Clinton S. Thomas, Th.D.

Clinton S. Thomas, Th.D.

A published writer of poetry, fiction, and non-fiction in both the digital age and the pre-digital age of publishing. Currently serving as editor and writer for the Four States News, all while living life across the four states region from Texarkana, USA. (http://clintonsthomas.com/)

Recent Articles

Water Damage Forces Miller County Courthouse to Move

Moving help continues to be needed. Damage posted 2-19 on the Miller County Facebook Page

Miller County, AR: According to Miller County Judge Cathy Hardin-Harrison, the contents of the entire Miller County Courthouse must be moved quickly to allow for repairs. During the recent snow and ice storm, the courthouse was damaged when water pipes burst throughout the building during power outages. The damage was most significant in the basement, first and second floors. Several pictures online have showcased the extent of the damage and local news outlets have carried the story. Continue Reading →

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Girls Basketball Team Shines With Act of Love

Opinion: On December 8, the girls of Chapel Hill High School Basketball team showed the world the true meaning of sportsmanship and love which goes beyond a game of basketball.  When the game whistle blew the designated tip-off player refused to jump for the tip.  As the Bowie Simms Girls Team took possession of the ball, the Chapel Hill player calmly walked toward her teammates in the corner of the gym where they were kneeling in respect.  Bowie Simms easily made the layup and opening point at which time the Chapel Hill team rejoined the game.  This simple act of respect and honor caused an immediate response.  In the stands, the Chapel Hill and Bowie Simms fans all understood the symbolic gesture made by Chapel Hill.  Immediately a standing ovation was given by both sides of the gym. 

On November 7, Bowie Simms lost one of their high school players to a tragic car accident.  Devastated by the loss, the team canceled their scheduled November 13 game with Chapel Hill as the Bowie Simms team and community mourned.  At Chapel Hill, the team followed the updates, prayed, and received word from Coach Matt Garrett on how the community was holding up. 

Coach Matt Garrett has coached girl’s basketball teams to four state championships.  Needless to say, he knows basketball, and he knows sportsmanship as it’s an important part of his life.  Coach Garrett in reference to the girls’ actions, stated, “there are times that there are things bigger than the game of basketball.” 

Garrett says his team wanted to accomplish two important things by kneeling in the opening moments of the game.  They wanted to honor the grieving family, school, and community first.  They also wanted to use the moment to show other students the meaning of respect and honor above the game. 

Sometimes older generations worry about the future. We worry if the younger generations will rise and be the type of leaders and adults our nation needs. Well, the girls of Chapel Hill Basketball team just showed the world that it is going to be okay.  By showing compassion, love, and respect that goes beyond good sportsmanship, they transcended into outstanding young adults.  With young people like this team from Chapel Hill school in the small town of Mount Pleasant, Texas, coming to age as young adults, we can rest assured the future is in great hands. Chapel Hill Basketball Team Takes a knee
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County Committee Named “Best Overall County” in Arkansas

Miller County, AR: On Saturday December 5, the Republican Party of Arkansas held a statewide meeting and named the Miller County Republican Committee (MCRC) the “Best Overall County” in the state for 2020. There are seventy-two counties in the state of Arkansas with operating Republican committees. Currently all the state Constitutional offices are held by Republicans as well as all Congressional offices. The party also enjoys a majority at the capital in both the Arkansas House and Arkansas Senate. The Miller County Republican Committee was recognized as “Best Overall County” for work to help elect Republican candidates on a county, state and national level. Continue Reading →

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Mystery Clean Up Man Gains Cheers in Fouke, Arkansas

“Fouke Mystery Clean Up Man”

Fouke, AR: The Facebook group “Fouke are cheers and jeers” came alive on social media yesterday due to a mystery man on 71. A simple “Cheers to this man for cleaning up 71” was posted, followed by dozens of comments. Comments ranged from “That’s awesome,” to “on Main Street” and “He has gone from the EZ Mart all the way down Main Street…Bless him.” One person even suggested the mystery man deserves an award. In a time when the trash is easily tossed out the windows of moving cars or dropped by people without any regard for how it makes a town look, it’s refreshing to find someone cleaning up for no reward. Continue Reading →

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Local Man Honored with Prestigious Fourth District Republican Award

Bill Poynter

Arkansas: Bill Poynter has been a Republican in Arkansas longer than any other member of the party.  Poynter, an oil and gas consultant by trade, has served on several state committees, campaign committees, and the local committee for longer than most politicians in the state have been in office.  Poynter started his journey as a Republican in 1952. 

