Mike McNeill

Mike McNeill is publisher and editor of magnoliareporter.com.

Lots of news happening around the Magnolia Square. Bad news first. The Corner Clubhouse was more severely damaged than originally believed on June 28 when part of the north wall was destroyed by a car that was fleeing from Magnolia police. Repairs will require several weeks, the owners say. That’s unfortunate and everyone wishes The Corner Clubhouse toward a rapid recovery.

Bridget’s On the Square has acquired the former Faulk’s Fireplace building between The Corner Clubhouse and The Bella Magnolia Salon and Spa. Bridget’s won’t be moving from its location a few doors down, but will be operating from two different locations. We are very familiar with this building – we’d made an offer to buy it and were running down estimates for a remodeling loan before Shan and Steve Morgan contacted us with an offer to sell 120 N. Court Square, which was already suited to most of our needs. But the Faulk’s Fireplace building would have been great, too. We’re not surprised that it sold quickly and wish Bridget’s On the Square much success there.

The floor has been stripped out from the storefront between the Magnolia Bake Shop and Three Friends & Co. The floor’s beams have been exposed, which certainly means that someone has big remodeling plans. We don’t know what’s ahead but we always look forward to new neighbors.

The City of Magnolia has also completed the new curb for a half block of North Jefferson, running alongside The Perfect Cup. A new fence protects the sidewalk from the traffic side of the one-way street.

Rotary Club of Magnolia members had a successful Zoom meeting on Thursday. It was the club’s first effort to get together since the pandemic hit. About three dozen Rotarians met from about 28 different Zoom camera locations. They heard Anna Smith, president of the Magnolia Junior Charity League, talk about league activities. These included participation in the Dolly Parton Imagination Library, and the upcoming Cram the Bus school supply campaign.

What a strange day Thursday turned out to be. We sat at our desk and met with our fellow Rotarians virtually. An hour later, we participated in the governor’s daily COVID-19 press conference from Little Rock and got in a couple of questions via Zoom. Thursday night, we watched from home as the Magnolia High School Class of 2020 received diplomas in Panther Arena. Aside from the pandemic, videoconferencing technology is what 2020 has become all about.

Wear your mask in public, friends. One of our readers told us that a local industry had its first COVID-19 positive this week. We'd mention it, but it's not the first and it's certainly not going to be the last. Five Columbia County residents have died from COVID-19. More than 103 have been infected by the virus and there are 23 active cases. Don't be surprised if all of those numbers double within two weeks -- three at the outside.

We did not receive the obituary, but we know that former Southern Arkansas University history professor Dr. David H. Sixbey, 85, died Sunday in Flippin, AR. He was an Honor Professor and a Professor Emeritus. He launched SAU’s exchange program with Moscow University, and the university’s Black Studies program. He is survived by his wife Jean and sons Eric, Patrick and Peter.

It’s going to be hot next week.

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

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