Homes, hay burned; fence scaled at Dota

February 18, 2010 CORD — Annette and Johnny Ward were sound asleep early Sunday morning and had no idea one of their hay bales was on fire. Fortunately, a passer-by noticed and called for help.The arson was one of a number of crimes reported over the weekend to the Independence County Sheriff’s Department.“Our son Joey came in around 12:30 and the bale of hay was not on fire then,” Annette Ward said.

Gas pipeline may be extended

February 18, 2010 ASH FLAT — Whether a natural gas pipeline is extended north through Sharp County from a point just south of Evening Shade depends upon how many residents sign up for the service, County Judge Larry Brown told the quorum court Tuesday.A meeting to inform residents and allow for public input is set for 2 p.m. Saturday at the new A.L. Hutson Sports Complex at Highland School, and Brown said he’s hoping for a good turnout.

Pasture improvement meeting, meal scheduled

February 17, 2010 All interested parties are invited to a grasslands/pasture improvement meeting at 6 p.m. March 2 in Cave City Middle School’s saferoom, said Kerrie Brightwell of the Sharp County Conservation District.“A meal will be served at 6 p.m. followed by (speaker) State Grassland Specialist Ron Morrow with the Natural Resource Conservation Service,” Brightwell said.

Forages often lack several minerals Needs increase dramatically in spring

February 17, 2010 Lush pastures will normally provide spring-calving herds with all the protein and energy  they need. What the forages often lack are minerals, according to the Cooperative Extension Service, University of Arkansas.Mineral needs increase dramatically in the spring, especially for females after calving. Cows and heifers need minerals to produce milk for their newborn calves.

Latest plan to cut farm subsidies dying on vine

February 17, 2010 MINNEAPOLIS  — If history and the political lineup are any guides, President Barack Obama’s latest effort to cut subsidies for wealthy farmers likely will fare no better than his first try — or his predecessor’s attempt.Congress twice overrode President George W. Bush’s veto of the 2008 Farm Bill. When Obama tried reforming the system last year, his proposal was dead on arrival on Capitol Hill, where farm state lawmakers largely control the agriculture committees.

Arrest made in death of mayor’s son

February 17, 2010 MALVERN (AP) — A man on parole from the state prison has been arrested for first-degree murder in the shooting death of the son of Malvern’s mayor.Assistant Police Chief William Ross says 23-year-old Timothy Allen Wells was arrested Tuesday for the Sunday morning death of 30-year-old Shane Northcutt. Northcutt was found dead about 4:30 a.m. Sunday a few blocks from his home.Ross declined to discuss a possible motive for the shooting or say what led police to consider Wells a suspect. Wells has not yet appeared in court and jailers say they don’t know if he has an attorney.

Saline JPs eye daytime curfew for students

February 17, 2010 BENTON (AP) — The Saline County Quorum Court is considering a daytime curfew in an effort to reduce truancy and juvenile crime.The court passed the proposal on first reading Tuesday and will vote on it again in March.The curfew would prohibit anyone under age 18 from being on the streets from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. when public schools are in session. County Judge Bobby McCallister says it’s based on a daytime curfew in Pine Bluff.

Fort Smith Museum of History celebrates 100 years

February 17, 2010 FORT SMITH — For 100 years, the Fort Smith Museum of History has been the time capsule for Fort Smith’s rich and colorful heritage. This cultural center celebrates its centennial this year beginning last week with a Mardi Gras fundraiser, which kicked off a 10-month series of events and exhibits.

Gidley heading Huckabee’s PAC

February 17, 2010 LITTLE ROCK (AP) — The former executive director of the South Carolina Republican Party has been hired to run former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee’s political action committee.Huckabee’s PAC announced Tuesday that it had hired Hogan Gidley as its new director. Gidley was communications director for former Sen. Elizabeth Dole’s unsuccessful re-election bid in 2008.Huckabee, who ran for the GOP presidential nomination in 2008, formed the PAC to help support candidates.

Verizon lists 3 Alltel buildings

February 17, 2010 LITTLE ROCK (AP) — Verizon Wireless has put on the market three office buildings that used to be part of Alltel Corp.’s headquarters in Little Rock.Verizon bought Alltel in a $28.1 billion deal in 2008. At the time, Alltel had about 3,000 Arkansas employees, with most working at its main campus in the Riverdale area of Little Rock.Since the purchase, Verizon has laid off many former Alltel workers, taking away high-paying headquarters jobs that became redundant with the buyout.