From his time at Arkansas High, through college at Arkansas Tech University in Russellville, Poynter worked tirelessly as a Young Republican, College Republican, and member of the state and local Miller County Republican Committee.  Poynter played a key role in Reagan’s campaign visit to Texarkana.  According to the book Heroes and Heroines of The Journey, The Builders of the Modern Republican Party in Arkansas, by Dr. Ken Coon, Poynter served as a key adviser to Governor Rockefeller, helped form the USA Young Republicans, and served as Miller County Committee Chairman from 1962-1982.  He has served and continues to serve as State Committeeman for Miller County. 

Bill Poynter, a name mentioned and immediately known by Presidents, Governors, and Congressional leaders was honored Saturday with one of the party’s top honors from the state for the Fourth Congressional District.  Poynter received the prestigious “Jay Dickey Party Builder Award.”  The award, named after former Congressman Jay Dickey, was made to recognize those who contribute to the party’s growth and promotion on a local and district level.  Miller County and area residents will recognize Poynter as a daily worker at the county headquarters during the 2020 election season.  Despite COVID concerns and the high traffic the headquarters received, Poynter insisted on being present, working, and helping in all aspects of the campaign. 

The award was received by Miller County Republican Committee Chair Diana Lowe on behalf of Poynter who was unable to attend the state meeting this year.  Lowe and the committee immediately recognized Poynter on the committee’s Facebook page and through social media. 
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Doddridge Christmas in The Park

Christmas at the Park

November 28 at 5 p.m.

Doddridge, AR- On November 26 Thanksgiving will fill your hearts with family love and your waistline with calories, so why not take a trip to the park on Saturday? Saturday, November 28th, and just in time to walk off some of those calories, Doddridge will host “Christmas in the Park.” Don’t’ miss this opportunity for exercise…err…some fun with the family at the park! Doddridge Christmas in the Park has been referred to as a “Lifetime movie” by one Miller County elected official on social media. The event offers a glimpse of Christmas in the closing days of November. Continue Reading →

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Fall Reflections and 2020

Opinion: There’s no denying that fall is upon us in the four states area.  We are seeing colder days, Halloween has passed, trees are changing colors, and leaves are gently floating down to the ground.  Fall seems to mark the end of each year as the leaves start dancing through the air outside my office window, a reminder that the end of the year is almost here. 

From this point forward we will celebrate holidays, eat, shop, and for many of us, we will try to pretend that 2020 has never happened.  Some of us have lost loved ones, friends, and co-workers this year.  We have watched as politicians argue, debate, and try to find some happy balance between shutting society down and opening it up.  We have debated masks, political agendas, and even argued over how real or unreal this pandemic is or is not. 

2020 was a unique year to say the least.  We started off with rumors of war quickly escalating to talk of another world war.  We watched as Congressional leaders tried to impeach a President and a pandemic raced around the globe. Many of us shut ourselves away at home while “essential” workers carried on the day-to-day task of keeping society moving.  We faced riots, demonstrations, and chaos in some of the cities around the world.  We watched as a global economy suffered the effects of the “Stay at home” cry, and we marveled to some extent as pollution levels dropped across the states, perhaps a cry of relief from mother nature as our pollution output slowed.  Finally, many of us watched as a loved one, friend, or stranger struggled for air, gasping as a ventilator tried desperately to keep the life-giving oxygen flowing.  In some cases, with no rhyme or reason, the COVID patient survived or barely showed symptoms.  In other cases, as our hearts were torn and ripped from us, we watched as COVID destroyed life.  2020 has been unique is perhaps an understatement. 

As we close out 2020, political disarray is still the line for mainstream media, social media is still rolling with rumors, lies, truths, and perhaps half-truths at times.  We seem to be divided, first as a world and second as a nation.  At a time when COVID should have forced us to come together, join one another, and fight against the common enemy of a disease…many of us chose to focus on our masks, our rights, our feelings.  Was it self-centered?  I really don’t know.  History will have to look back and judge how we handled the pandemic.    All I do know is that 2020 will come to an end and 2021 will roll in on January 1.  Maybe in these last days of the year, we should all take time to reflect, maybe reconnect with a political enemy or simply talk to our neighbors.  If just a few people will reach out in our communities with a smile, a positive word, maybe a helping hand we can all be reminded that we are bigger than 2020.  We will have 2021 and that is something in itself to be thankful for as we move onward. 

