Bailey gets feet wet at UACCB, earns master’s from ASU

December 24, 2009 Leaving a job field after 23 years is difficult but it paid off for a 2003 University of Arkansas Community College at Batesville graduate who graduated with honors from Arkansas State University Saturday with a master’s degree in physical therapy.Bill Bailey started taking classes at the encouragement of his wife, Kathy. He said at 42 he was faced with the realization that he had made some bad choices in his life like most people do; however, his home and land were paid for so when his wife told him to go back to school, he filled out the application and enrolled in classes.

Greers Ferry mayor resigns

December 24, 2009 GREERS FERRY (AP) — The mayor of Greers Ferry has resigned after pleading guilty to charges of taking money meant of tornado victims.Prosecutors say Michelle Davis pleaded guilty Tuesday to felony theft of property and second-degree forgery for taking the tornado-relief money. Greers Ferry Recorder/Treasurer Treva James says Davis resigned Tuesday night.James will serve as interim mayor until a new mayor is appointed to serve the remaining year in office or until a special election is held.

Contest winners announced

December 24, 2009 CAVE CITY — Winners of the Cave City Area Chamber of Commerce Christmas Parade and Home/Business Decorating Contest have been announced.Harry Eckard of Laman Street earned first place along with a check for $400 in the decorating contest, according to a news release. Johnson Day Care won second place and a check for $200.The winners in the parade were Maxville Baptist Church, first place, $400 prize; and Cave City Middle School Drama Club, second place, $200 prize.

LRAFB airmen coming back

December 24, 2009 LITTLE ROCK (AP) — The families of more than 150 airmen are getting a special Christmas gift — the return of the Air Force members from duty in Iraq and Afghanistan.Meanwhile, 200 Arkansas National Guard soldiers training in Wisconsin for deployment to Afghanistan have returned home to Jonesboro for a 10-day furlough that allows them to spend Christmas with their families before leaving the country.

Democratic filing fees announced

December 24, 2009 Democratic candidates for local offices in Independence County pay a 5 percent filing fee based on the salary of the position for which they are seeking. Those fees will amount as follows: • County judge — salary of approximately $56,458, filing fee of $2,933;• County clerk, circuit clerk, tax collector, tax assessor, and treasurer — salary of approximately $45,196, filing fee of $2,260; • Sheriff — $52,250, filing fee of $2,613;• Justice of the peace — $2,760; filing fee of $138;• Coroner — filing fee of $750;

Man arrested for night hunting; car, gun confiscated

December 24, 2009 By Tony McGuffeyGuard Staff WriterIt was around 5 p.m. and getting dark outside when residents on Cedar Grove Road north of Batesville heard a gunshot. Knowing there were no legal hunting seasons open on Dec. 16, a call was made to the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission requesting someone to investigate.“I got the call from Little Rock that a violation was in progress on Cedar Grove Road,” Wildlife Officer Sgt. Shad Pearce said. “They told me that someone was road hunting.”

Family, friends welcome Cossey

December 24, 2009 CEDAR GROVE — Alex Cossey’s first words to the crowd of family, friends and classmates greeting him at his home shows his sense of humor.“Don’t take my picture, my hair’s messed up,” he said, smiling, as a couple of family members snapped photos.Then, with his left hand on the controls of an electric wheelchair, he spun the chair around to face the dozens of people holding balloons and welcome home signs — with many of them wearing Alex Cossey T-shirts.“Boy, there’s a lot of people here,” he said.

Soldier spends time with family

December 24, 2009 FLORAL — There’s no place like home for the holidays.Just ask Sgt. 1st Class Adam Edmonds of Floral, who got Christmas off to an early start on Wednesday thanks to Operation Christmas Furlough, a project which, along with businesses from Jonesboro, Paragould and Walnut Ridge among others, helped raise more than $20,000 to bring area troops home on a 10-day leave to Arkansas. For wife Mandi, son Connor and twin daughters Ally and Kate it’s the best present anyone could have asked for.“I like to see my da-da, my daddy,” Ally said.

Officials inspect bridge after impact

December 24, 2009 A gravel barge hit the White River Bridge this morning, but the highway and bridge both remain open, officials announced.Workers from the Arkansas Highway Department, along with the Independence County Office of Emergency Management, spent a couple of hours this morning inspecting the Highway 167 bridge at Batesville for possible damage from a runaway barge.

LSU, UA develop new rice varieties

December 23, 2009 NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The U.S. rice industry is making way for Jazzman.It’s a new variety of aromatic rice developed at Louisiana State University and being sold under several folksy-sounding labels — and it could become a viable competitor to the Thai jasmine rice that accounts for $350 million in U.S. business each year.Production at Jazzmen Rice LLC is expected to increase from 500 tons this year to 63,000 tons by 2011, said Andrew Wong, one of the New Orleans company’s partners.That would equal 18 percent of U.S. imports from Thailand last year.