Signups for farm disaster aid

October 25, 2010 LITTLE ROCK (AP) — An Arkansas senator says farmers in the state can begin signing up for disaster assistance today.The announcement from Sen. Blanche Lincoln said producers can visit their local Farm Service Agency office to sign up for the disaster assistance program. Producers will be asked to self-certify their loss and payments will be made in the days to follow.The aid is intended to help farmers who suffered crop losses from weather-related disasters in 2009.

Ark. college athletics rise, state funding used

October 25, 2010 LITTLE ROCK (AP) — A new report says four of Arkansas’ 10 public universities funded more than 20 percent of their athletic programs with state revenue and student tuition last year.The Arkansas Department of Higher Education report found overall spending rose 11 percent last year at the state’s two-year colleges and four-year universities. The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported $116.7 million overall was spent on college athletics.

PB police say man sought wife-killer

October 25, 2010 PINE BLUFF (AP) — Police say they’ve charged 55-year-old Jeffery Winkler with conspiracy to commit capital murder after he paid a man to kill his wife.A news release Saturday from the Pine Bluff Police Department said Winkler approached two men on a street and offered them a job, agreeing to meet later with one of the men to discuss details.

Ex-owner of title firm enters plea

October 25, 2010 LITTLE ROCK (AP) — Authorities say a former owner of a Paragould title company has pleaded guilty to one count of mail fraud in federal court.Documents in federal court show that Mary Ellen Williams pleaded guilty to devising a scheme to defraud several financial institutions of funds for real estate transactions, and converted the money to her personal use.The Paragould Daily Press said Williams was released on her own recognizance after her plea Monday, pending a sentencing at a later date.

Hot Springs considers youth sports complex

October 25, 2010 HOT SPRINGS (AP) — The city’s Advertising and Promotion Commission is considering authorizing a market analysis and feasibility study for a regional youth sports complex.The commission, if it approves the study, will ask the Hot Springs Board of Directors to make an application to the state for a matching grant to pay for half the cost of the study.Steve Arrison, CEO of the Hot Springs Convention and Visitors Bureau, said the commission would still pay half the cost of the $20,000 study, even though the city makes the grant application.

Paranormal phenomenon: 13 ‘super-Natural’ locations in The Natural State

October 25, 2010 Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism travel writerMan has been fascinated with the unknown since the beginning of time. Ghosts, spirits, paranormal entities, unexplainable sights and sounds — we hear stories, we see photographs, and we continually strive to offer staunch explanations. At some point, no justification presents itself and the stories lend themselves to legend.

Kiwanis hosting 39th Chubby Menard Day

October 25, 2010 The Batesville Kiwanis Club estimates that it has served more than 100,000 pancakes in the 38 years it has been hosting the annual Chubby Menard Pancake Day.  The Pancake Day is named in honor of Chubby Menard who was elected president of the Batesville Kiwanis Club in 1939.  Many stories have come from Pancake Day, including when it was held in the local bus station and a grease fire broke out.  This year’s Pancake Day will be from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday at the First United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall located at 615 E. Main St.

Warrant issued; felon pawns guns

October 22, 2010 Convicted of felony crimes in 2005, Michael L. Meaders, 25, of Batesville, is now being charged with yet another felony crime, being a in possession of firearms.In a court affidavit filed Tuesday, Independence County Sheriff’s Detective Jeff Sims said that while he was reviewing local pawn shop receipts recently he came across information that Meaders had pawned three guns at two different pawn shops within a week.“Pawn records show that on Aug. 8 Meaders pawned a Marlin .30-30 (rifle) at S & R Pawn and provided his signature as proof of identification,” Sims said.

Tree seed specialist to speak Sunday

October 22, 2010 ASH FLAT — Everyone is invited to the Sharp County Historical Society’s fall meeting at 2 p.m. Sunday in the Community Room of the First National Banking Co. in Ash Flat, according to a news release.The speaker will be Dr. Earl Belcher of Cave City, concerning the National Seed Laboratory.Belcher, a native of Whitman, Mass., who came to Arkansas in 1956 to marry a Cave City girl after two years in the Army where he was trained as a medic and a baker.

Teens charged with felony theft

October 22, 2010 Caught red-handed, two area teens are facing charges of felony breaking and entering/theft of property for taking several electronic items from a pickup truck owned by Jonathan Sharp.Independence County Sheriff’s Lt. Jimmy Smith said in a court affidavit the two, 19-year-old Trey Allen Warner of Locust Grove and Dustin James Johnson, 18, of Batesville, were arrested Monday after police were led to a residence where the items were recovered.