Budget committee to meet

February 7, 2011 The Independence County Quorum Court Budget Committee will meet at 5:30 p.m. today to discuss the shooting range budget and the 2010 budget clean up.The public meeting will be held in the main courtroom of the Independence County Courthouse at 192 E. Main St.

Guard returns from Afghanistan

February 7, 2011 NORTH LITTLE ROCK (AP) — Sixty soldiers and airmen with the Arkansas National Guard are back home from a mission to help improve the agricultural economy in Afghanistan.Members of the Agriculture Development Team returned to Camp Robinson in North Little Rock on Friday, just two days shy of the anniversary marking their departure.

Brothers who make meth together go to jail together

February 7, 2011 MELBOURNE — Drug charges were formalized Jan. 31 against two brothers from the Calico Rock area, according to the Izard County Sheriff’s Office. Nicholas B. Speak, 33, has been charged in Izard County Circuit Court with manufacturing of a controlled substance-methamphetamine, a class Y felony; possession of a controlled substance-meth and possession of drug paraphernalia with intent to use, both class C felonies; and possession of drug paraphernalia with intent to manufacture, a class B felony.

Skinner honored at banquet

February 7, 2011 For Byron Skinner, volunteering with Habitat for Humanity is more than a way to fill his Saturdays — it’s a calling.Saturday night, his dedication was recognized at the third annual Home is Where the Heart Is Banquet when he was named the Habitat for Humanity of Independence County’s Volunteer of the Year.

Ex Jackson Co. GOP official won’t quit pro-white group

February 4, 2011 LITTLE ROCK (AP) — A former official who resigned from a Republican post in Arkansas said Thursday he’s not a racist and that he will not quit a group that bills itself as “pro-white.”John Casteel, 71, who stepped down as Jackson County’s Republican chairman this week, said he has belonged to the Council of Conservative Citizens since its inception more than two decades ago.“To me, the council is more important,” Casteel said. “I’m not going to turn my back on an organization ... just because some socialistic blogger says I’m a racist.”

Free guide to invasive plants offered

February 4, 2011 AUBURN, Ala. — The USDA Forest Service Southern Research Station is distributing free copies of a new guide, titled “A Management Guide for Invasive Plants in Southern Forests,” that gives homeowners, gardeners, land managers and others information on controlling and removing invasive plants in the South.

UACCB releases 2010 GED statistical report

February 4, 2011 The University of Arkansas Community College at Batesville’s Adult Education Department has released its 2010 GED Statistical Report. The annual report shows that 125 individuals were tested and that 105 or 84 percent successfully passed the exam in 2010.

Upward Bound taking applications

February 4, 2011 The Upward Bound Math-Science Program at Lyon College in Batesville is now accepting applications for the 2011 Summer Session. This is a six-week residential program for high school students who will be completing the ninth, 10th or 11th grades this spring. The program will be in session June 5-July 17 for seniors, and June 11-July 17 for sophomores and juniors. Completed applications must be postmarked by April 1.

Public input meetings rescheduled

February 4, 2011 LITTLE ROCK — Due to the inclement weather earlier in the week, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission has rescheduled the agency’s public input meetings.The meetings are part of the AGFC’s annual hunting-regulations process, giving hunters the opportunity to make comments and proposals for the 2011-12 hunting seasons.The meetings will be held 7-9 p.m. Tuesday. The nearest locations to Batesville are at the Calico Rock

Work progresses on shotgun/archery range

February 4, 2011 In spite of inclement weather and other delays normal for a large construction project, the shotgun/archery range being built on Highway 167 north of Batesville is getting close to being an operational facility.Members of the five-man board appointed to oversee the construction and operation of the range, Shad Pearce, Rick Reed, Larry Pinkston, Rocky Willmuth and Brent Gleghorn, met Tuesday to review progress and learned that: