Although details remain to be hashed out, Baxter International's planned arrival in Stanton Springs industrial park has been a great boost for local moral.
The arrival has community members hopeful they or their children could be in line for high-quality jobs, while community leaders are dreaming of what Newton County can become, particularly if additional industries follow in Baxter's footsteps.
Community officials tell us several additional companies are considering setting up shop in Covington, lured at least in part by Baxter's decision.
Part of the future Newton County many of us hope to see is an increased retail base. As a result, there should be a renewed push by our county commissioners to place an alcohol by the drink referendum on the November ballot.
Because of past decisions by both commissioners and voters, in alcohol and other areas, we've seen the evaporation of entertainment and the loss of tax dollars to our neighboring counties.
Last year, three commissioners prevented alcohol by the drink from making it to the ballot. Mort Ewing voted against alcohol by the drink despite the fact its included in the 2050 Plan, which he voted for, J.C. Henderson conveniently hid behind his Bible and Earnest Simmons paid back the voters who were smart enough not to vote him back into office.
The commissioners are now scheduled to vote between June 5 and July 17, while two public hearings will be held June 9 at 10 a.m. and June 11 at 6 p.m. at the Historic Courthouse.
Don't depend on your elected officials to allow you the opportunity to vote on this issue; make sure your views are heard.