First and foremost I have to send a HUGE Shout out to Cowboy Chevrolet for loaning me a car to drive while mine has been in the shop. Unfortunately, my Kia is going to cost way too much for me to fix. So, I’ll be getting Cowboy Chevrolet to find me a replacement. In fact, I’m hoping by the time you are reading this column, it will have already happened.

I am about ready for the rain to stop! For more than a day or two! It wouldn’t bother me if it didn’t rain again until May! I’ll need some then to water the garden I plan on having. I think there are still plots at the Community Garden if you like to garden. If you don’t know, the Community Garden is open to anyone who wants to plant a garden. Contact Michelle Mobley at the Extension office and she can let you know what to do to get a plot for yourself.

I’ve heard a lot of talk, mostly complaints, about the Arkansas Democrat Gazette stopping their print newspaper. I think I heard they would still print Sunday, but not the daily. This is the subject I have written more than one column about. It is really a case of numbers. When advertisers stop advertising in the newspaper, the owners have no choice but to cut back. It starts with staff, then it becomes less pages in the paper, then it can no longer afford to print the paper. What so many fail to realize is that a newspaper takes money to support it. That means advertising revenues and subscriptions. What people also don’t realize is that the newspaper is the fourth branch of government, because we are the watchdogs.

In a conversation with a friend today about this, she said, “I get my news on Facebook.” I had to laugh and remind her that just because it is on Facebook doesn’t mean it’s true. President Trump is right about one thing. There is a lot of fake news out there. Your local news media doesn’t report fake news (at least not knowingly). We report the local events which isn’t as easy as you might think. We depend on others to let us know what is going on when and where. I like to joke I’m not psychic, i’m psycho. It’s amazing how many people think I know everything that’s going on though. I don’t know how they think I do, by osmosis or esp?

Back to the stopping of the print paper, as I said if revenues are not there, papers will stop. The five newspapers that closed already in the state should have been a wake up call to businesses and people everywhere. If you enjoy reading the paper, support it. It is not easy to produce a paper twice a week reporting the local news, but we try. We have four people in our office, one for editorial (me), one for circulation, one for classified advertising and one for display advertising. Our office at one time, I believe had close to ten people working here. So now four are doing the work of ten. I said all that to say this, if you like local news in the local paper, support it. If you own a business, advertise with us. We have a website that has between 35,000 and 50,000 hits per month, that’s a lot of hits for a small town paper.

Until next time...