Jailed, again

December 29, 2009 Michael Ryan Hilton spent most of his Christmas holiday in a jail cell; two of them to be exact.The 46-year-old Melbourne man arrested Monday will now add felony theft and drug charges from Independence County to the breaking and entering charges in Izard.Hilton’s holiday adventure began on Knob Creek Road in Melbourne when a woman returned home to find someone loading her belongings into a truck on Christmas Eve. According to Izard County Sheriff Tate Lawrence, Hilton gave conflicting statements as to his reason for being there.

News of Other Days

December 28, 2009 Editor’s note: This column ran previously in the Guard on Jan. 10, 1997.

Some court records soon to be available online

December 28, 2009 LITTLE ROCK (AP) — An effort to put Arkansas court information on the Internet is scheduled to reach a milestone in the coming months, although its more subtle effects are already being felt in participating courts.Tim Holthoff with the Administrative Office of the Courts said he hopes to have the Internet component, which will allow Arkansas residents to research court records online, available to the public by the end of February.

Experts say ban on judicial elections not likely

December 28, 2009 LITTLE ROCK (AP) — Former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor is heading up a group of judges from around the country who will push next year for an end to the practice of electing judges, but legal experts in Arkansas say the idea will be a tough sell here.

Ozarka to offer GED test

December 28, 2009 MELBOURNE — The GED Test will be given at Ozarka College in Melbourne at 8:30 a.m. Jan. 14 and 20 in Room 516 of the Wyth Duke Adult Education Building. The test will also be given at 9 a.m. at the following locations: • Ash Flat — Sharp County Courthouse Annex Courtroom, Jan. 19 and 28;• Mammoth Spring — Simmons First National Bank, Jan. 11 and 25;• Mountain View — Ozarka College, Jan. 12 and 19;• Salem — Fulton County Courthouse, Jan. 12 and 21.

Sidney woman to be honored on 100th birthday

December 28, 2009 SIDNEY — Blanche Hollandsworth of Sidney will turn 100 years old on Saturday.Her family will host a party in her honor from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday at Sidney Baptist Church’s reception hall. She requests no gifts but cards would be welcome. All family and friends are invited.She has two children, James Hollandsworth of Sidney and Mary Brent of Birmingham, Ala.; three grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren and another due in April.

Elephants, guests find sanctuary in Ozark foothills

December 28, 2009 GREENBRIER  — As you walk through the field beside them, it’s difficult to tell if that rumble is the sound of their mighty footsteps or your heart thumping in your chest.Then just before you sink into the forest, one of the elephants throws her trunk into the air and trumpets, and you’re certain what you’re witnessing is nothing short of magical.You’re not on an African safari. You’re in Arkansas, in the foothills of the Ozark Mountains, at a sanctuary for unwanted elephants. And this may be the closest you’ll ever get to these mammoth creatures.

Two missing girls sought

December 28, 2009 ASH FLAT — Authorities in Sharp and Jackson counties are looking for two missing teen-age girls, Sharp County Sheriff Dale Weaver said this morning.“Last night they were looking for them in Newport,” Weaver said. Authorities have the girls officially listed as missing persons and posted on police alert systems, he said.One of the girls is identified as Jessica Tackett. Weaver was traveling this morning and did not have the other girl’s name immediately at hand, but said both girls are from the Cave City area.

Hardy escapes flood damage

December 28, 2009 HARDY — Flood-prone Hardy “lucked out” late last week, despite heavy rains Wednesday night and Christmas Eve, Police Chief Ernie Rose said.“The (Spring) river didn’t get out of its banks,” he said. “We did have to close a few bridges.”No one had to be evacuated, Rose said, although, he said,  “We were ready for it.”The river crested about 9.7 feet Christmas Eve morning without causing serious problems, he said.