Gift drive planned

October 28, 2010 Christmas is arriving early in Batesville, as Calvary Baptist Church prepares to serve as a collection point for Operation Christmas Child.

The Weekend Events

October 28, 2010 Friday• Free mass flu clinic, 7 a.m.-5 p.m., Independence County Health Unit, 120 Weaver Ave.• Polk Bayou Pumpkin Patch petting zoo, hay maze and hay rides, 9 a.m.-10 p.m., 255 Polk Bayou Road, Cushman. Admission is $4 per person and includes a free pumpkin. Call (870) 834-2736.

Diamond T 4-H

October 28, 2010 THIDA — Diamond T 4-H Club held its regular meeting Sept. 26 at Thida Community Center.The club welcomed new members Dusty Bumpous, Mica Velazquez, Tyler Ruddell and Caleb Ruddell.

Lines drawn over McCance Facebook remarks

October 28, 2010 PLEASANT PLAINS — Clint McCance may be keeping mum on his Facebook comments, but that was not the case for a group of protesters near the Midland school campus this morning.McCance, who is currently serving as the Midland School Board vice president, has come under fire for comments about gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgenders on his personal Facebook page last week.However, he didn’t have much to say when the Guard reached him at a phone number at his carpet-cleaning business at 4:40 Wednesday afternoon.

Cafeterias to try psychology in line

October 27, 2010 Hide the chocolate milk behind the plain milk. Get those apples and oranges out of stainless steel bins and into pretty baskets. Cash only for desserts.These subtle moves can entice kids to make healthier choices in school lunch lines, studies show. Food and restaurant marketers have long used similar tricks. Now the government wants in on the act.

Ex CEO gets prison term

October 27, 2010 LITTLE ROCK (AP) — The former chief executive of shuttered grocery distributor Affiliated Foods Southwest has been sentenced to more than three years in federal prison.Arkansas Business reports that John Mills was sentenced Tuesday to three years, five months behind bars for aiding and abetting bank fraud.Mills pleaded guilty in February.The 60-year-old Mills apologized in court and said he had no excuse for engaging in a check kiting scheme involving company subsidiaries. Mills was ordered to pay $3.2 million to U.S. Bank.

Convicted mayor can’t run again

October 27, 2010 LITTLE ROCK (AP) — The Arkansas Supreme Court has upheld a ruling that Greenwood Mayor Kenneth Edwards is prohibited from running for re-election because of a theft conviction.Edwards was convicted of misdemeanor theft for stealing three campaign signs that opposed a sales-tax extension. Tuesday’s ruling by the court upholds a Sept. 28 ruling in Sebastian County Circuit Court.Edwards did not return a phone call for comment. He has said he didn’t commit a crime because city ordinances allow him to remove signs from public rights of way.

Fire that killed boy accidental

October 27, 2010 GUY (AP) — The death of a 5-year-old boy in a house fire in Faulkner County has been ruled accidental.The Faulkner County coroner said Tuesday that Keegan Ray Lee Payne died of accidental smoke and soot inhalation. Firefighters found the boy’s body inside a cabinet in his bedroom shortly after 5 a.m. Monday.Another child in the home and the boy’s parents escaped.The fire was reported at 4:41 a.m. and investigators say it appears to have started on a bed in the boy’s room. The cause has not been determined — but foul play is not suspected.

Demos outpace GOP

October 27, 2010 LITTLE ROCK (AP) — Democrats running for statewide offices in Arkansas have raised more money than their Republican rivals, with Gov. Mike Beebe leading the way, according to campaign finance reports.Beebe, who a recent poll shows with a comfortable lead against GOP challenger Jim Keet, collected $253,670 in campaign contributions during the first three weeks of October. That puts Beebe’s total at $5.1 million, leaving him with $1.7 million in the bank.

FOI latest storm for Game & Fish

October 27, 2010 LITTLE ROCK (AP) — The chairman of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission committee that backed its own, more restrictive version of the state open records law said Tuesday the issue is a dead one — but bad feelings could inspire a challenge to the agency’s independence from the Legislature.Gov. Mike Beebe said he expects the commission to be at risk of losing its autonomy when the Legislature convenes in January.“I think all that’s going to be thoroughly discussed,” Beebe said. “I think I’ve still got an open mind.”