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Harry Porter: Is Congress worth it?

As I write this, there is a real possibility that the government will shut down because the politicians are unable to reach an agreement. It caused me to begin to think about Congress and if its members are earning their money.. . .

Jeremy Gillam: Session to address health care

The Arkansas Constitution allows the governor to call the General Assembly to the Capitol for an extraordinary session. This is often referred to as a special session. The governor will be calling the General Assembly into. . .

Tax too much for some

"Be not one of those who give pledges, who put up security for debts. If you have nothing with which to pay, why should your bed be taken from under you?" -- Proverbs 22:26-27 It isn't just $60...

John Boozman: New tools to combat prescription drug abuse

Prescription drug abuse is a nationwide epidemic that's hitting close to home. In Arkansas, the sale of opioids is 25 percent higher than the national average. Arkansas Act 820 signed into law by Gov. Asa Hutchinson earlier this. . .

French Hill: Disaster preparation event beneficial to all

This week, we will observe the three-year anniversary of the devastating tornadoes that rocked the cities of Mayflower and Vilonia. Since then, we have seen the remarkable recovery of those communities due in large part to the...

Steve Brawner: Death penalty: At least change it

Arkansas' attempt to execute eight inmates in 11 days has led to a lot of discussion about whether the death penalty should continue to exist, and that discussion should continue. But given that polls show a strong majority of. . .

Asa Hutchinson: River offers much recreation

We have endured the early mornings and late nights of the 91st legislative session, which is enough to require some rest and recreation out of town. And with a special session looming in May, the Buffalo River getaway the first...

Steve Brawner: Marijuana more limited, still legal

It was a good legislative session for some (gun rights supporters), a bad one for others (supporters of more highway spending) and for supporters of medical marijuana, it was as good as could be expected. The amendment passed by. . .

Justice enough in Jones execution

"When justice is done, it is a joy to the righteous but terror to evildoers." -- Proverbs 21:15 The death penalty is meant to be a punishment. It is supposed to be a deterrent. It is intended to...

Harry Porter: Our legal system on trial

Many of us have been watching with great interest the legal battles taking place in our courts regarding the death penalty. As I am writing this column on Tuesday afternoon The US Supreme Court has declined to allow Arkansas to. . .

Steve Brawner: Uncivil discourse at town hall

There's regular intelligence, and there's emotional intelligence, which is the ability to recognize and control your own emotions and to influence the emotions of others. If you're a member of Congress, you need both, but if. . .

Hannah Hackworth: Everyone essential to growth

Since working at the chamber, I have come to love Searcy history. "Searcy, Arkansas: A Frontier Town Grows Up with America" by Raymond Lee Muncy is full of stories of the founding, naming and growing of Searcy. My favorite story...

Asa Hutchinson: A compassionate alternative 

This week, I had the privilege of addressing 250 professionals at the statewide drug court conference in Little Rock. These professionals have embraced a compassionate alternative to prison. Our drug courts give judges and...

Harry Porter: The color of coffee

I’m 51 years old and I can honestly say that up until about three months ago I had only drank two cups of coffee in my life. I decided three months ago that I needed a little extra boost to get me through my morning. . .

Execution stays injust, inevitable

"Justice is turned back, and righteousness stands far away; for truth has stumbled in the public squares, and uprightness cannot enter." -- Isaiah 59:14 It was inevitable. After all, you don't spend 21...

Tom Cotton: Voting in a voice of reason


Last Friday, I voted with a majority of my colleagues to confirm Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. It was a weighty decision; the stakes don't get much higher than a lifetime appointment to the court of final appeal. But. . .

Steve Brawner: Controlled chaos at the Legislature

Now that the regular session lacks only a planned one-day return May 1 before adjournment, 12 legislators have written letters to their chambers asking the record to reflect they didn't mean to vote a certain way on a particular. . .

