Lawrence James “Drac” Barris, 86, of Batesville died Sunday, Feb. 12, 2012.
Born Jan. 5, 1926, in Batesville, he was the son of Stanley Barris Sr. and Lena Mattie Neeley Barris. He was a member of Friendship Baptist Church and played music in several churches. He played the piano with Elvis Presley, B.B. King and Lou Rawls. He was a bus driver for Batesville School District.
MOUNTAIN PINE (AP) — The Garland County Sheriff’s Department says a fire last fall that killed two people appears to be a case of arson.
Capt. Shelby Terry said investigators believe a fire was intentionally set at an unoccupied house, and the flames then spread to a neighboring house, killing 13-year-old Tyler French and 49-year-old Ricky Clinton.
Authorities say Tyler was spending the night with Clinton’s son and another teenager, who were able to escape the flames. Authorities say Clinton died trying to rescue Tyler.
LITTLE ROCK (AP) — Gov. Mike Beebe has signed into law a bill that will keep state elected officials’ salaries flat for the coming year and fund 13 new judgeships.
Beebe on Thursday signed into law the General Appropriation bill, which sets funding for the executive, legislative and judicial branches. The measure calls for no pay raises for constitutional officers, legislators, judges and prosecutors for the fiscal year that begins July 1.
It also funds 13 new district judgeships that will be created in January.
BLYTHEVILLE (AP) — The IRS has attached liens to nearly all property owned by the city of Blytheville as the federal government tries to regain nearly $3 million in unpaid payroll taxes.
Blytheville Mayor James Sanders says the liens were filed earlier this month.
The city is banking on a March 13 special election in which voters will be asked to approve a 1-cent sales tax increase to pay off the debt. If approved, the tax would last for 15 months and generate an estimated $3.5 million.
LITTLE ROCK (AP) — The Arkansas Forestry Commission is working to start a search for a new director and set up monetary policies that don’t violate financial rules.
The panel meets this morning to discuss the search process for finding a new state forestor.
Forestor John Shannon resigned last week after a legislative audit questioned financial practices at the Arkansas Forestry Commission that led to the layoff of 34 employees.
LITTLE ROCK (AP) — Reports from police officers that explain why they use force against someone are not exempt from the state’s public record law, the Arkansas Supreme Court ruled Thursday.
The opinion from the state’s highest court came months after an attorney, Keith Hall, requested use-of-force reports in the case of an off-duty police officer who allegedly hit his client outside a Little Rock restaurant.
WYNNE (AP) — About 100 people in an eastern Arkansas town will lose their jobs after a copper tube company decided not to rebuild part of its plant that was destroyed by fire in September.
Wynne Mayor Bob Stacy said Thursday he received a letter from Mueller Copper Tube Products about the layoffs in the plastics division. Stacy says company officials wrote that “extensive evaluations” about the future of the plant had been conducted, and the decision was made not to rehire the workers.
LITTLE ROCK (AP) — Money from two court settlements will help Arkansas avoid the furloughs of 120 trial court assistants this year as lawmakers try to find a long-term plan to address a shortfall in the fund that pays their salaries, Attorney General Dustin McDaniel and Gov. Mike Beebe said Thursday.
McDaniel’s office said he has directed $450,000 from the settlements to go toward the fund that pays for the trial court assistants. Beebe said the money will help avoid any furloughs through this fiscal year, which ends June 30.
Editor’s note: This column ran previously in the Guard on Sept. 4, 1992.
96 YEARS AGO
Miss Bessie Fleming, a young lady who lives at Emery, Sharp County, has just taken the oath of mail carrier and will hereafter have charge of the mail route from Emery to Cave City, a distance of 10 miles. Miss Fleming was sworn in by L.D. Holley, postmaster at Emery. She is the third woman in Arkansas to become a rural mail carrier.
Jared Trevathan and Jamie Martin returned this morning from Flint, Mich., where they were shown through the Buick car factory.
ASH FLAT — Sharp County 4-H members must have their poultry chain orders into the Sharp County Extension Office by Feb. 24, said Annie Lester, county 4-H program assistant.
“If you are not currently a member of 4-H and are interested in the poultry chain program, it is open to all youth between the ages of 5 and 19,” Lester said. “These chicks are free of charge to all 4-H members wishing to participate in the project.”
Poultry chain participants each receive up to 25 one-day old Bovan Brown pullets which are from commercial stock and are excellent layers, said Lester.
MISSOULA, Mont. — Trophy whitetail entries from 2011 hunting seasons are beginning to pour into Boone and Crockett Club headquarters and while the sporting world waits to see which states are hot — or not — producers of giant bucks, North America’s overall robust trend in whitetail entries is a story for all conservationists to celebrate, according to a B&C news release.
B&C historical records show that trophy whitetails are up 400 percent over the past 30 years.