Mike McNeill is publisher and editor of

Joining today as a temporary advertiser is the Murphy Arts District in El Dorado. It is promoting ticket sales for its upcoming concert by country music artist and Bastrop, Louisiana’s own Dylan Scott on Friday, April 23 in the MAD Amphitheater. The concert will be socially-distanced, but it will be “live and in-person” as civic life slowly starts getting back to normal as COVID-19 recedes. People who click on the ad will be redirected to MAD’s Dylan Scott concert page, where they can learn more about him and order tickets. We appreciate the Murphy Arts District using to promote the concert among our readers in Columbia County and South Arkansas.

Don’t let your COVID-19 guard down. Get tested if you’re showing symptoms. Get the vaccine when it’s your turn and in Arkansas right now, it’s just about everyone’s turn. Get the second shot if you need one.

There was no county wide emergency last night, but that didn’t stop the warning siren system from activating due to a problem. Most of the sirens shut down after an initial five minutes but one siren near Magnolia High School kept blaring before it was shut off. We hope to hear a fuller explanation later.

We cruised the countryside a little this past weekend, and it was the first time we saw the clear-cutting that has taken place on U.S. 79 south at Steel Mill Road. Some fine deer hunting there in a couple of years.

It may soon be time to start a closer watch of the United States Drought Monitor. Almost all of Texas except for the northeast corner is in some stage of drought. Arkansas is currently in good shape.

We’re not in the habit of promoting individual items we’ve bought off the shelf in a store, but we can’t speak highly enough of the Alligrabber. Other items like it exist, but we recently decided that two were not enough so we bought two more. The first two were stationed at our desk and in the kitchen. There’s always something we need to pick up and don’t want to bend over while doing so. The new long-reach grabbers have been deployed in the laundry room and inside our Benton Alley exit. There are days when trash needs to be picked up in the alley. We used another to police the paper goods, cans and cigarette butts people leave near our Magnolia Square footage.

Today is the Columbia County Day of Giving. CLICK HERE for more details.

After the green plague stops falling, Magnolia could use a good power wash.

Vegetable salad.

The Medical Center of South Arkansas in El Dorado will soon start construction of an 18-bed behavioral health unit at a cost of $2.75 million. MCSA will build out 10,000 square feet on the second floor of its south wing for the unit. We’ve said many times that all of Arkansas needs more facilities for the care and treatment of people with mental health problem. A South Arkansas institution is stepping up to the challenge.

Get your McNeil Festival on the Rails Pork Chop Cook-off tickets at the McNeil Water Office. The festival is Saturday. Advance tickets are $10 but go up to $12.50 the day of the festival.

Remember, too, to watch for clues for the $400 Festival on the Rails Treasure Hunt, published on

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

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