Fellowship Bible Church part of Second Friday

August 10, 2010 Main Street Batesville will celebrate the opening of the Fellowship Bible Church in the restored and repurposed Landers Theater Building as part of the monthly 2nd Friday Downtown Wander and Wonder Walk.From 5:30 to 7 p.m. visitors may tour the building, and refreshments will be served. A ribbon cutting is set for 6. “The restoration effort took over two years,” said Paula Grimes, Main Street Batesville executive director. “The results are extremely impressive.”

Watermelon Festival opens

August 10, 2010 CAVE CITY — The 31st Annual Cave City Watermelon Festival gets under way Thursday with rollickin’ harmonica music from Kaleena Hutchins, 1950s style rock ’n’ roll from Rockin’ Luke Stroud and smooth country music from Billy Joe French, said Charles Landers, who chairs the watermelon festival association.Bluegrass and gospel music arrives a bit later in the week.Cash prizes will be given away each night of the three-day festival — $1,000 in all.

County opts out of nursing home business

August 10, 2010 The Independence County Quorum Court is severing its ties with Wood-Lawn Inc., which operates the county-owned nursing home by the same nameIn July Robin Brock on behalf of the Wood-Lawn Inc. board, asked the court to surrender ownership of the leased property.Monday night, justices of the peace met in regular session and voted unanimously to grant the request.Brock said this will allow the board to move forward in major remodeling and improvements that can only be made if they are the sole owners of the facility.

Sex offender flees from police

August 10, 2010 Wanted for sexually assaulting a child in two other states, a Texas man is now wanted for escaping from Independ-ence County deputies during the night.Deputy Joseph Beaudin said he was on patrol in the area of Riverside Park around 12:45 this morning when he noticed two men in a green 1999 GMC Yukon parked in a closed area of Riverside Park off Chaney Drive.“I approached the driver, later identified as Michael Sean Lee, and told him the park was closed and they would have to leave,” Beaudin said.

Dealer gets 40

August 10, 2010 A woman who was selling cocaine was given a 40-year sentence Friday.Vanessa J. Crawford-Cotherine was given 10 years on each of the four class Y felony counts. Circuit Judge John Dan Kemp ruled they would run consecutively.Cotherine was arrested after a confidential informant purchased cocaine from her at a residence at 570 Dry Run Circle in Batesville.According to information from the Independence County Clerk’s Office, drugs were obtained on or around May 8 of 2008, May 20, June 4 and July 11.

Barnett crowned King White River

August 10, 2010 From serving in the Army to holding county offices and working in community organizations, Charles Barnett has been one to give back to his hometown, according to friend, Ned Metcalf.Metcalf, director of the White River Pageant Association, was on hand Friday night for the announcement of Barnett as this year’s King White River. Born Oct. 29, 1940, Barnett “has spent most of his 70 years being an integral part of the Batesville community,” Metcalf said.

Board looks to hire new librarian, questions quorum’s request

August 9, 2010 As White River Regional librarian, Debra Sutterfield has served as head of the Independence County Library for 34 years.As regional librarian Sutterfield supervises the 14 branch libraries that make up the six-county White River Regional Library system, which includes Izard, Fulton, Sharp, Cleburne and Stone counties as well as Independence. The Cleburne and Stone county libraries are two libraries in the White River Regional Library system that have head librarians who serve on a full-time basis.Now, the Independence County Library will be looking to do the same.

Forced to retire, some take early Social Security

August 9, 2010 MIAMI (AP) — Paul Skidmore’s office is shuttered, his job gone, his 18-month job search fruitless and his unemployment benefits exhausted. So at 63, he plans to file this week for Social Security benefits, three years earlier than planned.“All I want to do is work,” said Skidmore, of Finksburg, Md., who was an insurance claims adjuster for 37 years before his company downsized and closed his office last year. “And nobody will hire me.”

State program to help with utilities closed

August 9, 2010 LITTLE ROCK (AP) — A statewide program that helped poor Arkansas residents with their utility bills has closed after using all of its funds earlier than expected.The program was run through the Arkansas Community Action Agencies Association and dispersed about $10 million to nearly 74,000 households in less than a month, executive director Rose Adams said.After an initial surge of applications, the state Department of Human Services told the association to close the program after only 10 days and to reserve the rest of its money for crisis funding, Adams said.

Mtn. Home group finalizes plans for Moore simulcast

August 9, 2010 MOUNTAIN HOME — Author and Bible teacher Beth Moore will speak at LifeWay Women’s Living Proof Live simulcast event Sept. 18, and the event will be broadcast in Mountain Home at First Baptist Church’s sanctuary, 400 Club Blvd., thanks to the dedication of “Joy in the Morning” Christian Women’s Community Bible Study.The nondenominational group “Joy in the Morning Christian Women’s Community Bible Study” began in September 2007.  It has grown to more than 50 women who meet each Tuesday morning from 9-11 to study, fellowship and reach out to the community.