Ozarka Foundation to hold gala

March 9, 2010 Melbourne — The Ozarka College Foundation board will sponsor its annual Spring Gala at 6:30 p.m. April 1. “Snapshot of a New Decade” will include dinner prepared by the culinary arts department to be served in the Ozarka College John E. Miller lobby. Along with dinner, there will be an auction and musical entertainment.

Races develop

March 9, 2010 Independence County will have three countywide elections come May, as well as a number of justice of the peace and constable races. As the filings closed Monday here is a list of candidates and the positions they are seeking (* denotes incumbent candidates):Independence CountyCounty judge — Robert T. Griffin, Newark, Democrat; *Bill Hicks, Bethesda, Democrat;Sheriff — Bill Lindsey, Cord, Democrat; Steve Jeffery, Batesville, Democrat; Billy Meeks, Floral, Democrat;

Superintendent search continues

March 9, 2010 A visionary leader who can embrace diversity and make tough decisions while ensuring students come first. These were just some of the reoccurring themes mentioned by staff, students and members of the Batesville community about the kind of person they want to serve as the Batesville School District’s next superintendent.

Hydro project turns profit

March 9, 2010 The Independence County Quorum Court had some good news Monday night when it learned that for the first time in its history, the county’s hydroelectric project turned a $60,000 profit.Although that may not be a great deal of money, project manager Stephen Mitchell said the profit was due in part from less down time for repairs and increased production.“I think that we will soon be able to continually pay the principal and interest on loans without dipping into reserves,” Mitchell said.

Grass fire uncovers pot, dog ring, man’s suicide

March 8, 2010 ROMANCE (AP) — White County authorities say a man apparently killed himself after firefighters battling a grass blaze stumbled across an illegal dog-fighting ring and investigators found an indoor marijuana-growing operation on property where he lived.William R. Stewart, 62, was seen outside his rural home by volunteer firefighters as they fought the flames Thursday. But he was later found inside the home, dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to White County Detective Phillip Miller.

Judge: Traffic stops were race profiling

March 8, 2010 LITTLE ROCK (AP) — A federal judge says five Hispanic men were victims of unconstitutional racial profiling when they were given traffic tickets by an Alexander police officer.U.S. District Judge G. Thomas Eisele ruled Friday that officer Tommy Leath, now the town’s assistant police chief, violated the men’s civil rights and should be assessed punitive damages. The judge asked attorneys to file reports before he determines the amount of the punitive award.Eisele awarded compensatory damages ranging from $3,306 to $5,500 to each of the five men who testified in the trial.

Grand Prairie project awaits fall in White River

March 8, 2010 LITTLE ROCK (AP) — More than a year after a federal judge ruled a rare woodpecker couldn’t stand in the way of a massive irrigation project, a top official said it will be several more years before rice and soybean farmers can use water from the White River to irrigate their crops.

Would-be vendors of drinks at school get dose of reality

March 8, 2010 LEAD HILL (AP) — In only a couple of months, Jeb and McLeod Dickey have learned a lot about capitalism and free enterprise and even made some money. They have now learned about laws.The budding young entrepreneurs, both students at Lead Hill, will have to find a new niche for their enterprises after a student-handbook addition was approved at a meeting of the Lead Hill School Board.

‘Boggy Creek’ filmmaker Pierce dies in Tenn. at 71

March 8, 2010 DOVER, Tenn. (AP) — Charles B. Pierce, an independent filmmaker whose inexpensively made documentary-style drama “The Legend of Boggy Creek” influenced the hit film “The Blair Witch Project” decades later and made him something of a legend himself, has died at age 71.Pierce, who grew up in Arkansas and made his films mostly in that state, died Friday at a Dover nursing home, according to Wayne Anglin of Anglin Funeral Home at Dover. A cause of death could not be obtained.

Plantation Museum to host events

March 8, 2010 SCOTT — The Central Arkansas Basket Weavers Guild will host What a Beautiful Basket Expo from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. March 20 at the Plantation Agriculture Museum’s Heritage Resource Center.