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It's Thursday and another chance to fire off a few thumbs about some of news developments in our neck of the worlds and elsewhere:

[THUMBS UP] It sounds like the experience of Bentonville's museums is about to get even better with the addition of a four-acre outdoor play area to the campus of the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. Museum officials announced plans to build the play space, called Convergence, in collaboration with the Amazeum. Along with that will be the addition of an 800-space deck to provide parking for Crystal Bridges, the Amazeum and the area's outdoor amenities. Every new facet of the experience in and around Crystal Bridges benefits the region's residents and its efforts to draw visitors. But we'll all have to wait -- the deck is slated to be completed in the spring and the full project done by fall 2022.

[THUMBS DOWN] U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton and Rep. Steve Womack, who represents the Third Congressional District here in Northwest Arkansas, "got an earful" from business owners about the damage done by the covid-19 pandemic and the need for a new stimulus package. That's the way Womack described the feedback during a meeting the other day in Rogers. Those attending said a new stimulus was needed even if it meant giving ground to opposing views in Congress, but at this stage, it looks like no progress will be made on Capitol Hill until after the election, earful or not.

[THUMBS DOWN] After a demonstration of President Trump's horrible behavior in the first presidential debate, it's perhaps no surprise the coronavirus-infected president would reject the idea of a "virtual" debate that would have allowed the covid-19 infected Trump and Democratic candidate Joe Biden to address issues important to American voters. The nation is pretty much united in the thought that another debate like the first would waste everyone's time and add to the embarrassment. Unfortunately, it's not clear that President Trump wants a debate of any substance, but we hope the two can somehow manage one more debate in which they both can behave and stay focused on issues. We can't say we're confident.

[THUMBS UP] A judge in central Arkansas did the state a favor by throwing out a lawsuit by a group of hard-right lawmakers who sought to hamper or eliminate the governor's authority to proclaim and manage a public health emergency. It probably came as no surprise to the lawmakers, who had to know they were trying to short-circuit the legislative grant of authority to the state's chief executive. It probably doesn't matter: The lawmakers got the headlines they wanted and in the process tried to throw the governor from their own party under the bus.

[THUMBS UP] It is, of course, hardly a big deal in the grand scheme if a sporting event has to be canceled because of this dadblamed virus. After all, it has done serious damage to people's lives. For those fortunate enough to have avoided its worst effects, though, the return of sports has been a welcome change, a bright spot in the covid-19 landscape. Now, for Razorback fans, comes word that Ole Miss' football team is having "issues" related to covid-19. At least as of Wednesday afternoon, the good news is Coach Lane Kiffen suggested those issues wouldn't stop his team from traveling to Fayetteville for Saturday's contest. Two other SEC games were postponed this week because of the impact covid-19 has had on their rosters. Hey, Ole Miss, we're pulling for you -- until kickoff.

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Want to give some brief feedback on news? Someone who deserves a pat on the back? An idea that needs a dose of common sense? Recommend a “Thursday thumb” by calling Greg Harton at (479) 872-5026 or by email at [email protected]

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