With spring arriving and pretty weather arriving, County Judge Mike Patterson urges residents to maintain social distancing. “We need to act like we’ve got it. I know everybody’s getting tired of being in their homes and stuff, but we need another two or three weeks to get over the hump. And let’s hope it changes that way.” Patterson said, “It’s pretty serious if you can’t go to church and it’s pretty serious if you can’t go to a funeral.”
An F-3 tornado ripped through nearly 20 miles of the heart of Jonesboro on Saturday evening, March 28. The tornado severely damaged multiple properties and businesses, including the Turtle Creek Mall and the Jonesboro Airport. The tornado injured at least 22 people.
Last week Brigitte McDonald, Chief Executive Officer of 1st Choice Healthcare and the medical staff were searching for items to act as personal protection equipment, or PPEs to protect the health care workers as the pandemic continued. McDonald said they were purchasing items they never thought they would use in the medical field; items such as painter suits and cow birthing gloves. This week, she reported that the community health center had received some supplies and they were not as backlogged as they had been. Last week, the CEO reported they had enough PPEs for about 10 days. “We can make it a few more weeks now,” she said. “We’re still looking for safety glasses but I had a company out of Pocahontas tell me they think they have some ordered.”
Linden Massey, owner of Harold’s Bar-B-Q in Corning knows what it’s like to be a truck driver trying to find a place to eat when weather or other conditions make it difficult. Massey, a retired over the road truck driver, has 44 years of driving experience. He knew just what he had to do when the state in an effort to curb novel coronavirus cases mandated that Arkansas restaurants close dining rooms and only provide food service through drive-through options. Massey jumped into action and began handing out free meals to truck drivers traveling through Corning in front of his restaurant. When COVID-19 affected hamburger bun purchases at the store, the barbeque pit master reached out to the community on social media. Soon he had more buns than he could use as buns poured in from areas such as Lake Wappapello, Harvielle, Poplar Bluff, MoArk, Success, Pocahontas, Jonesboro, McDougal and Paragould. Massey, who put his business card in each meal, soon began getting calls from appreciative truck drivers. “I’ve been out there in the rain, the floods, through the snow storms, ice storms. I definitely know what it’s like not to be able to find a place to eat, no place to sleep, sleeping over that steering wheel. You just take it as it comes. This is my pay back.” Massey said he would continue to provide meals for truckers on the days his restaurant is open during the pandemic as long as he has the meat and buns to do it.
Corning city employees demolish house structures at 207 and 209 NW 3rd Street last week. Mayor Greg Ahrent and the city council agreed last month to have city workers tear down the properties and eliminate two eyesores in the 3rd Street neighborhood. Photo/ Pam Lowe