Fishing with ghost of Confederate President Jefferson Davis

January 22, 2010 A bass rises to some unseen bug on the surface, creating ripples across the brown placid waters of Oyster Bayou. I cast my crankbait over the area and begin a slow retrieve just beneath the surface. The bass ignores the rattling, shimmying pest in his world, but from my vantage point under one of the remaining storm-scarred oaks I watch half-a-dozen crappie chase after the intruder.

Wanted man faces drug charges, too

January 22, 2010 Two men were arrested in connection to a quantity of drugs reportedly found in a Batesville home Thursday afternoon.Deputy David Aldrich and Sgt. John Furgason, with assistance from Cpl. Patrick Collins, went to a residence at 312 Craig St. around 1:30 p.m. to look for Kenneth Stephens, 25, of Star City, wanted on several outstanding warrants from Independence, Stone and Sharp counties.Aldrich said as he approached the front door of the home he could see movement inside and asked Furgason to come from the rear of the residence to assist him.

Couple arrested for lying to cops

January 22, 2010 A traffic stop for no tags led to a couple’s arrest on several charges around 4:15 Saturday afternoon.Independence County Deputy Dale Jackson, he stopped the driver of a Ford Mustang on North Central Avenue for no tags and she gave him a name of Rhinna Olsen.The passenger identified himself as Joseph Thompson and said he didn’t know the driver’s name, he was “only getting a ride to the store,” Jackson said.The driver finally admitted that her name was Jennifer Thompson and she didn’t tell the truth at first because she was wanted in Cleburne County.

Rotary holding drive for Haiti

January 22, 2010 The Batesville Rotary Club is working to help raise money for the victims of the recent devastating earthquake in Haiti. The club is accepting monetary donations through Jan. 29. Those wishing to donate can mail a check or money order to: Batesville Rotary Club, Haiti Relief, P.O. Box 2654, Batesville, AR 72503-2654.The members of the club will also be available from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Jan. 29 in the parking lot of WRD Entertainment, located at 920 Harrison St. in Batesville, to accept donations in person.

Writing project seeks applications

January 22, 2010 Jonesboro —The Arkansas Delta Writing Project at Arkansas State University is accepting applications for its 2010 Summer Writing Institute for Teachers, to be June 7-July 2.Educators from kindergarten to college, in all content areas, may apply.

Japanese program receives grant

January 22, 2010 The Japan Foundation has presented Lyon College with a grant of $15,000 in order to enhance the study of Japanese language and literature. The grant will support instruction, a speech contest, a workshop on Japan for K-12 teachers and the Japan Lecture Series.The Japan Foundation donated Japanese teaching materials to Lyon College in 2003 and also funded $3,000 in books on Japan for the Lyon library the same year.For further information on the developing Japan Studies program at Lyon College, visit

Eastern Star to hold event

January 22, 2010 RAVENDEN — The Official Visit of the Grand Officers of the State Order of the Eastern Star will be Jan. 30 at the Ravenden Community Center in Ravenden. The event is open to all OES members.Lunch will be at noon, with the meeting to follow. Associate Grand Matron and Worthy Matron Sister Jeanette Goings of Charles Chapter is from Pocahantas and will greet attendees.Order of Eastern Star is made up of relatives of Masonic Members and dedicated to charity, truth and loving kindness, the release states.

Pearl stringing to be taught

January 22, 2010 Jacksonport — Jacksonport State Park is conducting a Pearl Stringing Necklace Workshop from 9 a.m. to noon Feb. 20 in the courthouse.Fresh water pearls were once part of a booming mussel industry in Arkansas. By demonstrating the skill of stringing pearls, the park interpreter will teach workshop participants how to make their own freshwater pearl necklace to take home. Participants will also learn how freshwater pearls were discovered in Arkansas and how they were harvested from the White River.

Young Adult Author Series continues

January 22, 2010 SEARCY — The 2009-10 Young Adult Author Series continues Feb. 5-6 at Harding University with award-winning author Kimberly Willis Holt.Willis Holt was born in Pensacola, Fla., and grew up traveling the world with her military family. But she always considered Louisiana home, a place where seven generations of her family have resided. Her Southern influence is felt throughout her writing.

Democrats reduce filing fees

January 22, 2010 The Independence County Democratic Central Committee met Thursday night and cut candidate filing fees nearly in half, said committee chairman Tony Thompson.“We reconsidered the 2010 candidate filing fees, and they were reduced by 40 percent from the 2008 fees,” Thompson said.“In January of 2008 we voted to put filing fees on a scale of five percent of the salary of the position the candidate was running for, but last night we voted to reduce the rate to three percent of the current position’s regular salary.”