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  1. Finding Love Later in Life

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    February 13, 2012 by wcobserver

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    WASHINGTON COUNTY – Wedding bells aren’t just for young love birds looking to start a family and grow old together. It’s also for those who’ve also had family and have lived a long, active life with many years to go. Often, these later marriages come after individuals have lost their spouse. Eager to continue experiencing the joys of a dedicated relationship, these folks start new lives together when many may consider it time for them to settle down. About 250,00 people over 50 remarry each year, according to studies conducted in 1998 and 2004. Here in Washington County, we have many couples who married later in life and certainly seem to be very happy, indeed, many appear to be in a perpetual honeymoon stage. With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, here are two of those happily married couples who found each other later in life. Wes and Irma Ekles For Wes and Irma Ekles, the song “Please Mr. Postman” may be a fitting theme for how they met, except these two only needed a mailbox. Wes moved to West Fork in 1999 and joined the First Baptist Church. Irma, who moved to West Fork from Winslow after her hus- …

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  2. 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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  3. Swingin’ and Swayin’ in Elkins

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    February 8, 2012 by wcobserver

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    ELKINS – 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. On any Friday night, you can find 120 to 150 friendly people dancing, enjoying snacks from the concession booth and just generally having a good time. Among them will probably be Whitley Anschutz, who has been volunteering there since she was five years old while her father, Ray Anschutz, patrolled the area as a deputy sheriff. Whitley is part of the band Shadow Creek, which plays there three nights a month. Other members of the band include Lisa Turner on the drums, Rick Jones on the keyboard, Jackie Baker on bass and Billy Mounce on guitar. “A few years ago, the disco ball had to be retired,” said Whitely. “But the floor is nicely lighted by multiple strings of tiny white lights while dancers scoot their boots to country tunes and swing their partners to square dancing numbers.” And boy, do they swing! In the soft light of the overhanging bulbs, folks like Wiley Hobbs and his sister Evelyn Hayes twirled around the Community Center’s dance floor with aplomb. After …

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  4. A LEGION OF PLEASANT GAMBLERS: Prairie Grove Groups Hosts popular Bingo hall

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    January 21, 2012 by Lillian Winkler

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    Playing Bingo in church basements, le-gion huts and union halls has been around a long time, but in years past, the legality of the pastime was somewhat fuzzy. After all, it is a type of gambling. The Arkansas legislature granted legal status to the games in 2007 with the pass- ing of the “Charitable Bingo and Raffles Enabling Act.” It ensured that non-profit, tax-exempt organizations could be licensed to operate bingo games. Things got even better two years later when Governor Mike Beebe signed a law lowering the penny-per-card tax on charitable bingo to three- tenths of a cent. The Prairie Grove American Legion has done a great job of taking advantage of these new laws. Every Thursday, people from all around south Washington County gather to play Bingo at local Post 146. Fortunately, with this kind of gambling, no one frowns upon bringing your children. People of all ages can enjoy the fun and the food, even the babies and in-laws. And anyone 18 or older can play, and make some money. The game has provided numerous funds for other people and organizations in need. “I have to keep track of every penny that comes in and out of …

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  5. A True Holiday Miracle: New family enjoys its second Christmas together

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    January 8, 2012 by Terry Ropp

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    This holiday season is a milestone in the lives of the Brasuell family. Tracy and Laurie and their adopted son, Ty, spent their second Christmas together. It was one of a happy and complete family done without the many adjustments adoptions bring, especially if the child originates from a foreign country like China. The home was filled with Christmas decorations and joy and thankfulness. “We were 20 years without children, and I thought I might miss some things,” Laurie said. “The truth is those things just don’t matter anymore; Ty does.” Then Tracy added, “Everyone says Ty is the lucky one, but we are the lucky ones. What did we ever do to deserve this much luck?”

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  6. Welcome to the Potter’s Place

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    December 19, 2011 by Velda Brotherton

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    WINSLOW — Each year Cheryl Buell holds a two-day open house at her studio in Winslow to display her pottery. The exhibit is a popular place to visit during the December showing. This year, an enthusiastic crowd began to show up as soon as the doors opened. It only takes a quick tour of the well-stocked studio to understand why Cheryl has such a following.

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  7. A Life Built Brick by Brick

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    December 10, 2011 by Terry Ropp

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    WEST FORK — Ronnie Coker of West Fork labels himself a brick mason. When he was very young, Ronnie talked to an old stone mason who said, “I like to lay rock because you got to pick out the right one to make it fit.” The idea captured Ronnie’s mind, and he had a career.

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