Steve Brawner: Technological tax cuts

If you're reading this, there's a good chance you've cut your own taxes in recent years by evading them, probably unwittingly, thanks to the Internet. That would apply to you if you are buying products online these days from an. . .

Asa Hutchinson: Women in technology

I recently saw the Oscar-nominated film "Hidden Figures," which prompted me to also read the book of the same name by Margot Lee Shetterly. "Hidden Figures" shares the true story of three African-American female mathematicians...

Harry Porter: Your positive news source

Why can’t the newspaper have more positive stories? All you ever print is negative stuff. These are comments that I hear on a pretty regular basis. I welcome those comments because it allows me the opportunity to show. . .

Steve Brawner: Execution imagery

"Image," tennis player Andre Agassi said in a commercial in his younger, long-haired days, "is everything." That's not true, of course, and Agassi grew to deeply regret uttering the words. But for any state trying to compete in. . .

Hannah Hackworth: It takes a village

A few weeks ago at the Think Idea Studio ribbon cutting, Mat Faulkner, creator and owner of Think, thanked a very long list of people for helping with the Robbins Sanford renovation. Not only did he thank his wife, family and...

Steve Brawner: Passion beats polling

Here's how Arkansas state politics really works: a disconnected majority often matters far less than a passionate few. Certainly, the majority matters -- particularly on election day. That's when 1.1 million out of 3 million. . .

Harry Porter: The disease of daytime TV

Due to illness I spent some time at home last week watching daytime television. To say it is a sign of the coming apocalypse may be an overstatement but I doubt it. First off what is with all of the reality shows? Everyone is. . .

Finding shopping center's pulse

"An intelligent heart acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge." -- Proverbs 18:15 To steal a quote from Mark Twain, the rumors of a proposed Searcy shopping center's death...

John Boozman: Meeting the needs of every veteran

Our female veteran population continues to grow each day as more and more women answer the call to serve our nation in uniform. Today, there are more than two million women veterans in the United States. There are over 20,000...

Steve Brawner: Reform instead of repeal and replace

After the American Health Care Act failed in the House on Friday, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan said this: "I don't know what else to say other than Obamacare is the law of the land. It's going to remain the law of the land. . .

Roy Ockert: ASU searches for new leader

While the lightning-quick search for a new men's basketball coach attracted all sorts of attention, Arkansas State University is quietly searching, with all deliberate speed, for a new Jonesboro chancellor. Notably missing from...

Asa Hutchinson: Measures will drive economic development, serve Arkansans

After nearly three months, the work of the Arkansas General Assembly is nearing completion. And while there is more work to be done, I am very pleased that all of my legislative priorities have passed. The first item we tackled...

Letter to the Editor: Family thankful for community support

Dear Editor, When storms come, it is good to know that people still care. After a tornado hits your home and property, recovery has to happen. We would like to thank the city of Kensett, White County Judge...

Steve Brawner: Beyond any doubt

Next month, Arkansas is scheduled to execute eight convicted murderers in 11 days after not executing any since 2005 because of legal challenges and difficulties obtaining the drugs. Last Tuesday, legislators considered three. . .

Asa Hutchinson: Arkansas' tourism boom

Earlier this week, I joined nearly 400 tourism leaders at the 43rd annual Governor's Conference on Tourism. It was an opportunity to highlight the outstanding accomplishments of those in Arkansas' tourism industry and to kick off...

Decisive action deserves praise

"To do righteousness and justice is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice." -- Proverbs 21:3 The firing of Searcy Information Technology Director David Sawyers came as somewhat of a...

Steve Brawner: Blessed is the peacemaker

Over the course of a three-month session, legislators make thousands of speeches at the Capitol. Last Friday, Rep. George McGill, D-Fort Smith, gave one of the most memorable -- ever. The issue was Senate Bill 519 by Sen. David. . .

