Tell all about Arkansas!

  1. Hello,
    I would love to know all the info about relocating to AR--i.e., taxes, auto registration, reasonable/nice places for houses, utilities, etc. It seems like everybody has nice things to say about the hospitals and it has piqued my interest:spin: Thanks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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    Joined: Aug '02; Posts: 583; Likes: 88

    29 Comments

  3. by   Ex130Load
    Am a retiree in the Little Rock area. Yeah, there are a lot of nice things to be said of AR. Same's true of other things too.

    Have kids? This is considered one of the most backward states regarding education. There's a raging debate going on about how to meet the constitutional mandate of providing an "adequate education" for all and which has been reviewed by the courts mandating another 100(?) million towards remedies. Another review is shaping to see if the first millions adequately address educational short comings--poor teacher salaries, dilapidated structures, etc. Little Rock schools and surrounding county schools are still under federal oversight for discrimination.

    Racism can be alive and well here, though probably less overt. When I PCSed in '99, the social actions folks at Little Rock AFB(LRAFB) asked us to inform them if discrimination was still on-going in Cabot, 9 miles northeast, and a hotbed for housing growth. They seem to discriminate in the loan process, realtors don't do follow-ups, your name's not given to realtors, realtors are too busy, etc. or so I've been told. The town has almost no black residents. Jacksonville, immediately outside of Little Rock AFB is about 40%(?) black. Several long-term residents tell me how Cabot in the '70s had a sign/billboard stating "don't let the sun go down on your black @$$ here" or very similiar to that. A Cabot resident and acquaintance commented how everyone in his neighborhood "knows of the local KKK muck-a-muck around the corner."

    Cars are taxed yearly. I guess they're not excessive compared to the NE or CA. I don't consider the income rate tax excessive.

    You're in the bible belt. Searcy, 35+ miles north or LRAFB had a book store close several years ago because it carried books dealing with homosexuality. The current governor, a Baptist minister(?) had drawn a lot of negative attention to the state for pardoning numerous murderers, rapists, etc. He seems to better know inmates than the parole board. If memory serves, he's paroled more criminals than maybe seven (more?) previous governors. Allegedly, more have been paroled than all surrounding states, maybe for several years.

    A neighbor kid received many negative comments for his Mohawk haircut, even had a couple of guys try to beat up him and a friend if he would step out of the Taco Bell. He declined the invite. This "bad seed" got a mostly free 4-year ride to a state school due to ACT scores. To the state's credit, it seems to give a lot of scholarships of varying amounts. We have among the larger number of two-year schools per capita.

    Sports are a big thing here, especially the "Hogs" and football. Several progressive thinkers have tried to introduce legislative measures to more better account for money going to public athletic accounts--all failed to my knowledge. Remember my observation regarding dilapidated school structures... ?

    Baptist Hospital(?) in Little Rock has/had a labor relations dispute simmering for several years. I think the nurses voted pro-union, but management used every "shuck and jive" measure, dirty trick, etc. to avoid complying with the vote/contract. A complaint was filed with the federal labor relations board. Not sure how that was all settled.

    It seems we read monthly about another politician accused of crimes or about to serve jail time. We have a least one not too distant governor serving jail time, same for legislators. Remember the check bouncing scandal in Congress 15(?) years ago. I believe among the worst of'em was the fairly recently former Pulaski County sheriff Tommy Robinson.

    An often heard comparison is that, whatever the category, at least Arkansas is not last... this year maybe. We're very competitive with Mississippi, Louisiana, and South Carolina.

    I stand by the above statements and observations. They can generally be easily verified though I may be off on some numbers, dates, etc. Not too flattering a picture of AR and likely to upset some. The truth is what it is.

    Having said those things, depending on where you live in PA, $200,000 often will buy a lot of house, land, or a combo. They do wonders with catfish and bar bq pork down here. Ice tea can be sweet enough to stand a spoon. If you like hunting and fishing, there's a lot to do. They don't salt roads often, if ever. Ice storms and snow aren't common, but hot, sticky summers (100F+) are and tornados can be. People can be very friendly, if you look like them. I have a newer 1800 SF house, heated and air-conditioned., 2250-SQ total. Electricity ran me $60 (Dec), $90 (Aug), and $140 (Sep). Gas cost $132 (Jan), $72 (Feb), and $18.36 (Aug-Sep). Water runs $30-$95 depending on how much I water the lawn.
  4. by   RazorbackRN
    Quote from Ex130Load
    Am a retiree in the Little Rock area. Yeah, there are a lot of nice things to be said of AR. Same's true of other things too.

    Have kids? This is considered one of the most backward states regarding education. There's a raging debate going on about how to meet the constitutional mandate of providing an "adequate education" for all and which has been reviewed by the courts mandating another 100(?) million towards remedies. Another review is shaping to see if the first millions adequately address educational short comings--poor teacher salaries, dilapidated structures, etc. Little Rock schools and surrounding county schools are still under federal oversight for discrimination.

