Mike McNeill

Mike McNeill is publisher and editor of magnoliareporter.com .

Street lights in Magnolia are a step above useless. Always have been. This isn’t a reflection on recent city administrations because, as we’ve said, our street lighting has always been poor. Perhaps this is weighing more heavily on our thoughts since the reversion to standard time but, yeah, when it gets dark in Magnolia, it’s really dark. First, there aren’t enough lights. Second, the lights we have provide a minimum of illumination. We can’t even bring ourselves to say that there are a few places in Magnolia that are better examples of street lighting. Street lights are not our only concern. Some business locations have great exterior lighting. Walmart and Wendy’s come to mind. But others don’t. We were at one fast food restaurant last night that for some reason had none of its exterior lights on, and the nearby street lights were little help. We were three feet from the building and almost could not see it. There’s little to be done about it, we suppose, other than to encourage better lighting at new commercial buildings and in new subdivisions, and insist on improved street lights in the future.

Speaking of lights, the Christmas lights are going up around the Columbia County Courthouse.

Magnolia High School Principal Chris Carter will speak to the Rotary Club of Magnolia during its meeting at noon today at the LifeSmart Center.

President Donald Trump will visit North Louisiana for the second time in a week today, with a 7 p.m. speech at the Century Link Center in Bossier City. Air Force One will land at Barksdale Air Force Base at approximately 6 p.m., and a short motorcade will take the president to his rally on behalf of a Louisiana gubernatorial candidate. 

Following up on a previous item in this column. Harrison voters rejected on Tuesday a three-fourth cent sales tax that would have funded a $40 million bond issue for recreation improvements. The tax would have expired once the bonds were paid off. Voters also rejected a one-fourth cent tax that would have paid to maintain the new recreation center, and improve other Harrison parks. The proposal: Three indoor swimming pools and an outdoor water park, indoor track, basketball courts, fitness room, conference room and banquet facility, eight baseball/softball fields and a 3.5-mile walking trail.

The Magnolia Panthers meet Pulaski Academy in the Class 5A football playoffs on Friday. In August, we conducted our annual poll that asks the question: “How many games will the Magnolia Panthers football team win this season?” The results of that poll:

Five to seven wins, 75 votes, 43.37 percent.

Four wins or less, 68 votes, 38.41 percent.

Eight wins or more, 34 votes, 19.2 percent.

So how has Magnolia fared against Pulaski Academy in recent years?

2016 -- Pulaski Academy 49, Magnolia 25, first playoff round.

2009 -- Magnolia 38, Pulaski Academy 23, regular season.

2008 -- Pulaski Academy 63, Magnolia 25, regular season.

2007 -- Pulaski Academy 49, Magnolia 25, first playoff round.

Despite the big loss to PA, 2008 was the last time Magnolia advanced beyond the first playoff round thanks to a 17-14 win against Central Arkansas Christian. Monticello beat Magnolia the following week, 35-16. Magnolia went 8-4 in 2008.

Win or lose, it’s always a treat to watch Pulaski Academy play a football game because of the unconventional thinking of PA Coach Kevin Kelley. A brief review: The Bruins never punt on fourth down, and they don’t try to return punts. When the Bruins score a touchdown, they go for two points. After the score, count on an on-side kick. And as a special added attraction, the Bruins’ kicker this year is sophomore Savannah Goodwin. Throw in a few trick plays – the Panthers know they have to be ready for anything.

What is your chief concern about life in Arkansas now? Our new online poll lists 10 issues. It occurred to us after the fact that we omitted some obvious possibilities, including health care, government regulation, drug abuse and access to good housing. Well, there are a world of issues, and perhaps we will include those and others in later poll, and then offer a cage match featuring the top choices.

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

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