Area schools deal with highs, lows in 2009

January 7, 2010 From the Batesville School District’s venture into unchartered territory, to the Cushman Bulldogs’ final farewell, Eagle Mountain Magnet archers world-champion win and the welcoming of a new elementary for Southside, news in education was ahead of the class in 2009. Unchartered territoryThe fall of 2009 found Batesville looking to acquire a charter status for its junior high, but the idea was soon dropped after the district agreed to review the idea further and allow for more public input.

Felony drug charges filed

January 7, 2010 NEWPORT — Five people have been charged in Jackson County with conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine.According to Chief Investigator Sgt. David Platt, with the Jackson County Criminal Investigation Division, Marcus Shane Boyster, Donnie A. Carlton, Christopher Fischer, Heather Marie Smart and Lauren Elaine Billingsley have been formally charged and are scheduled to appear in Jackson County Circuit Court on Jan. 22.

Mutilation reported

January 7, 2010 Footprints in the snow are the only clue in a dog mutilation incident believed to have occurred sometime Monday night or early Tuesday morning.Independence County Deputy Dee McFatter said she was dispatched to the home of Brandy Lynn White at 470 W. Main around 2:18 Tuesday afternoon regarding White’s dogs being killed and one of them mutilated.

Grievance panel sides with clerk

January 7, 2010 Dianna Melton didn’t want to leave her son’s bedside. He’d been injured in a rodeo accident, fell into a coma and spent weeks in the hospital. It was possible he had sustained brain damage, and they were facing a long road to recovery.Shortly after her son was released from the hospital Melton received a certified letter saying she was fired Dec. 23.Tuesday, Melton won the support of a grievance committee which voted to give her a “clear name” and seal a portion of her personnel file.

News of other days

January 6, 2010 Editor’s note: This column ran previously in the Guard on Jan. 21, 1997.

Dozens of schools remain closed

January 6, 2010 LITTLE ROCK (AP) — Slick roads from wintry weather and frigid temperatures are keeping dozens of northern Arkansas schools in 12 counties closed.Today is the third consecutive day the schools have been shut down. At least 29 districts had announced classes will not be held.The districts are in Baxter, Benton, Boone, Bradley, Carroll, Cleburne, Izard, Searcy, Sharp, Stone, Van Buren and Washington counties.

Amtrak train derails; no injuries reported

January 6, 2010 HIGGINSON (AP) — An Amtrak train from Chicago has derailed in White County.Amtrak spokeswoman Karina Romero says no injuries were reported when the Texas Eagle derailed just after 3 this morning in Higginson — about 45 miles northeast of Little Rock. The train was headed for Los Angeles via San Antonio.Romero says 212 passengers and an unknown number of crew were on board. She says no decision was immediately made on how the passengers would continue their journey.A cause of the derailment has not been determined.

Museum event postponed one week due to weather

January 6, 2010 The “Winter Night at the Museum” event originally scheduled for Friday at Old Independence Regional Museum has been postponed due to the extreme cold weather and threat of more snow, administrative secretary April White said.“Everyone who has purchased tickets is encouraged to hold them for one more week,” she said.The postponed event will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. Jan. 15.

Forecasters warn of dangerous cold

January 6, 2010 With the potential for snow today, sleet tonight and single digit temperatures by the weekend, local homeowners may be facing some of the coldest weather in a decade, according to weather professionals. After the snow ends forecasters say they expect clear skies to develop across the state bringing extreme cold temperatures. Friday’s high is expected to be around 20 degrees, before dropping to an overnight low of around 7.

OT man to be honored on 90th birthday

January 6, 2010 OIL TROUGH — Jim Pelley of Oil Trough will celebrate his 90th birthday with a reception from 2-4 p.m. Saturday at the Oil Trough Community Center.He is a retired farmer. However, he still gardens, hunts, plays cards and spends time with his family and many friends.