Lawsuit filed over Ark. school consolidation law

July 2, 2010 LITTLE ROCK (AP) — Supporters of a small Arkansas school district have filed a federal lawsuit against the state, arguing that the closure of rural schools threatens the country’s security and food supply.The suit, filed Wednesday in federal court in Little Rock, challenges the state’s law mandating the closure of school districts whose enrollments drop below 350 students for two years in a row. The state ordered the closure of the Weiner School District, which was merged with the nearby Harrisburg School District on Thursday.

Police: Slain woman’s car used in Arkansas robbery

July 2, 2010 NORTH CROSSETT (AP) — Arkansas State Police say investigators are examining four separate sites for evidence after a woman was abducted and fatally shot, then her car was stolen and used as a getaway vehicle in a bank robbery.Officials say 58-year-old Donna J. Woodberry was abducted Thursday morning from her home in Crossett. Police say Woodberry was later fatally shot near the First National Bank of North Crossett.

Alaska geologist survives bear attacks

July 2, 2010 ANCHORAGE, Alaska — The bearded, sandy-haired geologist was on a job in the remote Alaska wilderness when a grizzly bear suddenly emerged from the brush just yards away.So Robert Miller did what he was trained to do — he fell to the ground, clasped his hands around his neck to protect it and played dead.The bear wandered away and Miller thought he was in the clear. Pulling himself to his knees, he found out how wrong he was.

Millions of swine flu vaccines to be burned

July 2, 2010 ATLANTA — About a quarter of the swine flu vaccine produced for the U.S. public has expired — meaning that a whopping 40 million doses worth about $260 million are being written off as trash.“It’s a lot, by historical standards,” said Jerry Weir, who oversees vaccine research and review for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.The outdated vaccine, some of which expired Wednesday, will be incinerated. The amount, as much as four times the usual leftover seasonal flu vaccine, likely sets a record. And that’s not even all of it.

Body sent to crime lab

July 2, 2010 The body of a man found dead on the porch of a Ruddell Hill residence has been sent to the state crime lab to determine the cause of death, investigators with the Independence County Sheriff’s Office said this morning.The body of 32-year-old Shaun Conley (as spelled on Arkansas driver’s license), who had a West Fowler Street address, was reportedly found unresponsive on the porch of a residence on Dry Run Circle by Darnell Wells who called 911 for help.

Suspect spilled Russia spy details

July 2, 2010 NEW YORK (AP) — Within hours of his capture, U.S. prosecutors say, Russian spy suspect Juan Lazaro admitted his name was an alias.So who is he? Lazaro wasn’t saying — not “even for his son,” court papers say.Lazaro’s admission — and defiance — was revealed Thursday by federal prosecutors arguing against bail for him, his wife and another couple with children. The U.S. government claims those defendants and seven others were part of a spy ring on assignment to infiltrate America’s cities and suburbs for the Russian intelligence service.

Fulton County Fair makes changes

July 2, 2010 SALEM — The 2010 Fulton County Fair is Aug. 9-14 and there are several changes to this year’s event.This year exhibits must be entered before the fair opens and the deadline to enter is Aug. 1. Everything will be entered in the computers and fair officials will use computerized entry tags and judging sheets for all exhibits. There are two ways to enter, online at or with a paper entry form. The paper entry form can be mailed, faxed, or left at the fair office.

Service News for July 2, 2010

July 2, 2010 SAN ANTONIO, Tx — Army Pvt. Jason R. Bishop has graduated from basic combat training at Fort Jackson in Columbia, S.C.During the nine weeks of training, the soldier studied the Army mission, history, tradition and core values, physical fitness, and received instruction and practice in basic combat skills, military weapons, chemical warfare and bayonet training, drill and ceremony, marching, rifle marksmanship, armed and unarmed combat, map reading, field tactics, military courtesy, military justice system, basic first aid, foot marches and field training exercises.

Program aimed at keeping visitors in state longer

July 2, 2010 LITTLE ROCK — Customer service is vital to gaining and retaining clients. This is especially true in the tourism industry.The Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism recognized this and partnered with the Arkansas Hospitality Association (AHA) to help communities improve customer service from frontline employees. The goal of the program is to increase visitors’ satisfaction during an Arkansas vacation and encourage them to stay longer.

VBS begins Monday

July 2, 2010 Maple Springs Missionary Baptist Church will have its vacation Bible school from 6:30 to 8:45 p.m. Monday through July 9.The theme this year is “Fire Fighters.” There will be skits, music, crafts and games. Classes will be available for nursery-age children through adults.Van pickup may be arranged in Rosie, Oil Trough, Newark and Thida. For more information or for a ride, call (870) 528-4199 or (870) 844-5717. Supper will be served each night. The church is located at 4225 Newport Road.