Entergy Arkansas down to 1,400 outages

February 10, 2010 LITTLE ROCK (AP) — Entergy Arkansas says about 1,400 customers, mainly in the Little Rock and Hot Springs areas remain without electricity.Entergy spokesman James Thompson said Tuesday about 800 of the outages are in Little Rock and 200 in Hot Springs. All of the outages are scattered about and Thompson says line crews are going house to house to make repairs.

Drug, social host, other arrests made in Izard Co.

February 10, 2010 MELBOURNE — A Missouri woman was arrested on drug charges following a week-long investigation by members of the 16th Judicial Drug Task Force, the Arkansas State Police, and the Izard County Sheriff’s Department, according to a news release.Heather Lynn Mikel, also known as Heather Basham, 31, of Mountain Grove, Mo., but residing in the Oxford area was arrested Feb. 2 for possession of drug paraphernalia with the intent to manufacture methamphetamine, a class B felony. Mikel remains in the Izard County jail in lieu of $20,000 bond.

Medical testing center to close

February 10, 2010 LITTLE ROCK (AP) — A medical testing center in Little Rock where medications are tested for pharmaceutical companies is closing.Axient Research chairman and CEO Tim Derrington said in an e-mail Tuesday that the company’s bank is calling a loan and taking control of the company’s assets. Derrington says Axient has laid off “a significant number” of employees and cut back operations immediately.Derrington did not respond to an e-mail asking for more information and could not be reached at his office.

House approves no pay raise for elected officials

February 10, 2010 LITTLE ROCK (AP) — The House has approved legislation that would keep the salaries for Arkansas lawmakers, constitutional officers and other elected officials flat next fiscal year.By a 94-0 vote, the House on Tuesday approved the proposed General Appropriation Act funding the expenses of the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government.Rep. Ray Kidd, a Democrat from Jonesboro, voted “present” on the legislation.The $35.5 million proposal now heads to the Senate for a vote.

State takes over, to split Twin Rivers

February 10, 2010 LITTLE ROCK (AP) — The Arkansas Board of Education has voted to take over and split up the Twin Rivers School District.Monday’s decision by the Arkansas Board of Education marks the first time the state has taken over a school district for accreditation violations, said Julie Johnson Thompson, a spokesman for the state Department of Education. Two other school districts — Greenland and Decatur — remain under state control because of fiscal issues in October.A new Twin Rivers administrator should be in place by next week, Thompson said.

State nixes Weiner-Delight merge

February 10, 2010 LITTLE ROCK — The Delight and Weiner school districts, which are 200 miles apart, lost their bid Monday to merge, ending what the districts saw as a groundbreaking effort to preserve rural schools and shrinking communities.The Arkansas Education Board voted unanimously against the merger proposal, with members saying they were unconvinced the consolidation would improve learning for the students or save the state money.

Ice still problem in state

February 10, 2010 LITTLE ROCK (AP) — Icy roads continue to cause problems in parts of Arkansas.Patchy ice is making travel hazardous in the top two tiers of counties in north Arkansas between Fayetteville and Batesville. Roads in central Arkansas in the Little Rock and Hot Springs areas also had ice patches this morning.Arkansas highway department spokesman Randy Ort says motorists need to allow extra time to get to their destinations.Overnight, ice that melted Tuesday refroze, creating a fresh hazard.Temperatures are forecast to rise above freezing today.

Bond set at $50,000

February 10, 2010 WALNUT RIDGE — Bond was set at $50,000 Tuesday for a 22-year-old Walnut Ridge man who allegedly stole a truck from the Portia Water Department, then tried to break into Imboden Pharmacy on Saturday, according to Capt. Jody Dotson, criminal investigator for the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department.Dotson said neighbors of the pharmacy called 911 when burglar alarms sounded and described the stolen truck to police. Paul Goodson was arrested a short time later by officers who spotted the stolen truck in Black Rock.

Folk center offers retreat

February 10, 2010 MOUNTAIN VIEW — The annual Valentine Dinner and Show at Ozark Folk Center State Park in Mountain View will be Feb. 13. The Skillet Restaurant will serve a special meal, followed by an evening show with live music. Reservations are suggested. Call the park at (870) 269-3851 or visit www.ozarkfolkcenter.com for details.