Mabelvale students dig into school garden project

April 1, 2010 LITTLE ROCK — Students at Mabelvale Magnet Middle School learned their first lesson Wednesday as they dug into the site for the school’s new garden: It’s tough to push a shovel through Bermuda grass.The class of 2014 laughed as it stomped shovels through the school’s courtyard, tearing dozens of divots into the turf. Next school year, that sunny acre of grass will be the first pilot site for one of the largest studies to examine whether gardening at school can help adolescents get healthier and get along better.

Park to host World War II exhibit

April 1, 2010 Jacksonport — Jackson-port State Park’s latest exhibit, “Work, Fight, Sacrifice,” will allow visitors to experience World War II through the eyes of the residents of Jackson County.“From the home front to the front lines, these citizens strongly supported the war effort,” curator Angela Jackson said. “Join park staff and local veterans on April 10th to celebrate the day-long exhibit opening event to unveil the park’s latest courthouse gallery exhibit.”

Vendor space available

April 1, 2010 SALEM — Vendor space is available for booths at the Fulton County Homecoming Festival Street Market.The 61st annual festival is scheduled for May 28-29 in Salem and the Street Market will be held May 29. Any type of marketable items may be sold but the festival committee reserves the right to refuse certain items (water guns, popping items, silly string, etc.). For more information or to reserve a booth space call Ninnie Thomas at (870) 371-0381 or e-mail ninnieandstacythomas@yahoo.com.

ASU to present concert

April 1, 2010 Jonesboro — The Department of Music at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro will present the ASU Concert Orchestra in concert at 7:30 p.m. Monday in Riceland Hall, Fowler Center. The orchestra is under the direction of Dr. Neale Bartee. The concert is free of charge and open to the public.

KCCJ launches Web site

April 1, 2010 KCCJ 106.9 LPFM has launched a new Web site, www.kccjfm.org.The station plays contemporary Christian music as well as contemporary worship music, said Butch Kelley, pastor of Jubilee Family Church in Batesville. The station broadcasts 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to the city of Batesville. For more information call (870) 793-9124.

Church to have bake sale

April 1, 2010 SOUTHSIDE — The Southside United Methodist Church will have a bake sale from 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday.The church is located off Highway 167 across from Southside School on Magnolia Street. All money raised will go to the March of Dimes.

Communion service planned

April 1, 2010 Central Avenue United Methodist Church will have its Holy Thursday Communion service at 6 tonight.The church is located at 1205 North Central Ave. in Batesville.The service is open to the public.

Blanchard Springs Caverns begins spring schedule

April 1, 2010 MOUNTAIN VIEW — The vernal equinox fell on March 20 this year, marking the time when the days and nights are almost equal in length, and signaling the start of spring. However, Blanchard Springs Caverns spring schedule begins on April 1 (today) this year, marking the time when the caverns are open seven days a week.Explore the following outdoor and underground opportunities this spring:

Woman digs up diamond at park

April 1, 2010 MURFREESBORO (AP) — A Pennsylvania woman has unearthed a 3.17-carat canary yellow diamond at Crater of Diamonds State Park in Arkansas.Pittsburgh resident Patti Kubli says she couldn’t believe her eyes when she saw the sparkling, pear-shaped diamond Wednesday morning. Kubli says she’s naming her find “Dori,” after her mother.Park interpreter Margi Jenks said it is the largest diamond found at the park this year.It was Kubli and her sister’s first time in Arkansas and at the park. She only spent 30 minutes digging before she found the diamond.

Entergy: Rates could fall 15%

April 1, 2010 LITTLE ROCK (AP) — Entergy Arkansas officials say the company’s residential customers should see a 15 percent decrease in their electricity bills this summer.Entergy said in a news release Wednesday that the drop is due to a drop in the price of natural gas and a reduction in a payment required by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.The FERC-Imposed Payment has required Entergy Arkansas customers to pay higher rates to offset rates paid by Entergy Louisiana customers.Entergy says the lower bills should start showing up in July.