    Racism can be alive and well here, though probably less overt. When I PCSed in '99, the social actions folks at Little Rock AFB(LRAFB) asked us to inform them if discrimination was still on-going in Cabot, 9 miles northeast, and a hotbed for housing growth. They seem to discriminate in the loan process, realtors don't do follow-ups, your name's not given to realtors, realtors are too busy, etc. or so I’ve been told. The town has almost no black residents. Jacksonville, immediately outside of Little Rock AFB is about 40%(?) black. Several long-term residents tell me how Cabot in the '70s had a sign/billboard stating "don't let the sun go down on your black @$$ here" or very similiar to that. A Cabot resident and acquaintance commented how everyone in his neighborhood "knows of the local KKK muck-a-muck around the corner."

    Cars are taxed yearly. I guess they're not excessive compared to the NE or CA. I don't consider the income rate tax excessive.

    You're in the bible belt. Searcy, 35+ miles north or LRAFB had a book store close several years ago because it carried books dealing with homosexuality. The current governor, a Baptist minister(?) had drawn a lot of negative attention to the state for pardoning numerous murderers, rapists, etc. He seems to better know inmates than the parole board. If memory serves, he's paroled more criminals than maybe seven (more?) previous governors. Allegedly, more have been paroled than all surrounding states, maybe for several years.

    A neighbor kid received many negative comments for his Mohawk haircut, even had a couple of guys try to beat up him and a friend if he would step out of the Taco Bell. He declined the invite. This "bad seed" got a mostly free 4-year ride to a state school due to ACT scores. To the state's credit, it seems to give a lot of scholarships of varying amounts. We have among the larger number of two-year schools per capita.

    Sports are a big thing here, especially the "Hogs" and football. Several progressive thinkers have tried to introduce legislative measures to more better account for money going to public athletic accounts--all failed to my knowledge. Remember my observation regarding dilapidated school structures... ?

    Baptist Hospital(?) in Little Rock has/had a labor relations dispute simmering for several years. I think the nurses voted pro-union, but management used every “shuck and jive” measure, dirty trick, etc. to avoid complying with the vote/contract. A complaint was filed with the federal labor relations board. Not sure how that was all settled.

    It seems we read monthly about another politician accused of crimes or about to serve jail time. We have a least one not too distant governor serving jail time, same for legislators. Remember the check bouncing scandal in Congress 15(?) years ago. I believe among the worst of’em was the fairly recently former Pulaski County sheriff Tommy Robinson.

    An often heard comparison is that, whatever the category, at least Arkansas is not last… this year maybe. We’re very competitive with Mississippi, Louisiana, and South Carolina.

    I stand by the above statements and observations. They can generally be easily verified though I may be off on some numbers, dates, etc. Not too flattering a picture of AR and likely to upset some. The truth is what it is.

    Having said those things, depending on where you live in PA, $200,000 often will buy a lot of house, land, or a combo. They do wonders with catfish and bar bq pork down here. Ice tea can be sweet enough to stand a spoon. If you like hunting and fishing, there’s a lot to do. They don’t salt roads often, if ever. Ice storms and snow aren’t common, but hot, sticky summers (100F+) are and tornados can be. People can be very friendly, if you look like them. I have a newer 1800 SF house, heated and air-conditioned., 2250-SQ total. Electricity ran me $60 (Dec), $90 (Aug), and $140 (Sep). Gas cost $132 (Jan), $72 (Feb), and $18.36 (Aug-Sep). Water runs $30-$95 depending on how much I water the lawn.

    Some of what you have said is true, however, much of it is outdated information.

    Regarding education, some of the schools may be "backwards" but we also have schools that have surpassed the national averages in all categories. I live in Bryant, which is where my kids attend school and this is true of these schools. The graduating rate, SAT scores and post-secondary education numbers have well exceeded the national average. There are also other districts that have as well.

    Is there discrimination? Yes. There is ANYWHERE in this country that you move. Having lived in other places, I can tell you that it is not any worse here than elsewhere.

    Are you in the Bible Belt? Yes Sir. This country was founded on the principle of God and we hold firmly to that in this region of the country. (this is NOT meant to start a religious debate)

    I may not always agree with our governor, however, no matter where you are, there will be political agendas that you disagree with.

    Is it a beautiful state with two of the top hospitals in the country? Yes it is. UAMS and Arkansas Children's Hopsital are second to none in research, technology and medical breakthroughs. They have been - multiple times- ranked by US News and World Report as top facilities in the world.

