Van Buren lands $15M plant

December 29, 2009 VAN BUREN (AP) — A manufacturer specializing in technology to help increase oil and gas production plans to build a $15 million plant in Van Buren, employing about 50 workers by the summer.Oxane Materials Inc. says it plans to expand the plant through 2014, with an expected total investment of $32 million and additional employment of up to 300 workers.

Fire destroys Batesville home

December 29, 2009 Nineteen Batesville firefighters and three fire trucks responded to a house fire at 1556 Lee St. around 6 Monday evening and stayed on the scene for approximately two and half hours in near freezing temperatures.The blaze at the home of Deanna Hollowell reportedly started somewhere in the back of the house and got into the attic where it quickly spread.According to Batesville Fire Chief Danny Russell, the cause of the fire has not been determined at this time, but remains under investigation. No one was injured in the blaze.

Library to close for holiday

December 29, 2009 The Independence County Library will be closed Thursday through Sunday in observance of the New year’s holiday. It will reopen Monday morning at 9.

Youth to have New Year’s party

December 29, 2009 The youth groups of First Baptist and First United Methodist churches of Batesville invite teens of the community to an alcohol free New Year’s Eve party at the West Annex of First Baptist Church on Main Street.“The Main Event,” featuring Mitch Wright as guest speaker, will take place from 8 p.m. to 12:15 a.m., Thursday, .Activities will include a Main Street scavenger hunt, games and lots of food and fun in a safe environment.For more information contact Kathryn Blackwell at (870) 834-5575.

Success academy for children now open

December 29, 2009 A day treatment center for preschool children, who may be at risk or have chronic medical problems, is now open at 200 General Street in the Bad Boy Mowers building.Miracle Kids Success Academy is an inspired venture, according to owner/chief operating officer Mary-Katherine Hardin.Hardin said the academy was the result of her winning a battle over cancer in 2007. “The dream of opening a clinic to serve families in this area became a way to celebrate my victory and a way to serve others,” Hardin said.

Jailed, again

December 29, 2009 Michael Ryan Hilton spent most of his Christmas holiday in a jail cell; two of them to be exact.The 46-year-old Melbourne man arrested Monday will now add felony theft and drug charges from Independence County to the breaking and entering charges in Izard.Hilton’s holiday adventure began on Knob Creek Road in Melbourne when a woman returned home to find someone loading her belongings into a truck on Christmas Eve. According to Izard County Sheriff Tate Lawrence, Hilton gave conflicting statements as to his reason for being there.

News of Other Days

December 28, 2009 Editor’s note: This column ran previously in the Guard on Jan. 10, 1997.

Some court records soon to be available online

December 28, 2009 LITTLE ROCK (AP) — An effort to put Arkansas court information on the Internet is scheduled to reach a milestone in the coming months, although its more subtle effects are already being felt in participating courts.Tim Holthoff with the Administrative Office of the Courts said he hopes to have the Internet component, which will allow Arkansas residents to research court records online, available to the public by the end of February.

Experts say ban on judicial elections not likely

December 28, 2009 LITTLE ROCK (AP) — Former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor is heading up a group of judges from around the country who will push next year for an end to the practice of electing judges, but legal experts in Arkansas say the idea will be a tough sell here.