Second annual Friends in Great Places concert set at UACCB

February 22, 2010 The second annual Friends in Great Places concert will be at 7:30 p.m. on March 20 at the University of Arkansas Community College at Batesville.All proceeds from the event will go toward the Nursing and Allied Health facility currently under construction. This year’s concert will once again feature a variety of musicians from the surrounding area.“We will feature the same lineup of musicians as last year,” said Danny Dozier, who assists UACCB in setting up this event. “I’m proud to call them my friends and I rank their talent among the highest anywhere in the country.”

Search under way for superintendent

February 22, 2010 Let the search begin.Ted Hall may still have a few more months as Batesville superintendent, but the school board isn’t wasting any time in finding his replacement, and it’s looking outside Pioneer territory for assistance. In hopes of finding the right person for the job by July 1, the board has hired McPherson and Jacobson, an executive recruitment and development firm from Omaha, Neb. that specializes in such searches.

15-year-old won’t face adult charges

February 22, 2010 Authorities have decided to charge a 15-year-old as a juvenile instead of an adult following the shooting death of 40-year-old Larry Michael Howard.Howard was reportedly shot Feb. 15 with a .44 caliber hunting rifle at 5859 Batesville Blvd., Pleasant Plains.Investigators had first indicated they would seek a first-degree murder charge and ask that the teenager to be charged as an adult.Prosecutor Don McSpadden said he could not elaborate on what charge the teen faced in connection with the incident because the boy is a minor.

Teen killed by Amtrak train

February 19, 2010 HOPE (AP) — Authorities in Hope say the death of a 17-year-old Hope boy who was struck by an Amtrak train appears to have been accidental.Jerry Lollis died Wednesday night after being hit around 9:30 p.m. Hope police say it appears Lollis simply tied to beat the train at a crossing at U.S. 67 and Generator Street.The Texas Eagle train was en route from San Antonio to Chicago. The train was delayed two hours.Police say Amtrak may have video of the incident. An Amtrak spokesman says the train crew reported that Lollis saw the train but tried to cross anyway.

Md. legislator seeks ban on first-cousin marriages

February 19, 2010 ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — A Maryland state legislator says it’s time to ban marriages between first cousins and stop playing what he calls “genetic roulette” with their offspring.Henry Heller, a Democratic delegate, or state representative, says he wants to bring Maryland “into the enlightened world of other states such as West Virginia and Arkansas” that already prohibit unions of first cousins.Heller is a retired special education administrator. He says couples who are first cousins are at an increased risk of having a child with birth defects.

2.13 carat gem found

February 19, 2010 MURFREESBORO (AP) — A man who has dug for treasure at Crater of Diamonds State Park for more than three decades has made his biggest find yet, a 2.13 carat chestnut-colored diamond.Glenn Worthington started looking for diamonds at the park in 1978, and he found 10 that summer. On Thursday, Worthington registered a stone that he and his wife decided to name the “Brown Rice Diamond,” because of its color and dimensions. The stone is several times larger than a rice grain, however.

Ark. farmers older, working on more valuable land

February 19, 2010 LITTLE ROCK — Arkansas farmers as a class are growing older, harvesting more corn and rice and producing more chickens, and doing it all on increasingly valuable land.And a majority of them consider farming their secondary occupation — a sideline job — even if they find it necessary to make ends meet.

John Deere orientation meeting set

February 19, 2010 BEEBE — The Arkansas State University-Beebe John Deere Agriculture Technology Program will hold an informational orientation meeting on March 19. ASU-Beebe John Deere program faculty, John Deere dealership representatives, John Deere Corporation representatives, and potential students and their families will be in attendance. The meeting will provide details regarding ASU-Beebe, the John Deere Program and financial aid options. A mechanical aptitude test will also be administered to potential students.

TX man angry with IRS crashes plane into office

February 19, 2010 AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A software engineer who crashed his plane into an office building with nearly 200 Internal Revenue Service employees inside left behind a rambling anti-government manifesto but otherwise offered little indication that he was planning such an attack.A. Joseph Stack III posted his angry screed on a Web site registered to him before he flew a single engine plane into the hulking black-glass Echelon 1 building on Thursday, killing himself and at least one worker. Stack, 53, apparently targeted the building’s lower floors, which housed the IRS offices.

Park to host lantern event

February 19, 2010 LITTLE ROCK — Prompted by the first full moon of the lunar year, Wildwood Park hosts one of the most unusual winter events in Arkansas Feb. 26-28, with “LANTERNS!” according to a news release.The park’s botanical gardens provide the setting for visitors as they stroll along paved walkways lighted by lakeside fire pits and luminaries. Eight cultural stops along the way have international foods and entertainment highlighting Shakespearean England, Mexico, Venice, old Americana, Asia, Africa and even the moon.