    It is also a great place to raise a family with a decent wage/cost-of living ratio.
    Last edit by RazorbackRN on Nov 7, '06
  5. by   sirI
    Totally agree with RazorbackRN. All states carry their own problems and Arkansas is not without hers.

    Great place to live, IMHO. I think anyone would dearly love it here. The northern part of the state has the most beautiful mountains complete with hiking trails. Wonderful Hot Springs complete with, yes, hot springs. Hunting galore. Great sports teams and you have to learn to call the Hogs when you settle here. Nice places to raise children, go to church, neighbors to chat with, safe neighborhoods for the most part. Yes, bad things have happened in Arkansas, but that's happened in ANY state.

    Arkansas Farm-Raised Catfish is second to none. I think we invented BBQ.

    I've been here for most of my life and I don't think I'd be happy anywhere else, truth be known.
  6. by   booklovinrn
    I wanted to chime in. We moved to Cabot in June of this year. We decided to come here because of the quality schools. We have found the cost of housing and living significantly cheaper than where we moved from (south of Atlanta). Everyone has been very welcoming and friendly. We love the location-we are about 20 minutes from North Little Rock and a little further to Little Rock. Cabot is growing very fast and there is lots of new construction. Traffic can be a bit congested going through town certain times of the day, but it is nothing compared to where we moved from.
  7. by   military spouse
    Sounds like a great place! I certainly appreciate all of your opinions. I'm impressed by the COL, yet there seems to be jobs. We always thought we would move to AL (hubby was stationed there several times) but the low pay is an issue. I think I will add AR to my list!!!!!!! Thanks again!!!!!!:
  8. by   sirI
    will be so good to have you, military spouse.

    hey, the razorbacks are #5 now!!!!

    remember, you have to learn to call the hogs if you move down this way. lol!!
  9. by   txspadequeenRN
    I do not live in Arkansas but in the past (when I had money) I insisted on vacationing there about 8-10 times a years. It is my favorite place in the world up in the Ozark mountains.. I love to be in the hills away from everything. The mountain views are breathtaking and it is everything my family can do to get me back in the car and back to Texas. I know this is not what you are looking for but I had to respond since Arkansas is my fetish...
  10. by   riceberry
    I live in downtown Little Rock because I prefer to be around many types of people and the arts. I am a hard-core liberal and Christian, and have many friends of the same persuation. Our kids go to a public magnet elementary school that provides an excellent education. I may sound a little bitter but I am so tired of racism and wish our state would just grow up and move on. On a more positive note, there is natural beauty in every direction and large cities are not far away (Memphis, Dallas, St. Louis). I work at UAMS and get great benefits.
    Last edit by sirI on Nov 15, '06 : Reason: TOS
  11. by   Kayartea
    I grew up in So. CA, with parents from AR. Moved to AR to help Mom after Dad died. Love AR. Live just south of LR. Worked at Baptist (BTW labor dispute was St. Vincent's, not Baptist) on M/S and hated it. Baptist, for all their nice words, treats nurses as if they're a dime a dozen. Of course, they have a diploma school of nursing and get a new crop on a regular basis, all stuck until they pay off their student loans. Worked at Arkansas Heart Hosp. in LR and liked it. Did some ER relief. Everything else is cardiac, you'll have pts all stages of the process. Good pay for the area, small hosp. Per diemed at other hospitals in the area, most are decent places to work, some excellent. Am traveling now, housing prices and salaries in AR are, in comparison, some of the best. There are places where the money is better, but when compared against the cost of living AR is a standout. Not only that, but LR is a nice city and the entire western part of the state is beautiful. Yes, predjudice is alive and well there, just like everywhere else. People will insist on being people, no matter where they live. It's no more overt in AR than anywhere else. Yes, it's the bible belt. There is a church on every corner. Moving to the state does not require that you join one if you don't want. One thing it has affected is that there are still dry counties and blue laws (no liquor sold on Sunday, even in wet counties). One of the nice things about living there is that the cost of living is low enough to make affording a nice life style easy. It's in the middle of the country, no place is too far away for a visit, and you can afford to travel when you don't spend every cent you make on housing.
  12. by   meannana
    tell all about Arkansas, Gee I only have a week of vacation,but I will start by saying this is a beautiful place to live, the people are ,as a rule ,very nice, helpful and friendly. The LPN pay is probably not the best but there are other states that pay less. Education for your children is pretty good, at least in the smaller towns. We have alot of things going on here, state parks etc. What else would you like to know?
  13. by   Hellllllo Nurse
    Quote from Ex130Load
    Am a retiree in the Little Rock area. Yeah, there are a lot of nice things to be said of AR. Same's true of other things too.

    Have kids? This is considered one of the most backward states regarding education. There's a raging debate going on about how to meet the constitutional mandate of providing an "adequate education" for all and which has been reviewed by the courts mandating another 100(?) million towards remedies. Another review is shaping to see if the first millions adequately address educational short comings--poor teacher salaries, dilapidated structures, etc. Little Rock schools and surrounding county schools are still under federal oversight for discrimination.

