Jan. 23 trial date set for Mitchell Johnson

December 24, 2008 FAYETTEVILLE (AP) - Another court date has been scheduled for Jonesboro school shooter Mitchell Johnson. Johnson, 24, faces a charge of fraudulently using a stolen credit card at a Fayetteville Burger King. Trial is set for Jan. 23.

Arts council celebrates 20 years

December 24, 2008 The Batesville Area Arts Council recently celebrated 20 years with an open house and fundraiser. The Dec. 12 open house was held during a "second Friday of the month" promotion sponsored by downtown Batesville merchants.

Investigators still working on separate fires

December 24, 2008 Two fires in east Batesville early Tuesday morning that destroyed one family's home and the car of another were not the result of bombings or racial hate crimes, said Lt. Brenda Bittle of the Independence County Sheriff's Office.

Arrest stops crime spree in Sharp Co.

December 24, 2008 ASH FLAT ­- A couple of consecutive days earlier this month didn't go so well for a 25-year-old Cherokee Village man who has been charged with several counts of commercial burglary, theft of property and fraudulent use of a credit card, according to information provided by Sharp County Sheriff Dale Weaver.

It looks a lot like Christmas

December 24, 2008 The glow of thousands of Christmas lights is something Chuck Willis admits he missed seeing after last week's weather brought sleet and freezing rain to Batesville. Looking outside his front window only to find a dark yard was even a little sad, said the 77-year-old homeowner Friday afternoon while standing inside his living room at 90 Denison Heights.

Baseball Briefs

December 23, 2008 Pro baseball NEW YORK (AP) - The New York Yankees were hit with their highest luxury tax in three years. The Yankees were assessed a $26.9 million tax by the commissioner's office, up from $23.9 million last year and their biggest bill since paying nearly $34 million for 2005.

News of other days

December 23, 2008 Editor's note: This column ran previously in the Guard on Jan. 4, 1996. 73 YEARS AGO Elbert Wilson of Batesville was elected worshipful master of Mount Zion Masonic Lodge No. 10 during a recent meeting held in the Lodge Hall. Other officers elected were Graham Ferrill, senior warden; Ernest Bruce, junior warden; Cecil Ball, treasurer; and H.V. Williams, secretary.

First Community Bank gives to Angel Tree

December 23, 2008 First Community Bank of Batesville announced the selection of Angel Tree project as the bank's 2008 Christmas Charity. A $2,500 gift to assist with the Independence County Angel Tree has been made in honor of First Community's customers and associates. Additional monies have been pledged to communities throughout the bank's service area.

Letters to Santa

December 23, 2008 Letters to Santa from first-graders at Newark I am Roger, and I am 6 years old. I wot a pate ball gun and a drrt bike and a new bed for my mom and dad. And how is your randir doing and how is Mss. Sata and was that you that wisid at me and will you tak me for a rid in your slay wihty your randir and if you wot a new hat I gite a new one.

Canada lottery reported to be scam

December 23, 2008 According to a letter he received recently, Charles Farrier of Batesville is one of 31 international winners who will share $4 million in the De-Lotto North American Sweepstakes Lottery On Shoppers. Farriers portion is reported to be $125,000, according to the letter from Ontario, Canada. A check from Metro Rewards & Trust of Sioux City, Iowa was also included for payment of applicable government taxes on the winnings.