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  1. The Progress of the Pilgrim

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    February 28, 2011 by Steven Worden

    In case you missed it, John Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress, turned 333 this February.  Although the ancients believed three to be the perfect number and thus,  three threes might be extremely portentous, you don’t have to be an ancient numerologist to marvel at a book that has been in continuous print for over 300 years. Said to be second only to the Bible in popularity,  it has been translated into over 200 languages.  In fact, when the Chinese government loosened up and first allowed Progress to be published, over 200,000 copies were sold in three days.  Even considering that in China the US Tax Code might sell 200,000 copies in three days, that’s still pretty amazing demand. In addition to impressive print-runs, numerous adaptations of Pilgrim’s Progress have been produced as radio serials, television and  film treatments, stage plays, musicals, cartoons, operas, and even computer animations, the most recent being released in 2009.  As a producer might quip, “It has legs.” So, how can we account for this longstanding fascination with The  Pilgrim’s Progress?  Probably a lot of it has to do with the fact that it is simply a great, fantastical, allegorical adventure.  Rudyard Kipling was so  moved by …

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  2. Food Pantry Born Out of Bus Ride to Greenland

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    February 28, 2011 by wcobserver

    To Serve Greenland, West Fork, Winslow By Susan McCarthy Chance or perhaps fate brought Tina Holt to the Greenland First Baptist Church six months ago.  Her business in Tulsa had just failed and she’d lost everything including her car.  She landed on her mother’s doorstep on the south end of Fayetteville with her suitcases and pets to start her life all over again. A friend had suggested Holt attend her church, but she was without a car, so she went to the church that offered a free bus ride and that’s what literally brought her to Greenland.   Six months later she is juggling two jobs and the birth of a new food pantry that will serve Greenland, West Fork and Winslow. Holt and her fellow members of the Women on Missions group from the Greenland First Baptist Church opened their “Our Mission Food Pantry” on Jan. 31.  The pantry is open on Tuesdays from 3:30 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. and for a short time on Wednesday night following the church’s evening service, around 8 p.m. “Everyone wanted it, but didn’t know how to get it,” said Holt who has put her 20 years of military logistics experience to work …

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  3. WF Cheer Team Places Tenth in Nationals

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    February 26, 2011 by wcobserver

    By Kelsey Franklin WEST FORK- While most of the area spent last week digging out from nearly a foot of snow, the West Fork High School Cheerleaders battled against the nation’s best cheerleading teams to place tenth in the National High School Cheerleading Competition in Orlando Florida. On Tuesday, Feb. 8, coaches, cheerleaders, parents and supporters made a 21-hour bus trip to Orlando, Florida. The cheerleaders were Florida bound with one thing in mind, competing in the Universal Cheerleading Association (UCA) 2011 National High School Cheerleading Championship (NHSCC). This season the WFHS team competed in two invitational competitions, taking home first place titles, regional and state level competitions where they won the title of 2011 State Cheerleading Champions.  West Fork placed tenth in the nation in their division of co-ed small varsity. After winning the state title the race was on to raise the funds needed to make their dream of reaching nationals come true. With help from the West Fork community, local businesses, fans and parents they raised the $13,000 that was needed to make the trip. “It was a wonderful, exciting journey,” said cheerleading coach Deborah Hughes. Between school, games and nine hours of practice each week, cheerleader …

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  4. Pink Flamingoes And Global Warming

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    February 24, 2011 by wcobserver

    During my birding peregrinations I recently came across a pink flamingo standing in a yard. It had been through our snow and ice. At one point it exhibited a pretty good pile of white on its back. I first looked it over with my binoculars, then with my spotting scope. Flamingo! Wow! It wasn’t the first one I had ever seen. When I showed my friend Amy the picture included with this article, she dryly observed that global warming had advanced quite a bit when we have flamingoes right here in the land of eternal snow. The Greater Flamingo, Phoenicopterus ruber, nests in the Bahamas, Cuba and in the Yucatan and is a rare visitor in Florida. But Winslow, West Fork and northwest Arkansas are not Florida, not the West Indies, and certainly not on a snowy day in February. It might as well be an Ivory-billed Woodpecker. Likely some folks have driven right by that same yard and not noticed – or so I thought. One morning I walk into the coffee shop and all eyes are upon me. It’s like they’ve been waiting. Over the years we have hashed over the Ivory-billed Woodpecker. They consider it an upland …

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  5. More Ball Sports Added to City’s Youth Programs

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    February 24, 2011 by wcobserver

    Commission Shrinks Size to Comply with Ordinance Staff Report WEST FORK- More community activities and year round youth ball programs may soon be things local residents will see from the city’s parks and recreation department. At its monthly meeting on Feb. 14, commission members approved a proposal to take over the West Fork Quarterback Club’s youth football league.   They also approved a city-sponsored adult flag football league and will take action on a youth basketball league at their March meeting. The commission started its meeting by accepting the resignation of Vickey Mesplay and Russell Ogle to reduce the parks commission size from seven to five members.  The ordinance which formed the parks commission allows for only five members. John Selph, who chairs the parks commission, said he had no idea when the commission was expanded to seven members and didn’t realize the commission had not been in compliance.  Commission members approved to ask the city council in March to authorize an ordinance to expand the commission’s members to seven. Selph said the commission planned to reappoint both members at a later date if the council agrees to expand the size of the parks commission. The bulk of Monday’s meeting …

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  6. Farm To Market: An Ongoing Challenge

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    February 24, 2011 by wcobserver

    By Steve Winkler There are two Washington Counties. Most often we hear about the fast growing metropolitan area that’s home to giant corporations, retail Meccas and a world class university.  That Washington County occupies about half the land area, the other Washington County is rural. The nature of that rural landscape spans the whole spectrum of country living from sprawling stately  “gentleman farm” estates with pedigreed livestock roaming inside white fences to some of the most rugged, remote, and inhospitable agricultural land in the region.  Those rugged landscapes are populated by two types of people; the ones that have deep family roots and the ones that have come here from somewhere else. The small land holders with ten and twenty acres regardless of their origins share a vision about their relation to the land – can they make a living on it? Small farming enterprises have historically abounded in the Ozarks.  The idea of self sufficiency and subsistence farming are compatible with much of the terrain and seem to suit the independent minded individuals that for some reason have chosen to live here.   But geographic isolation and bad roads made it difficult to get produce to market. Things began …

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  7. Lady Tigers Stay Unbeaten In Conference

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    February 14, 2011 by wcobserver

    By Brent Harrison WEST FORK- The Lady Tigers picked up three big conference wins to run its win streak to eight consecutive games. West Fork began last week with a 56-24 win over Elkins, the Lady Tigers jumped out to the early lead and maintained things down the stretch in a 54-31 makeup win over Cedarville on Wednesday. On Friday, the Tigers turned up the second half intensity and came away with a 55-34 win at Lincoln. West Fork 56, Elkins 24 After a nip and tuck first half that saw the Tigers whistled for eight fouls, West Fork put that behind them and played its game in the second. “[Melissa] Jones gets two fouls three minutes into the first quarter and that just put us in a bad spot,” West Fork coach Nathan Wells said. “We had a sophomore Sydney Franklin come in and do a great job for us. She scored for us in the first half and picked up her defense and showed a lot of toughness. We just hung in there in the first half and weathered all of those problems.” “We came back in the second half and played smart,” he said. “We played tough …

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