Luncheon promotes awareness

March 2, 2010 More than 300 at the University of Arkansas Community College at Batesville saw red Friday. Most even wore it for the cause.For many the Batesville Go Red For Women luncheon at Independence Hall is a do-not-miss event held to raise awareness and money about heart disease, the No. 1 killer of women, according to the American Heart Association.For Glenda Bowers, who’s enjoyed the “good food, good company and good speakers” of the luncheon since it began five years ago, “going red” has also helped save her life.

Filings get under way

March 2, 2010 Election filings got under way this week, and already several races have developed in Independence, Sharp and Izard counties.Candidates have until noon Monday to file for office. 

LawCo pushes to get old fines

March 1, 2010 WALNUT RIDGE (AP) — Lawrence County’s sheriff says he’s making a push to collect as much as he can of the $500,000 in unpaid fines owed by felons.Sheriff Dan Ellison says his department has installed a computer program that tracks felons whose fines are in default. If the felons don’t pay, Ellison says, they could go back to jail.Ellison says he plans to make public lists of those who owe money, so that those who want to pay the fines before a warrant is issued for their arrest can do so.

State suit against town’s sewer district moves on

March 1, 2010 LITTLE ROCK (AP) — A hearing is set in a lawsuit filed by the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality against a sewer district that serves a small Newton County town.The state DEQ will present its case against Marble Falls Sewer Improvement District No. 1 on Tuesday before Circuit Judge Shawn Womack. The agency wants a court order to stop the dumping of raw sewage into Mill Creek, which is a tributary of the Buffalo National River.DEQ director Teresa Marks says the sewer district has a history of noncompliance with state regulations that goes back 20 years.

Harding students still planning stay in Chile

March 1, 2010 SEARCY (AP) — Thirty-three Harding students are still scheduled to travel to Chile on Tuesday, less than a week after a massive earthquake struck the South American country.Students say they are still enthusiastic about the trip. Now, on top of a rigorous study load, they want to spend their extra time volunteering to rebuild and help families struggling after the 8.8 magnitude earthquake.Dean of International Programs Jeffrey Hopper will join them in April. He says he wouldn’t let the students go if he thought they would be at risk.

Pine Bluff entities seek to increase Web access

March 1, 2010 PINE BLUFF (AP) — Public entities in Pine Bluff are pushing to increase access to computers and high-speed Internet technology in the region.The city and the Pine Bluff-Jefferson County Library System are among the entities making the push, which includes an estimated $1 million grant application to enhance broadband capabilities.The Arkansas State Library plans to apply for the U.S. Department of Commerce grant money through the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program.

Weiner board votes to join Harrisburg

March 1, 2010 WEINER (AP) — Weiner School District officials have found a merger partner a lot closer to home.The Weiner School Board voted unanimously Friday to join the nearby Harrisburg School District for at least one year, taking up the Harrisburg School Board’s offer to voluntarily annex the Weiner district.Earlier this month, the state Education Board had rejected Weiner’s proposal to join with the Delight School District, 200 miles away in southwest Arkansas.The Weiner and Harrisburg districts are both in Poinsett County, about 16 miles apart.

Prengaman discusses changing journalism

March 1, 2010 Journalism is changing. It used to consist of a notepad and pen. Today, it involves not only a notepad and pen, but also graphics, photos, video and interaction.Peter Prengaman, the multimedia editor for The Associated Press’ South Desk, spoke Thursday evening at Lyon College’s annual Patterson Lecture about how journalism is becoming an interactive experience.Based in Atlanta, Prengaman oversees multimedia content for a 13-state region that stretches from Louisiana to Delaware. He recently covered the aftermath of the devastating earthquake in Haiti.

Battery charges abound in Izard County

March 1, 2010 MELBOURNE — Izard County deputies ended up Tasing a man who allegedly assaulted a Melbourne woman, Sheriff Tate Lawrence said.Police were dispatched the night of Feb. 22 to a residence on West Street in response to a possible domestic disturbance. Upon deputies’ arrival the victim, Amanda Justice, said she had been assaulted by a man named Tommy Mullins. Mullins had escaped but was later found under the house. “Mullins was ordered to come out from under the floor and when doing so Mullins showed signs of aggression and resisting,” Lawrence said.

Traffic stop reportedly yields marijuana

March 1, 2010 A state police sobriety check Feb. 7 turned up several bags of marijuana, and $703 in cash, according to a court affidavit filed by Independence County Sheriff’s Deputy John Scarbrough with the 16th Judicial District Drug Task Force.At approximately 10 p.m. troopers from the Arkansas State Police were conducting a sobriety check point on Gap Road when Sgt. Phillip Pickett made contact with 20-year-old Jaime Rodriguez, and asked for his vehicle insurance papers, according to Scarbrough.