After four days of watching the Republican National Convention and a day of watching the Democrats, one thing is clear: Regardless of who wins in November, it's been a lot better year for liberals than it's been for conservatives.
The Olympics is envisioned as the ultimate athletic competition, the arena in which the pinnacle of human ability and skill is on display.
I recently received a letter from an Arkansas mother who described the heartache she is experiencing because addiction is tearing apart her family. With two sons struggling with addiction, she has little resources to get them the help they need to fight their dependence.
You're not a reptile, so don't let yourself be treated like one this election cycle.
A friend of mine asked me the other day if I thought it was possible that he had the early stages of the Zika virus.
Members of the Education Committee are learning more about a plan to increase the number of college graduates in our state.
Ready for some good news? Do you remember a few years ago when Arkansas' public schools had inadequate Internet connections, and there was a big controversy, and it seemed like this was going to be another one of those huge political fights requiring a lot of taxpayer dollars?
"[Police] have a really difficult time in communities where they know guns are everywhere. And as I said before, they have right to come home and now they have very little margin of error in terms of making decisions. So if you care about the safety of our police officers, then you can't set aside the gun issue and pretend that that's irrelevant."
Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin is pushing an idea: Cut spending first and then cut taxes. It's so crazy it just might work, which is why he wants to try it in Arkansas and why, hopefully, someone will try it in Washington, D.C.
"If anyone's work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire."
It won't be long before our kids are heading back to school. As legislators, we all look forward to seeing how our students as a whole have progressed from the year before. But as parents, we know that transition from summer days to school routines can be tough.
In today's edition you will notice a page saluting four White County veterans. We have been asking readers to submit photographs and a little bit of information about local veterans. We have gotten an overwhelming response and we will be featuring four local veterans on the third Sunday of each month.
All the bad news and societal changes lately probably have a lot of people yearning for the good old days. When exactly were those?
Love it or hate it, Facebook is a better gauge of social opinions than any polling organization.
What would happen if the president were an average person, not a member of the country's political and wealthy elite? Matthew O'Connor would like to give Americans a chance to find out.
I guess there is a new addition to our household. My wife saw a stray kitten run into a culvert on the side of Highway 267 this past Sunday. She made several attempts to retrieve the cat with no success. She even came all the way back home and had me go with her to try and figure out a way to get this kitten out of the culvert. So here we are standing on the side of the Highway trying to get this kitten out. We tried everything from calling it, to food, to one of us rattling a plastic bag at one end to try to scare it out the other end. Nothing worked.
"Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits."
Fishing was the event for July 4.
At the end of every June, we receive a report on just how much money came into the state over the past 12 months and how much money is left over after we have paid all of our budgeted expenses.
Voters complain each presidential election about their choices, but that's especially true this year. According to Real Clear Politics' compilation of polls, Hillary Clinton is viewed unfavorably by 55.5 percent of voters and favorably by only 39.7 percent, while Donald Trump's numbers are worse: 61.1 percent to 33.4 percent unfavorable to favorable.
If you've visited any news sites on the Internet within the past year, I'm sure you've noticed the same thing I have -- sensationalist headlines. Here's a couple just from this past week:
Presidential candidates can't possibly fulfill all their campaign proposals, and few would even want to try. But what would happen if Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump actually did what they said they want to do?
Is a 69-year-old perfectly acceptable to serve as a judge, but a 70-year-old too old? That's sort of how the state of Arkansas looks at it.
On Monday, the Supreme Court, which is still operating with only eight members because of the GOP's refusal to have a hearing on Merrick Garland, President Obama's nominee to replace Scalia, struck down Texas' strict laws concerning abortion as unconstitutional.
You know the story about Nero fiddling while Rome burned? It didn't actually happen, but it illustrates a point about leaders crazily ignoring a problem.
House members are spending time this summer studying two important issues that will impact many of us this fall. At the forefront of conversations in committees last week were discussions on pay for school teachers and a separate issue that will affect hunters in our state.
"And the Lord answered me: "Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it."
As I drive down the roads of White County I have noticed a law being broken fairly frequently.
Arkansans are compassionate, hard-working people who care deeply about making Arkansas a special place to live.
One of the biggest stories in Arkansas this year involves four legs -- and I'm not talking about the two apiece used by Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.
The recent criminal trial of Brock Turner, a student-athlete at Stanford University who raped an unconscious woman behind a dumpster, has reignited the outrage over college sexual assault.
Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Wednesday was in "a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do" mode, and seemed comfortable with it.
"Do you not say, 'There are yet four months, then comes the harvest'? Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest.'"
According to a study entitled Reading Literacy in the United States, 61 percent of low-income families have no books at all in their homes for children. This study also found in low-income neighborhoods, the ratio is 1 age-appropriate book for every 300 children.
Pea Ridge High School senior Tyler Cope, 17, was a waitress. Now, she's a certified nursing assistant making $11 an hour. More importantly, she's well on her way to a good-paying future in nursing. Thirty of her fellow students also have CNA licenses, while others are learning skills in other career fields. And it all happened partly because of two sisters and a cup of coffee.
Probably all of us know what happened early Sunday morning in Orlando, Fla. I thought about writing an angry piece about the now common occurrence of mass shootings, or a piece about the inability of our government to do something, anything, to try to fix the problem. I thought about writing a foreign policy piece about the threat of ISIS, or a national security piece about the difficulty of combating homegrown, lone-wolf terrorists.
The quickest route to saving the state millions of dollars may be the $119,000 extra it's spending on one of its new employees.
This past weekend my wife and I were discussing what it would be like if we won the $120 million dollar lottery drawing that occurred Saturday night. Like many others we had gone out that day and purchased two tickets with the smallest of hopes that one of our tickets would be the lucky one. We didn’t let a little thing like the odds being 176 million to 1 get in our way.
Being efficient in government not only means saving taxpayer dollars, it means improving the services we provide to our citizens.
"So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God."
Details from the autopsy report for Prince, the recently deceased musician, have been released.
Where Arkansans practice pure democracy -- we make the laws rather than elected officials doing it -- is in the ballot issues. This year, those led by citizens could be a lot more interesting than those referred by the Legislature.
Last year, the President Barack Obama administration reached a deal with Iran over its nuclear program.
Some things in government are hard, such as providing health care to 250,000 poor Arkansans, maintaining the state's highways without raising taxes, or taking care of 4,900 foster kids. What should not be hard is maintaining a house.