Texarkana Rocks

Have you seen painted rocks hidden around town? This growing trend started just to brighten people’s day.  I have stumbled across a few rocks myself, and I do enjoy seeing them. However, I leave the rocks where I find them for the stones to brighten up someone else’s day.  It is a light-hearted and harmless trend that is ever-growing. In fact, Texarkana even has a Facebook group called “Texarkana Rocks- Texas Official Group” where they gather to show off their rocks as well as discuss possible hiding places and reasons behind. The Facebook group although closed to the public is still is to join. By joining the group, I gained access to the hot hiding spots for painted rocks located in Spring Lake Park and Three Chicks.

   If you treat the painted rocks as a game, then the game is straightforward. First, you find a quilted rock that has passed through 20 different hands with everyone adding their personal touch, and then you paint it. Next thing you do is hide the rock someone for someone else to find. The person who finds it can either keep it, rehide it, or leave it be.  Now Texarkana Rocks Facebook group encourages people who paint the rocks to put the web link on the back of the rocks so others can find the group.  This is their way of trying to get strangers unaware of the trend to seek out the group and post pictures of the rocks they find. Mainly because that is part of their game and people get encouraged to paint and hide more rocks when they see their rocks being found. This trend across the ArkLaTex is allowing people to spread their creativity and encourages them to be part of a community. Some people even use the rocks as a way to send a message whether that message is a cause or just to uplift spirits. There are funny rocks, pretty rocks, and even location rocks.

This is one of the Quilt Rocks that is circulating around Texarkana. Photo Taken by Tonya Walker

   One trend that encourages everyone to play the game are the quilted rocks. Now the quilted rocks start out rather dull as they are painted a solid color with horizontal and vertical lines drawn on it. The person to paint the rock essentially only paints one square before hiding the wrong. The next person comes along finds the rock, paints an additional square and then hides it. The same goes for everyone that follows, so by the time all the squares are colored. The idea of painted rocks is brilliant because it invites everyone to join in on the fun to spread smiles across the ArkLaTex. It has become a treasure hunt where people are taking their kids to popular painted rock destination so they can even enjoy the fun. People enjoy finding the rocks just as much as the creators enjoy painting and hiding them. Both parties feel good by the end of the interactions.  

   Painted rocks are meant to brighten people’s day. They are harmless, lighthearted and meant to be fun. I invite everyone who reads this to join the Texarkana Rocks- Texas Official Group on Facebook.

Some of the rocks that can be found around town. Photo taken by Jen Phillips

Red River Innovation Lab for the Humanities

In college, one of the most rewarding accomplishments as a student is acquiring the ability to conduct and exhibit our own works. Doing so means that we are in some way progressing intellectually and broadening both our skill sets and minds by practicing what we learn.  Admittedly, though, it’s hard to do this alone. Guidance, even the slightest thereof, can help individuals in dramatic ways. For this reason, Texas A&M – Texarkana is proud to present a new way for students, faculty, and staff members to collaborate, innovate, and communicate ideas and research agenda’s that will contribute to a better understanding of the humanities The Red River Innovation Lab for the Humanities!

The innovation lab intends on taking a student lead approach to education and scholarship by utilizing not only services and teachings of value to students, but also allowing them to produce their own research and experiments. The lab wants to offer Texas A&M – Texarkana school members a place of encouragement in which they can gather resources cooperatively and produce research-based developments that aid in the progression of their own understandings of the humanities. From the beginning, we want to emphasize student involvement and construct the lab in a way that benefits the wants and needs of student academics.

The Red River Innovation Lab, though not officially open, will be located in room 120 in the STEM building. We’ve just begun receiving our equipment to get up and running! Prior to our grand opening, Director Drew Morton will be hosting our first meeting on November 28th, from 12:15 to 1 pm, in the lab. The meeting is of a participatory nature meant as an opportunity for you to disclose what sort of projects and materials you’re interested in the innovation lab to offer. Dr. Morton will also provide further insight regarding what we will be able to provide for you! It’s an opportunity for voices to be heard. Finally, you get to tell everyone what you want to learn and gain experience in within the field of humanities. Some examples of possible discussion topics may be podcasts, broadcasting, PLACE work, and whatever else you bring to the table. A link to the Innovation Lab’s Facebook page is included below where you can let us know if you are interested in attending. If you plan on joining us, please RSVP by November 26! There will be a light lunch and refreshments offered, so feel free to come by and check out your school’s new research facilities! We hope to see you there.

https://www.facebook.com/RRILH/

Mistletoe Fair 2017

This weekend, the Junior League of Texarkana kicks off the holiday season with the 32nd Annual Mistletoe Fair at the Four States Fairgrounds.

