Local Hospice holds ceremony for families, friends

December 17, 2010 The staff and volunteers with the Arkansas Department of Health Hospice of Independence County held a breakfast/memorial ceremony Tuesday morning for families and friends who have lost a hospice patient to an illness in the past year. Volunteer coordinator Vicki Presley said every year the department holds a candle lighting ceremony to honor the memory of those who have passed.“This year we are offering survivors a Christmas ornament decorated with the family member’s name as a keepsake to be passed on,” Presley said.

Award named for Magness native

December 17, 2010 WASHINGTON — Dr. Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, chairman of Ghana’s Electoral Commission, recently received the 2010 Joe C. Baxter Award at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. Afari-Gyan was chosen as this year’s honoree for his invaluable contributions to democracy in Ghana, Africa and the world, according to a news release. The Baxter award is named after Joe C. Baxter, a Magness native, Newark alumnus and renowned election expert who worked for International Foundation for Electoral Services for many years. “Mr.

Reading becomes tribute

December 17, 2010 JONESBORO — A woman in a wheelchair hovered at the door.“She couldn’t speak,” Darryl Roberts said. “But she made it clear she wanted me to read to her, too. Before I knew it, I had seven ladies I was reading to every day.”Roberts had spent years reading the Bible, other books and newspapers to his blind mother, Olivia, a resident at Craighead Nursing Center. Olivia died in August 2009 at the age of 94. Even though his mother is gone, Roberts makes several trips a week to the nursing home and continues to read to the patients there.

Recipes found

December 17, 2010 Longtime baker Brenda Hyatt thought she was getting a new mixer when she won a surprise raffle at work. She was thinking it might be a big stand mixer with multiple speeds. Instead she was presented with five charred plastic tubs. It didn’t seem like much, but the site of them left her speechless. Inside those soot-covered tubs were thousands of handwritten recipes Hyatt had collected in her nearly 30 years of baking in Brenda’s Bake Shop for Lyon College students, faculty and staff. She thought they were gone, lost forever in the Oct.

Wanted man found sleeping on sister’s couch

December 17, 2010 ASHDOWN (AP) — An Ashdown man who failed to appear in court for sentencing on a drug conviction was later found sleeping on a couch in his sister’s home.Authorities began looking for Paul East after an arrest warrant was issued when he failed to appear in Little River County Circuit Court on Tuesday. He was to be sentenced after pleading guilty Dec. 7 to manufacturing methamphetamine.

Prosecutor to review Wilcox’s car use

December 17, 2010 LITTLE ROCK (AP) — A prosecutor says he will review an audit citing State Land Commissioner Mark Wilcox’s personal use of state vehicles — but says he doesn’t have a timeline for deciding whether it warrants any action.Pulaski County Prosecutor Larry Jegley said Friday that his office has received the legislative audit of Wilcox’s office, but did not know how long a review would take. The audit cited Wilcox’s use of two state vehicles on his farm.

Jonesboro shooter’s conviction proper, feds argue

December 17, 2010 LITTLE ROCK (AP) — Federal prosecutors are opposing a motion from Mitchell Johnson to have his drug and weapons convictions overturned because of alleged ineffectual counsel. Prosecutors said in a court filing this week that Johnson had proper representation when he was convicted in 2008 on federal drugs and weapons charges. Johnson was 13 years old when he and another student opened fire at Jonesboro’s Westside Middle School, killing four students and a teacher.

Entergy shows technique, plans to handle crisis

December 17, 2010 LITTLE ROCK (AP) — Entergy Corp. said Thursday that the four-state utility stores all its extra support line structures in Arkansas because the state’s severe weather makes it the place they are most often needed.Last January’s ice storm in north Arkansas left about 250 poles or other supporting structures for utility lines on the ground, along with about 26 miles of downed lines, Entergy said as it demonstrated elements of its emergency plan for restoring power in the wake of severe weather.

Drug arrests made

December 17, 2010 A number of drug-related arrests have made in the past couple weeks, according to reports filed with the Independence County Sheriff’s Office:• On Dec. 5, deputies responded to Elsie Street in reference to a man who was violating an order of protection. Both the man and the woman who had sought the order were standing in the street. Stacy Young said James Young had been served a temporary order of protection that morning but when she returned home she discovered that he was inside.