Mike McNeill is publisher and editor of

Oh, Trent, you are now bashing electric vehicles as some type of liberal plot. We take it that your constituents can’t count on your support to help develop the South Arkansas lithium industry, which has the chance to employ hundreds of people directly or indirectly, pay millions to property owners through mineral leases, and make our region a leader in a new industry. It’s a narrow view to think that promoting electric vehicles is to the detriment of the oil industry. Petroleum, Trent, is used for many products other than gasoline. Lubricants, pharmaceuticals, fertilizer and pesticides, synthetic fibers, and asphalt among others, plus that most ubiquitous of products – plastics. Substituting lithium for petroleum as a vehicle fuel extends the availability of oil for generations. Electric vehicles powered by lithium, by decreasing the use of oil for gasoline, will also have the positive effect of lowering the price of oil for those other products, making them less expensive. South Arkansas is in the remarkable position of being able to supply our nation with both petroleum and lithium. South Arkansas is going to need help from state legislators to develop its lithium resources. It’s not too late for you to join the team.

There are signs that local COVID-19 cases may be creeping upward. Columbia County appears in good shape. The number of new cases has risen by two in the past 10 days, while the number of active cases has fallen from 16 to 6. Union County, however, is a different story. In the same period its number of new cases rose by 58. The number of active cases there has been steady, but have not fallen. Active Union County cases are actually up 1 during the past 10 days, at 66.

December, people! The Christmas countdown is officially under way. Remember the Christmas parade and SAU’s Celebration of Lights on Thursday.

“Elf Jr.” will be performed at the new Magnolia Performing Arts Center. Our earlier headline said it would be elsewhere. Our bad.

Unsecured creditor.

The Panther Paws have been mounted on the utility poles in Magnolia as holiday lighting.

It’s always a pleasure to dine at one of our downtown restaurants, especially when it’s a valued advertiser. JavaPrimo and glazed salmon never disappoints.

We don’t always come to learn about newsworthy happenings in a timely fashion. We do appreciate the news tips we receive.

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

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