Police: Ariz. girl escapes virtual prison in home

February 11, 2010 PHOENIX (AP) — A 14-year-old Phoenix girl was fed once every day or two, maybe some crackers or a can of food, police said.She was locked in a bathroom without running water for two months, forced to use a bucket instead of a toilet, police said. She told police her father beat her with metal rods and belts. And her bed? A blanket on the tile floor.Authorities say the malnourished girl managed to escape her virtual prison, and her father and stepmother were arrested for investigation of child abuse, kidnapping and unlawful imprisonment.

Grade reports are in for Arkansas schools

February 11, 2010 The Arkansas Department of Education recently reported that 58 public schools in the state inflated 20 percent or more of students’ grades on 2009 end-of-course exams. The review compared grades of high school students taking algebra I and geometry and inflation was said to occur at schools where at least 20 percent of students made an A or B in the class, but failed to score proficient or advanced on the corresponding exam.

Former Texas Rep. Charlie Wilson dies at 76

February 11, 2010 DALLAS (AP) — The late Rep. Charlie Wilson worked tenaciously to funnel millions of dollars in weapons to Afghan rebels who fought off the Soviet Union, only to watch Afghanistan plunge into chaos and eventually harbor al-Qaida terrorists.The course of events greatly saddened the rakish Texan, who died at a Texas hospital Wednesday at age 76, and believed it could have been avoided had the U.S. committed to rebuilding Afghanistan years ago.

Valentine’s Day recipes

February 11, 2010 Want to show that special someone you really love them this Saint Valentine’s Day? Cooking one of the carefully selected Valentine recipes from www.valentinerecipes.net would be a great compliment to a gift or other Valentines treat. Champagne Shrimp and Pasta8 ounces angel hair pasta1 pound of shrimp, peeled and deveined2 cups champagne1 cup fresh mushrooms, sliced1 cup heavy cream3 tablespoons of fresh parsley, chopped2 tablespoons of minced shallots1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil1/4 teaspoon of salt

Stephens Nature Center highlights downtown Little Rock’s outdoors

February 11, 2010 LITTLE ROCK — When looking for locations to explore nature in Arkansas, downtown Little Rock wouldn’t be on the top of most people’s list. In fact, it probably wouldn’t make the list at all. That would be a mistake … a big mistake. Right in the middle of downtown Little Rock’s River Market District is the Witt Stephens Central Arkansas Nature Center, an environmental oasis amidst the Capital City’s bustle.

Snow forecast for south Ark.

February 11, 2010 LITTLE ROCK (AP) — Another winter weather system is moving over Arkansas.As much as three inches of snow was expected to fall today and Friday in the southern portion of the state.The National Weather Service says the heaviest concentration will be south of a line from Mena to Hot Springs to Stuttgart.Snow is possible as far north as Little Rock, but forecasters say the capital city should get no more than an inch.

Batesville school open Monday

February 11, 2010 The Batesville School District will be open and classes will be held Monday, President’s Day, according to Superintendent Ted Hall. While the district is allowed two snow days, it has had to cancel classes five days because of winter weather this year, and while it is usually closed for the national holiday, remaining open allows the district the opportunity to make up those days without having to cancel spring break, Hall said. Arkansas schools are required by law to hold classes a minimum of 178 days.

Library, courthouse, trash schedules change

February 11, 2010 The Independence County Library will be closed Saturday through Monday in observance of Presidents Day, according to a news release.The library will reopen Tuesday morning at 9.The Independence County Courthouse in Batesville and the Sharp County Courthouse in Ash Flat will both be closed Monday for the federal holiday.Garbage/trash pickup at Newark will take place on Tuesday instead of Monday, and the Newark Municipal Building will be closed Monday, city officials said.

Church to host youth expo, wild game supper Feb. 27

February 11, 2010 The Allen Chapel Free Will Baptist Church, 629 Allen Chapel Road, will host its annual youth expo and wild game supper Feb. 27, according to a news release.The youth expo, featuring games and demonstrations for children and teens, will run from 2 to 5 p.m. The wild game dinner, featuring a variety of wild game species from all over the country, will begin at 5:30. Immediately following the meal, Hank Hough of Kingdom Dog Ministries will present a testimonial program.

Grants available to businesses in Arkansas offering training

February 11, 2010 The state of Arkansas has announced a pool of $3,377,381 available to business and industry for Incumbent Workforce Training Grants, according to a news release.Businesses that are eligible to apply include any private for-profit or private non-profit business that has been in operation in Arkansas during the entire 12-month period immediately preceding the date of application, is current on all state tax obligations and that proposes training at a facility it operates located in the state.