Friends say goodbye

February 1, 2010 Henry Sandy had spent a good portion of his life on a fire truck. This morning he made his last trip.Friends, family and members of various fire departments gathered at 10 a.m. today to remember Sandy, who died last week while on a fire call.On Tuesday afternoon the 10-year veteran of the Northside Volunteer Fire Department responded to a 911 call about a mobile home fire on East Main Street in Batesville. Sandy was the first to respond and had been on the scene about 20 minutes when he suffered a heart attack.

IRS has new deductions, credits for 2009 taxes

January 29, 2010 WASHINGTON (AP) — More forms to file. New and expanded credits and deductions.When taxpayers sit down to file their 2009 returns, they will find plenty new — some the result of adjusting for inflation, and others changes passed by Congress last year to try to bring the country out of recession.“Depending on their individual situation, there could be good news and there could be bad news,” said Amy McAnarney, executive director of the Tax Institute at H&R Block.

Beebe declares emergency; snow closures mount

January 29, 2010 LITTLE ROCK (AP) — Snow, sleet and freezing rain brought the northern half of Arkansas to a near halt today, leading Gov. Mike Beebe to declare an emergency as most people stayed home to wait out the storm.Roads started freezing as a winter storm built across the state Thursday night. By this morning, roads were slick from De Queen in the southwest to Piggott in the far northeast. Roads in Little Rock were navigable during what would have been rush hour, but with the forecast calling for more wintry precipitation and frozen roads, schools and offices closed across the region.

A-State presents diplomas at fall graduation

January 29, 2010 JONESBORO — Diplomas were awarded to 879 graduates during fall 2009 commencement ceremonies for Arkansas State University-Jonesboro Dec. 19 in the Convocation Center.Graduates include:Ash Flat — Stewart Smart, bachelor, physical education; Stephanie Smith, bachelor, radiologic sciences;

Illegal resident is charged

January 29, 2010 Saying she was brought to the U.S. from Mexico by a “coyote,” a Batesville woman has been charged with non-financial identity theft, a class D felony.In an affidavit filed with the Independence County judicial system, Independence County Sheriff’s Detective Sgt. Brent Everett said that on Jan. 21 he was contacted by White County Detective Gary Cade regarding the theft and use of a White County woman’s Social Security number.Faith Cham told Cade that she went to file for food stamps and learned that her Social Security number was being used by someone working in Batesville.

State’s elk harvest up from 2008

January 29, 2010 LITTLE ROCK — Arkansas’s 2009 elk harvest was up five animals from last year’s season. During last week’s short meeting of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, commissioners were provided a harvest report on the state’s recent elk season. Elk biologist Cory Gray reported that 21 elk were harvested during the state’s three seasons. In 2008, only 16 elk were harvested in Arkansas. On public lands this year, 16 elk were taken. Five elk were taken during the private land hunts.

Ammunition: Is it the new gold?

January 29, 2010 A recent trip to the sporting goods store to purchase some ammo nearly cost me a trip to the local emergency room. I was surprised that I was having difficulty finding and affording traditionally popular ammo such as .22 caliber, 12 gauge, 20 gauge, .243 and .30-06 shells. I  normally find these calibers even at most mom and pop stores.

What’s in author J.D. Salinger’s safe?

January 29, 2010 NEW YORK — So what about the safe?The death this week of J.D. Salinger ends one of literature’s most mysterious lives and intensifies one of its greatest mysteries: Was the author of “The Catcher in the Rye” keeping a stack of finished, unpublished manuscripts in a safe in his house in Cornish, N.H.? Are they masterpieces, curiosities or random scribbles?And if there are publishable works, will the author’s estate release them?The Salinger camp isn’t talking.No comment, says his literary representative, Phyllis Westberg, of Harold Ober Associates Inc.

Energy efficiency may lower taxes

January 29, 2010 WASHINGTON (AP) — Making energy efficient improvements to your home will do more than reduce your energy costs — they’ll also reduce your tax bill.The tax credit for energy-efficient windows or doors, air conditioners or furnaces, or other energy-saving improvements disappeared in 2008, but returned for 2009 and 2010 — at an even higher value. This is one case where procrastination paid off.

Libertarians to get together

January 29, 2010 JONESBORO — The Arkansas Libertarian Party 1st Congressional District meeting will be at 2 p.m. Feb. 6 at The Edge Coffee House, 1900 Aggie Rd., Jonesboro.One does not have to be a member of the Libertarian Party to attend. For more information contact Rodger Paxton at (901) 213-7651 or visit www.lpar.org.