Mike McNeill is publisher and editor of

Oil & Lube Express, 701 E. Main, is getting a makeover – a new paint job on the exterior and remodeling on the interior. The business is closed while the work takes place. Bit by bit, East Main Street is brightening up with new and renewed business activity.

The Whataburger construction project is under roof, which means that the completion pace of work on the new restaurant will pick up. The concrete parking lot is massive – looks like they’re expecting a lot of visiting school buses.

The Wilson Bearden expansion isn’t under roof yet, but the sides are up.

Another possibility if you’re interested in locating on the Magnolia Square. The former Computer Troubleshooters building is for rent or lease. We are not real estate agents. We simply like keeping the square as busy as possible.

A large manufactured house is being installed in McNeil off Mulberry Street, north of Arkansas 98. A train-lover’s delight.

Speaking of trains, there’s been a lot of buzz in the rail passenger world in the past couple of weeks after Amtrak voiced its support for the merger of the Canadian Pacific and Kansas City Southern railroads. CP has traditionally been more friendly regarding Amtrak’s use of its tracks, and has signaled that it would be responsive to expanded passenger service. Among the possibilities are Amtrak service between Baton Rouge and New Orleans, and an Amtrak line from Marshall, TX to Meridian, MS. The latter would have the effect of linking Texas, north Louisiana and Mississippi with East Coast and Florida destinations through Atlanta. Yes, we would definitely take Amtrak from a North Louisiana station to Washington or New York.

We can think of a couple of places in McNeil that would be great locations for a Dollar General store.

We invited readers of the Magnolia Reporter page on Facebook to substitute any word in a song title with the word “bacon.” Many great titles. “It’s Raining Bacon.” “Don’t Go Bacon My Heart.” “Nothing Compares 2 Bacon.” “Girls Just Wanna Have Bacon.” “Stairway to Bacon.”

There’s a local business that appears to have come into the possession of a white elephant. We’ve made our suggestion as to what we’d do with it. There are entertaining possibilities.

Congratulations to the Rotary Club of Magnolia. Club members raised more than $1,000 through the sale of Christmas wreathes. Proceeds will be used in Rotary International’s fight against polio.

Cold weekend. Hot beverages.

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

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