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Between 2004 and 2019, according to a report, “The Expanding News Desert,” by Penelope Muse Abernathy of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, nine newspapers in the state of Arkansas have closed. Add two more to that number. Newspapers in Stuttgart and Helena-West Helena recently…

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The agriculture industry is a top economic driver for our state. Having input from those in a variety of agri-businesses and production operations is vital to crafting legislation that meets the needs of our producers. That’s why I visit annually with farmers, ranchers and industry stakehold…

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For 140 years, The Madison County Record has been telling the stories of this county and its people. It has printed birth announcements, marriage announcements and obituaries. It has covered news stories, sporting events, city council and school board meetings and various other meetings. It …

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The Congressional calendar designates August as an opportunity for members of Congress to spend an extended period of time back home. As such, I strive to use this time to travel around to different parts of our state and meet with constituents in a variety of settings because it provides nu…

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Arkansas recently set a new record low for unemployment. The unemployment rate for July was 3.4 percent, breaking the previous record of 3.5 percent last month. There are 19,200 more jobs in our state than this time last year.

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I grew up believing that change is never a bad thing. Sure, it can be scary sometimes to dive into the unknown, but change is the only constant in life and I learned long ago to embrace it rather than shy away from it.

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Students across the state are back in class for the 2019-2020 school year. As administrators, teachers and pupils begin diving into new lesson plans and formulating goals and objectives to work toward this year, we are all excited for what the future holds.

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The Senate will have a lengthy to-do list awaiting us when we reconvene in Washington next month. While some of the items on our to-do list will likely get slowed down by long, partisan debates, one that should receive quick, bipartisan support is the reauthorization of the highway bill.

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I was fortunate to grow up on a healthy diet of video games. When I was younger, I played games like Tetris and Super Mario Bros. and impossibly-hard Batman games. As I got older, my tastes drifted toward the macabre, violent worlds of the more action-packed, gratuitously violent video games…

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Secretary of Defense Mark Esper recently settled into his new Pentagon office after the Senate overwhelmingly approved his nomination prior to the start of the August work period.

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Most students in Arkansas public schools head back to the classroom the second week of August. From recess to reading, there are several pieces of legislation passed in the most recent session which will impact the upcoming school year.

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Before I moved to Madison County, I had never been to a rodeo. I didn’t grow up on a farm, the only horse I ever rode was in the video game, Red Dead Redemption (and I was dang good at it, too), and anything regarding the rodeo outside of the Garth Brooks song was completely and totally fore…

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The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution is one that I’ve always been fascinated by. Where some get up in arms (quite literally) about the Second Amendment, it’s the one before it that you’ll find me most vehemently defending. Essentially the freedom of words – of speech, of the press, t…

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Arkansas is approaching the centennial of a historic vote in the House chamber. On July 28, 1919, then-Gov. Charles Brough called a special session for the purpose of ratifying the Nineteenth Amendment.

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Fair trade agreements have become increasingly important to Arkansas’s economy over the last half-century. The world is more connected than ever. Access to global markets is necessary, not just for the large corporations that call Arkansas home, but also for small and medium-sized businesses…

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I’ve learned a lot of things in my years covering the inner workings of local and state government. I’ve had to familiarize myself with Robert’s Rules of Order, the Freedom of Information Act and open meeting laws. One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned, though, is that no matter how good t…

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Technology has changed the way we communicate. The improvements provide us all more efficient ways to reach our loved ones, stay informed and meet new people. For me, it’s made staying connected to Arkansans while at work in Washington a lot easier. During the school year, I’m able to talk w…

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The number of Arkansas children in foster care has fallen by more than 700 since reaching an all-time high in 2016. That information was part of an annual report presented a legislative committee this week.

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Have you had calls about issues with your Social Security number, a web page stating you have a virus on your computer and you need to contact a support number given, or local or trusted businesses calling to ask for personal information, and calls contacting you to blackmail you with person…

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We’ve just celebrated America’s 243rd birthday, so it’s fitting that the Senate recently passed the annual authorization bill that helps ensure our nation’s military is able to perform a fundamental role prescribed by the Constitution: providing for the common defense.

