LITTLE ROCK — They filed out of the courtroom to decide the fate of a man who shot two soldiers outside a military recruiting station in Arkansas. Then, they prayed.
As Abdulhakim Muhammad stood trial for killing one soldier and wounding the other, his victims’ families acted as his jurors.
On Monday, six relatives and the soldier he wounded accepted a plea deal that pulled the death penalty off the table after they deliberated about Muhammad’s likely endless list of appeals and the possibility that he could get off scot-free if the trial continued.
A $7,500 thermal imaging camera, of the type used by fire departments to detect hot spots, has been reported stolen from a Desha man’s home.
Darrell Candler of Heber Springs Road said the ISI camera, a charger and batteries were in a black Pelican hard case and may have been stolen sometime in the past few days.
Candler said his home is for sale and he always leaves the residence when it is being shown and thinks the camera may have come up missing either during or following one of the showings.
RAVENDEN — Occupants of a 2000 Olds Bravada seemed so nervous following a traffic stop on U.S. Highway 63 that Ravenden Police Chief Tim McComas asked the driver to exit the vehicle, leading to an eventual search of the vehicle and the arrests of two passengers on drug charges.
McComas said the initial stop was for a seat belt violation.
“After speaking with the driver, Chief McComas called Cpl. Bobby Woods, with the Ravenden Police Department, for K-9 (police dog) support,” according to a news release from the Third Judicial Drug Task Force.
LITTLE ROCK (AP) — A circuit judge has dismissed a lawsuit against the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission in which a former chairman of the panel claimed the agency was skirting public records law and administrative procedures.
Circuit Judge Jay Moody ruled Monday that the commission is bound by the state Freedom of Information Act but is exempt from the Administrative Procedures Act. Former commission chairman Sheffield Nelson, who brought the suit last year, could appeal.
ASH FLAT — Activities get under way at the Sharp County Fairgrounds today with commercial booths and education booths being set up and family living, horticulture and field crops exhibits being checked in, said Nancy Orr, fair board secretary.
Judging will take place Tuesday, the first day of the fair.
Admission is $3 for adults and $2 for children. Parking is free.
The fairgrounds are located on Fairgrounds Road, a short distance east of U.S. Highway 167 about four miles south of Ash Flat.
“Give, Advocate, Volunteer” is the theme of the 2011-12 United Way campaign.
The United Way of Independence County began this year’s campaign at today’s Batesville Rotary Club meeting at Josie’s, with many of the community’s CEOs, agency directors, division chairpersons and members of the United Way board present.
Nicole Stroud, director of Ozark Foothills Literacy Project, spoke of the activities and goals of the Literacy Council. This is just one of many needs that are helped by the contributions to United Way.
The body of a Southside man who may have been dead for as long as two weeks has been sent to the state crime lab to determine the cause of his death.
Police said they got a request for a welfare check on Clarence Monroe Coker, 54, after a neighbor, Donald Davis, had not seen or heard from him in about two weeks and couldn’t get anyone to come to the door.
When Independence County Deputy Michael Moody arrived at Coker’s Jones Drive residence he said he found a dead dog on the front porch and couldn’t get anyone to respond to him at any of the doors or windows.
Patriotic music played as a crowd of people including state Reps. James Ratcliff and James McClain gathered under the covered pavilion Saturday at the Independence County Fairgrounds: It was a day to celebrate veterans present and past.
Veterans, some in uniform, were asked to sign their names as they entered and were given plaques as a show of appreciation.
HOT SPRINGS — The Batesville Daily Guard walked away with 21 awards including eight first place, at the annual Arkansas Press Association’s Better News-Editoral contest on Saturday.
The newspaper received first place for community coverage and second in the coveted General Excellence category.
Sixty-eight member newspapers participated in the contest which included 2,280 entries judged by the South Carolina Press Association.
The Guard competed in the Medium Dailies division.
PLEASANT PLAINS — A snowball fight on the way down a near-erupting volcano in Sicily, a sea turtle rescue off the seashores in Greece, a scavenger hunt in Rome and a trip to a city frozen in time.
When current Midland High School students Sarah York, Bethany Roberson, Austin Pearson and graduates Jon Farrar and Niki Pulliam try and tell family and friends about their two-week adventure to Greece and Italy in June, they can’t.
They agree one has to see to believe. History books, photographs and even the Internet don’t begin to show what being there can.
POUGHKEEPSIE — William M. “Bill” Smith, 48, of Pough-keepsie died June 30, 2011, at his home.
Born Dec. 21, 1962, at Orange, Texas, he was the son of William Smith and Lisa Bourque Smith Harris. He was a fugitive recovery agent, a lead and master mechanic and millwright in the oil industry and a model for Bonjelle World Model Center, having been featured in Gentlemen’s Quarterly magazine in 1993. He was a reverend with World Christians Ministries and was a member of First Assembly of God in Cave City.