State vehicle report coming

November 2, 2010 LITTLE ROCK — Arkansas’ chief financial officer said Monday that many state employees will have to give up their official vehicles when he completes a review of workers who use the cars to commute.The assessment of the state’s fleet, and limiting its use by workers who commute from home, had been ordered by Gov. Mike Beebe. The policy shift took effect Monday, and a review of applications from state employees who want to keep using the vehicles to commute should be finished by midweek, said Department of Finance and Administration Director Richard Weiss.

Entergy rates to drop

November 2, 2010 LITTLE ROCK (AP) — Entergy Arkansas, the state’s largest supplier of electricity, says its rates will drop in January because of a reduction in what the company pays to get power from the Grand Gulf nuclear plant in Mississippi.Entergy said in a news release Monday that the average residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt-hours a month would see a reduction of about $1.40 a month.According to the release, that will drop the typical Entergy Arkansas residential customer’s monthly bill below $90 per month — basically, the same rate customers were paying 12 years ago.

Main Street gets $30K for streetscaping

November 2, 2010 Downtown Batesville will soon enjoy a beautification makeover designed to invite visitors to slow down and stay a while.Main Street Batesville executive director Paula Grimes said the nonprofit organization will be receiving $30,000 to improve the downtown historical district.The grant money will go to streetscaping, new benches, trash bins, cigarette waste receptacles, three weather shelters and one message kiosk that will have maps and other information, Grimes explained.

Holiday Craft Fair planned for Friday, Saturday

November 1, 2010 The 26th annual Holiday Craft Fair, sponsored by Extension Homemaker Clubs of Independence County, will be from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Independence County Fairgrounds in Batesville.Local and out-of-state crafters will have handmade crafts for sale, including jewelry, aprons, scrapbooks, quilts, candles, baked goods, dolls, purses, cards, floral items and wood crafts.Breakfast and lunch will be available.Booth spaces are $45 for the two-day event.

Cleburne craft fair seeks vendors

November 1, 2010 HEBER SPRINGS — The Cleburne County Extension Homemakers Council will hold its seventh annual craft fair from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at the county fairgrounds, 880 Bittle Road, Heber Springs.Rental fees for 8x8 booths with one table and two chairs are available for $25; each additional table is $5. All booths are indoors with electrical access. All crafters and vendors interested in participating may call Joanne Severe at (501) 556-4311 or e-mail tukie@windstream.net.

Church to host dinner

November 1, 2010 Central Avenue United Methodist Church will host the J.T. Story Harvest Day Dinner from 4:30 to 7 p.m. Saturday at 1205 N. Central Ave. in Batesville.Dine-in and carry-out meals will be available.Prices are $6 for adults and $4 for children.

School to hold festival

November 1, 2010 Modern Woodmen has announced a new matching fund project in which it will match up to $500 in donations. The event is the Friends and Neighbors Sharing Fest at Sulphur Rock Magnet School, to be held from 5 to 8:30 p.m. Friday.Events include a meal, games and a dessert auction. The meal of barbecue chicken or brisket, chips, drink and dessert is $5. Game tickets are five for $1 or 30 for $5.All proceeds will be used for technology equipment at the school. For more information call Cledas Manuel at (870) 307-0739.

Maurices food drive will benefit church pantry

November 1, 2010 Maurices is holding a food drive to benefit Second Chance church’s food pantry.“There are several great events we participate in with other Maurices stores across the nation each year, such as the holiday plush sale to benefit the American Cancer Society,” store manager Cynthia Harris said. “But it’s also a real privilege to step up and literally help our neighbors in need with this drive.”

Easy K Ranch bazaar set for Saturday

November 1, 2010 ZION — Easy K Ranch will have its first fall bazaar from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.The ranch is located 10 miles east of Melbourne on Easy K Road in Zion.Baked goods, crafts and yard sale items will be for sale.Vendors interested in renting space for the event may call Crystal Johnson at (870) 368-7444.

Women form hiking group

November 1, 2010 PONCA (AP) — Patches of blue sky can be seen peeking through colorful leaves as an energetic group of women makes its way up Lost Valley Trail.The women belong to Women Hiking the Ozarks, an area group that offers hiking opportunities for women who enjoy the outdoors.“I love hiking with other women,” said Deborah Fleming, 58, of Midway, who hikes with the group for safety and camaraderie.