Hughes new director at U.S. Lime

March 12, 2010 Bill Hughes of Batesville has been elected the director of United States Lime and Minerals Inc. of Dallas, Texas following a Feb. 26 vote, according to a news release.Hughes retired from the NASDAQ-listed company in 2009 while serving as senior vice president of sales and marketing.

Youth had drugs, knife at school

March 12, 2010 CAVE CITY — An 11th-grade boy who was arrested on the Cave City High School campus recently for possession of drugs was also carrying a knife at the time, the school board was told during a suspension hearing Monday.The 17-year-old student was suspended for one calendar year by unanimous vote of the board.Superintendent Steven Green told board president Dean Hastings that he had sent a certified letter to the student’s mother but she had not responded to indicate she would attend the hearing. Since she was not there, the hearing was held in open session.

Joan Jett to headline Portfest

March 12, 2010 JACKSONPORT — Joan Jett and the Blackhearts will be the headline act on June 4 at the 29th annual Portfest “Rollin’ on the River” Festival. Hosted by the Newport Area Chamber of Commerce, Portfest is held on the banks of the White River at Jacksonport State Park, three miles north of Newport off Highway 69.

Farmers banking on Arkansas ‘clout’

March 12, 2010 Growing up on a family farm where his dad raised livestock and row crops, Eddie Wagoner learned firsthand how hard it is to farm for a living.Now that he’s married, he continues that tradition and as the father of two children he wants them to have that same farming background.

Bald Knob man killed in Afghanistan

March 12, 2010 FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. (AP) — Two Fort Campbell soldiers were killed during an attack in eastern Afghanistan on Tuesday, according to the military.The Department of Defense said in a news release Thursday that Sgt. Jonathan J. Richardson, 24, of Bald Knob, and Pfc. Jason M. Kropat, 25, of White Lake, N.Y., were killed. Both were assigned to C Company, 1st Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division.

Woman hospitalized after home attack

March 12, 2010 A Mount Pleasant woman remains hospitalized in stable condition after she apparently interrupted a home burglary in progress and was attacked Monday afternoon.“The woman told officers she had been to Batesville to have lunch with her husband and visit a friend in Bethesda before she returned home between 1 and 2 p.m. She said she was assaulted as she walked through the house and knocked unconscious,” Izard County Sheriff Tate Lawrence said.

Arson conviction overturned

March 11, 2010 LITTLE ROCK (AP) — The Arkansas Court of Appeals has overturned the arson conviction of a former volunteer firefighter and ordered a new trial in the case.The court found that the judge made a mistake in jury instructions in the trial of Dustin Torrence. Torrence was convicted in Cleveland County of arson in connection with a fire that destroyed Kingsland High School in May 2003. He was a Kingsland firefighter at the time.

Feds indict 31 people in drug, weapons investigation

March 11, 2010 LITTLE ROCK (AP) — Thirty-one people in Lonoke and Prairie counties have been indicted in a federal drug and weapons investigation.U.S. Attorney Jane Duke announced Wednesday in Little Rock that eight of the defendants were arrested and the rest would be summoned to appear in court.The indictment charges 29 of the defendants with conspiring to possess methamphetamine and marijuana with intent to distribute.A federal grand jury handed up the indictments last week, and U.S. Magistrate Beth Deere unsealed the documents Wednesday.

Beebe touts mental health program for veterans

March 11, 2010 LITTLE ROCK (AP) — Gov. Mike Beebe has gotten behind a program that matches up veterans with mental health professionals who donate their time and help soldiers make the transition from the combat to home life.The Give an Hour program, founded by Maryland psychologist Barbara Van Dahlen, encourages mental health professionals to donate an hour a week. The organization will link veterans with providers. Dahlen was on hand with Beebe on Wednesday to announce an effort to build the program in Arkansas.

Arkansas unemployment steady; national rate drops

March 11, 2010 LITTLE ROCK — Arkansas’ January unemployment rate was unchanged from December at 7.6 percent, but state officials said Wednesday they want to see a longer interval of stability before they will be convinced the state is pulling out of the recession.Arkansas, whose unemployment rate remains more than two percentage points below the national average, has avoided sharp budget cuts while neighboring states have slashed hundreds of millions of dollars from their budgets. The national unemployment rate dropped from 10 percent to 9.7 percent in January.