Mike McNeill’s diary for Thursday, April 7, 2022: 12 years later | Diary of Mike McNeill


Twelve years ago today, we flipped a switch on a computer screen. With that, magnoliareporter.com has grown from a development project within the confines of a computer server to a full-fledged online news and information website available on the Internet. It changed our lives forever and set magnoliareporter.com on the path to becoming Columbia County’s leading online news source. We’re glad Magnolians, and former Magnolians everywhere, know they can find the latest news about our region right here – toll-free, 24 hours a day. It makes our day when people tell us that checking our website is part of their morning routine. We love when people, even now, “discover” magnoliareporter.com and find it useful. We look forward to becoming even more useful in the weeks and months to come. One thing is certain in the world of information. Business models must continue to change and adapt. Twelve years later, we are confident that we still have those capabilities within us and that we will remain your news outlet of choice in southern Arkansas.

The Magnolia Ball is Saturday night. It’s hard to believe the school year is coming to an end. We know the seniors of 2022 are looking forward to a big night.

Magnolia Fire Chief Greg Pinner will address the Rotary Club of Magnolia at its noon meeting today in the Cal Partee Room at Cadence Bank (formerly BancorpSouth).

Your next flight across the country may be on a bus. We can’t give you a direct link for legal reasons, but we can tell you that Forbes recently published an article by Ben Baldanza titled “Essential Air Service Program No Longer Essential.” He advocates for the end of EAS, which is a federal subsidy to more than 100 airports. EAS allows much of rural America to have some level of air service by guaranteeing airlines a revenue base. Baldanza specifically cites El Dorado as too inefficient a place to be serviced by air. He argues that services to EAS communities should be provided by bus. His idea is that a person can board a special bus that goes directly to Shreveport or Little Rock airports. A company called Landline works with airlines to book bus rides like plane flights and “even transfers luggage on arrival to the ‘real’ airport. Rather than subsidies of $258 per passenger so residents of Morgantown, WV can get a flight to Pittsburgh, a bus could get them traveling the 75 miles much more efficiently. We’d dismiss that idea as nonsense except for an article Online Today by Edward Russell in Airline Weekly, “American Airlines Restarts Philadelphia Regional Routes With Land Buses.” US passengers from Allentown and Atlantic City airports pass through security at those airports and are transported by bus the 70 and 56 miles respectively to their airport gates in Philadelphia. Of course, the whole idea of ​​EAS is to be able to fly to and from cities like El Dorado. Also, we wouldn’t bet any company would run a “real” bus from Little Rock to El Dorado. How long will it be before Landline decides the route isn’t worth a big bus and opts for a minivan instead?

We understand that our Monday article on improvements to the AWOS system at Magnolia Municipal Airport was shouted out Tuesday in the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) e-newsletter. Magnolia Municipal-Ralph Weiser Field continues to make solid, incremental improvements. We are pleased that the good news from the airport is helping the facility receive the attention it deserves in the aviation community. CLICK HERE to see the original article.

One year ago, we reported that the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office was receiving an $82,000 computer technology grant. CLICK HERE to see the story.

“The Thing From Another World” remains one of our favorite sci-fi movies. It’s something when you consider that it was released 71 years ago. I saw him last night. Trivia with the film notes that it had a better box office than two other sci-fi giants of that year, “When Worlds Collide” and “The Day the Earth Stood Still”.

Klaatu barada nikto.

Mike McNeill is publisher and editor of magnoliareporter.com. Email him at [email protected] or call him at 870-904-3865.


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