Newspaper Columnist Richard Allin Dies

LITTLE ROCK, AR - Richard Allin, who wrote the Our Town column for the Arkansas Gazette and later the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for a devoted audience, died yesterday of heart failure.  He was 77.

Allin joined the Arkansas Gazette in 1963, after working as a Capitol reporter in Little Rock for the Commercial Appeal of Memphis.  Two years later, Allin took over the Our Town column.

The Gazette published its last edition in 1991, but Allin continued writing for the Democrat-Gazette until he left the newspaper at the end of 2003.

Despite changes at his newspaper, Allin continued writing about the Arkansas experience, ranging from bootleggers in small towns to piloting the Goodyear blimp and flying with the U.S. Navy Blue Angels.  Allin, who played tuba in the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, also recounted the time he played in the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey circus.

Funeral arrangements are pending for the Helena native.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)