Business & Politics


Life of the Party

photo by Molly Kendrick
In 1980, election officials came to Ashdown High School and registered students to vote, those of us who had attained legal age. I was excited to be all grown up, ready to make my own decisions and do my part as a proud American citizen. But as I stood there awaiting my voter registration card, the volunteer, without an utterance requesting party affiliation, took a rubber stamp and slammed a big red “Democrat” on my card. She then handed it back to me and abruptly turned to the next kid. I walked away wondering, “What just happened?

3 Keys to the Future

photo by Matt Cornelius
We have great opportunities to move our city forward in the future, but it’s going to take a collective effort from everyone to see major progress. We have identified three areas of focus to best accomplish this. 1. Community maintenance, 2. Planning, and 3. Communication are the areas where we need to get everyone on the same page. Even though all three areas of emphasis are separate, they are also all interrelated. … 1. Community maintenance is something we can all do to build pride in our community and lift the standard by which we live. This will start with leadership.

We’re All In This Together

PHOTO BY Matt Cornelius/Submitted Rendering
Over the past year, it has become normal for “COVID talk” to creep its way into everyday conversations. Whether it’s with someone who is venting their vaccine opinion, or with another whose loved one is struggling on a vent in the Intensive Care Unit, it has become normal to accept that COVID-19 has crept in and decided to stay awhile.

City Of Texarkana, Texas Mayoral Candidates Q&A

photos by Matt Cornelius
November 2, it will once again be time to cast our ballots. Texarkana residents will have the opportunity to vote in the 2021 mayoral election and select between two incredible, highly qualified candidates. … Bob Bruggeman is the city’s incumbent mayor and has served Texarkana since May 2012. Previously, he served as city council member for Ward 4 from 2005-2012. … Dr. Brian Matthews is an assistant professor of management at Texas A&M University-Texarkana and served as a city council member for Ward 4 … from 2012 to 2017. … Make sure you get out to vote on November 2!

Honor for Service

official portrait courtesy of Senator Boozman’s office
We recently marked the 77th anniversary of D-Day, the start of Operation Overlord that helped turn the tide of World War II. Like those who came before them and their successors, the men and women of the Greatest Generation were heroic yet ordinary people who were asked to do extraordinary things—and they did. … My dad was a waist gunner on B-17s during the war, and he continued his career serving our country in uniform for years afterward.

A Rich Heritage

photos by Matt Cornelius
With the COVID-19 pandemic pushing millions to work from home over the past 18 months, it has brought about the end of the traditional office and changed our view of the workplace as we once knew it. Working from home has become the new normal for many Americans and professionals around the world. It has forced us to create workspaces that allow us to perform at our highest capacity, while also being surrounded by all the comforts of home.

Getting Technical

Auto Body Technology program at Texarkana College. photo by Michael Ulmer
Our nation has focused heavily in the past two decades on the importance of a bachelor’s degree and has equated that with success. As a result, we are now seeing a shortage in skilled laborers. A career and technical education (CTE) pathway, once considered a “back-up plan,” currently has a starting salary equivalent to, or more than, masters graduates. It has become normal to see ads and marketing initiatives across social media platforms targeting people who have received CTE.

The Team of Eight

photo by Matt Cornelius
“Who in their right mind would ever want to serve on a public school board?” … I was asked that question in 1997 when I first sought election to the Texarkana Independent School District Board of Trustees. Twenty-four years later, 14 of which I spent as a TISD Trustee (1997 to 2003 and 2013 to the present), I can happily report that I have never found a more rewarding experience. … School board members (or trustees) are elected by voters in the school districts they serve to make important decisions about their local schools.

A Seat in the People’s House

photo by Brian Jones
On January 6, 2021, Congressman Pat Fallon was at the Capitol in Washington, D.C., just three days into his newly elected office representing the Fourth Congressional District of Texas. What began as a normal day on the Chamber floor ended historically as the Capitol was stormed by a rioting mob. … “We were sitting in the Chamber at the Capitol when somebody whispered in Nancy Pelosi’s ear, and she left,” recalled Congressman Fallon. “The Capitol police came on the microphone and said there had been a breach in the Capitol, and we were in lockdown. Nobody knew what was going on.

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