Courthouse to close Friday

December 30, 2010 ASH FLAT — The Sharp County Courthouse will be closed Friday in observance of New Year’s Eve, County Judge Larry Brown said.The courthouse will reopen Monday, and new and re-elected officials will be sworn in at 8:15 that morning in the main courtroom.The January quorum court meeting will follow at about 8:45 a.m. in the annex courtroom.

Church to host event

December 30, 2010 New Testament Holiness Church will host a New Year’s Eve celebration with singing and preaching at 9 p.m. Friday.The church is located at the corner of Mark and Davis lanes in Batesville.The event is open to the public.

Man with stolen car Tased by deputies on Christmas Day

December 30, 2010 A man who had possession of a stolen vehicle was taken into custody Christmas Day, but not before he was “Tased” by an Independence County deputy.Paul Robert Blanton Montgomery, age and address unavailable, is charged in Independence County Circuit Court with possession of methamphetamine and theft by receiving, according to court documents filed Tuesday. Bond was set at $75,000.

Habitat breaks during holidays; president pleased with support

December 30, 2010 Roofing, siding, walls and windows — while many people were using their Saturdays the past few weeks to Christmas shop, a group of dedicated volunteers were working on a house for one Independence County family.Habitat for Humanity of Independence County volunteers are taking off for Christmas and New Year’s Day, but plan to get back to work after that on the house being built at the home of Ralph and Lisa Lewis, 415 Ferrell St. in Batesville. Lunch is typically provided on work days.

Cockrill looks to next chapter

December 30, 2010 When the opportunity arose in April of this year for someone to take the lead as interim sheriff Alan Cockrill stepped up to the plate.“I’ve always wanted to try my hand at being in charge,” the veteran officer said.And while taking over the office of Independence County Sheriff from Keith Bowers was new on his list of duties, he wasn’t unfamiliar to the job of law enforcement.For the past 24 years he’s been involved in just about every aspect, from kicking down doors during a drug raid, to solving some high-profile crimes or even giving out speeding tickets.

New Year’s Eve dance set

December 30, 2010 DESHA — The Desha Veterans of Foreign Wars Post is hosting a New Year’s Eve dance Friday from 8 p.m. until midnight, according to a news release.Everybody is invited. No alcohol and no smoking will be allowed.The dance features music by the Blue Diamond Band with special guest Judy Garcia.Admission is $5.

Calico Rock Museum pays down debt, begins construction

December 30, 2010 CALICO ROCK — The Calico Rock Museum Foundation board of trustees has announced immediate plans to move forward with the museum expansion project. At their regular quarterly meeting in December, the trustees voted to pay $15,000 toward the building purchase loan with First National Bank of Izard County. This payment was made in December and leaves the foundation owing $52,000. The foundation obtained the $80,000 loan in July to purchase the building.

Thida’s Diamond T 4-H Club presents awards

December 30, 2010 THIDA — Diamond T 4-H Club held its sixth annual Club Awards Banquet on Nov. 18 at Thida Community Center.Brianne Reed, vice president, welcomed the guests. Cheyenne Brooks led the prayer, and Cheyenne Reed led the 4-H pledge. Hannah Kimmer and Keylee Harris led the pledge of allegiance.The club history was read by Cecile Harris, president. The club received the following awards this year: 2010 Arkansas State Honor Club, Independence County Champion Club Award, 100 Percent Record Journal Award, Competitive Activity Award and High Point Club Award.

Traffic stop leads to drug charges

December 30, 2010 A 21-year-old Newark man is facing several charges after an Independence County deputy stopped him for speeding and allegedly found him in possession of drugs and drug paraphernalia.Ernie Gillihan pulled over a Jeep Cherokee at 9:28 a.m. Monday for traveling 60 mph in a 45-mph zone.

Authorities crack down on flea market fakes

December 30, 2010 TRENTON, N.J. — Used to be, if you wanted a knockoff handbag or fake fragrance, Lower Manhattan’s Canal Street was a mecca.But with flea markets across the country now carrying the same kind of counterfeit products with poser trademarks, authorities warn that shoppers may get more than they bargain for in poor quality and safety risks while helping fund criminal syndicates in some cases.