DEA honors Finley with donation

February 11, 2010 If Rick Finley had a hero it was “Serpico.”Like Al Pacino, who played an honest cop in the 1973 movie, Finley’s life also fell into that same storyline. As an undercover officer his work to combat illegal drugs and corruption would take him from small-town Arkansas to the distant jungles of Central America.That all ended May 20, 1989 when 36-year-old Finley died in a wilderness area of Peru while working “Operation Snowcap.”After graduating from Batesville High School in 1970 Finley wasn’t really sure what he wanted to do with the rest of his life.

Woman rescued

February 11, 2010 The sound of someone trying to kick in the front door of her apartment around 1 a.m. “scared me to death,” Shauna Crump told the Guard early this morning.It wasn’t a burglar at her door, it was Independence County Sheriff’s Deputy Michael Thatch who was trying to kick her door in because her house was on fire.“I was leaving a call on North State Street around 1:12 a.m. and drove by and saw smoke coming out the eaves of the house,” Thatch said. “I went to the house and started kicking on the front door because it was dead-bolted.”

ICC, sheriff’s office partner to get cop at school campuses

February 10, 2010 MELBOURNE — There’s a new police officer at the Izard County Consolidated School District. Sheriff Tate Lawrence and Superintendent Fred Walker jointly announced a partnership arrangement of having a school resource deputy for ICC. Brett Stevenson of Oxford, who holds a bachelor’s degree in criminology, is currently in training to assume the duties of ICC school resource officer. Operating out of the high school in Brockwell, Deputy Stevenson will also work on the Violet Hill campus as well as working nighttime school functions and sporting events.

Entergy Arkansas down to 1,400 outages

February 10, 2010 LITTLE ROCK (AP) — Entergy Arkansas says about 1,400 customers, mainly in the Little Rock and Hot Springs areas remain without electricity.Entergy spokesman James Thompson said Tuesday about 800 of the outages are in Little Rock and 200 in Hot Springs. All of the outages are scattered about and Thompson says line crews are going house to house to make repairs.

Drug, social host, other arrests made in Izard Co.

February 10, 2010 MELBOURNE — A Missouri woman was arrested on drug charges following a week-long investigation by members of the 16th Judicial Drug Task Force, the Arkansas State Police, and the Izard County Sheriff’s Department, according to a news release.Heather Lynn Mikel, also known as Heather Basham, 31, of Mountain Grove, Mo., but residing in the Oxford area was arrested Feb. 2 for possession of drug paraphernalia with the intent to manufacture methamphetamine, a class B felony. Mikel remains in the Izard County jail in lieu of $20,000 bond.

Medical testing center to close

February 10, 2010 LITTLE ROCK (AP) — A medical testing center in Little Rock where medications are tested for pharmaceutical companies is closing.Axient Research chairman and CEO Tim Derrington said in an e-mail Tuesday that the company’s bank is calling a loan and taking control of the company’s assets. Derrington says Axient has laid off “a significant number” of employees and cut back operations immediately.Derrington did not respond to an e-mail asking for more information and could not be reached at his office.

House approves no pay raise for elected officials

February 10, 2010 LITTLE ROCK (AP) — The House has approved legislation that would keep the salaries for Arkansas lawmakers, constitutional officers and other elected officials flat next fiscal year.By a 94-0 vote, the House on Tuesday approved the proposed General Appropriation Act funding the expenses of the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government.Rep. Ray Kidd, a Democrat from Jonesboro, voted “present” on the legislation.The $35.5 million proposal now heads to the Senate for a vote.

State takes over, to split Twin Rivers

February 10, 2010 LITTLE ROCK (AP) — The Arkansas Board of Education has voted to take over and split up the Twin Rivers School District.Monday’s decision by the Arkansas Board of Education marks the first time the state has taken over a school district for accreditation violations, said Julie Johnson Thompson, a spokesman for the state Department of Education. Two other school districts — Greenland and Decatur — remain under state control because of fiscal issues in October.A new Twin Rivers administrator should be in place by next week, Thompson said.

State nixes Weiner-Delight merge

February 10, 2010 LITTLE ROCK — The Delight and Weiner school districts, which are 200 miles apart, lost their bid Monday to merge, ending what the districts saw as a groundbreaking effort to preserve rural schools and shrinking communities.The Arkansas Education Board voted unanimously against the merger proposal, with members saying they were unconvinced the consolidation would improve learning for the students or save the state money.