Mike McNeill

Mike McNeill is publisher and editor of magnoliareporter.com.

Bill Dailey was the speaker on Thursday during the Rotary Club of Magnolia’s weekly meeting. He is the Pea-R guy for the Emerson PurpleHull Pea Festival, a volunteer job from which he’s retiring after this festival. Bill and the festival have done a remarkable job promoting both Emerson and purple hull peas, including a front-page article three years ago in the Wall Street Journal. Festivals are important to small towns as rallying points and for their ability to create a sense of community. There are many towns known as much for their festivals – Hope and Warren come to mind – as for their corporate existence. The festival is in two weeks – June 28 and June 29.

Dailey revealed that the festival is scheduled to have a celebrity guest in the PurpleHull Pea Shelling Contest. Former North Webster Knights and LSU football star Devin White, who was drafted fifth overall by Tampa Bay, is set to appear.

This is magnoliareporter.com’s ninth consecutive year of sponsorship of the Emerson PurpleHull Pea Festival’s Rotary Tiller Race, and our eighth year in conjunction with radio station KZHE-FM.

This is the Juneteenth Festival weekend in Magnolia. CLICK HERE to see our earlier report about the schedule.

Today is Flag Day. The Magnolia Junior Charity League has taken on the responsibility of distributing United States flags during this day of honor to Old Glory.

Flags are in the news. Little Rock's Flag and Banner, a major national distributor of flags, announced this week that it will no longer offer for sale the Confederate flag. Owner Kerry McCoy said that the flag has become a "hate symbol" and felt this is the time to disassociate itself from the flag. 

We can’t give you a direct link for legal reasons, but we can tell you that on Thursday, the Cheney (WA) Free Press published an article by Shannen Talbot headlined, “Retired Seahawk Babineaux gives advice to up and coming athletes.” The article describes comments that former Southern Arkansas University football star Jordan "Big Play Babs" Babineaux made to youth athletes during a visit to Fairchild Air Force Base.

We know a young couple that is moving back to Columbia County. His last action before leaving Texas? He bought a pick-up.

Amtrak’s Texas Eagle has resumed service through Southwest Arkansas following its suspension due to flooding along the Arkansas River. The daily train between San Antonio and Chicago makes stops in TexARKana, Hope and Arkadelphia.

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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