Unemployment remains unchanged

According to data released Friday from the Arkansas Department of Workforce Services, Arkansas’s unemployment rate remains at a 7.3 percent for the month of June.

The national unemployment rate is still at a 7.6 percent making Arkansas’ rate a tad bit below the nation’s.

According to an article in Arkansas Business, DWS Communications Director Kimberly Friedman says the state’s percentage was stable due to the employment number declining slightly, shrinking the size of the civilian labor force.

With many people traveling and schools being out for summer, leisure and hospitality jobs accounted for the biggest jump in seasonal employment adding 1,300 jobs since May.

However, government employees lost the most jobs with a decline of 6,000 jobs in one month.

For more information, click on the link to the Arkansas Business article.

Posted in By Sherelle Black, Economy, Jobs, News | 1 Comment

I’m loving it?

Telling someone that they will end up working at McDonald’s has sometimes been used as a way to motivate people to pursue an education or simply get their life together.

Well, what if you did end up working at McDonald’s and had to survive on minimum wage?

Recently, McDonald’s and Visa teamed up to provide a financial planning site for its low-pay workforce.

McDonald’s provided a sample budget where they show how their employees can survive working at their restaurant. But the budget is sketchy as it shows that their employee works a second job and pays a ridiculous low amount for health insurance. Check out this article on Yahoo to see the budget and get more information.

So next time you get an order wrong at the “Golden Arch” or the line takes too long to move just remember they are probably contemplating about how they are going to pay next month’s bills. (Just kidding there is no excuse for bad service!)

Posted in By Sherelle Black, Money | Leave a comment

Guantanamo Bay prisoners subject to inhumane force-feeding

It’s hard to believe that just 90 miles south of Florida, prisoners at the United States Guantanamo Bay are being inhumanely force fed in a process that allows for them to be shackled into restraint chairs while a tube is forced inside them.

With Ramadan, a month of fasting, upon Muslims, many citizens have increased their scrutiny on the United States government for allowing, what government authorities in Guantanamo Bay call a “humane, high-quality medical care.”

Of the 166 detainees being held at the naval base in Cuba, a reported 120 are currently engaged in a hunger strike protesting inhumane treatment and indefinite detention. Forty-four of these men are being force fed. The process involves each detainee to undergo two force feedings each night. Each session takes up to 30 minutes and is followed by a two-hour period in a “dry cell” without water, in an attempt to limit vomiting.

According to a recent article in the New England Journal of Medicine, hunger strikers are not attempting to commit suicide. Rather, they are willing to risk death if their demands are not met. Their goals is not to die but to have perceived injustices addressed. The motivation resembles that of a person who finds kidney dialysis intolerable and discontinues it, knowing that he will die. Refusal of treatment with the awareness that death will soon follow is not suicide, according to both the U.S. Supreme Court and international medical ethics.

Currently, people around the world are pushing for Obama to step up and call off the force-feeding, as he is the only one with authority who can call this cruel and injust act off.

Posted in By Sherelle Black, General, Health, News, Religion | 1 Comment

Seeking local businesses to feature

The El Dorado News-Times is looking for a locally owned business to feature for this Monday’s upcoming paper. We only require that the business has been in operation 40 or more years.
Please let us know if you have any suggestions!

Posted in Business, By Sherelle Black | 5 Comments

Job economy rises; unemployment 7.6 percent

U.S. employers added 195,000 jobs in June, which is more than what they previously expected. The job growth suggests a stronger economy and means the Federal Reserve could slow its bond purchases as early as September.

The unemployment rate remained 7.6 percent due to more people looking for jobs. The government doesn’t count people as unemployed unless they’re looking for work.

According to an article on Associated Press, June’s job gain was fueled by consumer spending and the housing recovery. Consumer confidence has reached a 5 1/2 year high and is helping drive up sales of homes and cars. Hiring was especially strong in June among retailers, hotels, restaurants, construction companies and financial services firm.

Further job growth could lower unemployment and help the economy rebound after a weak start this year. If so, the Feds would likely scale back its bond purchases later this year.

Posted in By Sherelle Black, News | Leave a comment

Time to light up the sky!

It’s almost Independence Day, and you are probably looking for a great fireworks show.

