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Article on Marion AR growth

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Great article. Marion is an example of how to get industrial development done. Arkansas seems to really on the ball now in its economic recruitment and expansion, which is great!

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hmmm........................ perhaps he overanalyzed........perhaps he's right.

good article overall.

I'm not sure exactly what you're referring to in the article. Maybe the author overdid the sociological stuff, but I thought the article's take on East Arkansas attitudes--in one word, bad--toward Memphis were accurate.

I've got cousins in Forrest City who despise Memphis. I don't think that Memphians look down on Arkansas. If anything that "look down" is limited to West Memphis, which isn't particularly attractive by most standards anyway. Also, the Mississippi River creates a real psychological barrier imho. Crittenden County is just viewed as isolated--"out there".

What I found interesting in the article was the fact that Mississippians haven't had that negativity toward Memphis. Probably half the people in Memphis, white or black, are 1 or 2 generations removed from MS. And the real bedroom community of Memphis is DeSoto County MS which is the 30th something fastest growing county in the US, full of cities of 15,000 to 35,000. And those folks are absolutely integrated into the Memphis economy/culture, unlike West Memphis or Marion.

Anyway, to sum up my long-windedness, I would hope that Marion's economic and population boom would help integrate that area more into the overall Memphis area. I think that would be good for both sides of the river.

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I'm not sure exactly what you're referring to in the article. Maybe the author overdid the sociological stuff, but I thought the article's take on East Arkansas attitudes--in one word, bad--toward Memphis were accurate.

I've got cousins in Forrest City who despise Memphis. I don't think that Memphians look down on Arkansas. If anything that "look down" is limited to West Memphis, which isn't particularly attractive by most standards anyway. Also, the Mississippi River creates a real psychological barrier imho. Crittenden County is just viewed as isolated--"out there".

What I found interesting in the article was the fact that Mississippians haven't had that negativity toward Memphis. Probably half the people in Memphis, white or black, are 1 or 2 generations removed from MS. And the real bedroom community of Memphis is DeSoto County MS which is the 30th something fastest growing county in the US, full of cities of 15,000 to 35,000. And those folks are absolutely integrated into the Memphis economy/culture, unlike West Memphis or Marion.

Anyway, to sum up my long-windedness, I would hope that Marion's economic and population boom would help integrate that area more into the overall Memphis area. I think that would be good for both sides of the river.

Hopefully there might be a river crossing associated with I-269 that would help with bridging the psychological barrier.

On a side note, I hope that they implement some smart town planning initiatives, and not allow the town to disintegrate into suburban sprawling development that is typical with many auto towns.

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I've got cousins in Forrest City who despise Memphis. I don't think that Memphians look down on Arkansas. If anything that "look down" is limited to West Memphis, which isn't particularly attractive by most standards anyway. Also, the Mississippi River creates a real psychological barrier imho. Crittenden County is just viewed as isolated--"out there".

What I found interesting in the article was the fact that Mississippians haven't had that negativity toward Memphis. Probably half the people in Memphis, white or black, are 1 or 2 generations removed from MS. And the real bedroom community of Memphis is DeSoto County MS which is the 30th something fastest growing county in the US, full of cities of 15,000 to 35,000. And those folks are absolutely integrated into the Memphis economy/culture, unlike West Memphis or Marion.

Anyway, to sum up my long-windedness, I would hope that Marion's economic and population boom would help integrate that area more into the overall Memphis area. I think that would be good for both sides of the river.

I think your assessment of Arkansawyers' views toward Memphis and the divide of the Mississippi River are at least somewhat stretched. Like you, I have very close family connections to city of Memphis and the state of Arkansas. In fact I have family members either from or currently living in Memphis on both sides. Memphis is the closest big city to Little Rock, at only two and a half hours up I-40, and it's an economic center for much of East Arkansas.

To say that half of Memphians are one or two generations from Mississippi is probably overstated as well. Also, there is a very sizable group of people from Arkansas who have taken jobs in Memphis. Two famous examples are Johnny Cash and Al Green. They left Arkansas for the big city of Memphis to make it big. Regarding the Mississippi suburbs as being more connected to the city, they certainly are, but it's not just because of a river. The Arkansas cities of the metro are largely based on industry and trucking, which aren't exactly things that make for great bedroom communities. Also, the Arkansas cities, at least West Memphis are more prone to flooding; Memphis sits up on bluffs.

