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  1. Law and Order Jan. 28 – Feb. 5

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    February 9, 2012 by wcobserver

    Washington County Arrests • Bobby Rice, 49, of Farmington, was arrested Jan. 28 by the UAPD on a charge of possession of a firearm. • Tracy Terhune, 41, of Farmington, was ar- rested by the FPD Feb. 1 on a charge of violation of the Arkansas hot check law. • Theodore Collins, 56, of Farmington, was ar- rested by the FPD Feb. 1 on a charge of public intoxication. • Kevin Bell, 19, of Prairie Grove, was arrested by the FVPD Feb. 1 on charges of failure to ap- pear, failure to pay fines and costs and is being held for another department. • Jake Tompkins, 19, of Lincoln, was arrested by the WCSO Feb.1 on charges of DWI, posses- sion of controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia and fleeing. • Halley Hellyer, 19, of Lincoln, was arrested by the WCSO Feb. 1 on charges of public intoxica- tion, disorderly conduct, fleeing and resisting arrest. • Brian Bell, 30, of Elkins, was arrested by the WCSO Feb. 3 on charges of aggravated assault on a family or household member, endangering the welfare of a minor, DWI, violation of implied consent, driving left of center and no turn signal. • Joshua …

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  2. Dancin’ in Elkins

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    February 9, 2012 by wcobserver

    If you are anywhere between the ages of nine and 90 and like to dance, the Community Center in Elkins is the place to be on Friday nights. Check out the Observer’s feature story on the weekly dance here Photos by Jeff Winkler

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  3. Wake Me Up When January Ends

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    February 8, 2012 by Alison Grisham

    January can be such drag. For the first six weeks of the year, people are buzzing around trying to better themselves. Everyone seems to be organizing, purging closets, redoing budgets and attempting to fulfill lofty resolutions that won’t be set aside until mid-February when reason kicks in. But the worst offenders are always the dieters. When I hear people talking about a post-holiday diet, all I can think about is choking them with a delicious Krispy Kreme. Here’s the thing — I know all about sacrifice. I grew up in the Northeast, where an entire corner of the country lives on Catholic guilt. Steak houses have to squirrel away money for months to get through the “no meat” Fridays of Lent. ​In the grueling weeks before Easter, kids stop eating candy and mom’s give up their 4:00 pm relationships with boxed wine. It’s a wonder there isn’t more domestic violence during that kind of sacrifice. But at least there’s an end in sight. Things balance out on Easter and everyone gets back to normal.January is so much worse, because people start making, what they call, “lifestyle changes,” and they never want to go it alone. Some clown gives up soda in, …

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  4. Another Christmas, Another Shift with the Kettle

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    February 8, 2012 by Steven Worden

    Sure, I prepare for Christmas as care- fully as the next guy: put up the tree, string up some lights around the mantle, set up the creche on the bureau with the Three Wise men w-a-a-y across the living room, ever so slowly making their way over the furniture, hopping from coffee table to end table, struggling to get to the stable upon the bureau by Christmas Eve. I also put up a string of those big ole multi-colored light bulbs up across the roof eaves, pulling a massive drain on the Ozark Co-op’s power grid. I even set up my small, lighted angel in the front yard, to stand demurely back between a couple of post oak trees. I do all the usual things. But again, nothing, no, nothing, says “The Savior Is Born!” quite like ringing the bell for the Salvation Army. I called up the “Good Ol’ Salvation Army” the last week before Christmas and asked for a shift. It wasn’t until I showed up at the Food Court Entrance at the Northwest Arkansas Mall, that I realized what I was in for. It was about 28 degrees, windy, and on the Northeast side of the Mall. …

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  5. Remembering the Debit Man

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    February 8, 2012 by Milton Jones

    The Debit Man, with his large leather bound collection book, was a familiar figure during much of the 20th Century. He would make his rounds through the neighborhood, collecting small insurance premiums in cash and recording the transactions in the homeowner’s premium receipt book. Along with the milkman and the Watkins peddler, home service insurance thrived until fairly recent times. If you owned this kind of insurance, it was not unusual for the Debit Man to appear at your door every week. Typically, the policies were of $500 or $1,000 face amounts, and premiums might be 25 cents a week, per policy. Perhaps there was a $1,500 policy on the father, $1,000 on the mother, and $500 on each of the three children. The official name for these weekly premium policies was “Industrial” insurance, and has its roots in the changing society brought about by the industrial revolution. As people left their small farms to work in the factories, they also left behind the inherent security of their farm. Living in crowded cities, families often did not have money to properly bury their dead. Existing life insurance policies called for an annual premium, which few people could afford. In answer …

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  6. OBSERVING HISTORY: Not Your Father’s Observer

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    February 8, 2012 by Steve Winkler

    The Jan. 28, 1988 edition of the Washington County Observer cost a quarter for ten cram packed pages. The editor for that issue was Robert J. Caudle, publisher was Parker D. Rushing. Judy Tiller was the business/ advertising manager, Judy Housley was the office/production manager and Dick Steffes, was the circulation manager. Front page headlines pointed to a story on the progress of the solid waste incinerator that was being considered for construction in Fayetteville. The project was controversial and eventually rejected by voters. A front page photo by Judy Tiller showed the SpeDee Mart store on Hwy. 71 in about the same stage of construction as the new Dollar General store building is now. Another page one story reported on progress being made on the Washington County History Book project and requested submission of church histories. “…[it] will be the first county history of its kind to be published since the Goodspeed’s history of Washington County published in 1889. It will include a 400-page section of county history written by Joe Neal, [read Joe’s column in this issue of the Observer] special sections for church histories, school histories, including the University of Arkansas; organizations histories and business and professional …

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  7. White Rock in Mid-Winter

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    February 8, 2012 by Joseph C. Neal

    White Rock is way out in the middle of the Ozark National Forest and the Boston Mountains. Birding is good with Hermit Thrushes and Golden-crowned Kinglets in a stand of native shortleaf pines. Male Purple Finches are enjoying coralberries and tree buds right alongside Forest Service Road 1505. Flocks in scattered weedy openings include juncos, gold- finches, and cardinals. Field Sparrows decorated twigs poking out of an old rock wall in the ridgetop farming community of Bidville. Despite a record-breaking ice storm, a forest-decimating outbreak of borer beetles, and relentless cutting of the Federal budget, the Forest Service has managed to keep difficult, mountainous, winding roads to White Rock safe, open and even improved in places, including attractive road signs. From Combs in Madison County, I drive along Mill Creek, where in early January Hamamelis vernalis, Ozark Witch Hazel, is covered with rather elegant reddish blooms. Unfortunately, off-road vehicles are damaging Mill Creek bottomlands. Freshly eroded tracks and huge mudholes are visible without effort. Fresh nobby tracks go right past “Road Closed” signs. From Mill Creek, the forest road ascends toward White Rock. Along some of those high ridges another Hamame- lis species, American Witch Hazel with cheery yellow flowers, …

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