Several report vehicle break-ins on Main St.

March 8, 2011 Police say they could use the public’s help in locating a suspect in several car break-ins that occurred on Main Street Saturday afternoon. “Witnesses described the suspect as a white male with red hair and a red scruffy goatee, wearing a striped shirt and ball cap,” Independence County Detective Dustin Robbins said. “He was seen driving a red or maroon Chevrolet Z71, extended cab truck with chrome bed rails.”

Fitness on Request now offered

March 8, 2011 Anytime Fitness of Batesville is now providing Fitness on Request, the industry’s first and only 24/7 instructional group or solo fitness training experience. The new program was announced during a recent public debut and ribbon cutting at the fitness center located at 3050 E. Harrison St. in Batesville.“Fitness on Request provides a comprehensive training experience that’s continuously updated,” said Michael Johnson, who owns the center with his wife Jill.

FCB to break ground on Highland facility

March 8, 2011 HIGHLAND — First Community Bank will celebrate a special customer appreciation and ground breaking ceremony at the construction site of their new permanent facility in Sharp County on March 17.Located adjacent to the existing Highland office, the 5,738-square-foot facility will provide easier access for customers in Highland, Ash Flat, Cherokee Village, Hardy and the surrounding area, according to Dale Cole, bank chairman and CEO.

Ex-teacher aide denies charge

March 8, 2011 BENTONVILLE (AP) — A former Bentonville High School teacher’s aide has pleaded not guilty to a sexual assault charge.Mandy Flynn, 32, entered the plea Monday in Benton County Circuit Court. She’s accused of having sex with a 17-year-old student.Flynn had worked as a substitute teacher at the district since 2005 before being hired as a teacher’s aide in 2009. She resigned Jan. 29 — the day after she was arrested on the sexual assault charge.

Sex offenders could be banned from water parks

March 8, 2011 LITTLE ROCK (AP) — Arkansas lawmakers have approved legislation to ban some sex offenders from water parks.The House passed the measure by an 86-0 vote on Monday. It would bar Level 3 and Level 4 sex offenders, who are deemed most likely to commit more crimes, from pools that are open to the general public.Sex offender levels define the risk they pose to the public on a scale of one to four. Level 3 is high risk and Level 4 offenders are deemed sexually violent predators.

Underage drinking bill defeated

March 8, 2011 LITTLE ROCK (AP) — Arkansas lawmakers have defeated legislation that would impose civil penalties on minors caught trying to buy alcohol.The House voted 20-67 on Monday to reject a bill that could fine minors, or, in some cases, their parents, up to $1,000 if they tried to buy alcohol under the age of 21. Minors between the ages of 18 and 21 would be responsible for the fines, while younger teens would put the burden on their parents or guardians.

81-year-old woman takes plane ride

March 8, 2011 POCAHONTAS (AP) — An elderly woman “took off” an item on her bucket list as she took to the sky for the first time. The Elmcroft Assisted Living Facility in Pocahontas recently propelled the dream of an 81-year-old resident who wanted to see the sky from new heights. “I’m getting a little old. I’m 81 and I’d like to fly in a plane before I die. So I did,” said Betty Tretenburg, who had a dream to soar up high in the sky. “I just never would do it.”

Fire kills craftsman known for guitar strap

March 8, 2011 FAYETTEVILLE (AP) — The owner of a Fayetteville leather shop, who crafted custom guitar straps for the likes of Willie Nelson and Neil Young, has died in a fire at his business.Authorities say 57-year-old Bruce Walker died Monday after his Flying Possum Leather shop he had owned since 1975 caught fire at about 6:30 a.m.

Hiring prompts dispute over FOIA

March 8, 2011 The Independence County Library Board on Thursday had its selection of candidates for head librarian narrowed down to two, but as of press time this morning who they are remains a mystery.A Batesville Daily Guard reporter arrived at the Citizens Bank Annex, 285 E. College St., at 3 p.m. to find the door to the meeting room closed and a note taped to it that read “in executive session.”

Retirees to meet

March 7, 2011 POCAHONTAS — United Auto Workers retirees will meet at Beverly’s Restaurant, the former Apple Barrel Restaurant, at 11:15 a.m. Thursday.