McLean: Two-party politics have come to Arkansas

January 10, 2011 The first Arkansas legislative session of the year began today with 44 Republican members in the House of Representatives and 15 in the Senate. That’s compared to 27 and 7, respectively in 2009, according to state Rep. James McLean of Batesville.McLean, speaking to the Batesville Kiwanis Club Friday afternoon, said, “If there’s a headline for this coming session it would be, ‘Two-party politics have come to Arkansas.’”

Emergency crews respond to accident

January 10, 2011 Allan Hamby said he was going slow, about 35 miles per hour, but it didn’t make any difference.Hamby, who lives in Franklin and was on his way to a Veterans Administration hospital in Little Rock around 9:15 this morning, said he was doing fine until he topped a small hill just north of the driveway to Believers’ Community Church on Highway 167 north of Batesville. That’s when things went south, literally.“I just topped that little hill and I could feel the back end start to fish tail, so I let off the gas but it didn’t do any good,” Hamby said.

Museum’s story time series runs from Jan. 14-May 27

January 10, 2011 Old Independence Regional Museum will continue its popular story time for toddlers and preschoolers in 2011, staff member Amanda Nikkel has announced.Story time begins at 10:30 a.m. and will take place on the second and fourth Fridays, January through May. Crafts will also be made.Dates are as follows: Jan. 14 and 28, Feb. 11 and 25, March 11 and 25, April 8 and 22 and May 13 and 27.

Alleged would-be marijuana grower arrested in Izard Co.

January 10, 2011 MELBOURNE — A Thursday morning visit to a residence near Pineville resulted in arrest of the occupant for numerous drug charges, Izard County Sheriff Tate Lawrence said.Luke Keith Teague, 56, of 3276 Corinth Road, was charged with possession of a controlled substance, a class D felony; and possession with the intent to manufacture marijuana and possession with the intent to use drug paraphernalia, both class C felonies.Teague was charged under the habitual offender act and remains in jail in lieu of $100,000 bond.

Parasites, bacteria not cause of Arkansas River fish kill

January 10, 2011 LITTLE ROCK (AP) — An Arkansas Game and Fish Commission official says parasites and bacteria have been eliminated as causes of a fish kill last week in the Arkansas River.Fisheries division chief Mark Oliver said it will take three more weeks to determine whether the 80,000 to 100,000 drum that died were killed by a virus. Samples were sent to the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff’s fish-disease diagnostic laboratory for testing.

Council meetings postponed

January 10, 2011 PLEASANT PLAINS — Due to icy roads and inclement weather, the Pleasant Plains City Council meeting originally scheduled for tonight has been postponed for one week, said Mayor Rick Siler.The council will meet at 7 p.m. Jan. 17 in the city hall.———NEWARK — The Newark City Council originally scheduled for tonight has been postponed to 6:30 p.m. Jan. 18 at city hall.

Police: Ariz. suspect failed drug test, not talking ahead of court

January 10, 2011 PHOENIX (AP) — A 22-year-old man described as a social outcast with wild beliefs steeped in mistrust faces a federal court hearing today on charges he tried to assassinate Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in a Tucson shooting rampage that left six people dead.A military official in Washington said Jared Loughner was rejected from the Army in 2008 because he failed a drug test. The official spoke today on condition of anonymity because privacy laws prevent the military from disclosing such information about an individual’s application.

Truck reported taken from used car lot

January 10, 2011 Property valued at $13,933 has been reported stolen to Independence County deputies, according to recent burglary and theft reports.John England of Batesville said his 1994 Chevrolet pickup truck was stolen from the northwest corner of the Gilly’s Auto Sales lot at 150 White Drive. The theft occurred between 5 p.m. Tuesday and 8 a.m. Wednesday. England said he had parked the truck there to try to sell it since he helps out at the business from time to time. Another employee said she saw the vehicle when she left work Tuesday.

Arctic blast coats South in snow, ice

January 10, 2011 ATLANTA (AP) — Stranded vehicles littered roadsides today as several inches of snow and sleet coated Atlanta and other parts of the South, freezing the morning commute in many areas and canceling thousands of flights through the world’s busiest airport.

Arkansas Flavors Farm to Table dinner set

January 10, 2011 LITTLE ROCK — Award-winning food author Deborah Madison will be on hand for the Arkansas Flavors Farm to Table Dinner Feb. 25 at the Peabody Hotel ballroom in Little Rock.The event is hosted by the Arkansas Flower & Garden Show, the Certified Arkansas Farmers Markets, the Arkansas Farmers Market Association, and The Peabody Hotel.