Hannah Hackworth: Volunteers are needed

It's no secret volunteerism is low and continually drops with each year. According to the Corporation for National and Community Service, only 24.9 percent of people volunteered in 2015 nationwide. The state of Arkansas was even...

Steve Brawner: Should do, can do about bathrooms

Sometimes, it's more about what the government can do instead of what it should do. Such might be the case with the topic Gov. Asa Hutchinson was hoping to avoid, a bathroom bill, the Arkansas Physical Privacy and Safety. . .

Harry Porter: Be vigilant in regards to mental illness

When did being organized become a disease? I can’t tell you how many times I have been called O.C.D. in my life. In my mind I’m just organized and like to think and plan ahead but to some I guess I have a disorder.. . .

Steve Brawner: To be continued

A good movie features lead characters facing a high-stakes challenge that they overcome after considerable tension and drama, leading to a satisfying conclusion. If that's the case, this year's General Assembly of the Arkansas. . .

Roy Ockert: University systems push for greater secrecy

Leaders of Arkansas' two university systems are wasting their precious resources while trying to deal a crushing blow to freedom of information and their own transparency. Apparently, they have too much time on their...

New program encourages healthy living

Last July, Savannah Shields of Fayetteville was crowned Miss Arkansas. Just a few months later, she earned the title of Miss America. Savannah, or Savvy as she's commonly known, ran on the platform of Eat Better, Live Better. She...

Steve Brawner: We're all welfare queens

Should welfare recipients be required to pay back the state if they win the lottery? Maybe the better question is, should all of us? Those questions came to mind after hearing a presentation by Rep. John Payton, R-Wilburn, of his. . .

Bill could shape history

In July 1962, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. sat in a small jail cell in Birmingham, Ala., and penned a collection of his most powerful sermons, which were later compiled in a book called "Strength to Love." In that book of sermons,...

Steve Brawner: Death, taxes and Lake View

We've all heard the old Benjamin Franklin adage that the only certainties in life are death and taxes. For many years, Arkansans have been able to add "public schools getting more money" to that list. That's because of a series. . .

French Hill: A new approach

The early days of the Bill Clinton White House didn't paint the rosiest portrait of American governance. From Whitewater to the failure to pass the health-care law they promised, the futility and chaos of the early Clinton years...

Steve Brawner: Health care in an unhealthy nation

You may have noticed that a while back, a Democratic president and a Democratic-led Congress tried to fix health care, and while more people do have health insurance, health care costs are rising. You also may have noticed that a. . .

Martin C. Hawkins III

Martin C. Hawkins III,was born May 20, 1930, in Little Rock, Ark., the only son of Dr. Martin C. Hawkins Jr. and his wife, Marion Alexander. His family later moved to Searcy, where he grew up. After a brief but eventful...

Stevie Lee Sherrill

Stevie Lee Sherrill, 58, of Griffithville, died Saturday, March 4, 2017. He was born July 4, 1958, in Newport. Stevie was a truck driver and the type of man that never met a stranger. He enjoyed talking about trucking, being with...

Steve Brawner: Health care in an unhealthy nation

You may have noticed that a while back, a Democratic president and a Democratic-led Congress tried to fix health care, and while more people do have health insurance, health care costs are rising. You also may have noticed that a. . .

Martin C. Hawkins III

Martin C. Hawkins III,was born May 20, 1930, in Little Rock, Ark., the only son of Dr. Martin C. Hawkins Jr. and his wife, Marion Alexander. His family later moved to Searcy, where he grew up. After a brief but eventful...

Harry Porter: The few that serve the many

I recently spent some time talking with an active duty military officer. He told me some information that I found astounding. He informed me that currently there are only 1.4 million active duty military personal serving our country. That includes the four major. . .

Supplying help to tornado victims

"Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others." -- Philippians 2:4 There are a lot of things that go through your mind when you hear that a tornado has...