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Great article. Marion is an example of how to get industrial development done. Arkansas seems to really on the ball now in its economic recruitment and expansion, which is great!

Yes, Arkansas really does seem to be doing very well in terms of industrial development, and that is very nice to see!

My family in Arkansas has been telling me lately, that there is new industrial development going on in the Ashdown, AR area.

MY 400th Post! :alc:

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I think your assessment of Arkansawyers' views toward Memphis and the divide of the Mississippi River are at least somewhat stretched. Like you, I have very close family connections to city of Memphis and the state of Arkansas. In fact I have family members either from or currently living in Memphis on both sides. Memphis is the closest big city to Little Rock, at only two and a half hours up I-40, and it's an economic center for much of East Arkansas.

To say that half of Memphians are one or two generations from Mississippi is probably overstated as well. Also, there is a very sizable group of people from Arkansas who have taken jobs in Memphis. Two famous examples are Johnny Cash and Al Green. They left Arkansas for the big city of Memphis to make it big. Regarding the Mississippi suburbs as being more connected to the city, they certainly are, but it's not just because of a river. The Arkansas cities of the metro are largely based on industry and trucking, which aren't exactly things that make for great bedroom communities. Also, the Arkansas cities, at least West Memphis are more prone to flooding; Memphis sits up on bluffs.

I don't think my assessment of Mississippi's connection with Memphis is that much of a stretch. I've had friends who grew up in suburban Jackson MS whose families had home delivery--a paper boy--of the Memphis Commercial Appeal--and that's a good 200 miles away from Memphis. 200 miles out into Arkansas, I doubt if you could buy the Memphis paper anywhere. As far south as Natchez MS--300 miles from Memphis--you can buy it at convenience stores.

There's the old saying that Memphis is the capital of north MS and New Orleans is the capital of south MS. In AR, Memphis' influence imho doesn't extend much past Forrest City--40 miles west. Arkansas has a fairly large city--Little Rock--only 2 hours away. MS has a smaller city--Jackson--4 hrs. away.

I'm certainly aware of the number of Arkansas residents who've moved to Memphis. Charlie Rich and Howlin' Wolf were both from Forrest City and went to Sun Studios. And there's tons more than that.

Of course, my mom was from rural east AR, so I'd have a hard time denying any connection, just that rural MS was always considered virtually a spinoff of Memphis (and maybe the reverse lol).

And you're certainly correct in the reasons that West Memphis/Marion aren't the bedroom communities that DeSoto Co MS towns are. Although, I'd disagree about the flooding aspect--never heard of those AR towns flooding. Those Crittenden CO. levees are 3 miles back from the river and look to be about 30 feet tall. they could take on Katrina imho. In between the levees and the river, in the springtime, the river spreads out to about 3 miles wide which is pretty cool looking.

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Hmmm..... not a bad read! It's not bad to hear that other places besides Memphis are getting industrial growth. Sure, it may not be a bedroom community, but it at least has something right?

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I don't think my assessment of Mississippi's connection with Memphis is that much of a stretch. I've had friends who grew up in suburban Jackson MS whose families had home delivery--a paper boy--of the Memphis Commercial Appeal--and that's a good 200 miles away from Memphis. 200 miles out into Arkansas, I doubt if you could buy the Memphis paper anywhere. As far south as Natchez MS--300 miles from Memphis--you can buy it at convenience stores.

There's the old saying that Memphis is the capital of north MS and New Orleans is the capital of south MS. In AR, Memphis' influence imho doesn't extend much past Forrest City--40 miles west. Arkansas has a fairly large city--Little Rock--only 2 hours away. MS has a smaller city--Jackson--4 hrs. away.

I'm certainly aware of the number of Arkansas residents who've moved to Memphis. Charlie Rich and Howlin' Wolf were both from Forrest City and went to Sun Studios. And there's tons more than that.

Of course, my mom was from rural east AR, so I'd have a hard time denying any connection, just that rural MS was always considered virtually a spinoff of Memphis (and maybe the reverse lol).

And you're certainly correct in the reasons that West Memphis/Marion aren't the bedroom communities that DeSoto Co MS towns are. Although, I'd disagree about the flooding aspect--never heard of those AR towns flooding. Those Crittenden CO. levees are 3 miles back from the river and look to be about 30 feet tall. they could take on Katrina imho. In between the levees and the river, in the springtime, the river spreads out to about 3 miles wide which is pretty cool looking.

