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On a previously reported subject, Alissa Ray Brainard, age 15, who went missing from a concert held near here last Saturday, is now home. The following note is from her parents:

"We have found our daughter. My husband I thank (all of) you from the bottom of our hearts for your efforts.''

All we can add to this is a resounding  Amen. 

In other news, raindrops finally fell from the heavens in our neck of the woods, and we all smiled. It's been a long, dry, hot summer here in the Ozarks, and the wet stuff was dearly needed. Hopefully, more is on the way. 

While we're waiting for more blessings to befall us, take a look at the recent Holleyfest Airshow  and also have a pictorial view of the work done by Petit Jean Electric that helped to make ready for that event.

On other exciting fronts, Random Natural Acts is the name of a brand new column making its stunning debut right here and now! Herschel Raney, a Physician from Conway, engages readers with "for the pleasure of it" musings on nature, medicine and the in-between, and we are thrilled to introduce his fantabulous work to you!

On the homefront, homeschooling is a way of life in our family. We've been teaching our kids to self-educate themselves since long before ideas about ''un-schooling'' became cool. At first, we felt rather isolated and alone in our stay-at-home educational quest. But, over the years things have dramatically changed. To get a flavor of what's state-of-the-art today, give a look at this excellent article, written by homeschool mom Laura Clark, and who knows.... you might even learn something!!!  

And on other topics, the past five years, in my work as a professional journalist, I've had the opportunity to visit with people from just about every walk of life. We've met at their offices, around their job sites, in the meeting halls of conventions and in the living rooms of their homes.

Sometimes, as our interviews have evolved, we've engaged in a wide variety of ''off the record'' conversations. Many of these private chats have exposed people's personal feelings about the affairs of our government, the course of politics, and the ever changing nature of world events.

Recently, as I was reviewing old notes to eliminate those which seemed to be of no further value, it occurred to me that I had quite a collection of opinions which represent, in some small way, the thoughts that are ricocheting around in the heads of ''common'' women and men. And, that it would be good to somehow share these perspectives.

Thus, with reflections about the ''true meaning'' of the recently past Labor Day celebrations lingering in my head, I've put together a short sampling of notable quotes, the sentiments of which have fallen repeatedly privy to my ears over the years.

However, in the interest of respecting the privacy of the people who spoke these words and safeguarding the integrity of future confidential conversations, none of the speakers are identified and the notes from which their uttered words were captured no longer exist. But, you can  click here to see what you think about the stuff that many of our brethren have said.

And, if it's more food for thought you have a hankerin' for, give a click to this month's Editorial. I've climbed on an ''alternative'' kind of soap-box this month, and you may be in for a big surprise. 

Then, if you've still not had enough, click on over to our Polls and Opinions page to read our current results and make your voice heard. 

Now, back to the lighter side of life... When I was a Michigan child, I loved the first bite of fall. Autumn meant jumping into huge stacks of raked leaves, riding the tractor to the pumpkin patch, and Sunday dinner with wild pheasant as the main course.  But now I'm an Arkansas adult and things sure have changed. 

September, here in the Ozarks this year, dawned hot-hot-hot. Our usual 2 to 3 week stretch of ''over 100 degrees'' weather started in June this year and, after one very short July respite, seems to still be going strong. Other than an occasional and exceedingly brief cloudburst, I can't remember the last time we had a really good rain and  neither can the greenery... er, ah, should I say ''brownery'' in my yard.

But such is life... Seasons change. Climates shift. Transitions ebb and flow. And thus we come to this month's edition of gozarks... which is different and yet the same.

September marks the fifth publication of our little e-zine, and those of you who have been with us since the beginning know that originally we did updates once a month. Now, seldom a day goes by that we're not adding something new to the site. 

And as these days and weeks have unfolded, besides growing a bit more technologically sophisticated in the wizardry of certain Webcrafting tasks, we've been learning a lot about our readers... like what they want and how this is different than, and the same as,  what we thought they'd want when this whole project began. 

So, with this new edition upon us we'll be integrating some of what we've learned. For example, to better serve the tastes and interests of our ever- growing readership, we've added several links to our left-side ''contents'' column. For starters there's the Heber Springs Sun-Times, the Heber Springs Chamber of Commerce, and the Gem Theater. Also, a page with links to National-Global ''alternative'' news.

And, we've started a new feature- photo page in our Entertainment section called ''Cool Pics'' which is dedicated to the publication of photos taken by you, for you, and about you.

Of course we'll still be running lots of local features. For example, check out the new news from Formosa and see how folks there are doing with their quest to build a community center.

In addition, our featured columns, Come Walk With Me, Ozark's Corner, Roving Reporter, Pack Rat Gazette, and Truckin' Paulette, have all been freshly updated. And, we have some big surprises coming your way over the next 30- 60- 90-days. 

But for now, I've got to go crank up my air-conditioner. Dawn has barely broke in this neck of the woods and already it's too hot-hot-hot. 

However, I won't sign off -- even for a moment -- without again expressing thanks to YOU... our readers, our columnists, our advertisers and the Hyper Tech team for everything you have done and continue to do to make gozarks the #1 place to find out everything you ever wanted to know about the Ozarks on-line!!!  

Happy surfing, 

Christine Louise Weiss, Editor

Justin Bonds, Webmaster

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