Swine flu death reported

March 4, 2010 LITTLE ROCK (AP) — The Arkansas Department of Health says another person has died of complications from swine flu in Arkansas.Ed Parham, public information officer for the Health Department, said Tuesday that the death occurred last week, but he couldn’t release additional information.Parham says there have been 30 deaths since the pandemic started in Arkansas in August.He says reports of hospitalizations and absenteeism from schools has slowed in recent months, but anyone can still contract the flu, also known as H1N1.

Man found in house killed self

March 4, 2010 BLYTHEVILLE (AP) — Investigators say a man whose body was discovered in an abandoned home in Blytheville killed himself.Kenneth Wayne Carter Jr. was found dead of a gunshot wound to the head on Feb. 22. Police say his body had been in the house for an extended period of time.Police say an arrest warrant was issued for Carter in connection with the November rape of a 13-year-old girl in Gosnell.Police say the last time anyone reported seeing him was in Blytheville on Nov. 20. A member of Carter’s family filed a missing person’s report in November.

Plant closure to cost 50-60 jobs

March 4, 2010 HOPE (AP) — A top official of a Texas-based company that has a construction-materials plant at Hope says 50 to 60 people will lose their jobs when the facility shuts down at the end of April.Irving-based Commercial Metals Co. chairman, president and CEO Murray McClean says the workers have been told their last day will be April 29.Commercial Metals is the parent of the CMC Joist and Deck Co. fabricating facility at Hope that builds lightweight steel joists used in construction of large retail stores.

Cave students net $4,000 for St. Jude

March 4, 2010 CAVE CITY — St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital at Memphis can be thankful that students at Cave City Middle School did the math.Students at the school recently raised $4,000 through a Math-A-Thon program and donated the money to the hospital, which helps children who are battling cancer and other deadly diseases.Math-A-Thon allows students to build and practice essential math skills while they raise funds. Teachers serve as volunteer coordinators while participating students solve math problems in a printed or online Funbook, a news release states.

3 rare vacancies draw field to Congress races

March 4, 2010 LITTLE ROCK — Arkansas will have at least three new congressmen in 2011; except for post-scandal elections in the 1990s, the state hasn’t seen this many seats turn over at once since before World War II.Taking out an incumbent is difficult, so the number of open seats creates opportunities for politicians who may have long considered a run for Congress, said Janine Parry, a University of Arkansas political science professor.“There is not much turnover at the top so when a window opens, there will be a lot of people that want to climb in,” Parry said.

Cushman alumni to award scholarship

March 4, 2010 CUSHMAN — The Cushman School Alumni Association has announced it will be awarding a $1,000 scholarship to a current high school senior who completed their junior year in 2009 at Cushman High School according to a news release. Cushman annexed with the Batesville School District in July 2009.Interested students may obtain a scholarship application by calling Mary Jo Hurley at (870) 612-8785 or Jean Weatherford at (870) 793-5853.

Sonic target of burglars

March 4, 2010 A patrolling officer noticed something wasn’t right at the St. Louis Street Sonic Drive-In around 1:30 this morning and on closer inspection found the front glass door busted out.Independence County Deputy Bret Ward said after discovering the busted door, a search was made of the building at 715 St. Louis St. and after no one was located inside, the manager David Scarbrough was called.“Mr. Scarbrough confirmed that money ($300) had been taken from the manager’s desk located near the broken door,” Ward said.

Fleeing from police yields felony

March 4, 2010  Acting in a reckless manner while trying to elude police has earned a Batesville man felony charges, according to a warrant affidavit filed in the Independence County Circuit Court by Independence County Sheriff’s Detective Mike Mundy.

Batesville man goes for walk, doesn’t return, wife tells cops

March 4, 2010  A Batesville man has not been seen since he told his wife Wednesday afternoon he was going for a walk along Lafferty Creek, about a mile from their home and drove away in the family van.Trena Rexroad told police that her husband, 43-year-old Robert Rexroad, left their home on Anderson Lane around 1 p.m., to walk along the creek and by 10:30 p.m. had not returned, according to Independence County Deputy Michael Thatch.“Mrs. Rexroad stated that he left the area in the couple’s vehicle, a green 1998 Chevrolet Astro van with a disabled license plate 216159,” Thatch said.

BBQ champions to be crowned

March 4, 2010 NORTH LITTLE ROCK — The Smoke on the Water USA Barbecue Championship will be March 19-20 in North Little Rock. The competition, sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbeque Society, has the circuit’s largest payout at $100,000 in prize money. Teams from all over showcase their talents and prized products and there will be vendors, a carnival, a car and motorcycle show and live entertainment. The event takes place at the North Little Rock RV Park and North Shore Riverwalk.