Home Opinion Mine Creek Revelations by Louie Graves: Cleaner of Roadsides

Mine Creek Revelations by Louie Graves: Cleaner of Roadsides


YES, I AM still here, and I’m wondering why people litter or let trash escape along our otherwise beautiful southwest Arkansas roadsides.

In less than one week I heard independently from four persons who expressed alarm at the buildup of litter along area roads. To be fair, one road is actually in Hempstead County where the sheriff apparently does not send jail inmates or public service workers out to pick up litter at all.

In Howard County, our sheriff sends out mixed crews of jail inmates and public service workers under the supervision of deputies twice a year to pick up trash along roads.

If I could get those two dates from him I’d warn both of my regular readers not to toss out stuff until just a day or so before the pickup party. 

The sheriff says that most of the trash we see has blown out of small trailers and pickup truck beds of local citizens who are headed toward the landfill.

A few years ago one of our newspaper colleagues drove over some round haybale netting which had probably floated out of the back of some cattleman’s pickup truck. The netting wrapped itself around the drive train, doing considerable damage to the colleague’s vehicle. It had to be towed.

Landfill counties are pretty good about making their trash truck drivers protect the big trucks from losing trash, the sheriff says. Still, most of ‘our’ litter is on roads leading to the landfill. I think.

I got behind a truck from an adjoining county last year, and I kept getting hit by debris blowing out of the truck. The truck was actually on its way home from the landfill. Apparently, not all of the trash got dumped at the landfill. Probably, the driver had a tarp over the trash when he took it to the landfill, and just didn’t know that there was some trash still in the bottom of the truck.

But the wind took care of that because the tarp was folded away..

Luckily, none of the stuff cracked my windshield but I seriously considered getting my pistol out of the console and taking a few shots at the truck, anyway. Good sense overcame road rage.

In his 22 years of law enforcement here the sheriff says he’s probably only written two tickets for littering, and those were ones he witnessed for himself. Even though some highway signs urge drivers to report litterers, the signs don’t do much good. In fact, for someone to get a littering ticket, the act almost has to be witnessed by an officer.

It seems to me that it would be a good idea if defendants who are found guilty in misdemeanor cases in District Court were sentenced to more public service hours and less in fines.

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HOW UNFORTUNATE. A fellow named Blake Swindle has been named chief loan officer of an agri financial outfit in Arkansas. You can’t make these things up.

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AN AWARD. The ‘News-Leader’ is proud to present the first annual award for Most Creative Use of a J-Turn.

This event was observed Friday morning in front of our office and — thank goodness — our city’s dedicated, but unofficial, J-Turn Enforcement Officer was off duty.

A young man in a white pickup backed out of a parking place in front of our office; he then backed across Main to the north traffic lane; continued backward about 30 yards until he got to the intersection of Main and Clark; backed west on Clark for a ways; then changed direction and came back to Main where he took a left turn and continued in a northerly direction. A calligrative cursive capital J-Turn with flourish.

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THE INCREDIBLE and Mostly Unbelievable Adventures of my distant kin, Uncle Parry Normal: Uncle Parry has had lots of good get-rich business ideas, and they’ve all had one thing in common — none of ‘em worked. In fact, the opposite was true. They turned out to be get-poorer schemes.

He was in the restaurant business briefly. Had this idea for keeping prices so low that the public just could not resist coming in the door.

He would hand the customer a dirty plate, drinking glass and flatware from a previous customer; then the diner would wash his own plate and utensils while the meal was being cooked.

Uncle Parry and the customer would both save the cost of a dishwasher.

Take a guess how many customers wanted to wash their dishes in order to save 50c.

I’m sure he’ll come up with more ideas. Some of them legal.

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THINGS I LEARNED from opening (and believing) email: “If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.”

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WORD GAMES. Another set of twins: Parks and Recreation. What a fun pair!

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HE SAID: “I have learned that success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has had to overcome while trying to succeed.” Booker T. Washington, educator and advisor to presidents

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SHE SAID: “I love words. Sudoku I don’t get into, I’m not into numbers that much, and there are people who are hooked on that. But crossword puzzles, I just can’t – if I get a puppy and I paper train him and I put the – if all of a sudden I’d open the paper and there’s a crossword puzzle – ‘No, no, you can’t go on that, honey. I’ll take it.” Betty White, entertainer

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