Slides close ‘Pig Trail’

December 30, 2009 CASS (AP) — State highway officials say a stretch of an Arkansas highway popularly known as the “Pig Trail” has been closed temporarily because of slides and soil instability.A news release Tuesday from the state Highway and Transportation Department said repairs had already been under way on a stretch of the highway about 5 miles north of Cass where the pavement climbs a steep mountainside. But the damage caused by 2008 rains was aggravated by recent additional heavy rains, and the highway agency said.

Census may change mayoral terms

December 30, 2009 ROGERS (AP) — The term of Rogers’ mayor could be extended and more money could come into the city’s coffers after the 2010 census.If the city’s population is determined to be more than 50,000, which local officials expect, the term of the mayor will be lengthened from four years to six years. City aldermen also will serve four-year staggered terms under state law.The most recent federal census is used by the state to distribute funds and the calculation will be changed after the 2010 census figures are received.

Exposure, health linked to death

December 30, 2009 FAYETTEVILLE (AP) — Authorities say exposure to cold and other health issues likely led to the death of a homeless Fayetteville woman.Police found the body of 46-year-old Lina Waldrop on Saturday morning. Police Cpl. Rick Crisman says Waldrop had a history of heart disease and reportedly stayed overnight in a wooded area despite freezing temperatures.Crisman says it appears Waldrop and a man drank alcohol Friday night and passed out. Crisman says the man eventually left and didn’t return until the next day.

Inspection to close lane of I-440

December 30, 2009 LITTLE ROCK (AP) — Arkansas highway officials say motorists using westbound lanes of Interstate 440 in south Little Rock should be wary of a lane closure.The state Highway and Transportation Department said the outside lane of westbound I-440 would be closed today, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., between the Little Rock Airport and Interstate 30. A news release said the lane closure would allow workers to perform a routine inspection.

Ex-Clinton aide’s trial moved

December 30, 2009 STAR CITY (AP) — The trial of former Clinton aide Betsey Wright on a charge of trying to smuggle contraband into a prison has been moved from late January to late May because of a scheduling conflict.Wright was to be tried Jan. 26 in Lincoln County Circuit Court, but Judge Jodi Dennis agreed Tuesday to move the trial to May 25 because of a conflict involving her lawyer, Jeff Rosenzweig of Little Rock. Rosenzweig said a pre-trial hearing is scheduled for March 10 in Pine Bluff.

Kensett cop fired for lying

December 30, 2009 KENSETT (AP) — The Kensett police chief has fired an officer, saying she lied to her colleagues concerning the whereabouts of a person being sought for arrest.Police Chief Jim Dwyer says Sgt. Debra Bailey was fired Dec. 21. He cited her actions during an incident that occurred nine days earlier at a local restaurant.

Jonesboro eyes 20-year plan

December 30, 2009 JONESBORO (AP) — Jonesboro officials are working on developing a comprehensive 20-year plan for the northeast Arkansas town.Mayor Harold Perrin says the goal of the plan is to determine where Jonesboro will be as a city in 20 years. The plan is being developed by a 43-member commission that includes city employees, business leaders, professors, community leaders and four high school students.

News of other days

December 30, 2009 Editor’s note: This column ran previously in the Guard on Jan. 14, 1997. 

Conservation district scholarships offered

December 30, 2009 Local high school students considering a career in an agriculture, environmental science or conservation related career may be interested in applying for a $250 scholarship from the Independence County Conservation district, according to chairman Ed Mabry.“As well as receiving the district scholarship, the winner will be eligible to compete at both the area and state levels,’ Mabry said.The association of conservation districts awards three annual scholarships — $1,000, $750 and $500 — based on students’ essays and oral presentations, he said.