One killed in crash near Capitol

March 23, 2010 LITTLE ROCK (AP) — A woman whose vehicle struck a tree at the state Capitol grounds in Little Rock is dead.Little Rock police said 31-year-old Shekina Jones was pronounced dead at the scene of the 12:44 a.m. crash.Jones’ compact car was going west on 3rd Street when it left the road and went about 40 yards on the Capitol lawn before hitting a tree. Police say Jones was not wearing a seatbelt and that she was found slumped on the driver-side floorboard.An autopsy is to be performed. No one else was in the vehicle and there were no other injuries.

Beebe says he’s worried about health reform cost

March 23, 2010 LITTLE ROCK (AP) — Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe says he wouldn’t have supported the health care overhaul approved by Congress because he’s worried about the cost to the state.Beebe, a Democrat, told reporters on Monday that the health care reform legislation approved by the House Sunday night would add between $100 million and $200 million to the state’s annual budget starting four years from now.

Students grieve after deaths of classmates

March 23, 2010 NORTH LITTLE ROCK — More than 100 North Little Rock students met with grief counselors Monday after four of their classmates were killed while driving to Florida for spring break.Authorities were investigating the Saturday wreck that killed Robert Johnson, Laquinta “Shea” Lowe, Christopher Adams, all 17, and Terrance Duckworth, 18. The group was part of a three-car caravan headed to Florida for spring break when the sport utility vehicle they were in struck a northeastern Mississippi bridge, flipped and landed upside down in a creek.

‘Colonel’ not OK for ballot; ‘Porky’ is

March 23, 2010 LITTLE ROCK — A retired Army colonel running for a U.S. Senate seat from Arkansas is criticizing a state law that prevents him from using his military title as a nickname on the ballot this spring. In Arkansas, that’s a privilege reserved for monikers such as Porky, Bubba and Two.Conrad Reynolds, one of eight Republicans running for the Senate, hoped to point out his military credentials by filing candidacy papers as “Conrad ‘Colonel’ Reynolds,” but election officials wouldn’t allow it.

Woman goes from cooperative to rude after being arrested for drunk driving

March 23, 2010  Police say a local woman’s demeanor went from cooperative to rude when she learned she was being arrested for drunk driving around 1 a.m. Saturday.Independence County Sheriff’s Deputy Brian Luetschwager said he stopped 44-year-old Kimberly R. Rush of Batesville after he reportedly saw her car cross the center and fog lines on Highway 167 north of Batesville.“While I was speaking with Mrs. Rush I noticed her eyes were bloodshot and watery and could also smell an odor of intoxicants about her person,” Luetschwager said.

How candidates stand

March 23, 2010 How candidates for Senate and Congress in Arkansas stand on the health care package that the House approved Sunday night. The House gave final approval to a $938 billion health care bill that’s already passed the Senate and approved a companion measure that now heads to the Senate for a vote:U.S. SENATE

Longtime activist Ledbetter dies

March 23, 2010 LITTLE ROCK (AP) — Longtime political activist Brownie Ledbetter has died in Little Rock at age 77.Her family says Ledbetter died Sunday at her home nearly six months after a tumor was found in her brain.Ledbetter was born Mary Brown Williams in 1932 and was married to former state legislator Cal Ledbetter.

Vital Link offers class

March 23, 2010 Vital Link ambulance service will offer the Heartsaver cardiopulmonary resuscitation and first aid class from 6 to 10 p.m. April 5 in the Alan Davis Conference Center, located at 1033 E.M.S. Drive in Batesville.The fee of $25 will cover the cost of the textbook and CPR card.To register call (870) 793-3351.

Patrons asked to remove grave ornaments

March 23, 2010 Lawn-mowing season will begin at Roselawn Memorial Gardens in Batesville on April 2. “If you have anything on the graves — flowers, hanging baskets, ornaments, etc. they need to be removed before April 1,” a news release from Qualls Funeral Services states. “All items not removed will be removed by cemetery caretakers.”Patrons are also asked to use vases approved by the cemetery during mowing season. For more information call the funeral home in Batesville (870) 793-3831.