Man arrested on sex charge

October 5, 2009 FORT SMITH (AP) — Authorities say a Fort Smith man who once worked with an organization promoting abstinence in schools has been arrested for sexual indecency with a child.Fort Smith Police Sgt. Levi Risley says that 25-year-old Tobias Patrick Lyons was arrested Friday after he allegedly asked a 14-year-old girl for sex.Risley says Lyons previously worked with Reality Check, an organization that makes abstinence presentations in area schools. The Reality Check office in Fort Smith confirmed Lyons had worked there, but declined further comment.

Officials study 2 rail routes

October 5, 2009 LITTLE ROCK (AP) — Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department officials say a high-speed passenger train from Little Rock to Memphis could use one of two existing railroad tracks.One goes north to Bald Knob and the other goes south to Pine Bluff before turning toward Memphis. There is no direct rail line between the two cities.The highway department has applied for a $500,000 federal grant to be matched with $500,000 in state money to pay for two separate rail studies.

Drilling may be slowed for Fayetteville Shale

October 5, 2009 LITTLE ROCK (AP) — The Arkansas Oil and Gas Commission said this week it wants to slow down some natural-gas drilling in the Fayetteville Shale formation to ensure royalty owners aren’t “ripped off.”“Our biggest fear is not protecting the royalty owner,” Commission Chairman Chad White of Magnolia told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. “The commission is the only thing standing between the royalty owner and the (production) company to make sure the (royalty owner) is not ripped off in some way.”

Clark wins scholarship semifinals

October 5, 2009 The National Merit Scholarship Corporation recently announced the names of semifinalists in the 55th annual National Merit Scholarship Program. Among those selected is Batesville High student Natanya L. Clark.Clark, who is among the 16,000 chosen semifinalists will have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 8,200 national merit scholarships, worth more than $36 million, that will be offered next spring, a news release states.

Stagner inducted

October 5, 2009 JONESBORO — The Delta Epsilon Iota Academic Honor Society has selected Sherrie Lynn Stagner of Batesville for membership in the local chapter at Arkansas State University.

‘Aladdin’ cast announced

October 5, 2009 Batesville School District and Batesville Community Theatre have chosen the cast for the upcoming joint venture production of Disney’s “Aladdin.”Cast members are: Tyler Sarracino, Lyon College, Aladdin; Mason Magouyrk, Batesville High School, Jasmine; Andrew McLoy, University of Arkansas Community College at Batesville, Jafar; Crist Blackwell, BHS, Genie; Nicholas Scarbrough, Southside High School, Razoul; Nathan Power, Batesville Junior High School, Sultan; and Tabby Tharp, West Magnet, Iago.

Flatwoods to have reunion

October 5, 2009 POUGHKEEPSIE — Flatwoods School, located between Center and Poughkeepsie in Sharp County, will hold its annual reunion Sunday.A church service will begin at 11 a.m. followed by a potluck at noon.The event is open to the public. Those attending are asked to bring family photographs and other memorabilia.

Voting group to meet

October 5, 2009 FAIRFIELD BAY — The Fairfield Bay League of Women Voters will meet at 6 p.m. Oct. 8 Methodist Church Fellowship Room.Lisa Dowdy, a social worker with the Department of Human Services, will speak on the transition for youth leaving foster care. The League of Women Voters is a non-partisan political organization founded in 1920. “We study issues, not candidates,” said Dorothy Lishock of Drasco, vice president of the Fairfield Bay chapter. The group’s members are from Van Buren, Cleburne, Stone and Independence counties. Both women and men are welcome.

Books will be sold

October 5, 2009 HARDY — The Hardy Friends of the Library will hold the Semi-Annual Book Sale from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday and Saturday in the Old Hardy Gym. The Book Sale benefits the Sharp County Library, which is a non-profit entity. Books should be delivered to the Hardy Gym from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. Thursday. Books may be taken to the Hardy Library prior to the sale. Any type of books is welcome.Customers are asked to bring their own bags to carry their purchases.Volunteers are needed to work at the sale. For more information, call Jayne Abele at (870) 257-3842.

Poetry Slam announced

October 5, 2009 The University of Arkansas Community College at Batesville will present its Fall 2009 Poetry Slam at 11 a.m. Thursday in the First Year Experience Center. The FYE center is located in the UACCB Main Campus Building, room #230 A.This semester, the event will be highlighting the creative works from the following poets: Greg Bridgman, Erica Downs, Daniel Herrin, Kevin Howard, Shelly Mooneyhan, Martha Patterson, Amy Pinkston, Cassandra Poe, Elizabeth Reed and Anna Wooten.