and Rebecca, select a recipe for our readers and then serve it the following week as a lunch special.  The Chile Rellenos Bake was this week’s Observer Special… and …

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  3. Down Mexico Way

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    June 30, 2010 by wcobserver

    By Steve Worden Who Knows Motivation? Why would a person ride a Greyhound bus for twenty-three hours to go down to Brownsville, Texas and then go into Mexico?  Maybe it was my belief that transcontinental bus travel is the “Check Engine” light of American culture.  (It was glowing alarmingly red . . .)  Maybe I wanted to see for myself the flotsam being carried by the vast tidal wave of anxiety washing over America.  Or, was it to see what Hispanics coming to Arkansas are fleeing?   Or, maybe it was the search for that perfect pair of exotic skin cowboy boots. That’s right:  cowboy boots, not “western boots.”  You know, the pointy-toed kind made out of python, crocodile or something similarly unusual?  We used to call them “snake boots.”  Of course, the crowning touch on a nice pair of snake boots would be those shiny silver toe caps.  I don’t know about you, but for me, nothing fairly screams “classy” more than a pair of black snake boots sporting silver toe caps. Anytime I want to talk to a banker or someone important and I just walk in wearing silver-toed snake boots and well, I just get treated differently.  …

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  4. “We Can Take It!”

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    June 30, 2010 by wcobserver

    By Tim V Scott If you were a young man between the ages of 18 to 25 in 1933 you may have been working at Devil’s Den State Park for the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC).   You could have been called a “CCC Boy” or even a member of Roosevelt’s Tree Army.  The CCC was working at the park from October 20, 1933 to March 25, 1942.  Much of the park as it is today was constructed by those young men during that 9½-year period. The CCC was one of many programs under the New Deal that was created by Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s Administration during the Great Depression.    FDR was inaugurated on March 4th, 1933 and by the first of April plans for the first CCC camp were under way.    In fact, Arkansas State Parks got its start from the CCC.  Some of the parks you may be familiar with that were CCC camps are Petit Jean State Park, Mount Nebo State Park,  Lake Catherine State Park, Crowley’s Ridge State Park, Buffalo River State Park (now a part of the National Parks system) and Devil’s Den State Park. At Devil’s Den, like the other parks, those young men …

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  5. Remembering Don Clark

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    June 30, 2010 by wcobserver

    By Perry Hall Winslow- Don Clark was a native and lifelong resident of Winslow Arkansas.  He was the only son of six children born to Elec Ray Clark and Elloise Reed Clark. From an early age he displayed a genius that would define his life. People have told me that at the age of 5 (others say 6 or 8), Don was tearing lawn mowers apart and putting them back together. Later, when he was attending Winslow Public Schools, he and his 5 sisters maintained high grades.  But on one particular occasion it is believed that he intentionally let his grade point drop, however when his older sister Judy Ramey challenged him, he easily brought it up again. Wanting to be an engineer, Don attended the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville.  But he left there and obtained his associate’s degree at West Ark in Fort Smith where he also became an instructor in the auto mechanics class.  Don was a lover of the motor. David Donaghe said that he, Don and others started a car club during their teen years called “The Headaches.”  They had jackets made and aluminum wall plates. Probably few loved the motor as much as he …

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  6. New BBQ Restaurant to Open July 1 in WF

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    June 30, 2010 by wcobserver

    West Fork-They say timing is everything and for Andrew Disney, a routine haircut turned into realizing his and fiancée Winona’s dream of opening their own restaurant.  Both have quit their jobs and will trade their employee status to become entrepreneurs in a new barbecue restaurant that opens next Thursday, July 1. Andrew Disney was getting a haircut at Tickled Pink Tanning and Hair in West Fork, when Tiffany Devore told him about available space for lease in the same plaza and that its owner was hoping a restaurant would open there.  He said he told her, “Winona is just going to bust.”  Winona Disney (she uses Andrew’s last name) said they looked at the space that day and signed the lease.  “We’ve wanted to open a restaurant a long time,” Andrew said. All American BBQ will be located at 88 North Centennial Avenue, #2, in the plaza next to E-Z Mart and will feature hickory smoked ribs, brisket and pulled pork.   Andrew says his recipes do not include any MSG and contain ingredients anyone would recognize.   Andrew will be responsible for the smoker in front of the restaurant; the couple just finished building a “smoke shack” that will …

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  7. Watershed Clean-Up Reduces River Pollution

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    June 23, 2010 by wcobserver

    Staff Report West Fork-A drier White River exposed trash more easily, but slowed the distance volunteers could travel along the river during the fifth annual West Fork Watershed clean-up last Saturday. About  80 volunteers turned out to work along sites from Tilly Willy Bridge in  Fayetteville to the Winslow Ball Park, about 22 stream miles. Much of this year’s clean-up could not be done in canoes and kayaks because the river’s water level was too low. “We have seven sites where folks are doing clean-up.  Collecting trash and recycling what we can,” said Nicole Hardiman, the interim executive director for Beaver Lake Partnership who was checking in volunteers Saturday morning in Riverside Park in West Fork. Hardiiman says the day is about “getting to know the river.” Isaiah Akerman said he found  “a lot of trash and even a sock”.  Isaiah had come to the clean-up with his dad, Michael, who was there on behalf of Washington County Search & Rescue.  Volunteers also pulled a sofa, batteries, paint cans, railroad ties, hundreds of plastic bottles and a lot of tires from the river during the clean-up. Frances Hime, who organizes the annual event, said many of these items leak harmful …

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