Victim fights back, gunman flees scene

October 19, 2010 When Erick Oyemaja answered the knock at his door just before midnight Monday he wasn’t expecting to come face to face with a masked man who shoved a gun to his chest.The man with the gun wasn’t expecting his victim to fight back either.Oyemaja told police that when the knock came on the door around 11:50 p.m., Angel Nguyen asked him to answer it and there stood a black man dressed in a black hoodie who said “Hey, man,” and then put the gun to his chest.

Suspect eyed in bomb case

October 19, 2010 A person of interest has been developed in the case of a homemade bomb found on a bridge in rural Independence County Saturday morning.Independence County Sheriff Alan Cockrill said the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms sent an agent to Batesville Monday to examine evidence collected at the bridge after the bomb was detonated by a member of the Arkansas State Police Bomb Squad.

Author Neal Shusterman visits school

October 19, 2010 PLEASANT PLAINS — A book doesn’t have buttons, it doesn’t make noise and it isn’t very interactive at face value. When you’re an author like Neal Shusterman the competition’s tough.“I’ve got to do something to keep you from playing video games or texting your friends ... to get you excited enough to get into the book and into those pages,” he told a group of students at Midland High School during a recent visit.

Nearly 15,000 vote early on first day

October 19, 2010 LITTLE ROCK — Thousands of Arkansas voters cast early ballots Monday in an election that Republicans hope will give them major gains in a state long controlled by Democrats.In Independence County, the number turning out on Monday was 170.The Arkansas secretary of state’s office said that by late afternoon 14,956 people cast a ballot Monday, the first day of early voting for the Nov. 2 election. Another 6,894 people have voted absentee, the office said. The numbers did not include early vote totals from 19 of the state’s 75 counties.

John 3:16 ‘variety’ a success

October 19, 2010 Completion of a seven-acre park at the John 3:16 Ministries spiritual-based boot camp for men with addictions in Charlotte is now one step closer to reality.More than $60,000 was raised during the ministry’s fifth annual Variety Night on Saturday at the University of Arkansas Community College at Batesville, John 3:16 founder Bryan Tuggle said. Proceeds, including those raised through admission, personal donations and corporate sponsors as well as silent and live auctions, will also help maintain upkeep of the boot camp which currently serves 60 residents.

Three agri majors attend student leadership conference at ASU

October 19, 2010 JONESBORO — Three area students were among the 55 participating in the annual Arkansas State University College of Agriculture and Technology Student Leadership Conference.The conference was held Sept. 24 at the ASU Cooper Alumni Center in Jonesboro. It is designed to help new and returning students prepare to effectively lead student organizations at ASU and provide basic leadership skills that will help them compete in the job market, according to a news release.

3 earn scholarships

October 19, 2010 Three students have been awarded the Academic Distinction Scholarship to the University of Arkansas Community College at Batesville, announced Melissa Sisco, director of financial aid.Benton Henderson of Cherokee Village graduated from Highland High School. He is the son of Robin Henderson. He plans to seek an associate of arts.Candy Mize of Smithville graduated from Hillcrest High School. She is the daughter of Lyne Edwards. She plans to seek a degree in business management.

Autumn events set for Friday

October 19, 2010 Two towns in the Ozark Mountains region of the state will host autumn-themed events on Friday.The 49th annual Fall Color Tour will be Friday in the Jasper area. The scenic route starts at the Newton County Courthouse at 9 a.m. and returns at 2:30 p.m. Several stops are made along the way. Participants should bring lunch, a jacket and comfortable shoes. The cost is $6. Call (479) 284-3150 for details.That evening, Powhatan Historic State Park will host “Ghost Walks.”

Man arrested for fleeing after near miss with cop

October 19, 2010 A glance in his side mirror let an Independence County sheriff’s drug officer see a close call from a vehicle he had just met at an intersection Thursday afternoon.Narcotics Officer John Scarbrough, said he and Deputy Chris Toland were traveling west on White Drive at the intersection of Highway 167 around 4:30 p.m. when the driver of an oncoming Dodge Durango almost struck the rear of their truck as he drove by and then crossed the center line.

Bulb sale to be Saturday

October 19, 2010 An Independence County Master Gardeners Bulb Sale is scheduled for 8 a.m. to noon Saturday at the Independence County Cooperative Extension Office at 1770 Myers St. in Batesville, according to a news release. “The sale will include tulips, alliums, crocus, iris, hyacinth, daffodil/narcissus, leucojum (snowdrop) lilies, crocosmia, crinnum lilies and hardy calla lilies,” the release states. “Experienced Master Gardeners will be on hand to offer advice and demonstrations on successful bulb selection and planting techniques.