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I was never the smartest kid in school. I’m not even sure I’m the smartest person in the room right now, and I’m alone in my office as I write this. But I think those who excel above and beyond academically should be recognized as such.

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Madison County isn’t a county full of high-rise offices or board rooms. There are some offices scattered throughout, mainly in the county seat of Huntsville – the law firms, the insurance agents – but by and large, Madison County is a county full of workers who like to get their hands dirty.

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A retired colonel in the Arkansas National Guard recently shared his frustration with missing the signs of mental health struggles among a former soldier under his command. Similar tragedies are happening daily across the country, but veterans – who represent about 8 percent of Arkansas’s po…

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Arkansas is home to more than 600,000 acres of lakes and more than 90,000 miles of rivers, streams and creeks. As this is a popular time of the year for Arkansans to enjoy the waterways, we wanted to highlight boating safety in the state.

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The Huntsville School District is in a transitory phase. Though a month-and-a-half before the doors open and the hallways bustle with students, July 1 is the annual mark of a new year, and this new year is ushering in new leadership from the classroom to the district administration office.

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Arkansas agricultural producers feed and clothe the world. They need certainty and predictability in order to successfully operate their businesses, but too often federal regulations place unnecessary burdens on the industry. What our state’s farmers and ranchers want are simple, commonsense…

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Taxes don’t often go the way we want them to. We’re always either too taxed or our government bodies are too reckless with the hard-earned dollars we contribute toward those state, federal and local programs and projects. It’s why it’s always a selling point for any candidate running for off…

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The late Thurlow Fernandez, a World War II veteran who called Sherwood, Ark., home, recalled during an interview in the Library of Congress’ Veterans History Project (VHP) how a medical condition he suffered from on June 6, 1944, prevented him from participating in the invasion of Normandy, …

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that one in four adults in the United States have some type of disability. In Arkansas, that number climbs to one in three.

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Whether it is rebuilding a family home or planning for the loss of crops, our state will be recovering from these historic floods for months to come.

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The Arkansas River is experiencing historic flooding that has unfortunately resulted in Natural State homes, businesses and communities now finding themselves underwater. The water level has surpassed the record floods of 2015, 1990, 1941 and 1927. What we are facing is unprecedented; howeve…

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We began to collect the ballots cast throughout the county for our annual Reader’s Choice awards last week, and as such, the last seven days – and next several – have been spent thumbing through the newspaper pages and tallying the votes in our packets, eager to see who won each of our 90 ca…

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I’ve been told many times, as I’m sure you have, that you can’t place a value on human life. Well, now we have. The most that a human life or limb is worth is $250,000.

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Last week, it was announced that more than 4,300 Arkansas residents saw their Medicaid benefits taken away after failing to comply with Arkansas Works requirements that stipulate that they log hours of work or community engagement online.

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God and Guns.  These are the two issues. All talk and rhetoric seems to fall back to these two issues. God and Guns.  In small conversations, on social media, big news media like CNN and small ones such as our local stations, the focus is God and Guns.

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This time five months from now, we’ll have at least two new councilors in Huntsville and a new mayor in Hindsville, with the possibility of a new county judge and mayors in Huntsville and St. Paul (and possibly a new councilor in Madison County’s southern town). We’ll spend the next couple o…

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On Aug. 16, more than 100 newspapers across the United States are publishing editorials denouncing President Donald Trump’s mantra that the “press is the enemy of the people.” We are writing this editorial to stand in solidarity with our fellow newspapers.

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We’re smack-dab in the middle of the municipal filing period for cities and towns in Arkansas, and though only two people have filed for municipal races in Madison County, by next Friday we’ll have a much clearer picture of what our city leadership will look for the next few years. It may se…

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Educators and traffic safety officials have expanded their annual campaign to alert motorists that students are returning to school, so everyone should be more careful driving because children are again getting on and off school buses every day.