Blanchard lists hours

October 30, 2009 MOUNTAIN VIEW — Although some visitor attractions close for the winter Blanchard Springs Caverns, which is operated by the U.S. Forest Service, stays open five days per week, Wednesdays through Sundays.This schedule begins the first full week of November and stays that way through March. Located 15 miles northwest of Mountain View, Blanchard is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, as well as Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.

2 tornadoes reported plus more heavy rain

October 30, 2009 LITTLE ROCK (AP) — Storms that passed through Arkansas on Thursday brought heavy rainfall and at least two tornadoes, but there were no reports of injuries.The National Weather Service said flash flooding was likely as a major storm dumps more rain on areas already soaked by weeks of record-setting precipitation. Forecasters say 5 to 7 inches of rain is expected in parts of central and southern Arkansas through today, with the heaviest rain on a line from Salem to Little Rock to Camden. Areas east and west of that boundary should see 3 to 5 inches of rain.

Surviving breast cancer

October 30, 2009 Every yearly mammogram came back normal.She never felt a lump and no one in her family had ever been diagnosed with it. But in August 2008 Tamara Griffin heard what no one ever wants to hear. She had breast cancer. Griffin recognized something was wrong in June when her right breast became swollen. Thinking it might be a mild infection her doctor prescribed antibiotics. “After a couple of weeks it had gotten better,” she said, but there was a small knot and “Dr. (Clint G.) Melton was insistent on me having a mammogram.”

Hometown ‘miracle’

October 30, 2009 EVENING SHADE — Matt Melton knew he was getting to come home from Arkansas Children’s Hospital Wednesday afternoon.He just didn’t know he’d be coming home to more than 50 family, friends, neighbors and classmates waiting in his driveway.Stepping out of the burgundy Ford pickup, wearing a denim shirt, Wrangler jeans, boots and a black cowboy hat, 15-year-old Melton walked toward the crowd of people who had traveled by car, truck and school bus for the welcome home surprise complete with banners, balloons and cake.

Station 3 now open

October 30, 2009 It may be a building to house the city’s firefighting team, but Thursday afternoon’s grand opening of Fire Station No. 3 was really a victory for the citizens of Batesville.It was the citizens who passed the one-eighth sales tax in a November 2006 special election, and it is the citizens who are benefiting from a lower ISO fire rating, which needed both the new fire station and tower truck to be maintained.

Man drowns after being swept from truck

October 30, 2009 The body of a man swept from a truck by floodwaters shortly after midnight was found about 7:45 this morning in the Webber’s Chapel area, Independence County Sheriff Keith Bowers said.Dead is 38-year-old Eric Brashers of Batesville.Bowers said it rained all during the seven-hour search, sometimes heavily and sometimes lightly.

Walmart starts selling caskets, urns online

October 29, 2009 MILWAUKEE (AP) — The world’s largest retailer wants to keep its customers even after they die.Walmart has started selling caskets on its Web site at prices that undercut many funeral homes, long the major seller of caskets.The move follows a similar one by discount rival Costco, which also sells caskets on its site.Walmart, based in Bentonville, Ark., quietly put up about 15 caskets and dozens of urns on its Web site last week.

News of Other Days

October 29, 2009 Editor’s note: This column ran previously in the Guard on Nov. 11, 1996.73 YEARS AGOBishop John M. Moore of Dallas, Texas, arrived here at 1:30 this afternoon to conduct a cabinet meeting with eight presiding elders of the North Arkansas Conference of the Methodist Church in the home of Mrs. I.N. Barnett. Here for the annual Methodist conference, he will be a guest in the Barnett home during the meeting.

WRMC wound center celebrates anniversary

October 29, 2009 White River Medical Center’s Wound Healing Center celebrated its fifth anniversary by hosting a free wound care seminar on Wednesday at the WRMC Josephine Raye Rogers Center for Women and Imaging Conference Center.

Killer sentenced to life in prison

October 29, 2009 LITTLE ROCK (AP) — A man convicted of killing a North Little Rock man during a robbery and wounding the victim’s stepfather has been sentenced to life in prison.A Pulaski County jury deliberated for about 30 minutes Wednesday before finding 26-year-old Michael “M.J.” Jackson guilty of capital murder, attempted capital murder and aggravated robbery.Jackson was charged in the shooting death of Shawn Bisbee and the wounding of David Rogers.Authorities say Bisbee was beaten, stabbed in the back and his throat was cut before he was shot in the head.