Area Briefs

December 23, 2008 Church offers Christmas dinner The Seventh-day Adventist Church will host a free Christmas dinner at noon Thursday in the basement fellowship hall of the church, located at 30 Gap Road in Batesville.

Museum volunteers honored

December 23, 2008 Sixty-six volunteers were honored with certificates, a luncheon and bags of candy last week at Old Independence Regional Museum. Administrative assistant April White handed out the awards while volunteer coordinator Amanda Nikkel read off the names.

Jeff Eddy appointed to Cave City board

December 23, 2008 CAVE CITY - A former Evening Shade School Board member was appointed to the Cave City School Board on Thursday. Jeff Eddy was appointed to replace Buell Wilkes, who resigned last month. "Jeff was one of the Evening Shade board members when we annexed them," Cave City Superintendent Steven Green said. With the annexation, the Cave City board expanded to seven members and the two new slots were filled by Evening Shade members chosen by the then five-member Evening Shade board.

Town’s millage rate goes down

December 23, 2008 ASH FLAT - The Sharp County Quorum Court continued its November meeting, which was recessed rather than adjourned last month, on Monday by approving millage rates for 2008 to be collected in 2009. One millage rate - for the town of Sidney - went down as a result of an automatic rollback. The rate dropped from 5.0 mills to 4.6.

Pillowcases used to hide robbers’ faces, victims say

December 23, 2008 Three armed men with hoods made of pillow cases reportedly robbed the residents of a west Batesville home early Sunday morning, according to Independence County Deputy Ernie Gillihan. One of the victims, Richard Reyna, 40, of 733 State St., reported that around 4 a.m. he and some friends were in the living room of his home playing video games when three black men burst into his home. Reyna said they wearing hoods that appeared to have been made from pillow cases with eye holes cut out.

Black retiring as chaplain

December 23, 2008 A call comes in the middle of the night: Someone has been injured in a car accident (or other trauma), and Jim Black is needed to come to the hospital right away. He wastes no time, knowing that he is going as God's servant to comfort that patient and his family.

Employee held at gunpoint

December 23, 2008 Marilyn Miller was in the kitchen washing dishes late Tuesday night when she heard the door chime at the Citgo Flashmarket in Desha. Alone, she went to the front of the store to wait on the customer who was already exiting the building.

Officials: Fires believed deliberate

December 23, 2008 Two simultaneous early morning fires are being investigated as acts of arson, according to Independence County Sheriff's Lt. Brenda Bittle. The Batesville Fire Department responded to a structure fire and a car fire at separate locations, but on the same block, around 4:45 this morning.

Horses arriving in Hot Springs; Oaklawn to open Jan. 19

December 22, 2008 HOT SPRINGS (AP) - Hundreds of horses have arrived at Oaklawn Park in advance of the Jan. 19 opening of the live thoroughbred racing. Oaklawn is making $20 million in improvements to make room for more electronic gambling machines. But those machines are intended to supplement the live thoroughbred racing, and the track is taking pains to make sure the work does not interfere with horsemen who are now training or racing patrons.

UALR women win 27th consecutive

December 22, 2008 LITTLE ROCK (AP) - Chastity Reed led all scorers with 27 points to help the University of Arkansas-Little Rock to a 65-47 victory over Arkansas State in Sun Belt Conference play Saturday. Marian Kursh added 15 points, Shanika Butler scored 12, career-highs for both players. With the win, the Trojans (9-2 overall, 1-0 Sun Belt Conference) extended their home winning streak to 27.