• Mustangs nip T-wolves in two OTs; schedule wiped out by wintry weather

    NEWARK — The Midland Mustangs edged the Cedar Ridge Timberwolves 66-64 in double overtime here Thursday in a 2A-2 District high school basketball contest.
    The regulation score was 49-all. Midland’s Jarod Perry hit a last-second 3-pointer to send game into overtime. After one overtime, it was 56-all.
    “Derek Tharp fouled out in the fourth quarter and Ben Lytle fouled out in the first overtime,” Midland Coach Rick McKinney said. “Thomas Puentez came up big for us on defense, especially in the second half and overtime periods. He also scored 10 points.

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  • Lions run away from Scots 85-59

    The Freed-Hardeman Lions ran away from the Lyon Scots 85-59 in a TranSouth Athletic Conference contest Thursday night in Becknell Gymnasium.
    The Scots hung with the Lions for the first eight minutes, trailing 17-15 with 12 minutes to go in the first half. Then they went cold. Freed-Hardeman used a 12-0 run to set the tone for what was to come. The Lions led 42-31 at halftime.
    During the Lions’ 12-0 surge, the Scots turned the ball over four times and missed four shots.

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  • Piper rally short-circuited by late turnovers

    Five turnovers in five straight possessions turned the Lyon Pipers’ 3-point deficit into an out-of-reach loss to the No. 15 Freed-Hardeman Lady Lions Thursday night in Becknell Gymnasium.
    Freed-Hardeman won the TranSouth Athletic Conference basketball game 73-66.
    Lyon (13-7, 3-4) trailed 61-58 with 4:36 to play. On their next five possessions, this is what happened:
    •Lyon’s Ashley Waller had the ball stolen by Jana Cross, who missed a shot on the ensuing possession;

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  • Federer dominates Frenchman on way to 22nd Grand Slam final

    MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Roger Federer is through to his 22nd Grand Slam final after defeating Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-2, 6-3, 6-2 in a near-flawless display today at the Australian Open.
    Federer, seeking his fourth Australian title, hopes to reverse his tear-filled exit from last year’s final when he was beaten by Rafael Nadal, the left-handed Spaniard’s first hard-court title.

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  • Fortson drives Hogs by Mississippi State Bulldogs

    FAYETTEVILLE — At times, this looked like a pickup game. There weren’t many people in the crowd, and there wasn’t much flow on offense.
    Arkansas’ best play was for Courtney Fortson to put his head down and drive through the whole Mississippi State defense — and on this night, there wasn’t a thing the Bulldogs could do to stop it.
    Fortson scored a career-high 35 points, carrying Arkansas through the second half as the Razorbacks rallied for a 67-62 win Thursday night. Fortson scored 33 points in the second half alone, as many as the entire Mississippi State team.

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  • IRS has new deductions, credits for 2009 taxes

    WASHINGTON (AP) — More forms to file. New and expanded credits and deductions.
    When taxpayers sit down to file their 2009 returns, they will find plenty new — some the result of adjusting for inflation, and others changes passed by Congress last year to try to bring the country out of recession.
    “Depending on their individual situation, there could be good news and there could be bad news,” said Amy McAnarney, executive director of the Tax Institute at H&R Block.

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  • Beebe declares emergency; snow closures mount

    LITTLE ROCK (AP) — Snow, sleet and freezing rain brought the northern half of Arkansas to a near halt today, leading Gov. Mike Beebe to declare an emergency as most people stayed home to wait out the storm.
    Roads started freezing as a winter storm built across the state Thursday night. By this morning, roads were slick from De Queen in the southwest to Piggott in the far northeast. Roads in Little Rock were navigable during what would have been rush hour, but with the forecast calling for more wintry precipitation and frozen roads, schools and offices closed across the region.

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  • A-State presents diplomas at fall graduation

    JONESBORO — Diplomas were awarded to 879 graduates during fall 2009 commencement ceremonies for Arkansas State University-Jonesboro Dec. 19 in the Convocation Center.
    Graduates include:
    Ash Flat — Stewart Smart, bachelor, physical education; Stephanie Smith, bachelor, radiologic sciences;

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  • Illegal resident is charged

    Saying she was brought to the U.S. from Mexico by a “coyote,” a Batesville woman has been charged with non-financial identity theft, a class D felony.
    In an affidavit filed with the Independence County judicial system, Independence County Sheriff’s Detective Sgt. Brent Everett said that on Jan. 21 he was contacted by White County Detective Gary Cade regarding the theft and use of a White County woman’s Social Security number.
    Faith Cham told Cade that she went to file for food stamps and learned that her Social Security number was being used by someone working in Batesville.

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  • State’s elk harvest up from 2008

    LITTLE ROCK — Arkansas’s 2009 elk harvest was up five animals from last year’s season. During last week’s short meeting of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, commissioners were provided a harvest report on the state’s recent elk season.
    Elk biologist Cory Gray reported that 21 elk were harvested during the state’s three seasons. In 2008, only 16 elk were harvested in Arkansas. On public lands this year, 16 elk were taken. Five elk were taken during the private land hunts.

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  • Ammunition: Is it the new gold?

    A recent trip to the sporting goods store to purchase some ammo nearly cost me a trip to the local emergency room.
    I was surprised that I was having difficulty finding and affording traditionally popular ammo such as .22 caliber, 12 gauge, 20 gauge, .243 and .30-06 shells. I  normally find these calibers even at most mom and pop stores.

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  • What’s in author J.D. Salinger’s safe?

    NEW YORK — So what about the safe?
    The death this week of J.D. Salinger ends one of literature’s most mysterious lives and intensifies one of its greatest mysteries: Was the author of “The Catcher in the Rye” keeping a stack of finished, unpublished manuscripts in a safe in his house in Cornish, N.H.? Are they masterpieces, curiosities or random scribbles?
    And if there are publishable works, will the author’s estate release them?
    The Salinger camp isn’t talking.
    No comment, says his literary representative, Phyllis Westberg, of Harold Ober Associates Inc.

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