Flood info center established

January 5, 2010 NORTH LITTLE ROCK (AP) — The Arkansas Department of Emergency Management has opened a call center to collect information on the Dec. 23 and 24 flooding.The call center opened Monday and will remain open through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day.The state wants to hear from residents affected by the storms and flooding in Bradley, Calhoun, Clark, Clay, Cleburne, Cleveland, Craighead, Dallas, Drew, Faulkner, Grant, Greene, Hempstead, Jackson, Lafayette, Lincoln, Lonoke, Miller, Monroe, Nevada, Ouachita, Poinsett, Prairie, Pulaski, Saline, White and Woodruff counties.

Singers sought

January 5, 2010 The Batesville Choral Society is looking for singers, age 16 and up, to sing during the upcoming spring season, according to Joel Plaag, artistic director. The group rehearses from 7 to 9 p.m. Mondays starting Jan. 18 in the choir room at First Presbyterian Church, Batesville. The choir will be rehearsing the Easter portion of Handel’s “Messiah,” for a performance on Feb. 26, and learning the choir part to Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 2, for performances April 10 and 11. For more information, call Plaag at (870) 307-7259, or come to the first rehearsal.

DFA: More cuts likely

January 5, 2010 LITTLE ROCK — Arkansas’ chief fiscal officer said today that the state collected $20.9 million less than expected in tax revenues in December, a shortfall that could mean more budget cuts for agencies that have already trimmed $100 million in spending.The state’s net available revenues in December were $22.7 million lower than December 2008, the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration said. State revenue for the year is below forecast by $54.9 million.

WRHS implements Meditech Health Care Information System

January 5, 2010 White River Health System recently implemented an electronic medical record (EMR) system — a comprehensive history of all medical care provided to a patient at any WRHS facility. Currently, less than 10 percent of hospitals in the country have fully implemented an EMR system.

New Year’s Day baby shares great-grandmother’s birthday

January 5, 2010 Amanda Strauser had hoped her second son would be born Jan. 1, and he was. Sharing the same birthday as his great-grandmother, 68-year-old Erma Rackley, Brody Leon Strauser is also White River Medical Center’s 2010 New Year’s Day baby, born at 8:48 p.m. Friday. Five days after his arrival, mom and baby are just fine and dad, Joe, couldn’t be happier. “He thinks it’s awesome that we have a New Year’s Day baby,” said Amanda with a laugh by phone this morning. “We were real surprised.”

Lawmakers announce disaster assistance

January 5, 2010 WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Department of Labor has awarded nearly $1.3 million to the Arkansas Department of Workforce Services to assist clean-up and recovery efforts after the October storms, tornadoes and flooding that affected much of the state, according to a news release.Funds will be used to create temporary jobs to assist in recovery efforts following the damage caused by the severe weather.

Families homeless after apartment fire

January 5, 2010 With just the clothes on their backs, and huddled in their cars for warmth, residents of St. John’s Apartments at 6255 North St. Louis St. watched their homes and belongings go up in flames Monday morning.Dustin Willis and Adam Chavers, residents of Apartment 1 where the fire is believed to have started at a wall outlet, said they were at work when the fire broke out around 10:15 a.m.Others, like Bridgett Purcell, her two daughters and a granddaughter, were just beginning their daily routine when they smelled, and then saw thick smoke seeping into their apartment.

News of other days

January 4, 2010 Editor’s note: This column ran previously in the Guard on Jan. 17, 1997.

Speed trap law limits interstate enforcement

January 4, 2010 LITTLE ROCK (AP) — Five Arkansas cities have been denied the authority to patrol interstates and major highways in the two years since a state law was revised over concerns about speed traps.The Legislature initially gave the state police director the authority to limit the municipalities authorized to patrol major highways in 1987. The law was amended in 2007 to clarify that cities and towns must be able to show state police officials they write no more than 30 percent of their traffic tickets on those highways. The speed-trap concern is a factor in obtaining authorization.

Charlotte EHC

January 4, 2010 Charlotte — The Charlotte Extension Homemakers Club met Dec. 16 at the home of Pat Mason with four members and a special guest.The meeting started with funny songs about Christmas, followed by a program of handling stress for the holidays. One member attended an EHC holiday extravaganza at Searcy, and showed items that were made. The club also talked about the awards it won at the Holiday Council meeting and made plans to visit the nursing home to teach how to make a craft.