Harrington news

Public development, bluegrass at the opera house


Public Development Authority

Tuesday evening at 7 p.m., the Harrington Public Development Authority met at city hall for its monthly meeting. President Heather Slack had returned from her Eastern Seaboard trip and led the meeting with Jay Gossett, Jay Kane, Paul Charlton, Bunny Haugan, Tim Tipton, Jill Plaskon, Marge Womach and Cherie MacClellan attending. Minutes from the previous meeting were accepted and the treasurer's report was given.

The Authority expressed satisfaction with the signs from the Baldwin Co. and discussed the potential of other organizations purchasing signs for special events if they chose to order them. The new sign is constructed for allowing the changing of the advertisement, the dominant ones being for Cruizin' Harrington and the other being for Fall Festival.

Harrington has three new teachers starting this fall who could be looking for housing. There is a shortage of available houses for rent or purchase, which is crippling the city's potential for growth. If people want to bring in a business to Harrington, the first dilemma is that available housing is terribly limited and the second is that commercial properties are not readily available. Some of these properties are being used for storage or personal use, some are in a process of being fixed up. The situation could leave a potential business opportunity to think that a location is not going to be available in the near future. It was announced that the old "airport property" north of town is for sale which includes the landing strip, the hanger, the warehouse and another buildings. It is listed on the Economic Development Council's website. The sewer problem between the Challenger Cafe and Carrot Patch has been remedied. This makes the Challenger Cafe building ready for sale, while the Carrot Patch building needs to be reconnected to the city sewer line.

It was announced that the Chamber of Commerce is working on a map to feature stops in Lincoln County of things to do, places to go, sights to see. With the promotion of broadband and by highlighting Wi-Fi availability, this will make Harrington more appealing. Slack will procure a Wi-Fi sign for the front window of city hall, so people driving through town will know that we have access. Slack also volunteered to set up a Facebook and Instagram page for the Authority, and Gossett will administer it after it is up and running.

Other topics mentioned were the need to develop fundraising techniques, rumors of Amazon coming to Airway Heights, continued progress on the old Harrington Haus with engineering drawings being completed and plans for a new roof under way, finding funding for Opera House Square. Plaskon suggested that the opera house provide a monthly movie or activity to keep people involved in the downtown district.

Panhandle Polecats

Linda Wagner welcomed one and all and introduced the Panhandle Polecats at the Harrington Opera House at 7 p.m. with an audience of 125; the house appeared essentially full. These singers and musicians took to the stage and began playing with not a word spoken, "Some Folks Say He Looks a Lot Like Me" and immediately followed with "I Need Jesus." The music, the speed, the talent, of these five siblings originally from Rathdrum, Idaho, aroused the audience to applause and cheers. Having shown off their skills with guitars, bass, banjo, mandolin, the evening was just getting started, and then they stopped to share "who's who." Austin Little played the banjo, Jenny Marks (bass), Hank Little (dobro and harmonica), Molly Wilbur (mandolin) and Bonnie Campbell (guitar). Odd knowledge and trivia were interspersed throughout the evening by Hank Little. The Panhandle Polecats performed in Harrington seven years ago, at which time there were holes in some of the walls, and there was no elevator!

The house went wild with "Perfect Man Like Me." This was followed by several instrumental pieces. "Living Prayer" was serene and the vocal filled the auditorium. To ensure that the audience remained alert, the Polecats asked for a "sing-along" and all that the audience needed to know was when to interject "Hay." The crowd seemed to enjoy this participation. "The Fourth Man" was an inspirational number highlighting the appearance of a fourth man in the fire that Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego learned would not burn them. "I Can Hear the Sound of Angels Singing" elicited long applause, and several more songs concluded the first half of their performance.

Following intermission, several songs were played by the four women, and Shirley Little joined in with her fiddle. They call her the matriarch of their family. Her sons rejoined the group and they played "Homegrown Tomatoes" and "Sing Unto the Lord A New Song." The song they announced that was the closest to a love song was entitled: "Good Enough for Now." Molly Wilbur had the lead singing part, and the audience was in such laughter that some portions of the song were difficult to hear, "not leave until something better comes along" or "you're the fella I always dreamed of, not really, but you're good enough for now." There was a song for everyone: "Sleepy-Eyed John," "Sheep Shearing Life," "Bald Gal," "Have You Ever," "Roll On Mighty River," "I Am an Orphan," "Better Get Right or You're Gonna Get Left," "Selkirk Storm."

The evening came to a close, but a standing ovation brought them back for one more number. These musicians had trained their instruments to sing along while the vocalists rested. Everyone who found themselves at the Harrington Opera House was the recipient of a lively, toe-tapping bluegrass special performance.

The July 14 rummage sale will be from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.


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