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Mith242

Other Projects Going on in Arkansas

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This doesn't exactly fit the urban aspect, but thought I'd mention it anyway. Has anyone heard about the White River Project? I think most people in Arkansas knows we produce a lot of rice. Especially around the Stuttgart area. That area used to be called the Grand Prarie. It was a treeless area of Arkansas mainly around Arkansas, Prarie and some of Lonoke Counties. Praries of this size are more common further west. It's caused by the soil. There's a thick layer of clay not too far beneath the topsoil, which makes it more difficult for trees to get started. That also happens to make retaining water a lot easier. Which you need for rice production. But there's one problem, if you look at all the major rice producing countries they tend to have one thing in common. They have a monsoon season, producing a lot of water in particular in late summer. It's pretty obvious it isn't too wet around Arkansas in July or August. So what the rice farmers have done is drill wells for water. Rice farming uses a lot of water and of course caused the water table to drop a lot in this area of the state. So now they've decided to try to divert water from the White River to help with irrigation. It's been a bit contraversial, they've revised plans several times and I'm not sure where it stands at now. But I believe the project is still going forward. One possible problem that might occur, is that in late summer the Arkansas River tends to get rather shallow especially for barges. I think diverting water from the White River might make this problem worse. Anyway just thought it might be interesting to mention some other things going on Arkansas. See if anyone knows anything or has any comments about it.

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I think I heard it has been momentarily halted, since the Ivory Billed Woodpecker was discovered on the Cache River in the White River basin.

Also, I read an article that said most farmers in the area were actually against the project, since it would (somehow) raise water prices, not lower them. Not sure of the technical details there.

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I've heard of another project, although it's nothing on a very big scale. I've heard someone is trying to convert Dogpatch into a place for bikers to get together. It's near Scenic Hwy 7 which is used a lot by bikers. I think so far they are doing minor things, but have mentioned the possibility of a hotel and other things in the future. Seeing as how it's been closed for years and nothing was happening to it might as well use it for something. It might also try to tie into Fayetteville's Bikes, Blue, & BBQ festival. It's really become a pretty big event in just a few years. I think last year they estimated 125,000 to 150,000 people, putting it into the top 5 for biker festivals. Aside from it being noisy, it does a lot of good and raises a lot of money for local charities.

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I think I heard it has been momentarily halted, since the Ivory Billed Woodpecker was discovered on the Cache River in the White River basin.

Also, I read an article that said most farmers in the area were actually against the project, since it would (somehow) raise water prices, not lower them.  Not sure of the technical details there.

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Hmmm...haven't heard about the project since the woodpecker was found. Didn't think of that. But yeah I've heard a lot of people not in favor of it, although I don't know all the details myself.

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While I was in Pine Bluff I saw a mention of a connecting road between I-530 and the future I-69. Does anyone know is everything with I-69 and the connection between I-530 and I-69 set? Is there any timetable set?

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This is such an all encompassing title....do you mean all projects going on around the state?

:-D

Also, I'll be heading to Little Rock tomorrow, hopefully i can get some good pictures of the city.

I'm thinking i'm going to start a topic on Hot Springs tomorrow.

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They grow rice all over the Delta, from Little Rock to West Memphis, you name it. I don't think anything's prettier than an emerald green rice field.

I've got rice-farming cousins in Forrest City. I don't think it matters how much it rains, the stuff's got to be in six inches of water or so. And East Arkansas gets about 50 inches a year which is a lot but still not enough. There's never enough, at least in the US.

There was an article in the Memphis newspaper awhile back that discussed how the wells were beginning to run dry. The aquifer runs under the Mississippi, so Memphis was concerned about the shared water.

The woodpecker? My grandpa from Newport said they were pretty good eatin'. lol

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They grow rice all over the Delta, from Little Rock to West Memphis, you name it.  I don't think anything's prettier than an emerald green rice field.

I've got rice-farming cousins in Forrest City.  I don't think it matters how much it rains, the stuff's got to be in six inches of water or so.  And East Arkansas gets about 50 inches a year which is a lot but still not enough.  There's never enough, at least in the US.

There was an article in the Memphis newspaper awhile back that discussed how the wells were beginning to run dry.  The aquifer runs under the Mississippi, so Memphis was concerned about the shared water.

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Yeah it's great that Arkansas has the type of land that you can grow rice, but Arkansas just doesn't have enough water to grow rice on the scale that we do. Somethings going to have to give. I've always gotten the impression rice farmers tended to be some of the most well off farmers in the state. In the winter time they can keep their fields flooded for all the ducks. Although with the warmer winters and changes in habitat further north the large duck populations could become a thing of the past.

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Hey my neighbors to the north , I know its a little late but congrats on the new forum :)

I was hoping i could learn a little more about Little Rock(major industries,growth,planning,etc..) I really dont know much about LR except that it is similar in size 2 Baton Rouge, so any info would be very welcome

Thanks in advance...

