Mike McNeill

Mike McNeill is publisher and editor of magnoliareporter.com.

This Saturday and Sunday will be one of the busiest days of the year in Magnolia as Southern Arkansas University conducts move-in days. Upperclassmen return to dorms from 1-8 p.m. Saturday. Freshmen take over from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. This means that Saturday and Sunday are two days when lots of people who are not familiar with our city will be in our hotels, eating in our restaurants, making quick trips to retailers for last-minute purchases, and getting a brief impression of our community. Make it a good one! Welcome our visitors. Help anyone who looks lost. Be prepared to give directions to SAU or to shopping areas from wherever you happen to be in the city. We know Magnolians have their favorite restaurants – be prepared to make a recommendation on where a visitor should go and what they should eat. A big welcome to our new and returning Muleriders. Magnolia isn’t the same without you.

This will be the first semester that the new Arkansas Hall will be in use as a residential facility at SAU. We’re looking forward to SAU’s need for its next set of dorms. Keep in mind that when SAU builds another set of dorms such as the triplets of Magnolia, Columbia and Arkansas halls, it will be well on its way to surpassing an enrollment of 5,000. Wow.

Justin Routon, site director for Lockheed Martin’s Camden operations, will speak to the Rotary Club of Magnolia during its meeting at noon today at the LifeSmart Center. The Camden operation supports all aspects of production and integration of launchers, missiles and rockets for the company’s Integrated Air and Defense and Precision Fires/Combat Maneuver Systems lines of business.

We’ve been publishing news about business incorporations in Columbia and surrounding counties almost since we launched in 2010. But we can never remember a more eclectic group than what we published today. New businesses starting up in our area include horse shoeing, a recovery center for women with addictions, home inspection, a chicken restaurant, art studio, jalapeno-style grill, veterinary clinic, a campus ministry, farm and ranch supply, and trucking services, among others. CLICK HERE to see the list.

The Columbia County Local Emergency Planning Committee held a tabletop drill this morning at the Reynolds Center.

With a new coach taking over the Magnolia football program, our readers appear more optimistic as the season approaches. We're posing our annual online poll about the number of games our readers think MHS will win this season. Last year, they were wrong. Magnolia was 6-4 -- almost 55 percent of our readers predicted the Panthers would win no more than four games. At present, about 58 percent of our readers believe Magnolia will win five games or more. They will get a pretty stout test during the Hooten's Blue Cross/Blue Shield Classic on August 27 when they play the Warren Lumberjacks at Wilkins Stadium. Yes, fans, let's keep in mind that Magnolia's football season starts in a little more than 12 days.

Dining news. Corner Clubhouse says that it will now be open for Sunday lunch. The Magnolia Travel Center has also posted a new menu, heavy with pizza, chicken and catfish entrees.

We miss not having a place around here that serves catfish steaks. Everything seems to be filets or nuggets.

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

CLICK HERE to read previous installments of Mike McNeill’s Diary.

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