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Stories by Mike Masterson

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An honorable act

Short steps down

Subscriber onlyThe noblest effort I've seen thus far in the Washington County bridge-building fiasco came the other day when Dan Short chose to relinquish the appointed position he's held more than six years as the county judge's chief of staff. Continue reading...

Carpe diem draining

Subscriber onlyThose who've followed this column likely have read over the years that four former classmates from the Harrison High School class of 1965 gather each spring for a weekend reunion on Bull Shoals Lake. This marked our 19th year. Continue reading...

A bridge to cross

Imagine that

Subscriber onlyDon't know about the rest of you, but I felt so much relief to know leaders at the Washington County Road Department, criticized publicly for their "systemic leadership problems," are taking a course on how to become ... what else ... leaders. Continue reading...

In reflection

Two decades of stories

Subscriber onlyThere are days when all I feel like doing is enjoy my back porch while reflecting on all that's transpired since returning to my native Ozarks in 1995. So please just humor me for a few minutes today, or jump to another story (can't say I'd blame you). Continue reading...

Still big news here

Subscriber onlyIt's no longer fresh news in Arkansas. Yet I see it as a big deal that six public high schools in Northwest Arkansas were listed among the state's top 10 in the latest U.S. News & World Report rankings. Continue reading...

A span of failures

Washington County bridges

Subscriber onlyWell, after a few months, it's finally official: Employees and supervisors at Washington County's Road Department failed to follow engineers' plans in constructing at least three county bridges. Why, you ask? Apparently because building them the-seat-of-their-pants way was, well, just easier. Continue reading...

Hate speech?

Subscriber onlyI'm not interested today in unleashing yet another onslaught of name-calling and who-can-outslander-whom. We see plenty of that destructive behavior swirling around us. Continue reading...

Trail into the future

Subscriber onlyNorthwest Arkansas celebrated the opening of its 37-mile-long recreational Razorback Greenway Trail last week to the sounds and sights of city fanfare stretching from Fayetteville north to Bentonville. Continue reading...

Uncle John at rest

Subscriber onlyStanding in Harrison's sun-dappled Maplewood Cemetery, where I've long paid scores of visits to the engraved marble headstones of those gone, it still seemed surrealistic to watch the ashes of my late uncle, John Paul Hammerschmidt, laid to rest beside his wife Virginia, who died in 2006. Continue reading...

Shaky morale

Subscriber onlyAfter two civil-rights lawsuits were filed by Washington County Road Department workers against the county judge and supervisors, I've gotta believe the morale among the 100 or so employees in that division has got to flatter than fresh-laid asphalt. Continue reading...

The theme of the night

Subscriber onlyTalk about unleashing a flood of memories. The final performance of the Symphony of Northwest Arkansas season brought a surge of them the other night with more than a dozen themes from hit movies. Continue reading...

Under investigation

Subscriber onlyHere's how an aging newspaper columnist I know would have organized the ongoing investigation of badly built bridges in Washington County, rather than using two of its elected officials. Continue reading...

Almost losing Anna

Subscriber onlyWarming weather each spring invariably triggers terrifying visions embroidered into my psyche. Continue reading...

Failing trust and justice

Subscriber onlyNearly all the expert technicians with the FBI's forensic unit presented inaccurate or bogus evidence in most court cases they testified in in the 20 years before 2000, according to an investigation and story published in the Washington Post. Continue reading...

Safety of bridges

Investigate thyself

Subscriber onlyIt's been difficult for many of us to keep up with all the fuzzy shape-shifting underway in Washington County's investigation into shabbily built bridges. And now county leaders have decided to ... wait for it . . . investigate themselves. Continue reading...

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