Junior League member Courtney Boeckmann says “Mistletoe Fair is a great way to kick off the holiday season.  From holiday shopping for friends and family, to seeing the magic of the season with the arrival of Santa Claus, to watching a showcase of local animal shelter pets in need of a home called Strut the Mutt, there is something fun for everyone at Mistletoe Fair!”

Day passes can be purchased for $7.00 at the door. For events like “Breakfast with Santa,” “Story Time with Santa,” and “Santa’s Workshop” it is a good idea to purchase in advance because they sell out fast. Tickets can be purchased at the website listed below.

https://www.jltexarkana.org/?nd=ticket_list&fundraiser_id=20

General Admission Hours:

Friday, November 17th Noon-8:00 PM

Saturday, November 18th 9:00 AM-7:00 PM

Sunday, November 19th Noon-5:00 PM

Strut the Mutt:

Sunday, November 19th from 2:30-3:30pm

T-Town Showdown Car and Motorcycle Show

Redemption Repairs and Performance of Texarkana, Arkansas, hosted the T-Town Showdown Car Show on Veteran’s Day, Saturday, November, 11 at the Four States Fair Grounds from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The event organizers honored veterans by allowing free entry to anyone with a military I.D.

The show featured classic cars, show-quality diesels, motorcycles, ATV’s, and premium sound systems.  This event was fun for adults and kids of all ages.  Optimus Prime from the popular Transformers movie series was on site.

After the pin-up girl and sound-off contest, multiple vehicles were spotted, performing burnouts for the crowd.  This show gets two thumbs up.

Photos by:  Misty Jones

         

 

Veterans Day Parade

The Texarkana Area Veterans Council hosted the annual Veteran’s Day Parade in downtown Texarkana, on Saturday, November 11, at 11 a.m.  The theme of this year’s parade was “Saluting Women in the Military thru the Years.”

The parade began at the intersection of East Broad Street and Hazel Street, in downtown Texarkana, Arkansas.  The festivities consisted of floats, local high school bands, antique cars, local motorcycle groups, Texarkana Jeep Junkies, the Corvette Club, Cub Scouts, and much more.   The TAMUT Eagle was also there, showing support for our student and community veterans.

The crowd was beaming with support for their veterans.  Children and their parents were proudly waving their flags and showing their support, as community organizations slowly trickled by passing out candy, flags, and cross pins to the crowd.

If you missed this year’s parade, check out the video link and photos below.

Video provided by KFLTV Texarkana – Youtube

 

Photos by:  Misty Jones

 

2nd Annual Texarkana Fall Festival

The second annual downtown Fall Festival, organized by local women’s organization Diva Maintenance, was held Saturday, October 28 from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

This year’s festival consisted of a costume contest, live bands, vendors, a bounce house, and the infamous Texarkana Flash Mob.  With over 30 contestants, the costume contest was a big hit. The winner was baby girl, Ximena Ortiz, dressed as an owl.

Due to the cold front and the forecast for rain, this year’s festival only saw about half the attendance of last year’s event.  Last year, the attendance reached over 4,000.  The weather caused vendors to back out at the last minute and the vendors who braved the cold didn’t hang in until the 8 p.m. closing time.  As the crowd dwindled, the vendors began shutting down around 5:30 p.m.

The event organizer, Diva Maintenance, also organizes various food festivals downtown such as the Catfish Festival and the Back Alley Food Court.

Tameka Grady, a spokeswoman for Diva Maintenance, said, “We are already working to make the 2018 Fall Festival bigger and better.”

Photos provided by:  Tameka Grady

  

 

Terrifying Social Media Game – or Hoax?

Parents around the globe are filled with anxiety, as police warn of the possibility of a new game on social media, called the 48 Hour Facebook Challenge.

A mother in Northern Ireland claimed her daughter was missing due to the game.  Though no one knows for sure if the game is real, the threat is alarming for parents, especially in the Texarkana area. Snopes.com says the game is a hoax.

The rules of the game have kids trying to earn points by having their names mentioned in Facebook posts or by receiving likes and shares for posts featuring them after their staged disappearance.  Participants in the challenge have 48 hours to get the highest score, before coming forward and letting everyone know they are safe.

In the past two weeks, three teens have gone missing in Texarkana; 15-year-old Austin Ariniello, 14-year-old Justyn Coe, and 17-year-old Spencer Martin.  Austin Ariniello has been located and is safe.  Spencer Martin, had only a BOLO (Be on the Look Out) issued for him.  There have been no follow-up stories on the whereabouts of the other two teens.  There is no evidence to suggest these teens had anything to do with the 48 Hour Challenge.  And furthermore, there are no confirmed reports of anyone participating in the game.  Still, parents are fearful.

Facebook is currently investigating this sick game.  Keep up with this story in Eagle Eye.