Parkers Chapel is having a community barbecue party, Veteran’s Program and fireworks display at their football field at 5 p.m.
The event is free, open to the public and is bring provided by Charlene and Dan Forth, with assistance from the Parkers Chapel Volunteer Fire Department. Persons attending are asked to bring a dessert.

However, if you are looking to escape the area, but still stay in the state, there are plenty of firework shows available.

July 4

Thunder on Thunderbird Fireworks, Cherokee Village
4th of July Fireworks Show, Bismarck (over Lake DeGray)
Mayor’s 4th of July Fireworks Extravaganza, Fort Smith
Fireworks in the Park, Salem
Independence Day Celebration, Bull Shoals
4th of July Freedomfest, Greenwood
Sherwood’s 4th of July Family Celebration, Sherwood
30th Annual Pops on the River, Little Rock
Annual 4th of July Celebration, Mena
16th Annual Independence Day Celebration-Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge, Eureka Springs
Mountain Harbor July 4th Celebration and Parade, Mount Ida
2013 Fire in the Sky-4th of July Celebration, Harrison
An Evening at Orchards Park, Bentonville
3rd Annual Uptown Fayetteville Freedom Fireworks, Fayetteville
Gentry Freedom Fest 2013, Gentry City Park, Gentry
4th of July Fireworks, Magic Springs Theme and Water Park, Hot Springs
4th of July Fireworks 2013, Mountain View
4th of July Celebration, Pine Bluff/Jefferson County Regional Park, Pine Bluff
Fourth at the Field, Arvest Ballpark, Springdale

Posted in By Sherelle Black, Entertainment, Family | Leave a comment

Poor Paula Deen?

If you haven’t picked up a newspaper or watched TV lately, Paula has gotten herself in a world of trouble for admitting using the N-word.

Today, Target Corp. and Home Depot, Inc. announced it is severing all ties with southern home cooker Paula Deen.

Deen has already been cut from Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. Also, Food Network is not renewing her show and her name is being stripped from four buffet restaurants owned by Caesars Entertainment.

Should we forgive her? Accept her apology and say it’s OK it happened a long time ago when it was “acceptable?”

Is society being too hard on her? Too judgmental?
Or does she deserve it?

Posted in Business, By Sherelle Black, News | 6 Comments

Same-Sex Marriage Ban Unconstitutional

In a 5-4 vote, the Supreme Court ruled today that the Defense of Marriage Act, the law barring the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages legalized by the states, is unconstitutional.

“The federal statute is invalid, for no legitimate purpose overcomes the purpose and effect to disparage and to injure those whom the State, by its marriage laws, sought to protect in personhood and dignity,” Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote in the majority opinion. “By seeking to displace this protection and treating those persons as living in marriages less respected than others, the federal statute is in violation of the Fifth Amendment.”

President Obama also released a statement praising the Supreme Court’s decision.

“I applaud the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act. This was discrimination enshrined in law. It treated loving, committed gay and lesbian couples as a separate and lesser class of people.”

For more information, check out this article on Huffington Post.

What do you think of the decision?

Posted in BREAKING NEWS, By Sherelle Black, Court, News | Leave a comment

Hostess makes a return

For 82 years, Hostess has been filling bellies with delicious snacks such as DingDongs, Ho Hos, Donettes and CupCakes amongst others.

In November, the company filed for bankruptcy leaving many people in an uproar about their beloved sweets being taken from the shelves forever.

Fortunately, Metropoulos & Co. decided to buy the rights to Twinkies and other snacks from Hostess earlier this year.

Well, good news Twinkie fans, the Twinkie will be returning to stores on July 15. It will still be $3.99 for a box of 10 twinkies.

Daren Metropoulos, principal of Metropoulos & Co. said the company will sell all of the Hostess and Dolly Madison branded snacks such as Zingers, Donettes, Ho Hos, fruit pies, muffins, CupCakes and DingDongs.

In an article in CNN Money,Metropoulos said, “America wanted Hostess back — they wanted the original.”

Posted in By Sherelle Black, Family, General, News | Leave a comment

In need of some entertainment

While pondering on what shall I do this weekend in El Dorado, I realized all of the entertainment is out of town.

This weekend is the 42nd annual Oil Town festival located at Broadway and 10th St. in Smackover.
The event will host free concerts every night, a 5k oil run, contests and tournaments for kids and adults, arts and crafts and a free water slide for kids.

