Desha death ruled suicide

June 22, 2009 The weekend death of a 34-year-old Desha man has been ruled a suicide, according to the Independence County Sheriff’s Office.Deputy Shawn Stephens said he was dispatched to the home of Rodney Melton at 60 Dishongh St., just before 9 Friday night where Melton’s father, Dean Melton, reported finding his son’s body hanging in a bathroom of the home.According to Stephens, Dean Melton and Jerry Sandefur had gone to the home to check  on Rodney Melton and weren’t able to get in.

Judsonia teen drowns

June 22, 2009 HEBER SPRINGS — At approximately 11 a.m. Friday, Cleburne County deputies were dispatched to a possible drowning in the “trouble island” area of Dam Site Park on Greers Ferry Lake, Sheriff Marty Moss said in a news release.When the deputies arrived, 14-year-old Bill Miller Horton of Judsonia had been brought to shore and cardiopulmonary resuscitation was in progress, Moss said.“Horton was transported to Baptist Medical Center where attempts to revive him were unsuccessful.

Third arrest made in CR burglaries

June 22, 2009 MELBOURNE — A third suspect has been arrested in three May burglaries and one attempted burglary of businesses in Calico Rock. Arrested Thursday was Jeff Shankle, 22 of Batesville who had been wanted for questioning shortly after the crimes occurred. Sheriff Tate Lawrence said at the time of these crimes Shankle was wanted on a Department of Correction absconder warrant and was located in Missouri.

‘Mr. Whitt’ retires

June 22, 2009 SOUTHSIDE — Bill Whittington of Southside retired this year from 30 years of music education and administration.Known as “Mr. Whitt,” he was a choral director and band director at Southside High School for 20 years. He was an administrator at Evening Shade School. He taught band at Newark High School and finished his last year at Cushman High School this year.He has led singing at North Heights Church of Christ for 30 years and owned Whittington’s Home Furnishings for five years.

Book signing scheduled

June 22, 2009 Former Lyon College associate director of public relations Jason A. Marzewski will be at the Mabee-Simpson Library on the Lyon College campus at 10 a.m. Wednesday for a book reading and signing of his new children’s book “Toad Meets His Forever-Friend.” He will also appear at the Paper Chase Book Store at 136 W. Main St. in Batesville at 2 p.m. Wednesday. Both events are sponsored by the Friends of the Library at Lyon College.

Inmate walks

June 22, 2009 An Independence County jail inmate has walked away from a work detail and is still at large, according to the sheriff’s office.Aaron Lee Kelley, 26, of 1540 N. State St., Batesville, was working at Oaklawn Cemetery Saturday when around 9 a.m. he asked a worker to take him to the shop building to use the bathroom. Kelley never returned, and officials searched the area and concluded a person may have walked from the back of the shop through the grass toward the Med Aesthetics building at 1500 Lawrence St.

Power failure alerts family to fire

June 22, 2009 Trey and Trevor Clark were watching TV early this morning when the power went off. The brothers went looking for a fuse box only to discover a fire in the ceiling of their home.Dawn Clark said that around 12:20 a.m. she and her 10-year-old daughter, Lexus, were asleep while her sons, Trey, 13, and Trevor, 12, were watching TV at their home at 1178 E. Main St.“The power went off and they came and woke me up, and I told them it was probably a circuit breaker thrown,” Clark said, as she stood across the street from her home watching firefighters battle the blaze.

Stabbing reported

June 22, 2009 A Batesville man will be facing charges after he allegedly stabbed his mother’s boyfriend in the chest Saturday, according to the Independence County Sheriff’s Office.Deputy Dale Jackson said he was dispatched to 121 Green Lane around 5:40 p.m., and upon his arrival he saw a man sitting in the doorway with a woman standing over him.The man was identified as Oscar Royer and he was bleeding from the center of chest and his left thumb.

College Briefs

June 19, 2009 Wood earns degreeBIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Mary Scott Wood of Batesville received a bachelor of science from Samford University in Birmingham, Ala., during May commencement programs.The university graduated 800 seniors from 29 states and nine foreign nations. 

News of other days

June 19, 2009 Editor’s note: This column ran previously in the Guard on July 2, 1996.