Mike McNeill

Mike McNeill is publisher and editor of magnoliareporter.com.

This was the first day for one-way traffic on Jefferson and Washington streets on the Magnolia Square. It was clear that not everyone was getting the message – one vehicle we saw entering Washington Street from the north was a City of Magnolia truck. It seems almost crazy that this is true, but it appears that with the departure of the Columbia County Annex staff to the former West Side Kindergarten, the square is as busy as ever. There are a few reasons being used to justify the one-way streets, but we think the best one is that it makes parking easier for many people, and creates more parking places. For ourselves, we firmly believe that if you can’t parallel park, you don’t have sufficient skill to merit a driver’s license. But that’s us. Angle parking is easy and at least around the Magnolia Square, that’s what merchants and businesses appear to want.

The Magnolia Square was certainly a happening place on Tuesday with Blue & Gold Day festivities. There was a large crowd of SAU students and townspeople who enjoyed the booths, free food, entertainment and other activities. Blue & Gold Day commemorates the start of the fall semester at SAU, which began today. We’re looking for a banner year at the state’s largest university south of Pulaski County.

We’re expecting to hear soon the name of SAU’s Distinguished Speaker Series’ 2019 personality.

A couple of crime-related notes that have just come to our attention. Tammy Eason, 54, of Springhill, LA, who was charged with arson in connection with a fire at a house she was renting, died in custody on Thursday, July 25, at the Webster Parish Women’s Jail. Eason, who suffered from a variety of medical issues, collapsed in her cell and was deceased when paramedics reached her. Last year, we told you about Courtney Palfreeman, 40, the executive director of the Rotary Club of Springdale. She was arrested after $245,000 was discovered missing from club accounts – a fact that came to light shortly after former Magnolia Rotarian Karen Gean Talbot took over the presidency of the Springdale club. Palfreeman entered pleas last December to theft of property and second-degree forgery. She received 20 years on probation and was ordered to pay $150,000 in restitution. We would have noted all of this earlier but as we said, they’ve only just come to our attention.

We have received the city’s building permit list for July. There’s a big one among them, and a new house in a neighborhood that hasn’t seen one in a while. We’ll be publishing the list on Thursday.

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

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