Sunday, September 21, 2008

Fwd: MHS -- Phillips County -- Helena

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Greg Spinks <>
Date: Sun, Sep 21, 2008 at 9:06 AM
Subject: MHS -- Phillips County -- Helena

Helena-West Helena, Ark. -
ABC's Good Morning America program will be broadcasting live from Helena on Thursday, Sept. 25. Several weeks ago, the Chamber was contacted by Bill Cunningham, Good Morning America producer and was questioned about the area, hotel accommodations, location on the river, etc. He went on to say that Helena was selected as one of the stops across the nation to be featured in the national morning program's series entitled "50 States in 50 Days."
The series is taking America's heartbeat and perspective on the two major party candidates for president of the United States. Helena was selected as the Arkansas stop because of its unique location on the banks of the Mississippi River.
Two Fridays during the last month, a camera crew, producer, and ABC News reporter David Muir have been in town to tape and interviews to be edited and shown on the morning of the live broadcast. The program also pulled a couple from Little Rock to interview because of their disagreement within their household of the candidates. The couple came to Helena to be interviewed in the beautiful backyard setting of the Edwardian Inn. Also, during the taping, they interviewed legendary blues radio announcer and DJ "Sunshine" Sonny Payne and Helena-West Helena Mayor James Valley. During their last visit, the crew attended the Helena-West Helena Central High vs. Pulaski Academy game and interviewed several people.
During both of their previous visits, Helena Marine Service accommodated the crew getting shots of the river by providing The David Solomon motorvessel.
With the emphasis being Helena's location on the river, the GMA crew wanted to get a majority of their shots from and of the river.
"Without hesitation, when asked, Ms. Jane Russell, president of Helena Marine Service, jumped at the opportunity to help host the crew," stated Billy Ray, Phillips County Chamber of Commerce executive director. "Ms. Russell and Terry Ferebee, operations manager and their staff bent over backwards to accommodate the film crew and are being gracious enough to be the host site for the live broadcast."
Ray continued, "Every time, I thanked them for all they were doing, they both simply replied: 'anything we can do for the community, we are happy to do so.'" The Chamber is forever in debt to Helena Marine Service for not only being a great business partner in our community, but a tremendous group of community ambassadors.
"There is no way we could have made this possible without their help", stated Ray. "The Good Morning America crew was very complimentary of the town, saying they truly felt the southern hospitality.. During their visits, they ate at River Road; stayed one of their nights at Best Western and the other at Edwardian Inn, and of course, attended the high school football game.
The broadcast window for the morning of the live broadcast will be anywhere from 7 to 9a.m. Producer Bill Cunningham stated that the New York studio will go live to Helena for a shot as many as six times or as few as one time, depending on the schedule for that day and they won't know that until the evening before.
Spectators are encouraged to go down to the Helena Marine Service located at Walden Landing (get there by taking a right on the gravel road just before you cross the bridge heading to Mississippi) and watch from the bank of the river, You are not guaranteed to be on camera stressed Ray.
Muir will broadcast from a stationary work-barge with the Mississippi River and bridge in the background along with the tugboat The David Solomon.
"This is exciting for our community and I would encourage all to tell their friends and family from out of town to watch. It is not everyday that a national television morning program comes to Phillips County but we are sure glad they did and are happy their visit was an enjoyable and successful one," commented Ray.

Stay informed: (Mayor Valley's Homepage)

Honorable James F. Valley
MAYOR - Helena West Helena
P O Box 248
Helena-West Helena, 72342
870-572-3421 Phone
870-572-5034 Fax
870-817-4035 Cell

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