Steve Brawner: When Democrats should vote for Republicans

A couple of thousand mostly Democratic-leaning participants gave Sen. Tom Cotton an earful last week during his rowdy town hall meeting in Springdale. While civic engagement is good (and civil discourse would be even better),. . .

Asa Hutchinson: Efficiencies and Model T's

Several years after Ford Motor Co.was founded, the Model T hit the market in 1908. It captured what Henry Ford wanted for the everyday American -- an affordable, reliable and efficient automobile. To keep up with the high demand,...

Steve Brawner: Could Democrats become states' rights party?

People tend to think about how things work in relation to how well they're working for them. That's why some Democrats, who've won the popular vote but lost the electoral vote in two of the last five elections, want to get rid of. . .

Reason to cry over raw milk

"An intelligent heart acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge." -- Proverbs 18:15 The merits, or lack thereof, of raw milk are something we have to each decide for...

Steve Brawner: Cotton the populist

Sen. Tom Cotton made a name for himself because of his combat service, support for the military, opposition to the Iran deal and fierce criticism of President Barack Obama. These days, he's talking a lot about a top issue in the. . .

Legislators visit to hear from you

Last week, the Searcy Leadership Institute toured the state Capitol. I have never been to the Arkansas Capitol before, so I was very intrigued to discover how the government was working at the state level. Throughout the day, we...

Steve Brawner: Tort reform: shades of gray

Arkansas legislators sometimes cast difficult votes on shades-of-gray issues where values conflict and where it comes down to which side they think is more right or less wrong. In November 2018, so will voters. That's because the. . .

Asa Hutchinson: The story of Scipio Jones

When I think about black history in Arkansas, I am always reminded of the pivotal role black Americans have played in the development of our state. From trailblazers like Daisy Bates, to poets like Maya Angelou, many exceptional...

From the Publisher: Board members wanted

It always amazes me when people are surprised by the impact of a story that appears in The Daily Citizen. People are stunned that something that is read by 10,000 of their friends and neighbors in White County can. . .

From the Editor: One life worth changing addresses

"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go." -- Joshua 1:9 Making changes, whether great or small, can be difficult, even if they are for the best. When we...

Steve Brawner: All politics is now national

"All politics is local," the late U.S. Speaker of the House Tip O'Neill used to say, but that's no longer the case. Now, all politics is national. That's according to Dr. Alan Abramowitz, an Emory University political science. . .

Steve Brawner: Follow the money

There's a scene in "All the President's Men," the movie about The Washington Post reporters who dogged the Richard Nixon White House until the president resigned over Watergate. Reporter Bob Woodward, played by Robert. . .

Harry Porter: Exploring sleep technology

When did sleeping become such a chore? Recently my wife decided she wanted to buy a new mattress. Simple enough, I thought until we actually went to the stores and began to be told about all the options. I never knew there were so many options when it came to. . .

Steve Brawner: Campus guns: Whose choice matters?

Should college and university employees with concealed carry permits be allowed to bring their weapons on campus, and, just as importantly, who should make that decision? That's what's being debated in the Legislature. House. . .

Steve Brawner: Where the Arkansas GOP might divide

To sum up the first few weeks of the state legislative session: Republicans mostly agree on most of the big things and the few remaining Democrats might as well have stayed home. But that could change -- particularly the first. . .

From the Publisher: Traveling has changed

I recently took a short vacation with my family. We drove to eastern Tennessee and it took us about seven hours by car. Traveling that far in a car with a 7-year-old is an interesting experience to say the least.My wife, Vicky, and I planned out the trip as. . .

Steve Brawner: Using the Constitution to fix itself

Sometimes, Americans these days can be so distrustful that systemic change can occur -- even if they would like that change -- that they won't take advantage of a mechanism that would make it possible to at least try. I'm. . .

Steve Brawner: The wrong wall

After signing executive orders regarding trade, abortion and Obamacare, President Donald Trump has begun addressing the issue that propelled him to the presidency: illegal immigration. Specifically, he wants that wall on the. . .

