Arrest made in hit and run on Newport Road

February 2, 2010 Charges of aggravated assault and third-degree battery have been lodged against Robert W. Lyons, 22, after he allegedly hit another man with a vehicle, breaking the man’s leg.Independence County Deputy Nathan Stephens said around 10 p.m. Friday he responded with Arkansas State Police Trooper David Jones to a location on Newport Road where a pedestrian had been hit by a vehicle.When officers arrived they found Joshua D. Elms, without shoes and socks in 20-degree weather and deep snow, being treated for a broken leg at the edge of a wood line along the road, Stephens said.

Walking to KNBY led Comer to recording, hall of fame

February 2, 2010 In the early 1950s, Chuck Comer walked to his job at KNBY radio every day and kept on walking right into the Rockabilly Hall of Fame.And did it with a song, “Little More Lovin’,” that he and his band were “just fooling around with” during a Vaden Records session in 1960.KNBY, in Newport, was at the center of a new wave of music called rock ’n’ roll, including a fused version of hillbilly and blues music that came to be known years later as rockabilly.Then, it was just known as rock ’n’ roll.

Banquet scheduled

February 2, 2010 Habitat for Humanity of Independence County will hold its second annual “Home is Where the Heart Is” banquet Saturday at Independence Hall on the University of Arkansas Community College at Batesville campus.Doors will open at 6 p.m. Silent auction items will be on display with bidding closing at 7, when dinner will be served. Tickets are $25 per person ($50 per couple) and may be purchased at Econo-Mart Pharmacy (870-793-4179), Citizens Bank (793-4441) or First Community Bank (870-612-3418). A reserved corporate table can be purchased for $300.

Beer drinkers turned valves

February 2, 2010 NEWPORT — Sinking the historic Mary Woods No. 2 floating museum was easy, according to those charged with the crime.Richard Hall Rife, 30, of Newport and Paul L. Morrison, 49, of Gobles, Mich., told investigators they merely turned valves to sink the 157-ton steamboat, which was built in 1931 as a coal-fired steamer and underwent transformations in 1937 to an oil fuel burning steam vessel and in 1949 to diesel power.They were both charged Monday in Jackson County Circuit Court with commercial burglary and second-degree criminal mischief. Bond for each was set at $500,000.

Judge sets bonds at $100K each

February 2, 2010 A series of robberies has been solved and three people could be facing life in prison.Arrest warrants were issued for two men and one woman in connection with armed robberies in Independence County.Already charged in Jackson County, Jimmy Allen Barnes, 30, of Salado along with 23-year-old Ronald R. Sneed of Batesville and Traci L. Snider, 37, of Mammoth Spring are facing new charges. Bond for each has been set at $100,000 in Independence County.

Proposed ORV ban in Ouachita forest draws fire

February 1, 2010 HOT SPRINGS (AP) — Members of Arkansas’ congressional delegation say a National Forest Service plan to close areas of the Ouachita National Forest to off-road vehicles should be stopped in its tracks.Sens. Blanche Lincoln and Mark Pryor and U.S. Rep. Mike Ross say any such rule could hurt the economy in western Arkansas. They cite the Mena area as one that would be hard-hit by an off-road vehicle ban in the national forest.The forest covers 1.8 million acres in western Arkansas and eastern Oklahoma.

Lotto offering Mega Millions

February 1, 2010 LITTLE ROCK (AP) — The Arkansas Lottery began selling tickets Sunday to a multistate game called Mega Millions, already offered in a dozen of the nation’s largest states.The Arkansas Lottery has been selling tickets to the other multistate jackpot game, Powerball, since Oct. 31.

Search continues for escapee

February 1, 2010 FORT SMITH (AP) — Authorities are looking in the Fort Smith area for an 18-year-old who escaped with two other teenagers from a juvenile detention center in Pine Bluff after beating a guard.The guard has since died. The other two teens are back in custody.Jefferson County Sheriff’s Maj. Greg Bolin says Brandon Henderson remains on the loose and investigators believe he’s in the Fort Smith area because of family and friends in the area.

Bank COO found dead in car

February 1, 2010 LITTLE ROCK (AP) — The president and chief operating officer of a Conway banking company has been found dead in his vehicle in west Little Rock.The body of 61-year-old Home Bancshares Inc. official Ron Strother was found by police Sunday afternoon slumped over the steering wheel in the parking lot of a shopping center along Highway 10. Police say he had an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the chest and a handgun was found in the vehicle.