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Old 08-14-2008, 01:49 PM
 
39 posts, read 135,636 times
Reputation: 24
Default What is going on in Helena-West Helena?

I just saw on CNN's website that the city is under a 24-hour curfew ordered by the mayor. What is going on down there? I've never heard of a town that small with crime to the level where a 24-hour curfew would be ordered. I know that the Delta region tends to be plagued with poverty...but wow. I hope the absolute best for the citizens of this community.

 
Old 08-14-2008, 03:38 PM
 
Location: Where Trolls get BBQ'd
131,641 posts, read 42,327,116 times
Reputation: 114024
This might shed some light.

The Associated Press: Crime-ridden Arkansas town expands 24-hour curfew (broken link)
 
Old 08-14-2008, 09:13 PM
 
Location: Detroit Downriver
621 posts, read 1,304,942 times
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When I last lived there ('89-'90), at least three people that I knew were gunned down in their places of business by thieves. Peter Chu and his wife operated a small grocery convenience store on the corner of Arkansas and Chickasaw for over 20 years. They raised 3 kids, sent them to college, and was still hanging on making a modest living. Then one day, Pete watched as a 14 year old black boy came in and blatantly started shoplifting candy. He simply made the boy put the candy back and leave. In short order, the boy returned with a shotgun and killed both Pete and his wife. Pete hung on long enough to identify the assailant, and he was arrested. That's how we know the circumstances of the crime.

In the other case, old man Clark of Clark's Liquor Store had been in business at least as long as Pete. He was gunned down behind the counter for a paltry sum of money.

I graduated High School at Central there in 1967. It was a thriving place to live at the time. It is really sad to see what this community has come to.
 
Old 08-16-2008, 06:00 PM
 
350 posts, read 818,668 times
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I try not to say anything negative about other parts of Arkansas but Helena-West Helena is as dangerous as any part of Arkansas, or probably even Memphis. There are some rough areas of downtown and they outnumber the safe areas. I know some good people that live in the area, but none that don't complain about it.
 
Old 08-17-2008, 07:53 AM
 
1,623 posts, read 2,938,703 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aporkalypse View Post
Helena-West Helena is as dangerous as any part of Arkansas
I'll tell you what the cryin' shame is about this, other than the obvious.

Helena is infamous for being a blues birthplace. Back in "the day", every blues man who was worth his spit would go to Helena to hone his craft.

Everybody knew, you either went to "the crossroads", or to Helena, or both.

They had a blues festival for many years, and way back when I first bought my farm here, I was in anticipation of going to Helena for a fest.

If they had it now, you'd need a hum-v and bulletproof vest to attend.
 
Old 08-17-2008, 03:56 PM
 
350 posts, read 818,668 times
Reputation: 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by RogMar View Post
I'll tell you what the cryin' shame is about this, other than the obvious.

Helena is infamous for being a blues birthplace. Back in "the day", every blues man who was worth his spit would go to Helena to hone his craft.

Everybody knew, you either went to "the crossroads", or to Helena, or both.

They had a blues festival for many years, and way back when I first bought my farm here, I was in anticipation of going to Helena for a fest.

If they had it now, you'd need a hum-v and bulletproof vest to attend.
I'm still pretty ticked about a Memphis festival buying the right to the "King Biscuit" name when Helena's been using that for as long as I remember. I thought it was dirty as can be.
 
Old 08-17-2008, 09:52 PM
 
Location: Detroit Downriver
621 posts, read 1,304,942 times
Reputation: 389
I've still got relatives there; a brother and a sister. Neither one has said anything about the curfew or anything else. So, it's not like it's a war zone or anything.

But, it's not the old Helena/West Helena that I used to belong to. Even in '89/'90 when I was there, most of the old familiar businesses in Helena were boarded up. Too much shop lifting. Too much theft from employees. The businesses, like convenience stores and fast food, couldn't hang on with all the graft. So now, the good people gotta suffer the same fate sown by the bad, a town that has necrotized into a poor place to live.

The problem, I think, is with the welfare economy that dominated the region for so many years. Free housing, food stamps, welfare and SSI checks. People being given everything never learn to respect property. And, family values don't exist when there more money to be made having kids out of wedlock.

But, don't talk about it. It's taboo.
 
Old 08-18-2008, 09:57 AM
 
1,623 posts, read 2,938,703 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bull Winkus View Post
The problem, I think, is with the welfare economy that dominated the region for so many years. Free housing, food stamps, welfare and SSI checks. People being given everything never learn to respect property. And, family values don't exist when there more money to be made having kids out of wedlock.

But, don't talk about it. It's taboo.
Oh....I hear ya, brother. I am painfully familiar with that part of society, and states with liberal welfare laws that promote that.

When I moved up to northern Illinois to finish out my career, I saw whole citys based on the free check.

It permeated every crack and crevice of their social structure.

I distinctly recall a police officer getting fired in a nearby city for something minor like a homicide, who then got P.O.'d enough to call the FBI and "drop a dime".

It wasn't long before the FBI showed up, seized their fleet of aging police cars, and traced the serial numbers of the stolen engines in each, and *every* one of them.

I saw more corruption than you could shake a stick at, and the welfare/SSI system has a huge, gaping wound in it that bleeds rivers every day, and just keeps going.

There are millions of people out there who have never worked a day, and never will, and firmly believe that the taxpayers owe them a check, and then all their children also.

Helena/W. Helena, unfortunately, has many brothers and sisters spread throughout this country.
 
Old 08-18-2008, 01:56 PM
 
Location: Hot Springs Village, Ark
272 posts, read 550,013 times
Reputation: 149
I lived in Helena/W Helena from 1972 to 1976 and loved it there. I made many good friends there and am still in contact with some that no longer live there either. Back then the place was thriving, Mohawk Rubber, Doughboy Pools, Helena Chemical, the chemical plant on the river (can't remember the name) and some of the best hunting and fishing areas I have ever seen. I had to take a business trip to Memphis a couple of years ago and had a free afternoon so I drove down there. I have never seen a place that changed so dramatically. Most of it I could not even recognize. Doubt if I ever go back.
 
Old 08-18-2008, 02:09 PM
 
Location: MS
2,943 posts, read 1,952,278 times
Reputation: 974
After talking to my uncle-in-law this past weekend, I get the feeling that this has been blown out of proportion by the media. Yes, it is bad and true, there is a curfew but people aren't crawling around on the floor of their house afraid they will be hit by stray bullets.

According to him and his son (both were Helena police officers) is that the situation was ignored and got out of hand. Quality officers stayed in the area to get a couple of years experience and moved on to larger cities. The ones that stayed were just lazy and/or on the take.

Everyone with ties to the town had hopes that it could bounce back. My mother-in-law and uncle-in-law (UIL)missed a few opportunities to sell their childhood home. Now they are trying desperately to unload it but there are no buyers.

-Robert
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