Motorist finds, returns wallet

February 19, 2010 “I started blowing my horn like crazy and pointing to the roof of my truck. She just turned right and took off. I thought maybe I had scared her and she was trying to get away from the crazy guy behind her.”— Joseph Bramblett 

Bears dive in Feb. 27

February 19, 2010 Frigid water and sleet didn’t stop 69-year-old Lesta Stroud from taking the plunge last year.For the past two years, Stroud has earned the “oldest plunger” award at the Polar Bear Plunge, a fundraiser for Arkansas Special Olympics, and she’ll probably earn that title again this year — but she probably deserves two trophies. After all she’ll be plunging into the White River twice this year.

Green sentenced to 56 years

February 19, 2010 POCAHONTAS — A Randolph County jury deliberated only one hour and 14 minutes Thursday before finding Charles Wayne “Chad” Green, 34, guilty of four counts of rape of a child and sentencing him to 56 years in prison.Green, who is still facing four counts of capital murder and one count of kidnapping in connection with the killing of a Dalton family of four, was also found guilty Thursday of one count of first-degree terroristic threatening.

Suspect appears in court

February 18, 2010 MALVERN (AP) — The man arrested in the shooting death of the son of Malvern’s mayor has made his first court appearance.A Hot Spring County judge on Wednesday ordered 23-year-old Timothy Wells held without bond on a first-degree murder complaint in the death of 30-year-old Shane Northcutt.Wells did not enter a plea and did not have an attorney.Northcutt was found shot in the chest early Sunday a few blocks from his home. Wells was arrested Tuesday and an affidavit says he confessed to the crime.

Lawsuit reveals alleged bank problems

February 18, 2010 LITTLE ROCK (AP) — A Paragould bank that was chartered in 1999 for the specific purpose of being sold at a big profit once it reached its fifth birthday instead left investors with about 15 cents on the dollar after almost a decade.A lawsuit filed by about 115 investors in Greene County Circuit Court lays open some of the previously secret problems discovered by bank regulators and declares that Southern Bank of Commerce was effectively insolvent by August 2008.

Fines of man who faked death help buy search boat

February 18, 2010 TEXARKANA, Ark. (AP) — The fines against a man who tried to fake his death while he was awaiting trial for rape helped Miller County authorities buy a boat.The $7,000 from the fines and restitution paid by Jody Cook has paid half the cost of a 14-foot search-and-rescue boat that was unveiled Wednesday at the Miller County Courthouse.

Arrest made in crash that injured wife of state representative

February 18, 2010 LITTLE ROCK (AP) — Police on Wednesday arrested a man accused in a hit-and-run crash in Little Rock that left the wife of an Arkansas state representative in intensive care.Little Rock police identified Brett Crisel, 26, of Little Rock after using vehicle parts from the scene and a partial license tag from a witness to narrow the list of possible suspects in the Monday night crash.Police spokesman Lt. Terry Hastings said Crisel told investigators that he became frightened after the collision in downtown Little Rock and fled.

Women’s bodies recovered

February 18, 2010 GARFIELD (AP) — Remains believed to be of two missing Bentonville women have been recovered from shallow graves near Garfield in northwestern Arkansas.Authorities also arrested the son and grandson of the two women and another man on murder charges in the case.Forty-year-old Christine Bishop and her 81-year-old mother — Louise — disappeared last June and the remains found Wednesday are believed to be theirs. The remains were sent to the state Crime Laboratory for positive identification and to determine the causes of death.

Remains found in 2000 ID’d

February 18, 2010 VAN BUREN (AP) — Human remains found in Van Buren in 2000 have been identified as that of a Texas man missing for years. Police Lt. Brent Grill says DNA helped identify the remains as 46-year-old Richard Lee Heisel of Lubbock. Heisel had been reported missing shortly after traveling from Lubbock to the Fort Smith area in 1996.The remains were found July 1, 2000, by an excavation crew removing brush. Grill says evidence found at the scene indicated Heisel committed suicide.

Panel wants to restrict funds for defense lawyers

February 18, 2010 LITTLE ROCK (AP) — Arkansas lawmakers want to prevent the state from paying the legal bills for criminal defendants who have hired private attorneys.A proposal endorsed today by the Joint Budget Committee would allow payment only for lawyers who get clients through the Arkansas Public Defender Commission. The measure is in response to Abdulhakim Muhammad’s request that the state pay his legal bills.