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

Fouke Monster Halloween Bash at Smith Park

Events October 30-November 1 for Halloween Weekend

Miller County, AR: This year Halloween will be unique because instead of tricks, many people will be worried about COVID. It goes without saying that this “Season of the Ghost and Goblins” will be like none in recent memory. Those worried about COVID are being encouraged to not let it ruin your fun. A weekend-long event is about to start at Smith Park in Miller County. Starting Friday, October 30, and going into Sunday, November 1, Smith Park will host the Fouke Monster Halloween Bash. Continue Reading →

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COVID Cancels 2020 Nutcracker Ballet in Texarkana

The popular Nutcracker Ballet, presented by the Texarkana Community Ballet will not be seen in Texarkana this year due to COVID19. Texarkana, USA: As a year that most of us would like to forget winds down, COVID has managed to knock out the Annual Nutcracker Ballet in Texarkana. In September of this year, the Texarkana Community Ballet made the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 Nutcracker Ballet. The cancellation strikes at a Texarkana tradition for young and old alike and the opportunity for the ballet dancers of the city to shine. The Texarkana Community Ballet cited problems and regulations currently in place for the COVID-19 Pandemic. Continue Reading →

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Two Trump Events Planned for Saturday in Texarkana

Texarkana, USA: In a city considered “Twice as Nice” it’s not hard to believe there would be two political events planned for the same day for the same candidate. This Saturday, October 24, there will be two “Trump Cruises” in Texarkana. The “Arkansas For Trump Freedom Cruise” will begin at 10 a.m and run until noon. The event will start at Whiskey River (formally Shooters of Texarkana) promptly at 10 a.m. with guest speakers. Guest speakers include Arkansas Lt. Governor Tim Griffin, Jan Morgan, and Phillip Wells. Continue Reading →

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Halloween 2020

Halloween 2020 presents the need for something different in the midst of a global pandemic

Willard Library

Halloween is almost here, and the only thing certain this year is that it is once again that “Spooky” time of the year.  October brings the time of the year when adults dress up to attend parties, teens tell ghost stories and visit haunted locations, and little ones seek that bag of candy, usually enough to last into the new year.  This year will likely be different.  With social distancing, masks, and pandemic concerns, nobody seems to have a plan for Halloween.  There is a good chance that many people will skip the “Trick or Treat” rounds this year and settle for some fun at home, a scary show, a small gathering with close friends, or maybe even a ghost hunt.   

If your family decides to skip the “Trick or Treat” rounds, you can still have a fantastic Halloween at home or abroad.  There are still small haunted houses and small ghost tours which can offer social distancing and safe interactions. If you decide to stay home, there are plenty of television shows for adults and children alike.  Naturally, the Internet offers a world of ghosts and goblins, all just waiting for you to complete a hunt online! Perhaps one of the first online ghost monitoring sites to arrive came way back in 1993 and not from the four states area.  An old library in Evansville, Indiana, put up some of the first “Ghost Cams” throughout their building.  For years, stories had been around when the city paper decided to embark on the unique idea of having ghost cams for the world to view located at the Willard Library. Willard Library was well over one hundred years old when the first ghost cam was installed.  The Evansville Courier and Press placed the cameras and ran the feed on their online page.  The newspaper quickly received several “sightings” worldwide as ghost watchers zipped over to the sight to watch.  In a short amount of time, the hits had already passed the hundred thousand mark at a time when the Internet was still just catching on with the world.  But before the Internet, the ghost had a long history of touring the old library in Indiana. Continue Reading →

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Terry Roberts, City Board Candidate For Texarkana, Arkansas

Terry Roberts

Texarkana, AR: Terry Roberts is running for Texarkana, Arkansas Board of Directors Ward 1 Position. Terry is a lifelong resident of Texarkana, Arkansas and a graduate of Arkansas High. He is currently serving as the Cheif Clerk for Judge Nancy Talley in Bowie County, Texas. Roberts holds a Bachelors’s degree in Business Administration and serves as a volunteer at Hospice of Texarkana in the pastoral care capacity. He has spent several years volunteering in the community and notes that it has been a blessing and joy to serve. Continue Reading →

