Voters say no to tax

February 10, 2010 With a resounding NO in a special election held Tuesday, voters in the Floral Fire protection district, in both Independence and Cleburne counties, turned down a proposal to change their current fire protection plan.Residents in Grassy Township in Cleburne County and the Relief/Liberty Townships of Independence County voted on a request by local fire officials to change from a “dues payment” plan to support the local fire department, to a “taxable” plan based upon property ownership within the fire district.

Hicks seeks re-election

February 10, 2010 Bill Hicks is seeking re-election to a fourth term as Independence County Judge. Hicks started his career with the Independence County Road Department in 1994. In 1999, he was promoted to the position of director/coordinator of the Office of Emergency Services for Independence County, where he remained until 2005 when he took office as county judge.

Renovations under way

February 10, 2010 Batesville’s city hall is nearly three decades old, so a makeover is perhaps overdue. Tuesday night, the city council agreed to waive competitive bidding and authorized the purchase of $45,000 worth of improvements for the third floor of the municipal building, including roofing, flooring and even a few walls being moved.Alderman Doug Matthews asked if the city had obtained any estimates, and Mayor Rick Elumbaugh said they had. Also, some of the work will be done by city employees, with savings up to $5,000 to $9,000.

CenterPoint employee honored

February 10, 2010 NEWARK — When Lane Parks saw Molly Tunstall trying to crawl through the window of her burning home on Macedonia Road, he didn’t hesitate.A former firefighter, Parks was recognized by the Newark City Council and fire department Tuesday night for his heroic actions in saving the woman’s life the evening of Jan. 28.Newark Fire Chief James Langston explained that Parks was on his way home around 5:15 p.m. from his job with CenterPoint Energy when he came upon what was believed to be a vacant house emitting heavy smoke prior to bursting into flames.

‘The champ’ passes the torch

February 10, 2010 ROSIE — The champion has passed the torch.“When I was a second- or third-grader at Bradford — I don’t remember doing this but Dad and Mom both say I did it — at halftime of the regional tournament games they’d have the coaches compete in a free-throw shooting contest. Dad won it that night and won some kind of little prize,” Russell Fowler said. “I jumped on the bus after the game and said, ‘My Daddy’s a champion!”He still feels the same way.His father, longtime high school coach Don Fowler of Rosie, died Sunday at 73.

BRTC recognizes students

February 9, 2010 POCAHONTAS — The President’s List and Dean’s List for the fall 2009 semester at Black River Technical College has been announced. The two lists recognize local full-time students who have achieved the highest grade point average.The President’s List includes students who have earned a compiled grade point average of 4.00. The Dean’s List includes students who have earned a compiled grade point average of 3.5-3.99.Area students on the President’s List include: Connie L. Bookout of Saffell, Olen B. Broyles of Smithville and Christin R. Highfield of Smithville.

Man looking for cocaine finds jail cell instead

February 9, 2010 WALNUT RIDGE — A man who told police he “was trying to find some cocaine” found a couple of circuit court felony charges instead, said Capt. Jody Dotson, criminal investigator for the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department.Paul Goodson, 22, of Walnut Ridge was arrested Saturday by sheriff’s officers and the Arkansas State Police.He is charged with theft of property and attempted burglary.

Inmate accused of holding cell door open, fighting guards

February 9, 2010 Accused of using a broom to prevent his cell door from closing, and then attacking three jailers with that same broom, an inmate of the Independence County jail has gotten himself some extra attention.In a court affidavit filed Friday, Independence County Sheriff’s Detective Rob Leonard said jailer Matt Roberts was shutting the cell door to Joshua Brewer’s cell when he noticed the door blocked by a broom and when he took hold of it to remove it, Brewer reportedly grabbed the other end and a tug-of-war followed.

Five go to hospital after two-car crash

February 9, 2010 A Desha family and a Charlotte man were taken to White River Medical Center for treatment of possible injuries following a two-car crash on White Drive near the Moorefield cutoff around 3:30 Friday afternoon.Arkansas State Police Trooper Jeremy Page said Glen Mulholland, 32, his wife Stacy, 31, and daughters 10-year-old Ashley and 7-year-old Kylie, along with John Rowe, 30, of Charlotte, were traveling east on White Drive in a 2009 Pontiac when they were struck in the rear by another car.