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A project was announced today for Jonesboro--a nine-story, 220-room Courtyard by Marriott, together with a 65,000-square-foot convention center. The article also mentions something about Jonesboro's Turtle Creek Mall being opened--supposed to be the 5th largest mall in the state, most likely after malls in Little Rock and NWA.

Jonesboro project

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The Jonesboro project is just more evidence of the expansion up here in the NE part of the state. I'm from Paragould, and I'm thrilled about some of the happenings in Jonesboro.

The Mall At Turtle Creek

Courtyard by Marriott Convention Center

Over the past few years, Jonesboro has added Books A Million, Pier 1, Old Navy, TJ Max, Outback Steak House, Coltons Steak House, O'Charleys, Ruby Tuesday, El Chico, Cracker Barrell, and lots more!

Memphis is becoming obsolete for folks here in NE AR! (Thank goodness, b/c Memphis is not the greatest metro in the US)

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I have been a little surprised of all that seems to be going on around Jonesboro. There's a lot going on here in northwest Arkansas but when you add all the cities together you get a decent metro area. Jonesboro seems to have a lot going on with having the metro area that it does. It's nice to have something stand out in eastern Arkansas where development and population seem to be spiraling downward.

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It's been a little while since I've heard about this. Has anyone heard any of the plans to build some sort of Christmas Village outside of Eureka Springs? At first I didn't think much of it, but they were mentioning hotels and such. I almost got the impression it be like it's own town. Wasn't sure if it was really going through or just one of those things you hear about that never seem to get off the ground.

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Hot Springs has all of those restaurants/stores you mentioned---in a city of 35,000.  I think Jonesboro is just becoming more of an economic powerhouse.  Hot Springs always was a powerhouse for its size because of the tourists and rich state residents who have lake homes.  Plus, Garland county has 93,000 people.  (In addition, we have office depot, petco, american eagle, starbucks, lots of new developments everywhere.....i really need to take pictures).

As for Memphis...I'm not too much of a fan of it.  I'm in Memphis right now, and I have been for the past week in my sister's apartment on Mud Island.  Mud Island is very nice, but just a few blocks away is the ghetto.  It smells bad here since we're along the Mississippi River.  The pyramid is overrated and in decay.  The downtown is nice in parts, but very dirty and gross everywhere.  A huge portion of the buildings are derelict and decades old.  The crime is horrible.  Their number one employer started in Little Rock: FedEx (haha, that's just a personal thing that makes me jealous).  Even the streets look depressing; they are a gross brownish gravel color.  I've been to parts in the core of the city that looked like third world countries with trash spread out everywhere.  It just has a general feel all over downtown of "gross."  It is the ugliest big city I've been to, far eclipsing Boston or New Orleans.  Although Little Rock is much smaller (180,000 vs. 690,000), Little Rock's river market is so much more beautiful, lively, clean, and progressive than anything in downtown Memphis, save the Redbird ballpark---which we'll be getting something similar very soon.  The grass and trees along Little Rock's Riverfront and the trees that line the street are definitely a major selling point.  Our trolleys are cuter too.  And it goes over the river so you can see the skyline.  Little Rock of course has its bad parts too......lol..

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Yeah Hot Springs has a lot but it also draws a lot of tourists. I don't think anybody would call Jonesboro a tourist town. As far as Memphis, maybe it's just depends on what you're looking for. I admit I haven't been real impressed with what I've seen overall in Memphis. There are some nice areas though. That and I do hear some people talk about how they like Memphis and the 'atmosphere'. I believe I've heard that New Orleans and Memphis are the two poorist cities in the US. Yet both cities do attract quite a few tourists. I do know quite a few people here in northwest Arkansas how don't like Little Rock and complain about the crime. We've always had a rather low crime rate in northwest Arkansas, so a place like Little Rock seems a lot worse to people up here.

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I believe I've heard that New Orleans and Memphis are the two poorist cities in the US.  Yet both cities do attract quite a few tourists.  I do know quite a few people here in northwest Arkansas how don't like Little Rock and complain about the crime.  We've always had a rather low crime rate in northwest Arkansas, so a place like Little Rock seems a lot worse to people up here.

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As a former Memphian, I do get tired of defending against the "poorest city" deal. Which I think is somewhat racially motivated, much like the views of Little Rock by people in northwest AR.

Anyway, some facts for metro area median household income, from the 2000 census:

Memphis 40,201

Miami 38,632

New Orleans 35,317

Oklahoma City 36,797

San Antonio 39,140

Tulsa 38,261

Baton Rouge 38,438

Birmingham 39,278

And for some Arkansas cities

Fayetteville-Springdale 37,322

Jonesboro 32,425

Little Rock 39,145

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That is true Arkansas cities are by no means filthy rich. There are still plenty of people here in northwest Arkansas who are poor. As far as Memphis being poor, it had been an article I read in the Natl Geographic. I don't know where they got their info from. It's been a while but I do remember seeing some rather nice areas in the Memphis metro. I believe Germantown was one of them. I don't know if I would say that northwest Arkansas's view on Little Rock is racially motivated though. I don't necessarily think that northwest Arkansas is particularly racist. I think it has more to do with being a part of the Ozarks. There does seem to be a stereotype for the Ozarks as a whole as being racist. I'm certainly not saying there aren't any racists people in the Ozarks but I think it is overhyped. There never has been many Afro-Americans in the Ozarks because there isn't any land suitable for much agriculture let alone plantations. Much of the white ancestry comes from the Scotch-Irish because few people from other parts of Europe thought the land was worth anything. But anyway I'd say that I think of northwest Arkansas probably being the most different area of the Ozarks that I can recall.

