Mike McNeill

Mike McNeill is publisher and editor of magnoliareporter.com .

Magnolians witnessed a few snowflakes and sleet on Tuesday. Snow in Arkansas on Tuesday was limited to the southeast corner of the state. The Monticello area received an inch of snow with Hampton, Warren and McGehee receiving a half-inch. Camden and El Dorado officially recorded traces. Our local temperature dropped from a high of 78 on Monday to 37 on Tuesday morning. Early today, the low was 29 and there was frost. We have recorded 0.67 inches of rain since Sunday, which was the first rainfall of the month. Our YTD rainfall is 44.84 inches.

Observations from Amfuel’s groundbreaking Tuesday for a new spray room. First and foremost, we’re pleased that the new ownership group at Amfuel is more open about its activities than previous ownership. Michael Accordino, president of the “new Amfuel,” recognizes that the company’s local reputation has suffered greatly in the past couple of decades. Amfuel appears committed to turning around both the business, which emerged from bankruptcy last year, and the reputation. Officials from the Defense Contract Management Agency heaped praise on Amfuel’s growing workforce, which includes many people who have returned to work there after quitting. What’s not well appreciated about Amfuel fuel cells is that it’s not a mass production process. It’s a craft skill that takes people time to learn. Lastly, we do appreciate the men and women of Amfuel who have hung in there through the ownership changes. The DCMA officials – Army officers – called the Amfuel workers “heroes.” They have worked hard to save a Magnolia industry that’s been operating since the early 20th century. Yes, that’s pretty heroic.

Finals are under way at Southern Arkansas University. Fall commencement is Friday.

Joe David Rice, director of the Arkansas Department of Tourism, will speak to the Rotary Club of Magnolia during its meeting at noon Thursday at the LifeSmart Center.

The Boys & Girls Club TV auction is Thursday. Here’s a link to our story, which contains the list of goods and services that are up for bid.

The formerly wooded lot between Firestone Drive and Sprig Street off North Vine Street has been cleared. This is the lot just north of the Amfuel building. It’s for sale.

It’s beginning to look at lot like fireworks tents. Tis almost the season.

Our new online poll question asks readers how much money they will spend on Christmas gifts this season. We ask this question annually and as before, offer five response options. The responses are well divided among those options so far. Our online polls are not scientific but we do regard them as a decent gauge of local opinion. The early results indicate that our readers plan to spend more money on gifts this season. We’ll see if that trend holds up during the next couple of days.

Mike McNeill is publisher and editor of magnoliareporter.com. Email him at news@magnoliareporter.com .

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


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