Home prices on the rise, for second straight month

July 27, 2010 NEW YORK (AP) — Home prices rose in May for the second straight month as federal tax incentives pulled more buyers into the market.The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index released today posted a 1.3 percent increase in May from April.Nineteen of 20 cities showed price gains month over month. San Diego posted its 13th straight monthly gain.Only Las Vegas recorded a price decline. The metro hit a new record low in May. Home prices there have lost 56.4 percent of their value since peaking in August 2006.

Smoke House offers specialty sandwiches

July 27, 2010 Anyone looking for an outrageous specialty sandwich at an affordable price should check out the Smoke House Grill and Cafe at 991 Batesville Blvd., according to owner Chris Dickie, general manger.“The Smoke House Grill is definitely the place for your next lunch break, or for a relaxing evening meal for the whole family,” Dickie said recently.Under the same roof as Billie’s Village Market (in the former Cooking Secrets building) across from the airport in Southside, Smoke House Grill offers everything from pulled pork barbecue to ultimate hoagie sandwiches.

Arkansas Supreme Court Justice Corbin has heart attack

July 27, 2010 LITTLE ROCK (AP) — Arkansas Supreme Court officials say Justice Donald Corbin is recovering from a heart attack he had earlier this month.The court announced Monday that Corbin suffered a heart attack on July 18 and had emergency bypass surgery on July 20. Corbin is out of intensive care and will remain at Baptist Health Medical Center in Little Rock for a couple of days before returning home.Corbin will return to work at the end of the court’s summer recess.

Tax-exempt statuses at risk

July 27, 2010 LITTLE ROCK (AP) — More than 3,000 nonprofit organizations in Arkansas are at risk of losing their tax-exempt status.The Internal Revenue Service said Monday that exemptions for 3,009 organizations are in danger because they failed to file tax returns for the past three years. The IRS is giving the organizations until Oct. 15 to file the returns in order to comply with the law and retain their tax exemptions.

Barge collision closes Miss. River; 3 hospitalized

July 27, 2010 COVINGTON, Tenn. (AP) — Three tug boat workers were hospitalized after a barge collision on the Mississippi River that resulted in a chemical spill.U.S. Coast Guard Lt. Commander Ian Byrd said the workers were hospitalized as a precaution because they may have inhaled fumes from the chemical acrylonitrile that one of the barges was carrying.Acrylonitrile is a man-made, colorless, liquid chemical with a sharp onion- or garlic-like odor that can be dissolved in water and evaporates quickly, according to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry website.

Texarkana police conduct computer sex sting

July 27, 2010 TEXARKANA, Ark. (AP) — Police in the Texarkana area have been conducting a series of sting operations targeting men who try to set up meetings with underage girls via the Internet.The effort began in June and also included a check of registered sex offenders. Nineteen people were arrested, with more arrests pending.Arkansas-side Texarkana police combined efforts with Miller County sheriff’s deputies and U.S. Marshals.Investigators used a house in Texarkana as a headquarters, and officers posing as girls told the men to meet them at that property.

HS sculpture moved after vandal strikes

July 27, 2010 HOT SPRINGS (AP) — One of the sculptures on display in front of Exchange Street Parking Plaza in downtown Hot Springs was removed after it was vandalized, but it will still be available for public viewing at the Hot Springs Convention Center.“Essentially the damage was to the bow,” said Darrel DeMoss, of Hot Springs, who sculpted “Marshall,” a fiddle player cast in bronze.

State parks to raise lodging fees

July 27, 2010 LITTLE ROCK (AP) — Officials plan to raise fees for lodging and camp sites at Arkansas State Parks by 10 percent.The Parks, Recreation and Travel Commission has tentatively approved the hike to make up for revenue that fell because fewer people have been using those services. A second vote is scheduled for Aug. 19, when the panel will listen to public comment.

BHS alum studies in Germany

July 27, 2010 Grant McChesney, Baylor University sophomore and 2008 Batesville High graduate, has been selected as one of 14 students to participate in the BIG study abroad program in Dresden, Germany. “The Baylor In Germany program brings abundant opportunities for cultural immersion,” according to a news release. Students attend intensive language classes at the Technische Universitat, earning six credit hours in language while traveling and studying.

Students compete in robotics

July 27, 2010 LITTLE ROCK — Shelby Paschal of Mammoth Spring and Jacob Spence of Morrilton recently won the robot race at the Engineering Scholars Program summer camp Tuesday at Donaghey College of Engineering and Information Science at University of Arkansas at Little Rock.The two were among the 21 high school scholars interested in pursuing engineering majors in college and are participating in the two-week residential camp. Campers live in on-campus housing and participate in engineering activities, learn about the profession, and interact with engineering professors.