Man to celebrate 90th birthday

December 18, 2009 Robert Stroud will celebrate his 90th birthday with a drop-in reception from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday at Old Independence Regional Museum in Batesville.All family and friends are invited to attend.He requests no gifts.

Melbourne OKs bonuses

December 18, 2009 MELBOURNE — The Melbourne School Board met briefly Thursday night and voted to give bonuses to its classified and certified employees. Certified employees will receive a $200 bonus while classified personnel will receive a $150 bonus. Cafeteria employees gave a presentation and discussed a new software program that will allow them to track their expenditures. In other business the board accepted the resignation of Angie Lawrence as an aide at Mount Pleasant Elementary and hired Susan Payne in her place.

High-tech windmill generates energy on farm near Newport

December 18, 2009 NEWPORT — Windmills today just aren’t like those Don Quixote used as target practice for his lance.“This wind energy turbine (windmill) has a computer in it that I can communicate with, and it has an anemometer (continual wind force and velocity measuring device) on it,” Christopher Charlton said an hour before sunset Wednesday, looking up at the 126-foot-tall windmill on the Holden-Conner Farms near Newport.

‘Race To The Top’ topic at meeting

December 18, 2009 Arkansas schools have received more than $450 million in stimulus funding since the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act was established earlier this year.Nearly $11.6 billion more is up for grabs thanks to a competitive grant program called “Race to the Top” if schools across the nation can show how they will use such money to make improvements in education.Arkansas is hoping to be among them.

Habitat seeking donors, volunteers

December 18, 2009 Fifteen dollars would paint one wall. Twenty-five would buy a light fixture. And $300 would go toward floor covering.The Habitat for Humanity of Independence County is seeking volunteers as well as donations for its second house. The chapter’s first house became a home last March when the Dale and Tabitha Liegel family moved in.Now the group’s second house is currently under construction with the Ralph and Lisa Lewis family already hard at work putting their “sweat equity” into their very own home.

News of other days

December 17, 2009 Editor’s note: This column ran previously in the Guard on Jan. 2, 1997.

Little Rock expressway to narrow during the day

December 17, 2009 LITTLE ROCK (AP) — Motorists who use Interstate 630 to travel between areas in west Little Rock and the city’s central sections need to be alert to a lane closure in the eastbound lanes for a couple of days.The state Highway Department says the closure will occur only during daytime hours today and Friday, beginning at 9 a.m. after the morning rush hour and ending at 3 p.m. before the evening traffic jams.

Zoo to demonstrate new composting machine

December 17, 2009 LITTLE ROCK (AP) — Most backyard gardeners probably don’t need much machinery to keep their compost pile actively producing fertilizer.But then most gardeners aren’t gathering pounds and pounds of large-animal manure for composting every day. At the Little Rock Zoo, however, they are, and now they can do it much more efficiently.Zoo workers plan a demonstration Thursday morning of a new composting machine that is used to mix manure from the zoo’s elephants and rhinoceroses with leaf and grass cuttings from the grounds.

LR firefighters agree to delay raises

December 17, 2009 LITTLE ROCK (AP) — Firefighters in Little Rock have agreed to delay until July 1 a 4 percent pay raise they were to get in January.City police officers are to begin voting on the same request starting today.The city’s 2010 budget of $131.1 million doesn’t include the 4 percent raise and the city asked unions representing firefighters, police and nonuniformed employees to delay the raises.City Manager Bruce Moore says the delay prevents potential job losses.Voting by the police union will end at 11 p.m. Dec. 31.

Payback will cost prison guard

December 17, 2009 LITTLE ROCK (AP) — An Arkansas prison guard accused of moving a prisoner to a mosquito-infested cell in retaliation for a grievance filed by the inmate must pay him $2,500, a federal appeals court ruled Wednesday.A three-judge panel of the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected Sgt. Patrick L. Stephenson’s claim that inmate Walter Haynes hadn’t proven that his transfer was retaliation for the grievance that claimed Stephenson threatened Haynes.“The evidence shows that Stephenson engaged in willful, malicious and deceitful conduct,” the panel’s opinion said.