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Daddy Warbucks

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Bird flu in our backyard
Tyson does the right thing
The electronic media rolled out their chicken house footage last week scaring the bee-Jesus out of lots of folks here in NWA with the bird flu story. While there was something going on, the over-the-top footage didn’t match the real situation.
Here’s the scoop: Tyson Foods, discovered a lone house of brood hens tested positive for a mild strain of bird flu and quickly destroyed 15,000 birds, but the news footage showed 100,000 bird houses. The small flock was on a “Security Farm” south of West Fork.
The business implications are widespread. A finding like this in the U.S. automatically shuts down all foreign shipments to Russia for 90 days. Wow. And then there will have to be more and more tests to assure both national and international customers that the flocks are (1) safe, (2) bird flu free and (3) safe to consume.
Interestingly, it was Tyson, not the government, who reported the finding.

A Streak and a waste
It looks like a two-for-one deal. A local engineering firm will study the crumbling parking deck at the rear of the Washington County Courthouse and look into the feasibility of building an across street parking deck. Good luck and oh, yeah, the study has a $40,000 price tag.

Mega phone company
Verizon bought Arkansas based Alltell for 28 billion bucks last week. Wow. Once they were just a itty bitty regional phone in the sticks of Arkansas, now with the merger, we once again have a mega phone company.
Talking head trip
Well the thousands of Wal-Mart share holders who came to NWA last week for the annual Wal-Mart Shareholders meeting have come and gone. The Wal-Mart talking heads had plenty to tell them, since the company showed a 3.9 percent boost in sales last month.
Nine times the money
It didn’t take long for the sale of the old Roberta Fulbright Library (around a million five years ago) to come into play for the Washington County courthouse expansion. Why didn’t Washington County, buy that piece of land before and save all us taxpayers some dough? The price tag is now $9 million and the fancy smanchy changes are not anything that the county offices would keep. Now the owner of the old, outdated, but plenty popular IGA Store, a block away is offering it for sale to the county.

Of Course, Of Course
Wal-Mart Shareholders got preferential treatment last week while the rest of us will be dealing with slow downs, delays and traffic back up for maybe six months on North College. Last Friday when the Wal-Mart Shareholders meeting was taking place in Fayetteville, the work on College Aveune, which has been back-burned for eight years was delayed for that special day.
And no one can talk
All this mess about the Fayetteville Government Channel’s restriction on free speech is oh, so boring, but oh, so important. Let’s hope all the free speech folks rally on this cause.

A fond farewell
Enigma Gallery owners Nancy and Bill Ward have sadly announced that after 15 years, they are ready for new challenges and plan to close the shop in downtown Fayetteville. Enigma has featured some of the best handmade jewelry, crafts and gifts found anywhere in NWA.

Bridgedale, no
Bridgedale, a planned development, unwisely included some self-storage units in its plan and the city said no go. Those golf players out at Stonebridge may need a storage facility for their carts, but not near their course. That elusive affordable housing that’s always talked about by council members, took a major step backwards (again) with this vote.

To tower, or not to tower
Verizon wants to put up a 130 feet high tower at 85 W. 15th St. Any one want to complain? There’s one week left to do so. Write to Angelina Bethercott, Verizon Administrator, 5804 TriCounty Parkway, Shertz, Tx 78154.

No more plastic
To combat waste and pollution, Ozark Natural Foods is no longer offering plastic grocery bags to its customers. Wahoo. The local co-op kicked off its “Trim Your Waste” campaign in April to commemorate Earth Day, and quit offering the plastic bags in May, when the store’s existing supply was exhausted.

In the money
Fayetteville is getting the largest portion of some $5.5 million that had somehow been overlooked in the state coffer. Fayetteville will get around $400,000 of the $2.2 million that’s going to the 12 county NWA area.

Talking and taking
Looks like Razorback head football coach Bobby Petrino is off on the public speaking tour and making some scratch. He’s recently been featured in full-page ads for a teleconference in the area. A hefty fee to sit and watch the live feed from a satellite is big bucks.

Hurricane downgrade
The rumored $1 million that the UA was said to have offered to the University of Tulsa Golden Hurricane to play the UA Homecoming has been downgraded to a tropical storm of only $850,000. Apparently the UA got $50,000 back from Utah State, who said they’d had enough whuppin’ in Fayetteville and didn’t want to return as the Homecoming game goat this year.

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