I'm certainly in agreement about the relative reach of Memphis in Mississippi. The extent of the reach of the Commercial Appeal in Arkansas is to the sizable Delta cities near Memphis, out to Jonesboro. Little Rock is just a more dominant force in Arkansas than Jackson is in Mississippi. The importance of Memphis to Arkansas' Delta, however, is great, as it is in Mississippi's Delta. Many that are leaving the declining region in both states leave for Memphis. The difference is that Arkansas cities don't have the connection to Memphis as suburbs that communities in Mississippi do. Memphis is more of an outside force for the Arkansas cities in the Memphis metro, whereas it is the central force for the Mississippi cities in the metro.

Regarding the location of West Memphis as more flood prone, I mean geologically. The man-made barriers do offer protection today. I've always heard that Memphis' site on the Mississippi River was chosen because of the bluffs, which offered protection from flooding. Before the levees were built West Memphis was more a hazardous location for development.

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I've always wondered why Crittenden County's population wasn't much greater and there weren't more affluent bedroom communities. As commuters move further and further away and suburbs such as Germantown age and start to decay I think Crittenden County will increase in appeal. A large planned community along the lines of Maumelle is what would be the most successful as it would provide a community identity separate from run-down West Memphis. Marion, though, is doing well and can only go up.

Desoto Co, MS is really a nice, attractive area.

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Very interesting article. I guess I was a little surprised about people's attitude about Memphis. I hadn't thought much about it but I guess I do tend to hear more negative attitudes towards memphis than posituve. I hadn't thought about it too much. I had wondered about Crittenden County developing more into a part of memphis, but other's on the forum have mentioned West Memphis is pretty bad. Maybe if Marion keeps developing it will eventually spur growth and development in West Memphis and further fuel the whole region.

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How many people are there in Marion as of 2005?

In 2004, Marion had 9400 and West Memphis had 28,000.

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Very interesting article. I guess I was a little surprised about people's attitude about Memphis. I hadn't thought much about it but I guess I do tend to hear more negative attitudes towards memphis than posituve. I hadn't thought about it too much. I had wondered about Crittenden County developing more into a part of memphis, but other's on the forum have mentioned West Memphis is pretty bad. Maybe if Marion keeps developing it will eventually spur growth and development in West Memphis and further fuel the whole region.

Growing up in LR we always had a very negative opinion of Memphis. It has a couple of nicknames too vulgar to repeat here. It's not as bad as all that but it has big problems in terms of flight and city government.

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Growing up in LR we always had a very negative opinion of Memphis. It has a couple of nicknames too vulgar to repeat here. It's not as bad as all that but it has big problems in terms of flight and city government.

I too live in Little Rock, and while I recognize that Memphis has its problems with city government, crime, schools, etc., I really like Memphis. Many cities have problems in these same areas, but Memphis has a lot to offer in terms of history and entertainment. It's a fun place to visit, but I always stay with family when I'm there, so I get to experience the city at a slow pace. One reason I prefer Little Rock is because it's a cleaner city; it has a more progressive image as well. Yeah, there are some jokes and stereotypes about Memphis, but we here in Little Rock do the same about our own city. In general people here like Memphis.

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I too live in Little Rock, and while I recognize that Memphis has its problems with city government, crime, schools, etc., I really like Memphis. Many cities have problems in these same areas, but Memphis has a lot to offer in terms of history and entertainment. It's a fun place to visit, but I always stay with family when I'm there, so I get to experience the city at a slow pace. One reason I prefer Little Rock is because it's a cleaner city; it has a more progressive image as well. Yeah, there are some jokes and stereotypes about Memphis, but we here in Little Rock do the same about our own city. In general people here like Memphis.

Even amongst people that liked it I always heard the "nice place to visit but I wouldn't want to live there" mantra. One problem about Memphis was that while it had more to do than Little Rock, it didn't have so much more that it made it worth a visit for shopping or dining purposes. Now if you wanted to go drink all night on Beale or go to a "gentleman's club" it was worth the trip for most people. Now that Tunica's there that's probably a much bigger draw for Arkansans than Memphis proper.

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