Fall festival planned

October 25, 2010 The Batesville Early Learning and Enrichment Center will host its third annual fall festival from 5-7 p.m. on Thursday at 1900 Lyon St.Games and refreshments will be free, but donations of nonperishable food items for the preschool’s food closet or two-liter drinks for the festival are appreciated.For more information call (870) 793-0627.

One man hospitalized; two arrested after fight

October 25, 2010 MELBOURNE — A Friday night fight at a house on Utopia Street in Melbourne resulted in injuries to a Melbourne man. According to Izard County Sheriff Tate Lawrence, it appears a fight between at least three men at the residence of Shannon Malone that resulted in the hospitalization of Sean Savage who was transported to a hospital in Calico Rock and was then airlifted by helicopter to a hospital in Little Rock with major injury to one of his eyes.

2 counties, 1 township to vote on alcohol sales

October 25, 2010 LITTLE ROCK (AP) — Voters in two counties and one township will soon decide whether they want alcohol sold in bars, restaurants and stores.More than half the counties in Arkansas don’t allow the packaged sale of alcohol and require special permits with strict rules for private clubs that want to sell alcohol on-premises.

Trash-burning fire gets away, chars 200 acres

October 25, 2010 SHERIDAN (AP) — Firefighting officials in Grant County say a trash-burning fire grew into a wildfire that charred 200 acres.Cane Creek Volunteer Fire Department Truel Turner said the trash-burning fire Saturday was illegal because county authorities had imposed a burn ban stemming from the recent dry weather.No injuries were reported, but officials said several residents in the northeast corner of the county evacuated their homes until the blaze was brought under control.

Weather service to survey storm damage

October 25, 2010 LITTLE ROCK (AP) — National Weather Service meteorologists are surveying storm damage in the Little Rock area.Forecaster John Robinson said today that damage from Sunday night’s thunderstorms probably wasn’t caused by tornadoes, even though radar indicated rotation at times during the cloudburst.Robinson says straight-line downdrafts appear to be the cause o damage near Little Rock National Airport. The team will survey there and into Lonoke County.

Signups for farm disaster aid

October 25, 2010 LITTLE ROCK (AP) — An Arkansas senator says farmers in the state can begin signing up for disaster assistance today.The announcement from Sen. Blanche Lincoln said producers can visit their local Farm Service Agency office to sign up for the disaster assistance program. Producers will be asked to self-certify their loss and payments will be made in the days to follow.The aid is intended to help farmers who suffered crop losses from weather-related disasters in 2009.

Ark. college athletics rise, state funding used

October 25, 2010 LITTLE ROCK (AP) — A new report says four of Arkansas’ 10 public universities funded more than 20 percent of their athletic programs with state revenue and student tuition last year.The Arkansas Department of Higher Education report found overall spending rose 11 percent last year at the state’s two-year colleges and four-year universities. The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported $116.7 million overall was spent on college athletics.

PB police say man sought wife-killer

October 25, 2010 PINE BLUFF (AP) — Police say they’ve charged 55-year-old Jeffery Winkler with conspiracy to commit capital murder after he paid a man to kill his wife.A news release Saturday from the Pine Bluff Police Department said Winkler approached two men on a street and offered them a job, agreeing to meet later with one of the men to discuss details.

Ex-owner of title firm enters plea

October 25, 2010 LITTLE ROCK (AP) — Authorities say a former owner of a Paragould title company has pleaded guilty to one count of mail fraud in federal court.Documents in federal court show that Mary Ellen Williams pleaded guilty to devising a scheme to defraud several financial institutions of funds for real estate transactions, and converted the money to her personal use.The Paragould Daily Press said Williams was released on her own recognizance after her plea Monday, pending a sentencing at a later date.

Hot Springs considers youth sports complex

October 25, 2010 HOT SPRINGS (AP) — The city’s Advertising and Promotion Commission is considering authorizing a market analysis and feasibility study for a regional youth sports complex.The commission, if it approves the study, will ask the Hot Springs Board of Directors to make an application to the state for a matching grant to pay for half the cost of the study.Steve Arrison, CEO of the Hot Springs Convention and Visitors Bureau, said the commission would still pay half the cost of the $20,000 study, even though the city makes the grant application.