ASEA to meet

December 30, 2009 The Independence County chapter of the Arkansas State Employees Association will meet at 11:30 a.m. Jan. 6 in the George Rider Community Room of First Community Bank in Batesville. The meeting is open to all state employees in Independence County.Guest speaker will be Debby Norton with Liberty Tax Service. ASEA field representative Marc Watts will answer general questions about the latest developments affecting state employees, and chapter oficers will be elected.

Inmate in Lee Co. jail walks off from mopping

December 30, 2009 MARIANNA (AP) — Authorities in eastern Arkansas are looking for a state inmate who walked away from a Lee County jail work assignment.Dina Tyler, state prison spokeswoman, said Tuesday that 25-year-old Charles “Luke” Sanders, was working at the fire station in Marianna when he was sent to the Lee County Courthouse at Marianna to mop up after heavy rainfall on Christmas Eve. Tyler said Sanders never arrived at the courthouse.

3 NEA counties to seek flood aid

December 30, 2009 JONESBORO (AP) — Officials in three northeastern Arkansas counties flooded last week say their districts are disaster areas and that they plan to seek federal aid as a result.Officials in Craighead, Jackson and Greene counties say they are assessing damage to roads and soon will submit monetary damage estimates to Gov. Mike Beebe.Tommy Jackson, a spokesman for the state Office of Emergency Management, says Beebe will consider the requests from the local emergency managers and decide whether to ask for federal funding for repairs and other costs connected with the flooding.

Evening Shade woman, Missouri man die in crash

December 30, 2009 POPLAR BLUFF, Mo. — An Evening Shade woman was one of two people who died as the result of a three-vehicle accident Tuesday morning on U.S. Highway 60 about two miles east of Poplar Bluff, according to Missouri State Police Cpl. M.G. Slaughter.Carol A. Cook, 53, of Evening Shade and Jack W. Vaughn, 41, of Dexter, Mo., were pronounced dead at the scene at 8:11 and 8:10, respectively, by Butler County Assistant Coroner Joe Chapman.

No such thing as off year for politics in ’09

December 30, 2009 LITTLE ROCK  — There’s no such thing as an off year in Arkansas politics.That fact was on display throughout 2009 as U.S. Sen. Blanche Lincoln’s re-election bid dominated the state’s political talk, long before she would even appear on the ballot.A year that began with questions about who would run against the Democratic incumbent ended with a different question — Who wasn’t running?

Car, train collide at Moorefield

December 30, 2009 A Brockwell woman who tried to beat a train through an intersection in Moorefield around 8:40 this morning had to be cut out of the wreckage of her car by members of the Batesville Fire Rescue Unit before later being transported to White River Medical Center.

Newest Ark. winery carries on family tradition

December 29, 2009 GAMALIEL. (AP) — Margie Roelands is proudly carrying on her grandfather’s legacy.As a child growing up in southern California, she learned about the wine-making process from her Italian grandfather, Marty Raimondo, and dreamed of the day she’d have a family winery.And now she does even though she’s located at a peaceful, secluded resort in Gamaliel.The Raimondo Winery, one of Arkansas’ newest wineries, began selling wine this year after receiving its small-farm winery permit from the state. But many years of learning took place before the winery came to fruition.

News of other days

December 29, 2009 Editor’s note: This column ran previously in the Guard on Jan. 13, 1997.

First Community Bank receives approval on purchase of Mountain Home Branch

December 29, 2009 First Community Bank Chairman and CEO, Dale Cole, announced that the bank has received final approval from the State Banking Department and the FDIC for the purchase of the Mountain Home branch of Community First National Bank. Community First National Bank was founded in 1997 and has two offices in West Plains and one in Mountain Grove.