Fort Smith Post Office facing consolidation

December 9, 2010 FORT SMITH (AP) — Postal officials say they’re considering if operations costs could be trimmed at Fort Smith by sending some of the work to a processing facility in Fayetteville.The U.S. Postal Service announced last week that it plans to conduct a study at the Fort Smith Customer Service Mail Processing Center at the main post office. According to the agency, the study will explore the possibility of consolidating some operations into the Northwest Arkansas Processing and Distribution Facility in Fayetteville.

Trailer fire ‘suspicious’

December 9, 2010 The Independence County Sheriff’s Department is investigating a suspicious fire that damaged a mobile home on Dry Run Circle late Monday night.Firefighters were called to the scene at 8:36 p.m., according to information released by the sheriff’s department.Detective Sgt. Mike Mundy declined to release specific details of the incident. He said since no cause had been determined, the fire is being investigated as arson.—from submitted reports

Community School to meet

December 9, 2010 The Community School Inc. board will meet at 6 p.m. Friday at Elizabeth’s Restaurant, 231 E. Main St., Batesville. Meetings are open to the public.

Bank gives $2,500 to Christmas Brings Hope

December 9, 2010 Christmas Brings Hope has been chosen by First Community Bank as the organization’s annual holiday charity, according to Dale Cole, the bank’s chairman and CEO. “Our $2,500 community gift is two-fold. It is our way of honoring and expressing appreciation to our loyal customers, while helping a non-profit organization reach out to residents in need right here in Batesville. It warms our hearts to be a part of making the holiday season a little brighter for others. Putting community first is and always has been our pledge,” Cole said.

Compassionate Friends to hold candlelighting, memorial service

December 9, 2010 The Compassionate Friends will hold its 14th annual Worldwide Candlelighting and Memorial Tree Decorating Service at 4 p.m. Sunday at the Children’s Memorial Park in Riverside Park in Batesville.The event is held on the second Sunday in December, although the North Central Arkansas TCF chapter usually meets on the second Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the Citizens Bank Annex.The candlelighting and tree decorating will feature special music, poems and readings. The event is open to all bereaved parents, as well as siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles and other relatives and friends.

Council makes additional cuts to balance 2011 budget

December 9, 2010 The city of Batesville has a balanced budget for next year, but few city officials seemed happy about the content.The fire department didn’t get any additional personnel, hours and/or positions were cut in animal control and cemetery/landscaping, and finally a rescue truck is on the way but the burden of the expense is shouldered by the city although more calls come from outside the city than inside.———

Another victim? First Community Bank sues bond salesman

December 9, 2010 A second bank may have fallen victim to the same man who allegedly sold $22 million in bogus bonds to First Southern Bank in Batesville and bilked a Lonoke bank out of millions.First Community Bank in Batesville has filed a complaint that alleges Kevin Lewis, Dealer Lending LLC, Signature Motors Inc. and Merchant Capital Finance acquired multiple loans from First Community Bank in Batesville and as of Nov. 23, 10 of those loans, totalling $1.83 million remain partially unpaid and in default, according to a complaint filed Dec. 3 by attorney Laura Brissey.

Man sues for injury

December 9, 2010 A construction worker allegedly injured when a T-pipe fitting/pipe failed and hit him in the head is suing the engineering firm who made the pipes and a distributor.In a complaint filed Monday on behalf of Jeremy Thrasher, attorney Louis A. Etock states Thrasher was working for Butch Crain Construction “in and around” Cleburne County when the accident occurred on Aug. 9. The T-pipe fitting is designed and manufactured by Scheeler Engineering Corp. and sold by Rainmaker Sales Inc.

Museum honors docents

December 9, 2010 Noted historian David Lowenthal once said, “History in isolation is barren and lifeless; relics mean only what history and memory convey.”Old Independence Regional Museum is striving to do more than convey some old memories — it works to breathe life and create tangible exhibits for visitors to immerse themselves in.The museum honored the efforts of those who work behind the scenes, as about 50 docents, board members and other volunteers turned out for the Docent Appreciation Luncheon on Monday.

Horses rescued. Officials documenting neglect, starvation

December 9, 2010 SALEM — Just how many days or weeks it has been since 80 to 100 horses have been fed in Fulton County is still unclear, but as of this morning “100 bales of Bermuda grass and a half ton of alfalfa high protein cubes” are en route to help save the starving animals.The rescue got under way this morning after a search warrant was signed by Fulton County District Judge Jim Short Wednesday night giving permission to seize animals, registration papers, or any other papers or items that may contain information.