Crowd instrumental in trashing ordinance

March 8, 2010 MELBOURNE — A proposed land use ordinance that wasn’t even finished and was not on the agenda drew 200 or more people to last week’s Izard County Quorum Court meeting, catching local officials by surprise, said County Judge Rayburn Finley.Many, if not most, of those attending were afraid passage of the ordinance would restrict their rights to do as they wish with their own property, Finley said.“The courthouse was full. There was standing room only; they were standing around the walls,” he said.

Is this the end of the Ozark Hawg BBQ? Event won’t be held this spring

March 8, 2010 The Batesville Ozark Hawg BBQ Championship will not be held this spring, but this may or may not spell the end of the annual two-day event held at Riverside Park.Since 1991 — except for the “great flood-out of 2008” — the Batesville Kiwanis Club has hosted the Memphis-in-May sanctioned event, according to event chairman Lyndal M. Waits, deeming it “Memphis-style BBQ competition at its best.”

AGFC offers free assistance for wildlife habitat projects

March 5, 2010 LITTLE ROCK – It is highly probable that thousands of Arkansans have land they would like to improve for wildlife. They have a readily available resource for fish and wildlife technical assistance in the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, and an important factor is that this help is free. Trained AGFC professionals are stationed all over the state, and they’re called private lands biologists, often shortened to PLB. Contact one of them, make an appointment and you’re started toward improving the land for wildlife’s benefit.

Jim Hinkle of Mountain View named to head NWTF board

March 5, 2010 EDGEFIELD, S.C. — The  National Wild Turkey Federation’s National Board of Directors recently named former Arkansas Game and Fish commissioner Jim Hinkle president of the board.Hinkle will serve a two-year term with the conservation organization. Hinkle, of Mountain View, has served as vice president of the board since 2008. He is currently a member of the Nominating, Finance, Compensation and Strategic Planning committees. Hinkle was appointed to the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission in 1996. His term expired July 1, 2003.

Three Rivers queens crowned

March 5, 2010 NEWPORT — An Independence County student will go on to the Miss Arkansas’ Outstanding Teen Pageant this summer after winning the Miss Three Rivers Outstanding Teen title recently.Colby Thomas, the teen winner, is the 15-year-old daughter of Danny and Mincie Thomas of Bradford and is a sophomore at Midland High School. She was crowned by the 2009 Miss Three Rivers Outstanding Teen, Mollie Parker of Jonesboro. At the state pageant last year, Parker won the Overall Lifestyle and Fitness Award and was named third runner-up.

Mobile homes to leave

March 5, 2010 LITTLE ROCK (AP) — More than 15,000 manufactured homes sold at a government auction are to soon be moved them from their storage site in Hope.A partnership submitted the winning bid of $27.4 million to buy the travel trailers, mobile homes and park model trailers. They were sold despite objections from the manufactured-housing industry and the Arkansas congressional delegation.Opponents say the homes could flood an already struggling manufactured housing and RV market.

Gun found in pond at park

March 5, 2010 TEXARKANA, Ark. (AP) — Police in Texarkana say a gun has been found in the pond of a city park and may be connected to a current criminal investigation.Police did not say what type of gun was found at Spring Lake Park or what investigation it may be linked with.The weapon was found just after 1 p.m. Wednesday by divers who had also been at the park on Tuesday and on Jan. 11.Police Officer Kristi Mitchell says the gun will be examined locally at the Bi-State Justice Building and may be sent to the state crime lab for additional testing.

Soldier killed in Afghanistan

March 5, 2010 FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. (AP) — The military says an Arkansas soldier who served with the 101st Airborne Division died from wounds suffered in combat in Afghanistan.The Department of Defense says 21-year-old Sgt. Vincent L.C. Owens died Monday at Forward Operating Base in Sharana, Afghanistan. A statement says Owens, of Fort Smith, Ark., died of wounds suffered earlier in the day when enemy forces attacked his vehicle in Yosuf Khel.Owens was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) at Fort Campbell, Ky.

Missing hard drive risks identities of 35,000 Ark. soldiers

March 5, 2010 LITTLE ROCK (AP) — The Arkansas National Guard now says 35,000 current and former soldiers are at risk of identity theft because of a missing computer hard drive.The Guard had initially thought the hard drive contains information on soldiers in two battalions of the 39th Infantry Brigade. But in a statement released Thursday the Guard now says the device has information on all soldiers who’ve served in the Arkansas National Guard since 1991.An information management team is putting together a list of those affected so they can be notified.

Incentives attract film crews to Ark.

March 5, 2010 HOT SPRINGS (AP) — An incentive package approved by the Legislature is helping attract filmmakers to Arkansas, which the state’s film commissioner says is a solid way to build a new segment to the state’s economy.Christopher Crane, who runs a one-man office within the Arkansas Economic Development Commission, said Thursday that Arkansas is developing a reputation in the film community as a good place to make a movie, commercial or TV show.