Lab asked to rule on farmer’s death

November 18, 2009 Police say the death of a Magness man Sunday afternoon was probably from natural causes, but they are asking the state crime lab to determine the exact cause of death.The body of 58-year-old Denver Hightower of 27 Gleghorn Chapel Road was found slumped over his tractor by a neighbor, Catherine Griffith, around 5 p.m., according to Independence County Deputy Michael Calendar.Hightower was reportedly found slumped over between the flipped up tractor seat and the backhoe attachment and was unresponsive to police officers.

Great American Smokeout gives smokers reason to quit

November 18, 2009 LITTLE ROCK — Stamp Out Smoking encourages tobacco users to participate in the Great American Smokeout on Thursday. The event is a national cessation day held every year by the American Cancer Society to raise awareness of the dangers of tobacco and to help tobacco users quit, for at least one day, with the hope that they will quit for good, according to a news release.

Single’s ministry to meet

November 18, 2009 Matthew 6:33 single’s ministry will meet at 6:33 p.m. Saturday at First Community Bank in George Rider Community Room, 1325 Harrison St., Batesville.The event is open to all Christian singles age 21 and over. This will be a Thanksgiving potluck meeting (snack foods) followed by a short devotion and then game time.For more information, call group leaders Glen McKay at (870) 530-1044 or Rhonda McKay at (870) 761-8353.

Nominations sought

November 18, 2009 LITTLE ROCK — The Arkansas Arts Council is now seeking nominations for the 2010 Arkansas Living Treasure. Deadline for nominations is Dec. 11.The Arkansas Living Treasure designation is presented annually to recognize an Arkansan who is outstanding in the creation of a traditional craft and has significantly contributed to the preservation of the art form. Nominations of artists who work in traditional craft forms such as pottery, weaving, broom making, leatherworking, metalsmithing and wood carving are encouraged.

Bus tour to be in town

November 18, 2009 Hands Off My Health Care bus tour will arrive in Batesville at 10:30 a.m. Friday at Riverside Park.Featured speakers will be Jim Martin, Shawn Danko and Dr. Kathy Chenault, who will provide information and petitions to sign stating opposition to a government-run health care system for all citizens.The tour, which will also stop at Heber Springs, Mountain View and other Arkansas towns, is sponsored by Americans for Prosperity and Patients First.For more information visit

Cemetery managers, landowner dispute property line

November 18, 2009 SEARCY (AP) — The managers of a small cemetery in the White County community of Gravel Hill west of Searcy are at odds with the owner of adjacent land.Landowner Carthel Hodges says a survey found the property line is about 30 feet east of a barbed wire fence that’s marked the line with Gray Cemetery for years. Work on a new fence has left tire tracks on some graves and apparently would run across others while separating about two dozen more graves from the rest of the cemetery.

Taser used on 10-year-old girl

November 18, 2009 OZARK (AP) — Ozark Police Chief Jim Noggle says one of his officers used a Taser on a 10-year-old girl who was combative when the officer tried to get the girl into a patrol car to be taken to a youth shelter.Noggle said Tuesday that officer Dustin Bradshaw went to the girl’s home after her mother called police.According to a report filed by Bradshaw on Thursday, the officer found the girl on the floor of the house screaming and crying. She refused to follow her mother’s instructions and the mother told Bradshaw to use his Taser.

Drug recognition testing comes to area

November 18, 2009 When law officers or juvenile court authorities suspect someone is impaired, several field tests are available to determine if alcohol is involved. If a person fails those field tests, he or she can be taken into custody and transported to jail for more sophisticated tests.“With alcohol, you can do field tests, but if it’s drugs and the person is obviously impaired, it’s hard to make it (an arrest or charge) stick in court,” said Robert Hutchison, director of court liaison for Health Resources of Arkansas.

Police enforcing ‘Click It or Ticket’ beginning Monday

November 18, 2009 LITTLE ROCK — Arkansas state and local law enforcement officers are hopeful for a fatality free Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Once again the officers will participate in the Click It or Ticket enforcement initiative to remind drivers and motor vehicle passengers to buckle up whether it’s a trip to the grocery store or going across state to visit family.

Gym fate in hands of public

November 18, 2009 With more than $20,000 needed to repair the roof of the old Desha gymnasium and $10,000 to maintain its utilities, the Batesville School District is putting the building’s fate in the hands of the public. The Batesville School Board agreed Monday night to consider offers from any individuals or groups who would like to take over the financial responsibilities and upkeep of the gym.