Judge asks why juror was fired

February 17, 2010 LITTLE ROCK (AP) — A federal judge in Little Rock is ordering a business owner in Benton to explain why an employee was fired after being called to jury duty.Andrew Bunten is to appear before U.S. District Judge Bill Wilson on Friday to explain the firing of Elizabeth Curtis of Alexander. Curtis worked as a cook at The Learning Center of Benton — which is a group of preschools owned and operated by Bunten.Bunten attorney Justin Minton says the firing just happened to coincide with other issues. He declined to elaborate.

Seizure of children upheld

February 17, 2010 LITTLE ROCK (AP) — The Arkansas Court of Appeals says five members of the Tony Alamo Christian Ministries who are challenging the state’s seizure of their children have a valid point on appeal — but should’ve raised the issue at trial.The parents say Circuit Judge Joe Griffin shouldn’t have granted the Department of Human Services’ request for a directed verdict before they could present their case. The judge made his decision, saying a full hearing had been held beforehand regarding the children’s siblings — who had been placed in DHS custody.

Palin opines GOP should get angry about taxes, debt

February 17, 2010 NORTH LITTLE ROCK — Sarah Palin on Tuesday urged Republicans to get “riled up” about issues such as the deficit and taxes, accusing Washington lawmakers of losing touch with voters.The former Alaska governor and 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee took aim at Democrats and President Barack Obama as she headlined a fundraiser for the Arkansas Republican Party.

Women’s remains found

February 17, 2010 PEA RIDGE (AP) — Authorities in northwest Arkansas say they believe a grave near Pea Ridge holds the bodies of two missing Bentonville women.Forty-year-old Christina Bishop and her 81-year-old mother — Louise Bishop — haven’t been seen since last June as they left a Sam’s Club in Bentonville.Bentonville Police Chief James Allen says exhumation is to begin today after a search warrant is issued.

Harding-Community Orchestra to present ‘A Night at the Opera’

February 17, 2010 SEARCY — The Harding University-Community Orchestra will perform at 7 p.m. March 2 in the Administration Auditorium on campus.Under the theme, “A Night at the Opera,” the concert will feature the orchestra as well as five vocalists singing famous opera arias.Vocal performances with orchestra accompaniment will include the oratorio Elijah’s most well-known aria, “It is Enough,” by Felix Mendelssohn; Mozart’s “Madamina, Il Catalogo;” “Jewel Song” from Charles Gounod’s “Faust;” and “Un Bel Di” from Puccini’s “Madama Butterfly.”

Arkansas Tech names grads

February 17, 2010 RUSSELLVILLE, — The Arkansas Tech University Registrar’s Office has released an official and certified list of 425 degrees conferred upon students on the Russellville campus at the conclusion of the fall 2009 semester. Magna cum laude graduates earned a 3.70-3.89 cumulative grade point average. The fall 2009 graduates from Arkansas Tech are:Batesville — Brandon Derek Faircloth, bachelor of science; Ryan W. McChesney, BS; Jerrod Patrick Smith, BS; Melbourne — Tyler Crotts Koestner, BS; Laken Karianne Lawrence, BS (magna cum laude).

UofA names local students on chancellor’s and dean’s lists

February 17, 2010 FAYETTEVILLE — The University of Arkansas announces the names of undergraduates who earned a place on the chancellor’s list for the fall 2009 semester. The students named to the chancellor’s list have earned a 4.0 grade point average in at least 12 hours of classes during the semester.Students honored on the chancellor’s list include:Batesville — Steven Allgood, McKinley Case, Kelsey Lavigne, Meagan Richards, Lisa Slisher, Adam UlmerMountain View — Johnathan ParsonsNewport — Pamela JacksonSulphur Rock — James Walden.

Pageant seeks contestants

February 17, 2010 OSCEOLA — The Miss Cotton Belle Pageant will be at 7 p.m. March 6 in the Osceola High School Auditorium. This pageant is part of the Miss America pageant system. More than $4,000 in scholarships and cash awards will be presented.Teen contestants must be between 13 and 17 and not yet a high school senior. Miss contestants must be between 17 and 24.

Commandant’s House at WBC placed on National Register

February 17, 2010 Walnut Ridge — One of the oldest buildings at Williams Baptist College has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Commandant’s House, which dates back to World War II, was recently approved for placement on the register by the National Park Service.

Corrections inmate dies

February 17, 2010 LITTLE ROCK (AP) — The Arkansas Department of Community Correction says a woman who was sentenced to one of its facilities has died.The agency said in a statement that 47-year-old Debra Mullen died early Tuesday of what appears to be natural causes.Officials said Mullen was being housed in the state prison system’s diagnostic hospital because of a series of health issues, but they didn’t specify any illness.