Back to Rex's profile

Stories by Rex Nelson

RSS

REX NELSON: Promise at Palestine

Subscriber onlyIt's my March tradition. I go to Hot Springs to watch state high school basketball championship games for two days. I attend the Friday games, spend the night at the Arlington Hotel, have a big breakfast at the Pancake Shop on Saturday morning and then watch the Saturday games before heading home. Continue reading...

REX NELSON: Hail to the chef

Subscriber onlyWhen I see Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin, our conversations are rarely about politics. Griffin served in the U.S. House of Representatives, worked in the West Wing of the White House during the George W. Bush administration, and worked for the Republican National Committee. I was the political editor of this newspaper, spent almost a decade working for Gov. Mike Huckabee, and also served in the Bush administration. Continue reading...

REX NELSON: Benton: boomtown

Schools, job training, growing businesses and attractive amenities expand opportunities in this Saline County community.

Subscriber onlyI'm sitting in the offices of the Benton Area Chamber of Commerce and looking across Market Street at a sign that says United Steelworkers. Headquartered in Pittsburgh, the USW is the largest industrial labor union in the country. It once had a major influence on politics in Saline County. Those were the days when Reynolds Metals Co. and Alcoa dominated the county's economy. Continue reading...

REX NELSON: The people's game

Subscriber onlyOn Aug. 10, 1971, L. Robert Davis met 15 other baseball researchers at the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., to discuss their mutual interests. That meeting marked the beginning of the Society for American Baseball Research, commonly known as SABR. A decade after its founding, there were almost 1,500 members. There are now more than 6,000. Continue reading...

REX NELSON: Celebrating Central High

Subscriber onlyI spent almost a decade working in the governor's office. There were many eventful days during that period, perhaps none more newsworthy than the first one--the tumultuous afternoon of July 15, 1996, when Gov. Mike Huckabee took office after his predecessor, Gov. Jim Guy Tucker, waffled on whether or not he should resign. Continue reading...

Well done, Mississippi

Subscriber onlyGreenwood, Miss., has long been one of my favorite places to visit. A stay at the Alluvian Hotel and meals at the Crystal Grill, Lusco's and Giardina's (order the flounder at Crystal Grill and go for the pompano at Lusco's and Giardina's) can cure whatever ails me. Continue reading...

REX NELSON: Lunch at Rabbit Ridge

Subscriber onlyDrilling activity has slowed considerably in the Fayetteville Shale Play due to the decline in natural gas prices in recent years. In February, Southwestern Energy announced that it had put its assets in this gas-producing area of Arkansas on the auction block. There's still enough action in the Damascus area, though, that I was told to look for white Southwestern Energy pickups in the parking lot. That's how I would know that I had reached Rabbit Ridge Farms in time for Wednesday lunch. Continue reading...

REX NELSON: The fintech hub

Subscriber onlyLee Watson and I were finishing our catfish at one of the businesses located in what has become restaurant row along Main Street in downtown Little Rock. Watson, with whom I've worked on projects in the past, is the founding CEO of the Venture Center, which is located just down the street in the Little Rock Technology Park. His title is now chief innovator. Continue reading...

REX NELSON: Those ridiculous rankings

Subscriber onlyAnother one of those silly lists came out recently, placing Arkansas' two largest cities among the 50 worst cities in America. These types of subjective rankings are designed to drive traffic to websites. The best thing business and civic leaders in Arkansas can do is to ignore them--both the positive and negative lists. Continue reading...

REX NELSON: The cut man

Subscriber onlyThe temperature will top out at 100 on this Sunday afternoon. The streets appear empty in downtown North Little Rock. The parking lot outside the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame at Verizon Arena is crowded, however. Inside, the small theater adjacent to the Hall of Fame's museum is packed with people attending a screening of a documentary that the Arkansas Educational Television Network has done on the life of Ray Rodgers. Continue reading...

REX NELSON: The new Eureka Springs

Subscriber onlyAs I was checking in at the Best Western Inn of the Ozarks in Eureka Springs, I picked up copies of the Lovely County Citizen and the Eureka Springs Independent to read in the room. I've long been fascinated by the brand of politics practiced in this small town (population 2,073 in the 2010 census) where the top industry has always been tourism. It's the most gay-friendly community in Arkansas. It's a place where buses from evangelical Christian churches show up to watch The Great Passion Play. It's a town that traditionally has attracted artists, writers and aging hippies. It's an interesting and sometimes volatile mix. Continue reading...

REX NELSON: Chicken City 2.0

Technology transforms downtown Springdale

Subscriber onlyI was a high school student in the 1970s when the citizens band radio craze was at its height. C.W. McCall came out with his song "Convoy" in 1978. Television programs such as The Dukes of Hazzard in 1979 and movies such as Smokey and the Bandit and Breaker! Breaker! in 1977 helped fuel the CB craze. Continue reading...

Emma's makeover

Subscriber onlyTom Lundstrum was quick to admit that he and business partner Brian Moore weren't sure exactly what they were getting into when they purchased the building that had once housed the Apollo Theater on Emma Avenue in downtown Springdale. Continue reading...

REX NELSON: Peach time in Arkansas

Subscriber onlyOnce more, they'll celebrate Arkansas peaches in Clarksville. The annual Johnson County Peach Festival is scheduled for Thursday through Saturday of next week, continuing a tradition that began in the community of Ludwig on June 26, 1938. Several thousand people showed up for that first festival, including Gov. Carl Bailey. The festival was sponsored by the Johnson County Fruit Growers Association. Continue reading...

REX NELSON: The Berry Man

Subscriber onlyIn March, I had the honor of serving as emcee for the annual Arkansas Agriculture Hall of Fame induction banquet. One of the inductees was John Clark, a distinguished professor at the University of Arkansas who's probably the world's foremost expert on blackberries. I simply referred to him that day as the Berry Man. Continue reading...

« Previous