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Sometimes our friends in political life like to see their names in print -- take for instance state Rep. Charlene Fite (House District 80) being named by AY Magazine as one of the Intriguing Women of 2019.

Such an honor for someone who lives and works far from the Capitol City of Little Rock, is indeed rare.

She's earned the recognition.

From AY: "Rep. Charlene Fite has filled her life with a mission to do right and help others, no matter where the call to action comes from. She was born and raised in Alma, but her path took her well outside of Arkansas after high school, spending time in Texas, Tennessee, Missouri and even Taiwan, where she spent eight years as a missionary and graduated from the Taipei Language Institute. Each stop along the way brought her further down the path to where she is today -- back in Arkansas, representing others."

Lavish but well-deserved praise in the state-wide publication.

She did talk about her proudest accomplishment as legislation she has helped to pass for all Arkansans.

"...I'm very proud of the legislation I've successfully sponsored that has reformed the juvenile justice system; attracted retired military members to Arkansas; improved life for children in the foster care system; strengthened our laws against domestic violence and made life better for Deaf individuals," she told the magazine.

As a favorite part of her job as a legislator, "it was making a difference."

"I love it when I can make a difference in someone's daily life. I like connecting people to the right person in the right agency and helping solve problems," Fite said.

Her mom was her inspiration to be a teacher and never to doubt she could do great things.

Now on the flip side, when being in the press is not such a good thing, let's examine state Senator Jim Hendren's past week.

It has not made the often quiet and eloquent spoken state Senator (and nephew of Gov. Asa Hutchinson) -- let's say not so smooth in his delivery following a lawsuit.

U.S. District Judge Timothy Brooks last week ruled in favor of the complainants in a lawsuit against companies that Hendren owns. The suit alleges that they should be treated as employees under the law and receive minimum wage and overtime pay.

The entire matter revolves around a drug and alcohol recovery center, known as DARP Inc. The drug and alcohol recovery center is in Decatur, and Gravette-based plastics manufacturer Hendren Plastics Inc., which Hendren owns.

On the defensive side to the ruling, Hendren had a tough statement to make, which he made.

"We are very disappointed with the judge's ruling. It is especially shocking that he would not even allow us an opportunity to present our case to a jury. We will be appealing this decision not only because our attorneys have told us it is clear that it conflicts with the law and with numerous precedents across the country, but also because I continue to believe that rehabilitation and recovery efforts are preferable to filling our prisons with nonviolent drug and alcohol offenders," Hendren said in a statement.

"Rather than obtaining help recovering from addictions as well as workforce training and employment opportunities, this ruling will ensure offenders will fill our already full prisons and jails where they will be far more likely to become career criminals. I do not regret trying to help when asked by Arkansas Drug Courts to assist people wanting to turn their lives around," the senator said

There is an old saying for appearing in the press and on almost all issues: "One day you are the hammer (on an issue) but some days you are only the nail."

-- Maylon Rice is a former journalist who worked for several northwest Arkansas publications. He can be reached via email at [email protected] The opinions expressed are those of the author.

Editorial on 10/09/2019

Print Headline: Political news often 'mixed' in real life;

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