Rep. John Murtha, Iraq war critic, dies

February 9, 2010 HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Rep. John Murtha, the tall, gruff-mannered former Marine who became the de facto voice of veterans on Capitol Hill and later an outspoken and influential critic of the Iraq War, died Monday. He was 77.The Pennsylvania Democrat had been suffering complications from gallbladder surgery. He died at Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington, Va., spokesman Matthew Mazonkey said.

State EHC to hold meeting

February 9, 2010 The Arkansas Extension Homemakers Council officer training meeting will be March 16 and 17 at the C.A. Vines 4-H Center near Little Rock.Check-in, dinner and after-dinner activities will be March 16.Those interested in attending should call the Independence County Extension Office (870) 793-8840 before Feb. 19.

Boyd to speak on earthquakes

February 9, 2010 Walnut Ridge — A geophysicist who has done extensive research on earthquakes will deliver this year’s Mondy-Carroll Lecture at Williams Baptist College. Dr. Oliver Boyd is set to speak at 7 p.m. Feb. 16 in WBC’s Sloan Center, room 101.Boyd’s lecture will be entitled “Earthquake hazards in the central and eastern United States.” Boyd is a research geophysicist with the United States Geological Survey, and he serves as an adjunct professor with the Center for Earthquake Research and Information at the University of Memphis.

Wilkerson nets crown

February 9, 2010 Shea Wilkerson was recently crowned Miss Arkansas National Teenager 2010, according to a news release.She will compete for the title of Miss America’s National Teenager this summer in Philadelphia.Wilkerson is the daughter of David and Holly Wilkerson of Batesville and is a Honors College Student at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro. She has already been chosen to be a Honors College ambassador, as well as new student orientation leader and is Chi Omega sorority social chairwoman.

Folk center to teach how to make bread

February 9, 2010 MOUNTAIN VIEW — The Ozark Folk Center State Park will host Fourth Friday Food Day Feb. 26The topic is “Bountiful Bread.”“Real bread — homemade, whole grain, fresh from the oven bread can be the foundation of any meal,” according to a news release. “These breads are healthy and tasty. Because they are made from whole grains, they are filling and stick with you throughout the day. You eat less and your body is satisfied.”

Foreigners use ASU to launch studies

February 9, 2010 JONESBORO (AP) — It seems as if some international students are using Arkansas State University as a stepping stone, stopping here to learn German or a different foreign language before relocating to another university for advanced degrees.Hanne Pardos, an instructor of German in the Department of World Languages and Cultures at ASU, has seen many international and U.S. undergraduates pass through the department in the 10 years she’s lived in Jonesboro. She was born and raised in Germany.

Flood Insurance deadline nears

February 9, 2010 Independence County residents and business owners who do not have flood insurance are encouraged to buy coverage now to get the best possible premiums before new flood insurance rate maps go into effect, according to a news release from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.The new flood insurance rate maps show locations of floodplains and floodways that pose risks for homes and businesses.“Property owners need to know that this could mean a change in their floodplain status,” said Tony Russell, a regional FEMA administrator.

2nd Friday, TCF canceled

February 9, 2010 Due to anticipated inclement weather, all 2nd Friday Downtown Wonder and Wander Walk events and activities are canceled in Batesville. 2nd Friday will resume on March 12.   Also, the regular meeting of The Compassionate Friends North Central Arkansas chapter, set for tonight in Batesville, has also been canceled. The group normally meets the second Tuesday of the month. The next meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. March 9 at the Citizens Bank Annex.

Civil War group to hear about nurse known as ‘Mother’

February 9, 2010 The Batesville Civil War Round Table will meet at 7 p.m. Thursday at First Community Bank’s George Rider Room. The meeting is open to guests.The Rev. David Wesley will present a program entitled “Mary Ball ‘Mother’ Bickerdyke.”Wesley, who will celebrate in March his 20th year of service as pastor of Salado Baptist Church, is a native of southern Illinois. He was one of the re-enactors featured in “North and South.” Wesley’s wife, Jan, had her picture taken with Patrick Swayze while they were on the set during the 1985 filiming of the movie at Natchez, Miss.

Voting machines to be inspected

February 9, 2010 The Independence County Election Commission will meet at 8 a.m. Wednesday with representatives from Election Systems and Software (ES&S).The ES&S and the commission will conduct a routine maintenance inspection of all the county’s voting equipment to guarantee that each unit is functioning properly prior to the 2010 primary election. Any upgrades to the programming and tabulation software as well as to the system firmware will be made at this time. This inspection may require additional days to be completed.