Device found outside jail after bomb threat was fake

December 2, 2009 TEXARKANA (AP) — Miller County Sheriff Ron Stovall says a device found in the parking lot of the county jail after a bomb threat was not a real bomb.A bomb squad from Barksdale Air Force Base in Shreveport, La., used a robot to examine the device Tuesday and determined it was a hoax. It was found in a garbage bag and wrapped in the Aug. 29 edition of the Texarkana Gazette which featured a story about changes and improvements made by the sheriff at the jail.Stovall says the incident appears to be a political statement and will be turned over to the FBI to investigate.

State revenues dip in November, fueled by refunds

December 2, 2009 LITTLE ROCK (AP) — Arkansas finance officials say the state’s revenues fell $16.2 million below expectations last month, fueled by one-time corporate and sales tax refunds.The Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration said today the state’s net available revenues in November totaled $391.6 million, which was $63.6 million below last year. The state saw decreases in individual income, sales and corporate taxes last month.

Dixie Chicks lawsuit dismissed

December 2, 2009 LITTLE ROCK (AP) — A federal judge has dismissed a defamation lawsuit filed against the Dixie Chicks by the stepfather of one of the three 8-year-old boys killed in West Memphis 15 years ago.Terry Hobbs, the stepfather of Stevie Branch, claimed that singer Natalie Maines accused him of being involved in the deaths of the three boys. Hobbs cited a letter Maines posted on the Dixie Chicks’ Web site and remarks she made at a rally in Little Rock in 2007.

Lotto critics to seek repeal

December 2, 2009 LITTLE ROCK (AP) — Critics of Arkansas’ lottery are appearing before lawmakers to talk about repealing the law that set up the state-run games.The House and Senate State Agencies and Governmental Affairs committees plan to meet jointly today to discuss a proposal by Sen. Sue Madison that would repeal the state law establishing the lottery commission. Voters approved a constitutional amendment last year authorizing the state to start a lottery for college scholarships.

Tip leads to DWI

December 2, 2009 A Floral man was arrested around 11 Tuesday night after a convenience store clerk alerted a sheriff’s deputy to a possible drunk person in the Batesville store.Deputy Fred Friar said he was inside TmarT #8 at St. Louis and Chaney when he was approached by a clerk and advised that he should keep an eye on a blue truck parked at a gas pump.Friar said he watched as a man, later identified as Michael Reeves, 20, walked with a stagger to a blue Chevrolet Silverado pickup and drove away headed north on St. Louis Street.

Guns, items stolen

December 2, 2009 Police have no suspects in a number of area break-ins that have occurred in recent weeks and involved handguns.Mary J. Davis of Newark reported the theft of a Smith & Wesson .357 pistol from a locked closet some time between Nov. 24 and Monday.Davis said nothing else was missing from her home and she has no suspects.In other reports filed with the Independence County Sheriff’s Office:• Charles Brown of Cave City reported a Taurus 9 mm pistol had come up missing some time in the past few weeks.

Geology talk, lapidary equipment auction to highlight club meeting

December 2, 2009 CHEROKEE VILLAGE — Lynn Maxedon will show that geology is “about rocks and more” during Thursday’s Spring River Gem & Mineral Club program from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Omaha Center in Cherokee Village, said Mary Kocz, publicist.The title of the presentation is “The Geology Course @ Ozarka College.”Kocz said Maxedon will answer the question: Why do we want to study the ever-changing Mother Earth?

New rabies law to go into effect

December 2, 2009 Little Rock — The updated Rabies Control Act has new rules passed by the State Board of Health that allow for a longer interval between rabies vaccinations for dogs and cats. The new rules will become effective Jan. 1.

French’s offers quick, easy tips

December 2, 2009 PARSIPPANY, N.J. — The French’s test kitchen offers some quick and easy entertaining ideas, whether for an elegant sit-down dinner or casual buffet.

Quartet to perform Thursday at church

December 2, 2009 DESHA — Tribute Quartet of Nashville, Tenn., will perform at 7 p.m. Thursday at First Baptist Church in Desha. The concert is open to the public.Group manager and lead vocalist Gary Casto of Hendersonville, Tenn., originally from West Virginia, has more than 20 years experience in the Southern gospel genre. He is involved in the Southern Gospel Music Association, Southern Gospel Music Guild and the National Quartet Convention. He was formerly tenor vocalist with the Wilburns.