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Congressman Westerman to speak at Miller County Republican Committee Meeting

Westerman

Congressman Bruce Westerman

Miller County, AR: Congressman Bruce Westerman will be the guest speaker at the Tuesday evening meeting of the Miller County Republican Committee. The meeting will start at 6:30 p.m. with Congressman Westerman speaking. There will be a short intermission between the speaker and the business portion of the meeting. The meeting will be held at 1022 Arkansas Blvd in Texarkana, Arkansas. This will be the last meeting of the Miller County Republican Committee before the general election. Continue Reading →

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Miller County Arkansas Early Vote Starts October 19

Miller County will start the early vote process for the general election on October 19 with several early vote locations open during that time. Miller County, AR:  Thirteen days prior to November 3, 2020, General Election, Miller County Arkansas will open early vote at several locations.  There will be no early voting at the courthouse this year.  The Miller County Election’s Commission in coordination with the Miller County Judge determined that social distancing and safety for voters could not be adequately met on a large scale in the courthouse.  The Cabe Fellowship Center located at First Methodist Church, 400 East 6th Street will serve as a replacement location for the courthouse.  According to Miller County Election’s Commissioner Linda Crawford, the Cabe Fellowship location offers a larger space for social distancing and the opportunity to put out additional voting equipment. 

Cabe Fellowship Center located at First Methodist Church 400 East 6th, Texarkana, Arkansas will be open throughout the early vote period with the following hours:  

Monday, October 19 – Friday, October 23, 8:00am to 6:00pmSaturday, October 24 – 10:00am to 4:00 pmMonday, October 26 – Friday, October 30, 8:00am to 6:00pmSaturday, October 31,  10:00am to 4:00 pmMonday, November 2, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm

Four other early vote locations will be open on Thursday & Friday, October 29 & 30, 8:00 am to 6:00 pm and Monday, November 2, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. 

Central Baptist Church, 2117 East 35th, Texarkana, AR

Stanley Davis Community Center, 203 East Redcut Road, Fouke, AR

Sugar Hill United Methodist Church, 1621 Sugar Hill Road, Texarkana, AR

Jamison Centers of Kindness, 1101 Couch Street, Texarkana, AR

Early voting and Election Day polls are all vote centers.  All Miller County registered voters may vote at any of the early vote or at the thirteen election day poll locations. Continue Reading →

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COVID-19 What Exactly Has Changed?

Opinion:  COVID19 descended on the United States like a blanket being thrown across an uncovered bed.  From New York to California, from Texas to Florida, COVID-19 leaped into our lives, disrupted our lives, and forced us to change.  The fact is, we had to change whether we accepted COVID as a threat or not.  We all modified our behaviors.  If you say you did not, then you must have had secret access to restaurants, non-essential businesses, churches, civic clubs, and other places that the rest of us knew nothing about.  You may have tried to ignore it, even said it would not affect you, but it did.  In March, daily briefings came from the White House all the way down to the local county and city governments.  Governors gave us daily updates on numbers.  Web sites went up – even the Four States News has a special page dedicated to the COVID-19 numbers – and many of us learned what working from home really meant.  Television commercials, entertainment, and even movies were all modified to support the COVID fight, support those at home, and provide encouragement during what may well be one of the darkest hours of this new decade.  March, April, May, and June all rolled by, and then suddenly, something happened.  

