Mike McNeill

Mike McNeill is publisher and editor of magnoliareporter.com.

We’re glad that Magnolia Police Chief Todd Dew is going to be OK after his bullet-resistant (avoid using the term “bullet-proof,” because they’re not) vest stopped a shot accidentally fired by another officer on Tuesday as they were executing an arrest warrant. Chief Dew was released following an examination at Magnolia Regional Medical Center. We’ve seen comments about this incident on social media, and one with which we lose patience is to the effect that Barney Fife needs to have his bullet taken away. Suspect apprehensions are real-life events that happen in real time. Accidents happen. When firearms are present, the potential results of accidents escalate dramatically. Certified police officers are trained in the proper use of firearms and they practice this craft frequently. And still, accidents happen. This is where we part company with the gun lobby, especially those who advocate that everyone should have a gun for self-defense purposes. No, not everyone should have a gun. They certainly should not have a gun if they are not trained in their use. They should not have a gun if they don’t regularly practice their use – including practices that simulate actual threats. Finally, they should not have a gun if they can’t handle the prospect of killing somebody. Police officers are trained and still, accidents happen. The vast majority of gun owners don’t have such training and this makes them a potential hazard to themselves and others.

There hasn’t been a new episode of “The Andy Griffith Show” in 51 years. Many of our readers will understand the Barney Fife reference. Wondering how many won’t.

Heads up that our official radio partner, KZHE-FM, with the Magnolia Chapter of Circle of Friends, will host the annual Radiothon benefiting Arkansas Children’s on February 20-21. If you, a member of your family, or a friend and their family has ever benefitted from the services of Arkansas Children’s Hospital, this will be a good time to demonstrate your support through a donation.

Taking official note that Community Compassion Center, formerly Magnolia Health & Rehabilitation, is now under the name of Magnolia Health Care. The location of many years at 2642 N. Dudney Road hasn’t changed.

The Columbia County Hayride returns to Union Street Station at 7 p.m. Saturday, featuring the Union Station Band. Admission is $10.

Brittany Bara, director of theater at Southern Arkansas University, will be the speaker at the noon Thursday meeting of the Rotary Club of Magnolia at the LifeSmart Center.

Yes, we’ve noticed that many Magnolia School District buses are a little “long in the tooth.” On the other hand, we predict a future glut in the local deer camp housing market.

And we’re all for eliminating as many excess deer as possible.

Mike McNeill is publisher and editor of magnoliareporter.com. Email him at news@magnoliareporter.com or call him at 870-904-3865.

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