Mike McNeill is editor and publisher of magnoliareporter.com.

The fall semester ends Friday at Southern Arkansas University, with commencement on Saturday. There will be a 52-day break before the start of the spring semester on January 13 with spring commencement on April 30. There will be no spring break except for one extended weekend starting April 2. March 5 will be a “virtual” class day. The condensation of the spring semester is another ramification of the COVID-19 pandemic. But wow, 52 days is a long gap. We will truly look forward to the return of students, faculty and staff to the SAU campus in 2021. Hoping that some of the worst will be behind us.

Christmas lights are going up around the Columbia County Courthouse. Chance’s Sprinklers has the contract with the Magnolia Advertising and Promotion Commission to perform the work. We do enjoy our front lawn having a cheery appearance.

Peoples Bank is replacing awning at its main branch.

Many banks are rolling back the extended hours they created when the COVID-19 epidemic hit. One imagines that more people have cracked the code of online banking during this crisis.

Cold today, hot tamale.

A throw away bit of news we found oddly interesting. Inspire Brands has purchased Dunkin’ Brands Group, which owns the Dunkin’ doughnut and Baskin-Robbins ice cream chains. Inspire Brands also owns Sonic Drive-in, Jimmy John’s, Arby’s and Buffalo Wild Wings. Maybe there could be some synergy with Sonic and Jimmy John’s to bring some of their sister companies into South Arkansas.

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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