County officials get right to work

January 4, 2011 ASH FLAT — Sharp County elected officials got right to work after taking their oaths of office Monday morning, with the county’s quorum court holding its January meeting shortly afterward.New Sheriff Mark Counts had already been at work for several hours, having been sworn in shortly after midnight on New Year’s Day. His deputies had also taken their oaths of office then.Officers in cities in Sharp County also participated in Monday’s swearing-in ceremony. Circuit Judge Kevin King presided.

Jonesboro says 911 texting service successful

January 4, 2011 JONESBORO (AP) — Officials in Jonesboro say the city’s service that allows residents to send text messages to emergency dispatchers is successful and may have already saved a life.Jonesboro 911 director Jeff Presley tells the Jonesboro Sun the month-old system was used in December by a woman who was being followed by her abusive boyfriend.Presley says the woman didn’t have a strong enough cell signal to call police, but she was able to text for help, giving police a description of the boyfriend’s vehicle.

Police: Boy, 14, ends burglary by shooting suspect

January 4, 2011 HOT SPRINGS (AP) — Hot Springs police say a 14-year-old boy home alone shot a 17-year-old boy in the face, ending an attempted burglary.Police say they responded to a call about 7:30 a.m. Monday concerning a shooting and learned about the attempted home invasion.Police Cpl. McCrary Means tells the Hot Springs Sentinel-Record that an 18-year-old and two 17-year-olds tried to burglarize the home before the 14-year-old fired at them, hitting one of the 17-year-olds.

Hearing set for Arkansas bomb suspect

January 4, 2011 FAYETTEVILLE (AP) — A federal judge says a man charged with leaving a bomb at an Arkansas polling place should remain in police custody until a detention hearing later this week.Mark Krause made his first appearance Monday in federal court in Fayetteville. He was arrested last month in Seattle after he was charged with placing a bomb outside a church in Alpena on June 8. The church served as a polling place for Arkansas’ primary runoff election.Prosecutors say the bomb — which didn’t detonate — was found inside a 12-ounce soda can.

500 birds found dead in La.

January 4, 2011 LABARRE, La. (AP) — State biologists are trying to determine what killed an estimated 500 birds that littered a quarter-mile stretch of highway in Pointe Coupee Parish.The birds included red-winged blackbirds and starlings.The birds were found Monday along Louisiana Highway 1, about 300 miles south of Beebe, Ark., where more than 3,000 blackbirds fell from the sky three days earlier. Authorities say examinations showed those birds suffered internal injuries that formed deadly blood clots.

Beginning Steps to meet

January 4, 2011 Beginning Steps, a free program provided by the Batesville School District to support parents of newborn babies, will meet at 1 p.m. Friday in conference room A of the Josephine Raye Rogers Center for Women and Imaging at White River Medical Center.All parents and their newborns up to age 6 weeks are welcome. Attendees will receive a free baby gift. For more information and directions call (870) 793-0627.

Family literacy nights scheduled

January 4, 2011 Those looking for free entertainment as a family may want to participate in literacy night at the Batesville Early and Enrichment Center beginning Thursday.Literacy nights will be held the first Thursday of the month and presented by the Independence County Junior Auxiliary, Batesville School District Parents As Teachers program and Literacy Council of Independence County.  The series will be held from  6-7:30 p.m. Thursday. This month’s theme is “Soup-er Family Reading Night.” Book giveaways, crafts, guest speakers and refreshments will be available.

Photographer honored

January 4, 2011 Robert Seat of Batesville has earned a Diamond Level Photographer of the Year Award from Professional Photographers of America. He will be honored at PPA’s annual convention, Imaging USA, to be held this month in San Antonio.A PPA member earns a Photographer of the Year Award by earning a merit for each of the four images included in his print case. All merited images enter PPA’s International Photographic Competition.

Beebe donates $881,000

January 4, 2011 LITTLE ROCK (AP) — Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe gave more than $881,000 left over from his successful re-election bid to the state Democratic Party, while his Republican rival’s campaign ended the year more than $171,000 in debt, recently filed finance reports showed.Beebe reported last week that his campaign made four contributions totaling about $881,300 in December to the state party after winning a second term in the Nov. 2 election.

Education faces, names change

January 4, 2011 One school district said goodbye to its superintendent and hello to another, one was forced to close its doors and another gained national attention after a school board member’s comments on Facebook were made public.Ted Hall, the eight-year superintendent of the Batesville School District, announced his resignation in February, saying it was time for a change.In August, First Community Bank of Batesville announced that Hall had joined FCB as a business development officer.