There are few of us that did not notice when “something happened.”  States like Texas began a “Phase One,” followed quickly by a “Phase Two” opening up.  Other states like Florida decided to open completely.  Places like New York allowed BLM gatherings, protest, and even riots to continue but then continued to condemn church gatherings, funerals, and even just yesterday broke up a Jewish Orthodox funeral.  While some areas seemed to accept that COVID was the “new normal,” other places continued to crack down and lockdown.  Nursing facilities in Arkansas are just starting to open their doors a little while nursing facilities in Texas can open, but only with strict policies, procedures, training, screenings, and even training for those who visit their loved ones.  In the meantime, the facemask signs have started to disappear from businesses, have become less enforced, and in some restaurants, the protections are completely ignored.  Sunday, National Taco Day, I went to a local restaurant to pick up an order and was surprised to see the restaurant full, no mask, and table, after table filled with people sitting next to each other.   In some areas, it seems that everything will be “back to normal” by November.  Even the schools that did not have students return in August are now discussing students returning to campus in January.  

But, the overall and burning question, continues to be since the onset of COVID-19 in the United States, “What exactly has changed?”    If we are to look at the numbers, there certainly has been a change.  We have now passed the 210,000 deaths from COVID-19 – if you believe the numbers being published.  We now have over 7 million people in the United States alone who have been infected at some point.  So, there is a change…but, in the big picture, we still have people getting the disease just like we did in March.  We still do not have a cure or a vaccine, and we are still learning new things about the disease.  Honestly, except for the numbers, nothing has changed, yet we are opening up as if everything is cured, completed, and done with COVID-19. 

I have said it before and will repeat it…the nation, the states, the cities, and the counties or parishes should never have shut down to the extent that they did.  It was a mistake that destroyed the economy, lives, businesses, and production in the country.  It did nothing – absolutely nothing – to stop COVID-19.  Sure – maybe someone could argue that it slowed it down some.  Maybe someone could argue that we would be at a million deaths now if not for the closings.  Fewer deaths and fewer infected certainly is a good thing…nobody would argue against that, but did it change anything in the long run?  If we are going to open now as if it’s cured, and over, then won’t the result of being open now, as we go into the flu season, be far worse than being open during the summer?  Will not opening everything now return us to the brink where we stood when they closed everything in March?  Sure it will.  

The bottom line is we should never have closed then, especially if we were going to open again while the crisis is still active.  Closing the country down in March was the equivalent of having a broken arm and deciding to break both your legs so you can stay home and mend your broken arm.  It was, and in my opinion, wrong.  Nothing has changed from March to now, except we have more infected and more deaths.  Because of the actions earlier, we now have conspiracy theories, those who are simply tired of the restrictions, and those who have decided it’s just not worth fighting anymore.  As a friend told me the other day in reference to perhaps a conspiracy theory, “We are over the election infection.”  No, nothing has changed except the number infected, the death totals, and our willingness to allow the government to restrict us.  Most of the evidence points to the fact that we simply delayed the spread and will now face greater numbers of infections and likely more deaths as we continue to disregard COVID because we are all tired of it. Continue Reading →

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Neighborhood Clean-Up and Block Party October 10

Bridging The Gaps of Arkansas and partners plan clean up in Texarkana, Arkansas. Texarkana, AR: Bridging The Gaps of Arkansas will partner with the City of Texarkana, Arkansas, and Keep Arkansas Beautiful to sponsor a city clean-up on October 10, 2020. The event will start at 209 E. 14th Street, in Texarkana, Arkansas at 9 a.m. It is planned to go through 11:30 a.m. that day. The Sandflat Glendale Community Center, located at 209 E. 14th Street, will serve as the host site. DJ HollyGrove will provide music on-site during the event and trash bags, masks, and gloves will be provided. Continue Reading →

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Stewart Concludes His Gift During COVID-19 Pandemic

Sir Patrick Stewart has been reading a sonnet a day on Twitter. Sir Stewart from Twitter

Opinion: Often when the world learns of a movie star or musician from England being knighted, it takes little notice because most of these “Knights” are not given the title for heroic deeds. In most cases, these knights are given titles because of their star status and perhaps some charity work. While the world has been battling COVID-19, many of these knights have given money and support to the cause, but perhaps none of them have given as much as Sir Patrick Stewart. Yes, we are talking about “Captain Picard” from the famous series and movies in the Star Trek family, but Stewart rose above the fictional exploits of his Picard character with his actions during COVID-19. Continue Reading →

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