Harry Porter: Safety in numbers

Part of my job is to make sure our readers get their newspapers. From time to time I find myself out and about looking for addresses so I can deliver a newspaper. Sometimes it is before daylight when I am conducting these searches. Something I have discovered is. . .

Steve Brawner: Out of the shadows

Last Saturday, Ana Aguayo stood on the steps of the state Capitol and admitted -- proclaimed, you might say -- before thousands of people including police officers that she was committing a crime. Ana, 28, is an illegal. . .

Steve Brawner: Medical marijuana survives close vote

There was a moment this past week when the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment, approved by 53 percent of the voters in November, looked like it might effectively die in the Arkansas House of Representatives. On Tuesday, Rep.. . .

From the publisher: Owing the working poor

$443.26 per week is the poverty line for a family of four in The United States according to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. The Census Bureau states that 13.8 percent of Americans live below this line. White County unfortunately exceeds the. . .

Voters: Let us choose on road taxes

This may be true -- Arkansans believe the state's highways need work, and many are willing to pay to improve them, but not at the pump. And this definitely is true: They want to make that choice, not have it made for them. That's. . .

Harry Porter: Old Man Winter strikes again

It was an eventful week to say the least. Winter weather always presents a newspaper with unique challenges but last Friday’s weather was a tough one. The timing of the snowfall and the duration made our delivery process. . .

Steve Brawner: Monday maybe the last King-Lee holiday?

On Monday, Arkansans will join Mississippians and Alabamians in honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Gen. Robert E. Lee on the same day. It might be the last time for Arkansas. The three states are the only ones that combine. . .

Steve Brawner: Ethical, irresponsible behavior

If you're one of 435 Americans who can get yourself elected to Congress, then by definition you're probably politically astute -- which makes what happened this past week all the more hard to figure. After being handed the reins. . .

Harry Porter: Judgment for judgment's sake

I found it interesting that even before Donald Trump announced the members of his cabinet people were lining up to either bash them or praise them. This is before many of them had even spoken a word about their proposed new post or what they and Mr. Trump had. . .

Steve Brawner: When lawmakers gather, expect the unexpected

The elections have mercifully ended, so now is when the actual governing begins. On Monday, 135 legislators will descend on the state Capitol and become very busy very quickly. How busy? In the space of three months in 2015,. . .

Zach Dailey: Too little, too late for Obama

After months of veiled threats and outrage, President Barack Obama finally did it. I figure he felt like he had to. After all, there had to be a scapegoat for the resounding defeat the president's party suffered in November. FBI. . .

Steve Brawner: 2016 wasn't so bad

More than a few people are expressing their hopes for a happy new year by saying good riddance to the old -- the basis being that they aren't happy with the presidential election, along with the fact that a lot of famous people. . .

Harry Porter: A stormy personality

When did it become necessary to name winter storms? From some research, I discovered The Weather Channel began this practice in 2012. The reason given at the time was "A storm with a name takes on a personality all its own, which. . .

Steve Brawner: Flushing bathroom distraction

When the Legislature meets in regular session starting in mid-January, Gov. Asa Hutchinson wants to cut taxes, increase funding for the state's foster care system, and change the way colleges and universities are funded. What he. . .

Zach Dailey: Getting it backward

It's a backward world when you call the cops to protect you and instead end up on the ground, your family in handcuffs. Yet that's exactly what happened to Jacqueline Craig of Fort Worth, Texas. Here's the situation: Craig's two. . .

Steve Brawner: The six voters who mattered

The campaign that began a year and a half ago finally, mercifully ended last Monday in the Capitol's Old Supreme Courtroom, when the only six Arkansans who ultimately mattered in this presidential election one by one said firmly. . .

Zach Dailey: Taking look at North Carolina

North Carolina is an interesting case study. It has become one of the premier swing states, and a sought-after prize in presidential elections. Barack Obama won North Carolina in 2008; Romney barely edged him out in 2012.. . .