    Racism can be alive and well here, though probably less overt. When I PCSed in '99, the social actions folks at Little Rock AFB(LRAFB) asked us to inform them if discrimination was still on-going in Cabot, 9 miles northeast, and a hotbed for housing growth. They seem to discriminate in the loan process, realtors don't do follow-ups, your name's not given to realtors, realtors are too busy, etc. or so I've been told. The town has almost no black residents. Jacksonville, immediately outside of Little Rock AFB is about 40%(?) black. Several long-term residents tell me how Cabot in the '70s had a sign/billboard stating "don't let the sun go down on your black @$$ here" or very similiar to that. A Cabot resident and acquaintance commented how everyone in his neighborhood "knows of the local KKK muck-a-muck around the corner."

    Cars are taxed yearly. I guess they're not excessive compared to the NE or CA. I don't consider the income rate tax excessive.

    You're in the bible belt. Searcy, 35+ miles north or LRAFB had a book store close several years ago because it carried books dealing with homosexuality. The current governor, a Baptist minister(?) had drawn a lot of negative attention to the state for pardoning numerous murderers, rapists, etc. He seems to better know inmates than the parole board. If memory serves, he's paroled more criminals than maybe seven (more?) previous governors. Allegedly, more have been paroled than all surrounding states, maybe for several years.

    A neighbor kid received many negative comments for his Mohawk haircut, even had a couple of guys try to beat up him and a friend if he would step out of the Taco Bell. He declined the invite. This "bad seed" got a mostly free 4-year ride to a state school due to ACT scores. To the state's credit, it seems to give a lot of scholarships of varying amounts. We have among the larger number of two-year schools per capita.

    Sports are a big thing here, especially the "Hogs" and football. Several progressive thinkers have tried to introduce legislative measures to more better account for money going to public athletic accounts--all failed to my knowledge. Remember my observation regarding dilapidated school structures... ?

    Baptist Hospital(?) in Little Rock has/had a labor relations dispute simmering for several years. I think the nurses voted pro-union, but management used every "shuck and jive" measure, dirty trick, etc. to avoid complying with the vote/contract. A complaint was filed with the federal labor relations board. Not sure how that was all settled.

    It seems we read monthly about another politician accused of crimes or about to serve jail time. We have a least one not too distant governor serving jail time, same for legislators. Remember the check bouncing scandal in Congress 15(?) years ago. I believe among the worst of'em was the fairly recently former Pulaski County sheriff Tommy Robinson.

    An often heard comparison is that, whatever the category, at least Arkansas is not last... this year maybe. We're very competitive with Mississippi, Louisiana, and South Carolina.

    I stand by the above statements and observations. They can generally be easily verified though I may be off on some numbers, dates, etc. Not too flattering a picture of AR and likely to upset some. The truth is what it is.

    Having said those things, depending on where you live in PA, $200,000 often will buy a lot of house, land, or a combo. They do wonders with catfish and bar bq pork down here. Ice tea can be sweet enough to stand a spoon. If you like hunting and fishing, there's a lot to do. They don't salt roads often, if ever. Ice storms and snow aren't common, but hot, sticky summers (100F+) are and tornados can be. People can be very friendly, if you look like them. I have a newer 1800 SF house, heated and air-conditioned., 2250-SQ total. Electricity ran me $60 (Dec), $90 (Aug), and $140 (Sep). Gas cost $132 (Jan), $72 (Feb), and $18.36 (Aug-Sep). Water runs $30-$95 depending on how much I water the lawn.
    Sounds just like Texas.
  14. by   twinkletoes53
    I am a NICU nurse, and Have worked at Arkansas Children's Hospital for 30 years. If you are interested in Pediatric, I would recommend you check out and tour the hospital. We are a very progressive, research oriented hospital. Our NICU is 68-74 beds, and expanding. We treat all congenital birth defects, both med. and surgical; all CHD in a specialized CV ICU. We have a separate ECMO unit. We receive tansports from all over AR, plus surrounding states. Hospital has the only dedicated Burn treatment center for the state. We do heart and kidney transplantation. Have just started a bariatric surgery unit for teens at severe risk. They work in conjunction with nutritionists and our Fitness Center. Multidisciplinary approach to care: MDs, Rn's,PT/OT/Speech/Child Life/Social Work/Pastoral Care/volunteers, etc. We have residents, attendings, and fellows in-house 24/7. Difficult thing: residents rotate as often as monthly through certain areas of hospital, so your patient's families will be seeing a lot of doctors if they are here for a prolonged period of time. we do have teams for our "Long term" patients in our unit, so families see consistency of care.

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