Hoarding mental disorder gets spotlight

December 10, 2009 JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — For years, no one on Crest Drive paid much attention to the little white house with pink trim.The front yard was overgrown with shrubs and three cars sat motionless in the driveway. Neighbors on the quiet street knew that the owner, a retired psychologist named Carina DeOcampo, was an odd, private person; even her family would leave bags of food on the front steps, then quickly drive away.

Deen lists tips for entertaining on budget

December 10, 2009 TV cooking star Paula Deen’s holiday dishes may be rich, but they’re not costly to prepare.Her Southern-style comfort food — down-home and traditional — is a natural fit for the season too. It works out for anyone on a budget who’s throwing a party for friends and family in coming weeks.“I’ve always referred to my food as very humble food,” said Deen, who hosts “Paula’s Home Cooking” on Food Network. “It’s not packed with expensive things to dress it up.”

Letters to Santa aren’t all about toys or manners

December 10, 2009 SCRANTON, Pa. — A microscope. A new puppy. A mother. And absolutely, positively NO CLOTHES.From the humorous to the heart-wrenching, children’s wish lists to Santa reveal that children aren’t as toy-centric as parents think — and that they’re not as polite as perhaps they should be.Carole Slotterback, a psychology professor at the University of Scranton, analyzed nearly 1,200 letters sent between 1998 and 2003 to the central post office in Scranton, a struggling former coal city in northeastern Pennsylvania.

News of Other Days

December 10, 2009 Editor’s note: This column ran previously in the Guard on Dec. 26, 1996. 

Frigid temps follow snow in Midwest

December 10, 2009 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Frigid temperatures iced the Upper Midwest as a storm that dumped more than a foot of snow in several states from Iowa to New England threatened another round today as it neared the end of its cross-country trek.Commuters from Des Moines to Chicago were warned of morning temperatures reaching 10 degrees at best and icy roads. Wind chill values could dip as low as negative 25 in parts of Wisconsin, Iowa and Illinois, according to the National Weather Service.

End of the ’00s

December 10, 2009 Katrina natural disaster, just made worse by man 

Solar power coming soon to U.S. retailers

December 10, 2009 NEW YORK (AP) — Solar technology is going where it has never gone before: onto the shelves at retail stores where do-it-yourselfers can now plunk a panel into a shopping cart and bring it home to install.Lowe’s has begun stocking solar panels at its California stores and plans to roll them out across the country next year.This shows how far the highest of the high-tech alternative energy technologies has come. Solar power is now accessible to anyone with a ladder, a power drill, and the gumption to climb up on a roof and install the panels themselves.

Bond set at $100k for gun possession

December 10, 2009 Bond has been set at $100,000 for a man arrested following a traffic accident Nov. 23. The high bond is the result of him being charged as a felon in possession of a firearm, a class B felony.The charge was made in an affidavit filed with the Independence County Circuit Court Clerk’s Office by Independence County Detective Rob Leonard.Leonard said that Deputy Randy Sharp responded to a call of a possible drunk driver who had ran off the road and become stuck in a ditch on Allen Road.

Craighead District Court fees found illegal

December 10, 2009 JONESBORO (AP) — A Craighead County circuit court judge has ruled that some fees assessed by a district court judge are illegal.The county and eight cities now face repaying former defendants the $35 fees that were assessed when the defendant’s changed their plea from not guilty to guilty.Circuit Judge Randy Philhours said in an opinion Tuesday that the fees by District Judge Keith Blackman are “indefensible” and “clearly and grossly improper.”Blackman declined comment.

Be a Santa to a Senior program to hold wrapping party

December 10, 2009 The “Be a Santa to a Senior” program has extended the date for collecting Christmas presents, announced Clay Talley, franchise owner with Home Instead Senior Care in Mountain Home.Anyone who has picked up an ornament may bring gifts to the wrapping party at 7 p.m. Monday at Rolling Hills Nursing Home, or contact Home Instead at (870) 425-0700 or 1-877-425-9071. Rolling Hills will provide refreshments and entertainment for the wrapping party. To help deliver gifts before Christmas, call Talley at the numbers listed above.