Steve Brawner: Arkansans of the year

Last week, Time magazine announced its "Person of the Year," based on who its editors believe had the most impact, for good or bad, in 2016. It's choice was President-elect Donald Trump. Based on that criteria, who would. . .

Harry Porter: Parental gag reflex

One of my favorite Christmas memories is when my daughter Cadyn was 3 and received a new baby doll for Christmas. This doll would talk to you, take a nap, eat and even need her diaper changed. It is when the doll needed the first. . .

Steve Brawner: Drinking from a fire hose to set pot rules

When you go to school to be a doctor or a pharmacist or a lawyer, you have to learn how to drink from a fire hose -- do a lot of work and absorb a lot of information quickly while bearing important responsibilities. Good thing. . .

Zach Dailey: Oversea relations

One of the big knocks against President-elect Donald Trump was his lack of foreign policy experience. I figured things might get sticky once Trump assumed the presidency. Turns out President-elect Trump is capable of causing. . .

Steve Brawner: A simple request of Congress

Here's a simple request of our elected officials when they gather in Washington next year with Republicans in charge of everything: If you're going to cut taxes, please cut spending, too. I make that request for the future. . .

Harry Porter: Christmas panic

I guess I am in the minority. A recent survey conducted by about.com states that nearly 75 percent of Americans completed their Christmas shopping by the Saturday after Thanksgiving. I certainly have never had my Christmas. . .

Has iPod, wants family

"Oh, my word," Anthony said, his eyes lighting up as he saw that one of his gifts was an iPod Touch - one of many presents he received that day at his birthday party at a Little Rock restaurant. What he really wants is a. . .

Tweets hard to ignore

The day after Donald Trump was elected president, I followed @realDonaldTrump on Twitter. I had seen a lot of President Trump's tweets in the media during the campaign -- it was hard to ignore them. The tweets mostly seemed. . .

Steve Brawner: Arkansas should honor the most honorable

Congress a few years ago spent $600 million to build a visitors center at the Capitol, and one of the first things those visitors see is a statue honoring an Arkansan whose views on race came from his own time, and need to stay. . .

Harry Porter: Santa needs the work

Looks like Santa may have hit some hard times. He seems to have taken on several other jobs this year. I have seen him selling everything from vehicles to razors and all things in between. Looked up the other day and there was. . .

Cuba in market for rice, ideas

Fidel Castro is dead. How does that affect people in Arkansas? Maybe a lot, especially if they work in the rice industry or are elected to represent people who do. Cuba's 11 million people import 400,000 tons of rice each year,. . .

Trip puts wildfires into perspective

When my fiancee Sara and I went to visit my family in South Carolina over the Thanksgiving break, I didn't realize we'd be battling wildfires on the way home. I knew that it had been pretty dry here in Searcy, and my in-laws told. . .

Republican era dawning

They say it's always darkest before dawn. After this year's election, and the days afterward, Democrats in Arkansas have to be wondering if they've reached that point, or if it's still only about 3 a.m. Republicans, of course,. . .

From the Publisher: Time flies

Well, she made it. My oldest daughter Ally got her first grownup job. She was very proud and excited, as am I. She is a librarian at her alma mater. It seems like just yesterday she was born and now she is a 23-year-old woman. I have to admit it really made the. . .

Steve Brawner: Spending needed for caseworkers

While most of us are enjoying a Thanksgiving meal with our families, 5,200 children in Arkansas also will be fed a meal -- but not by their parents. That's the number of children who are in the state's foster care system, and it's risen by more than 1,000 since. . .

Zach Dailey: Parties all hypocrites

I never thought I would be writing an article about Hillary Clinton's supporters rioting and refusing to accept the election results. I figured I might have to address the topic if Donald Trump lost, but I never considered that Clinton's supporters would respond. . .