Living in Helena now for three years, I still say is one of the best decisions I have made in my life. I was shocked three years ago with the lack of traffic on Cherry Street, the overgrown lots, the buildings falling in, and the general lack of any semblance of a modern community. It was scary thinking I had just moved to a Delta ghost town. Three years later, I must say that Helena has risen from the proverbial ashes of her former self into a community of action and development.

Living in Helena now for three years, I still say is one of the best decisions I have made in my life. I was shocked three years ago with the lack of traffic on Cherry Street, the overgrown lots, the buildings falling in, and the general lack of any semblance of a modern community. It was scary thinking I had just moved to a Delta ghost town. Three years later, I must say that Helena has risen from the proverbial ashes of her former self into a community of action and development.

Recently I was visiting with a steamboat passenger. She noted that she was in Helena two years ago and the progress in only two years was obvious. Living here, noticing progress seems to be akin to watching paint dry. But the paint is drying and looking good.

No, not all the grass is being cut like it should, but it looks better. No, not all the dilapidated homes have been remediated, but its getting better. No we are not getting the same number of heritage tourists as Vicksburg, but the visitation numbers are getting higher. Progress is slow, but steady as she goes in Helena.

Helena is one of the most watched communities in Arkansas. In the field of heritage tourism, Helena is being used as the model for other heritage sites. In the field of education, there are several schools that top the charts in Phillips County. In sports, there are some of the best athletes in the region right here in Helena. There is so much to be proud of.

Our residents are always receiving awards and are being recognized for many achievements. And there are so many individuals that make a difference in the community by picking up trash, cutting their neighbors yards, and by being responsible citizens. These are the people responsible for making Helena the "Phoenix of the Delta".

Every issue of The Helena World highlights these hard working people of our community. To single just one of them out would do a disservice to the multitude of those not mentioned, but to everyone out there that loves your community and are doing something to make Helena and Phillips County just a little better to live in, we all give thanks to your efforts.

Helena will be recognized and promoted by National Geographic soon, more restaurants are coming in, more Civil War sites will be erected, new sidewalks installed, a new Dollar General is under construction, and a whole new look to Cherry Street is inevitable. Green spaces are being cleared, parks are being planned for the children, and new programming at the Delta Cultural Center will keep residents and visitors entertained and educated.

The new Property Standards Board is busy cleaning up old homes and lots and the Code Enforcer is taking action on many of these properties. The Helena World was notified of 14 properties that will be cleared very soon. The corridors coming into Helena will greet tourists, visitors, and residents with a clean and fresh appearance. The Phoenix is rising.