Also, Ruston’s Peach Festival is this weekend and will be held on Trenton St. Admission for ages six and under is free. On Friday, admission after 5 p.m. is $5. Saturday’s admission prices varies on the time. From 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. it is $5, 8 a.m. through evening is $10 and after 6 p.m. is $10, or buy a $10 armband will cover all day plus the Railroad Park music.
At the event there will be a parade, antique car show, a rodeo, 5k run, cookery contest and more.

The last day for each festival is Saturday!

Now, the question is should I return to my stomping grounds and attend the Peach Festival or try something new and attend the Oil Town Festival?

Also, I can’t wait to find out what acts will be at this year’s MusicFest! The announcement will be made this Tuesday.

Posted in By Sherelle Black, Entertainment | Leave a comment

Looking for a job?

After much anticipation, El Dorado’s Mellor Park Mall is finally receiving a new addition to their shopping center, department store T.J. Maxx.

T.J. Maxx will be holding a hiring event from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on June 24-25. It will be held at 1865 North West Ave.

Positions available include: dressing room associate, sale associates, back room associates, cashiers, customer service associates, loss prevention and management.

T.J. Maxx offers designer and brand name clothing for men, women, teens, kids and baby for up to 60 percent off department store prices.

The department store is set to open late summer around August or September.

Posted in By Sherelle Black, General, News | 1 Comment

Garland County Deputy held in County Jail

Garland County Sheriff Deputy Neil Parliment, 39, was booked into the Union County Jail Thursday where he is on hold for the U.S. Marshals Service.

According to a press release from United States Attorney Conner Eldridge, Parliment was arrested for enticing an individual to engage in prostitution from January to June 2013.

Parliment allegedly arranged for a Memphis prostitute to come to Hot Springs for the purposes of exchanging sexual activity for money, according to the report.

The report also stated that over the course of investigation, it was discovered he had facilitated meetings and introductions between the prostitute and others for sexual activity.

If convicted, Parliment faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.

Parliment is the Marine Patrol Commander for Garland County Sheriff’s Office.

Posted in BREAKING NEWS, By Sherelle Black | 2 Comments

Free concert in Bentonville

In efforts to promote the Essence Music Festival, an annual music festival held in New Orleans every July 4th weekend, Bentonville will be hosting “The Road to Essence Festival.”

The free concert will be this Friday at 6 p.m. at Orchards Park and will feature acts such as LL Cool J, Maxwell, Estelle, Trey Songz and Hezekiah Walker.

The concert is sponsored by Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. who also sponsors the festival in New Orleans.

For more information about the Essence Music Festival visit Essence’s website.

Posted in By Sherelle Black, Entertainment | Leave a comment

Is the gun control movement over?

After mass shootings in a Colorado theater and a Connecticut elementary school last year, the push for gun control was on every news channel and more importantly on Congress’ agenda.

This week is the six-month anniversary of the Sandy Hook shooting in Connecticut and some are wondering has Congress put a hold on passing stricter gun laws or completely took it off the agenda?

Last April, every gun control proposal brought before the Senate was shot down. The question now is will the proposals be reworded and brought before the Senate again in hopes to get it passed? Or will new proposals or some other form of action come about?

In an article in the Washington Post, Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake (R) said, “I don’t think they’re going to come back on it.” “They’ve got a long way to go. And frankly, I just don’t see people who voted against it moving on their position.”

Is Congress all talk or will they actually help to tighten gun laws?

Posted in By Sherelle Black, News | 4 Comments

Meet El Dorado News-Times newest reporter

Hello! My name is Sherelle Black and I will be your newest blogger. I am a Bossier City native and a recent journalism graduate from Louisiana Tech University. Go Bulldawgs!! You’ll find my writing is very straight to the point and that my blogging may contain a bit of funny sarcasm here and there.
I’ve never been to El Dorado and I would like to experience the best this city has to offer so please be sure to let me know where I should visit.
I have a passion for blogging so you can expect to see a lot of posts. Hopefully you’ll enjoy them just as much as Allison’s blogs! Please let me know what you would like to see posted (Do the poll on the side) and I will be sure to make that happen.

Posted in By Sherelle Black | 10 Comments