Guard prepares for departure

November 4, 2009 JONESBORO (AP) — Members of the Arkansas National Guard’s 1037th Engineer Company, 875th Engineer Battalion are preparing for deployment to Afghanistan.The more than 200 soldiers will leave Tuesday from Jonesboro for Fort McCoy, Wisc., for two months training before going to Afghanistan in January.The 1037th will join engineering companies from Washington, Oregon, South Carolina and North Carolina to form a special route-clearance task force in which they find and destroy roadside bombs.

Trial date set for man involved in shootout

November 4, 2009 JONESBORO (AP) — A trial date in February has been set for a Brookland man charged in connection with a shootout with law officers near Jonesboro that left another man dead.Forty-two-year-old Phillip Sutfin faces three counts of attempted murder and is being held in the Craighead County Jail on bonds totaling $525,000.Authorities say Sutfin and Raymond Floyd opened fire when parole and probation officers escorted by law officers served a search warrant on Sept. 28. Police say Sutfin and Floyd ran into a nearby soybean field and opened fire on the officers.

Funding lack cuts 211 program

November 4, 2009 LITTLE ROCK (AP) — A telephone program that helped link callers to social service programs in the state is being shut down because of a lack of funding.The Arkansas 211 phone program will be suspended this week.United Way of Arkansas State Association chairman John Nazzaro says he doesn’t know if the closing of the program will be permanent — but he anticipates it will be.The service allowed residents to dial 211 to get help with social service referrals.

Library board to meet

November 4, 2009 The Independence County Library board will meet at 2 p.m. on Thursday for its monthly meeting to discuss library activities, director Debra Sutterfield said.The board will meet in the second-floor courtroom of the Independence County Courthouse. Meetings are open to the public.

Driving tests changes

November 4, 2009 There will be no written driver’s tests given after 2 p.m. Thursday in Batesville and there will be no written or road tests given on Nov. 10. For information on other locations where tests are given, call the Arkansas State Police headquarters in Newport at (870) 523-2701.

Pediatrician joins clinic

November 4, 2009 Dr. Nelson Obikwu has joined the medical staff at White River Medical Center and The Children’s Clinic in Batesville, according to a news release.Obikwu received his medical degree from the University of Benin, Nigeria and pediatric residency training with the University of West Indies, Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex, Trinidad and Tobago. He also completed residency training at New York Medical College Metropolitan Hospital. He is a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Activity made fun with cardboard cars

November 4, 2009 Wrapping clear masking tape around four paper towel tubes, Rachel Brown admits she’s never built a cardboard car before. But on Monday night she wouldn’t have missed the opportunity with her son, 5-year-old Jacob Brown. “I have never done anything like this. ...” Brown said, laughing while taping the tubes, or “grill,” to the front of Jacob’s cardboard truck at “Drive-In with Dads, Movies with Moms” at the Batesville Early Learning and Enrichment Center.

Local doctor is also Air Force Reservist

November 4, 2009 For Batesville physician Dr. Mike Orlando, the U.S. Air Force offered more than military service. Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio was the training ground for his military and medical career. Today as an Air Force Reservist, Orlando uses his experience to train the next generation of military physicians.

Fire destroys home

November 4, 2009 SALADO — Misty Dockins and her daughter Tristyn, 2, were raking leaves at their Salado home Tuesday morning, until Dockins went inside and saw smoke coming from the kitchen/laundry area.Running back outside to make sure her daughter was safe, Dockins called 911 and waited anxiously for the Southside Fire Department to arrive at her home on Sherrill Drive.The department responded with three trucks, one of which was a 2,000 gallon water tanker truck and 11 firefighters as flames began to eat through an outer wall and dense smoke poured out of the attic.

News of Other Days

November 3, 2009 Editor’s note: This column ran previously in the Guard on Nov. 14, 1996.