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Germantown is nice. But it's sort of like using Conway to say Little Rock is nice. Downtown Memphis is dirty, although a lot more lively (beale street, that is) than Little Rock...

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That is true Arkansas cities are by no means filthy rich.  There are still plenty of people here in northwest Arkansas who are poor.  As far as Memphis being poor, it had been an article I read in the Natl Geographic.  I don't know where they got their info from.  It's been a while but I do remember seeing some rather nice areas in the Memphis metro.  I believe Germantown was one of them.  I don't know if I would say that northwest Arkansas's view on Little Rock is racially motivated though.  I don't necessarily think that northwest Arkansas is particularly racist.  I think it has more to do with being a part of the Ozarks.  There does seem to be a stereotype for the Ozarks as a whole as being racist.  I'm certainly not saying there aren't any racists people in the Ozarks but I think it is overhyped.  There never has been many Afro-Americans in the Ozarks because there isn't any land suitable for much agriculture let alone plantations.  Much of the white ancestry comes from the Scotch-Irish because few people from other parts of Europe thought the land was worth anything.  But anyway I'd say that I think of northwest Arkansas probably being the most different area of the Ozarks that I can recall.

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I wasn't trying to say that the Ozark region is particularly racist. In a sense I'd compare it to east Tennessee. Lots of people in both regions just aren't used to large numbers of black people and consider majority black areas like Little Rock or Memphis to be "different".

As far as "nice" areas of Memphis go. The white population of Shelby County has income levels as high as the white population of Hennepin County MN (Minneapolis--I live in Minnesota) which is why the eastern half of Shelby County is as rich as King Farouk--including Collierville, Germantown, etc.

But I could care less about those areas--because they look like and have the same feel as affluent white areas anywhere in the country. What I like about Memphis are Midtown and Downtown--which are urban gems, large areas containing old late 19th century/early 20th century neighborhoods. With the exception of New Orleans, Charleston, and some smaller cities, that's about as good as it gets in the South.

Anyway, this is an Arkansas thread, not a Tennessee thread.

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I see, it's ironic that a while back ago Tyson tried getting Afro-Americans from southern Arkansas to come help fill factory jobs in northwest Arkansas because there just wasn't enough people to fill all the growth going on. Tyson had very little luck, I think few Afro-Americans were willing to come because they had negative images of northwest Arkansas being the typical 'Ozark' mentality. So eventually Tyson went after the hispanic community and I think most people in this area what happened there. It's sorta funny because now there seems to be more Afro-Americans coming into northwest Arkansas (or Fayetteville at least) and many seem surprised how nice it is and how there hasn't been the anticipated racism they thought would occur. I've even had some coworkers comment how they were surprised how 'open' northwest Arkansas seems to be overall. Northwest Arkansas may not have the 'big city' mentalility but we're not as backwards as some people think we are. :D

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I don't think it's a matter of being "backward" in any stereotyped sense. I live in Minnesota, a supposedly progressive state, and many of the people I know would experience culture shock in being around a predominantly black culture like in Memphis or the Delta.

And as few blacks as there were/are in NWA, I can imagine that there always have been more than in small town Minnesota.

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Yeah I see your point. I can also understand your frustration about people's attitudes about Memphis. Memphis does seem to be one of those cities that either people really like or either really don't like. I haven't been to Memphis since I was pretty young, so I can't say that I can make any personal judgements about Memphis.

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As far as other projects go I keep hearing about a Hwy 412 bypass around the northern edge of Springdale. Tyson and Wal-mart generate a lot of truck traffic here in northwest Arkansas and an additional east-west expressway would be very nice. But knowing how Arkansas road projects go who knows when it will actually happen.

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As far as other projects go I keep hearing about a Hwy 412 bypass around the northern edge of Springdale.  Tyson and Wal-mart generate a lot of truck traffic here in northwest Arkansas and an additional east-west expressway would be very nice.  But knowing how Arkansas road projects go who knows when it will actually happen.

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Arkansas in general has a lot of truck traffic which beats up its roads pretty bad.

Was work on I-40 between Little Rock and Memphis ever finished? That thing needs to be six-laned instead of four.

Also, does anyone know when the state will get around to repaving I-55? You know it's bad when 90% of the traffic gets in the left lane to save their suspension systems. :lol:

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