Craighead District Court fees found illegal

December 10, 2009 JONESBORO (AP) — A Craighead County circuit court judge has ruled that some fees assessed by a district court judge are illegal.The county and eight cities now face repaying former defendants the $35 fees that were assessed when the defendant’s changed their plea from not guilty to guilty.Circuit Judge Randy Philhours said in an opinion Tuesday that the fees by District Judge Keith Blackman are “indefensible” and “clearly and grossly improper.”Blackman declined comment.

Be a Santa to a Senior program to hold wrapping party

December 10, 2009 The “Be a Santa to a Senior” program has extended the date for collecting Christmas presents, announced Clay Talley, franchise owner with Home Instead Senior Care in Mountain Home.Anyone who has picked up an ornament may bring gifts to the wrapping party at 7 p.m. Monday at Rolling Hills Nursing Home, or contact Home Instead at (870) 425-0700 or 1-877-425-9071. Rolling Hills will provide refreshments and entertainment for the wrapping party. To help deliver gifts before Christmas, call Talley at the numbers listed above.

Searcy suspends tax collection

December 10, 2009 SEARCY (AP) — The Searcy City Council has suspended collection of advertising-and-promotion taxes and will schedule a vote on the taxes.Aldermen voted 7-1 Tuesday night to stop collecting the 1 percent tax on restaurant meals and the 3 percent tax on hotel stays.The council had approved the taxes in July as a way to pay for park and recreational improvements. But a group of local citizens have opposed the tax and a pending lawsuit calls for an election on whether to approve the taxes.

Christmas concert set

December 10, 2009 MELBOURNE — The Melbourne High School band and choir will present their annual Christmas concert at 7 Monday night in the high school gym.Admission is free and open to the public. 

Customer gets 600th haircut at Anderson brothers’ shop

December 10, 2009 SOUTHSIDE — After 50 years F.B. Headstream knows when he has a good thing going.Receiving haircut No. 600 at Anderson Brothers Barber Shop on Tuesday, Headstream’s reason for why he keeps returning to the shop owned and operated by twin brothers Hairl and Fairl Anderson for a half-century is simple.“Oh, I just like ’em,” the 88-year-old said, sitting in Hairl’s chair. “I like the way they do business. They’ve been good to me.”After one haircut a month each year for the last 50 years, Headstream of Salado doesn’t see a reason to change things now.

USDA aims to help farmers expand their businesses

December 10, 2009 PINE BLUFF (AP) — The U.S. Department of Agriculture hopes to invigorate small-town economies nationwide by helping farmers expand their businesses or find new markets to stay afloat, federal officials said Wednesday.Deputy Agriculture Secretary Kathleen Merrigan told about 100 farmers, rural businessmen and government agents in Pine Bluff that the federal government could help them sell directly to schools that want to offer more fresh food to their students, aid in developing cooperatives and even provide help with cold storage.

Death of man in burning car ruled accident

December 10, 2009 ASH FLAT — A man’s death at approximately 11 p.m. Monday in a vehicle fire at a car wash in Ash Flat has been ruled an accident by the state medical examiner’s office, Sharp County Sheriff’s investigator Ken Guidry said.The Arkansas Medical Examiner’s Office determined the cause of death of Brittany R. Dahm, 28, of  Cherokee Village was an accident, from smoke and soot inhalation.Dahm was found dead in his vehicle at Ivey’s Car Wash after the fire department responded to a vehicle on fire.

2 who fell identified

December 10, 2009 MOUNTAIN HOME — The names of two victims who fell from a cliff near Norfork Tuesday have been released, Baxter County Sheriff John Montgomery said.Charles Edward Ragland, 37, of Mountain Home was pronounced dead at the scene, at the end of Misty Lane, in the Misty River’s Subdivision, above the White River. Ragland’s body was recovered from the side of a steep bluff approximately 60 feet from the railroad tracks, just north of the Sheid Bridge on Highway 341.The Norfork Fire Department used rappelling and rescue equipment to assist in recovering the body, the sheriff said.

Jurors drain plumber’s bank accounts

December 10, 2009 An Independence County jury helped drain a plumbing company’s pocketbook after a group of employees attacked three drywallers on a job in Cross County.Two days of testimony were heard in Independence County concerning a civil case involving Southern Plumbing of Wynne and A&K Drywall of Pangburn.Attorney Mike Easley of Forrest City represented Kirk Payne, Felix Ciamaricone and James Dunegan Jr., all of Batesville, with attorney J.T. Skinner assisting.

Sharp Farm Bureau wins 8 Gold Stars

December 9, 2009 HARDY — The Sharp County Farm Bureau and President Johnny Curtis of Cave City were honored during the recent Arkansas Farm Bureau state convention in Little Rock for the county’s work during the past year, members and officers attending a Christmas party Monday in Hardy were told.The convention celebrated the Arkansas Farm Bureau’s 75th anniversary.Curtis was presented with an award by state President Randy Veach and Vice-president Rich Hillman.