So watch the leaves fall, enjoy the colors,  and look into your own heart.  Is there a way you can help make 2021 better?  Maybe, in the end, it’s all a matter of how we approach each day, each person, and each situation we come across.  Maybe it does boil down to you, and me, deciding it’s going to be better, and then we can all work together to  make it so much brighter each day. Continue Reading →

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Reflecting on Veteran’s Day

Veterans for Congress PAC

Sometimes we Americans need reminders about our veterans and today is one of those reminder days.  Today, we celebrate Veteran’s Day.  It comes and goes each year and often with little fanfare or notice.  Sure, some people put out flags, others have federal holidays, and if we are in a crowd of people we recognize and thank the veterans present.  But what does being a veteran really mean? Being a veteran in its simplistic form means that a man or woman joined a branch of the United States military and served our country.  That person may have been drafted, or he or she may have decided to volunteer.  Regardless of the method of the call, that man or woman answered it.  They showed up, signed up, and completed some physical exams.  From there they were sworn into the service and given a date for basic training. 

Imagine being a young person, perhaps 18 or 19, and deciding to leave home.  Just yesterday you were playing football for the local high school team or cheering them onward.  You were in classes with friends.  You celebrated Christmas and Thanksgiving with your family.  Your mother was likely still cooking your dinner and maybe even washing your clothing.  Now, on the day you prepare to leave for basic, you are going into an unknown world.  You are leaving home no longer a child, but an adult with adult responsibilities. 

In a few short hours you will be prepared, given new clothing, and most likely introduced to someone way more demanding than your school teachers ever thought about being.  You will be in rooms filled with others following the same footsteps.   You will train, you will learn, and then you will train some more.  Just when you think the physical and mental training is complete, someone will have the bright idea that you need to be pushed just a little more.  So, you will be pushed.  Finally when all that training is done, you will be ready to serve…somewhere. You may find yourself on a ship in the middle of the ocean, or a remote outpost secluded by woods, snow, or even sand.  You will have time off, but not really since you are almost on call twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.  After all, our military has to be ready for anything. 

You will sign up for exotic places to serve like Japan or Hawaii and you will end up serving somewhere like Afghanistan.  You will just get used to the language, the people, and make new friends when the military will decide you need to go somewhere else. 

If you have a family, you will drag them around the world as you move.  One day you may be in Germany and then next day you may find yourself back in the states.  You will put in for the transfers you want, and accept the transfers you get.  If you are lucky, the only time you will fire a weapon will be for practice.  If you are unlucky, then your country will call you to fire that weapon in the name of freedom at people you have never met or known. 

Then, for some maybe as fast as it started, you will come home.  There will be changes to your hometown.  You will not recognize the football team anymore, the city will have grown or maybe faded.  Your mother will be older and your father will be slower.  For a time, you will feel like you missed so much.  Whether you are serving for two years, four years, or twenty, you will come back a different man or woman to a different home. 

At first you may not realize it, but you are a veteran now.  There have been times that being a veteran meant you were called “baby-killers” and other horrible names, but to those of us that recognize the sacrifice of youth, years, and time, you will be honored as a veteran. 

The title veteran does not come easy…it is earned.  It is earned from the moment the boy or girl takes an oath to serve to the moment a man or woman steps out of the service.  The veteran gives a part of themselves…they give a part of their lives to this nation.  The veteran has given so that the flag will still fly over this land.  The veteran has given so that the Constitution and the Bill of Rights will still matter to each American.  The veteran has given not for glory or for statues and great honors…no, the veteran has given for you and me. 

Today we honor those veterans who have given so much to this country.  We will put out our flags, smile, clap for them, honor them, and thank them for their service.  Tomorrow the flags will be put away, the “Thank You” post will stop on social media, and life will return as normal.  Today is our reminder day.  But tomorrow we need to keep in mind that the veteran is still here.  In a society that seeks heroes daily, it’s nice to know that the American hero known as the veteran can always be found among us throughout the year and not just on one special day.  
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Chili Cook-Off Saturday Hosted by Texarkana Fallen Bikers Memorial Wall

802 Walton Dr. from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Texarkana Harley Davidson

Colder weather, leaves falling, and coats coming out can mean only one thing in Texarkana – It’s time for the 3rd Annual Chili Cook-Off hosted by the Texarkana Fallen Bikers Memorial Wall. The organization, a 501 (c) 3 continues to raise funds for a memorial wall to be placed in Texarkana. The wall will serve as a park area, memorial to bikers who have been lost in accidents, and an educational beacon for the continual reminder that motorcycles are on the roads too. The cook-off starts at 11 a.m. this Saturday and will run to 3 p.m. The entry fee is $25 per pot and the community is welcome. For $10 per person, you can get all the chili you can eat. Continue Reading →

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