Local areas earn national recognition for wildfire preparedness

March 3, 2010 SOUTHSIDE — Because of efforts to reduce the vulnerability of homes and landscapes to wildfire, six Independence County communities have earned FireWise Communities/USA recognition.“As a result of FireWise certification, the Southside Fire District has made 6,000-plus residents safer from the threat of wildfire through pre-planning and awareness,” said Adriane Harrell, Arkansas FireWise information officer.

Row crop meeting set

March 3, 2010 It is still not too late to attend the Independence County Extension Service’s Annual Row Crop Production meeting, which begins at 8 a.m. Thursday at Wyatt Farms in Rosie, said Extension Agent Nathan Reinhart.The meeting is free and begins with coffee and doughnuts.Lunch will be catered by Al Crouch and is sponsored by First Community Bank in Batesville.Topics will include updates on corn, soybeans, milo, wheat and rice production including disease control and week control.The meeting will adjourn after lunch. Everyone interested is invited.

Students taking part in Farm Safety Awareness Week

March 3, 2010 LITTLE ROCK — Vocational agriculture students from high schools in Woodruff County will participate in a safety program at the Greenway John Deere dealership in Augusta on March 11. Arkansas Farm Bureau is conducting the event as part of Agriculture Safety Awareness Week, which runs March 7-13.The program is expected to attract more than 200 students and includes sessions on tractor, ATV, grain bin and electrical safety. Safety programs are also scheduled for Greenwood High School on Monday and Springdale Har-Ber High School on March 10.

Farm Bureau donations commemorate Food Check-Out Week

March 3, 2010 LITTLE ROCK — Arkansas Farm Bureau donated more than three months worth of meals and food items to Little Rock’s Ronald McDonald House in observance of the 13th annual Food Check-Out Week.Locally, the Sharp County Farm Bureau Women’s Committee donated cash to Help and Hope in Batesville. Sue Billiot of the Sharp County committee and who also serves as vice chair of the state women’s committee, presented Help and Hope Food Coordinator Carolyn Wilson with a $200 check and stayed around for awhile to help pack food boxes.

Programs offered on Southern films

March 3, 2010 The ninth annual Ozark Foothills FilmFest will present two free “Brown Bag” programs from noon to 1 p.m. on March 24 and 25 at Old Independence Regional Museum, 380 S. Ninth St. in Batesville. The programs will showcase recent documentary films that focus on the politics, history and the people of the South. March 24 films are:

Harding presents annual student musical program

March 3, 2010 SEARCY — Spring Sing, Harding University’s annual student musical variety show, will present its audience with a “passport” to travel the world without leaving their seats in the Benson Auditorium April 1-3.The show will combine the efforts of more than 800 students to showcase the unique global nature of Harding, including performances by international students and videos from Harding’s study abroad programs around the globe.

Funds available to renovate, build rural rental housing

March 3, 2010 WASHINGTON, D.C. — Applications are being accepted to provide affordable rental housing to rural residents through the Guaranteed Rural Rental Housing Program, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced. “This program helps finance the construction, acquisition and rehabilitation of affordable multi-family rental housing for rural residents and I encourage eligible parties to apply for these funds.”

Consignment sale set

March 3, 2010 A children’s consignment sale known as The Polka Dot will be held later this month at the Independence County Fairgrounds, according to a news release.Sale times will be from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. March 18, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. March 19, with the half-price sale from 9 a.m. to noon March 20.Items for sale include clothing, bedding, decorative items, furniture, toys, baby gear, swings, bathtubs, cribs, maternity clothing and much more, the release states.

Fish, chicken dinner set

March 3, 2010 HUTCHINSON MOUNTAIN — The Hutchinson Mountain community will hold a fish and chicken dinner from 3-7 p.m. Friday at the community center. The all-you-can-eat buffet will include dessert and drink. Adult plates are $8 and child’s plates are $4.