A bank vault sits abandoned atop a half-finished concrete slab, greeting those coming into Batesville from the south on Highway 167, a symbol of financial hopes locked away after a banking scandal.
The key to the $47 million scandal was provided Wednesday as Kevin Lewis, 43, a majority shareholder in the now-defunct First Southern Bank of Batesville, when he admitted in federal court to perpetrating one of Arkansas’ largest “Ponzi” schemes, a scam where new money obtained through fraud is used to pay off old loans.
LOCUST GROVE — After a 3-week break, racing returns to the Batesville Motor Speedway with the third annual Rockhard Powder Coating Front-wheel Drive Special here Friday.
The winning driver will be paid $500 and second place will receive $250. Driver Tony Brooks won the first two Rockhard Specials.
Racers will also compete for points in the four other divisions.
NEW ORLEANS — Dr. Dennis and Robbin Phelps of New Orleans have announced the engagement and upcoming marriage of their daughter, Kristen Phelps, to Jarod Williams, son of Bill and Rose Mary Williams of Floral.
The bride-elect is the granddaughter of Vestal Phelps of Monroe, La., and the late Vaughn Phelps and Harold and Glenna Loewer of Eunice, La.
She is a 2006 graduate of Cabot High School and a 2010 graduate of the University of Central Arkansas. She will graduate with a master’s in occupational therapy from UCA in 2012.
SIDNEY — Darcel and Robbie Griffin of Sidney are celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary today.
They were married Aug. 4, 1951, in Zion. They are both retired.
They have two children, Dennis Griffin and his wife, Linda, of Springfield, Mo.; a daughter, Lanell Stewart of Columbia, S.C.; two grandsons, Jeremy and his wife, Sarah, of New York and Eric of Springfield; and two great-grandchildren, Kyra and Kai.
They will celebrate with their family Saturday at their home.
The Humane Society of Independence County will be holding an open house on Saturday from noon until 2 p.m. to celebrate their 9th anniversary. The community is invited to stop by, visit with the staff and volunteers, and meet the current residents of the shelter.
There will be cake and soda for everyone and all this week we will be offering all animal adoptions at half price to help celebrate.
There is a variety of cats, kittens, dogs and puppies available.
The HSIC regular hours are noon-5:30 Tuesday through Friday and 11 a.m.-4 p.m. on Saturday.
CAVE CITY — The Fairview Church, located on Grange Road, east of Cave City, will be holding its annual homecoming beginning about 10:50 a.m. Sunday and conclude following a potluck lunch that will start at noon, said Donald Simmons, one of the organizers.
Dardanelle Townsley will bring the message and Marcia Street and Megan Milligan will highlight the music program.
Electric fans will be in use.
HORSESHOE BEND — United Methodist Church in Horseshoe Bend will have a hamburger night from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Aug. 9 at 600 West Church St. in Horseshoe Bend.
The price is $6 for a hamburger, two side dishes and a beverage.
All proceeds will benefit Safe Passage and Horseshoe Bend Food Pantry. For more information call (870) 670-5392.
• White River Water Carnival, Riverside Park, Kids Zone, inflatables, arts and crafts, live music, food
• River City Car Show & Street Dance, Main Street, Batesville 8-10 p.m.
• Calico Rock Volunteer Fire Dept. and Lions Club Tractor Pull, lawn tractor pull night, Tip Wiseman Rodeo arena at Earl King Park, Calico Rock, 8 p.m.; Admission-adults $6, children 7-12, $3 and 6 and under are free with paid adult. Call (870) 297-3905.
SAN ANTONIO — Air Force Airman Kelsey A. Williams graduated from basic military training at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio.
Williams completed an intensive, eight-week program that included training in military discipline and studies, Air Force core values, physical fitness, and basic warfare principles and skills.
Airmen who complete basic training earn four credits toward an associate in applied science degree through the Community College of the Air Force.
She is the daughter of Christine Williams of Magness and a 2007 graduate of Cedar Ridge High School.
Five area high school students participated in the annual Medical Applications of Science for Health (MASH) camp July 11-22 at the White River Medical Center in Batesville.
The two-week summer medical enrichment program is designed to give interested students a glimpse of what a health profession is really like, officials said.
PARAGOULD — Investigators with the Greene County Sheriff’s Department arrested a man last week they say defrauded several car dealers in the area. The Arkansas State Police is also looking into the thefts.
Robert Allen Nelson, 41, of Oak Grove Road in Batesville faces a charge of theft by deception in Greene County, where he is currently being held on a $3,500 cash-only bond. He could also face charges in Mountain View, Salem and Searcy.
HORSESHOE BEND — The Concord Pirates shot a 481 and won the Cougar Classic here Wednesday by 32 strokes over the Pocahontas Redskins.
Concord was tied with Pocahontas at 242 after the first day of the 2-day tournament.
Pirates Ryan Cornelison, Cameron Reesor and Luke Cornett combined to shoot a 239 at The Course on Turkey Mountain to separate themselves from the Redskins.