Officials: Fires believed deliberate

December 23, 2008 Two simultaneous early morning fires are being investigated as acts of arson, according to Independence County Sheriff's Lt. Brenda Bittle. The Batesville Fire Department responded to a structure fire and a car fire at separate locations, but on the same block, around 4:45 this morning.

Horses arriving in Hot Springs; Oaklawn to open Jan. 19

December 22, 2008 HOT SPRINGS (AP) - Hundreds of horses have arrived at Oaklawn Park in advance of the Jan. 19 opening of the live thoroughbred racing. Oaklawn is making $20 million in improvements to make room for more electronic gambling machines. But those machines are intended to supplement the live thoroughbred racing, and the track is taking pains to make sure the work does not interfere with horsemen who are now training or racing patrons.

UALR women win 27th consecutive

December 22, 2008 LITTLE ROCK (AP) - Chastity Reed led all scorers with 27 points to help the University of Arkansas-Little Rock to a 65-47 victory over Arkansas State in Sun Belt Conference play Saturday. Marian Kursh added 15 points, Shanika Butler scored 12, career-highs for both players. With the win, the Trojans (9-2 overall, 1-0 Sun Belt Conference) extended their home winning streak to 27.

News of other days

December 22, 2008 Editor's note: This column ran previously in the Guard on Jan. 3, 1996. 73 YEARS AGO Mrs. Lula G. Parse, secretary of the United Charities, said today that 47 families in Batesville have no assurance of any Christmas cheer, and 25 of the number face starvation. Contributions to the charitable fund are coming in slowly, and Mrs. Parse has made a special appeal for more support.

90-year-old ’bootlegger’ fined in White County

December 22, 2008 BEEBE (AP) - Police hope a recent case against a 90-year-old "bootlegger" will send the message that selling alcohol without a license, especially to minors, won't be tolerated in Beebe. Police began an investigation after getting complaints from parents that a local man was selling liquor to their children. Parents claimed that 15- and 16-year-olds were buying beer, whiskey and gin from the man from his home, Police Chief Wayne Ballew said.

Town to vote on Sunday liquor sales

December 22, 2008 PYATT (AP) - Pyatt residents can purchase liquor in their town six days a week. In February, they will decide whether to add the seventh day. The Marion County Election Commission has authorized a Feb. 10 election on Sunday liquor sales in the tiny north Arkansas town. Currently, only one store, LJ's Liquor, would be affected by the proposal.

10 years later Hutchinson says he has no impeachment regrets

December 22, 2008 LITTLE ROCK (AP) - Ten years after he argued before the U.S. Senate that Bill Clinton should be turned out of office for lies he told in the Paula Jones sexual harassment case, Asa Hutchinson says he doesn't have any regrets for being one of House managers in the 1999 impeachment trial.

Letters to Santa

December 22, 2008 Dear Santa, I'm really looking forward to Christmas. I will try to make the German cookies when you come. Then I'll get a bag of carrots for the reindeer. Do you know my cat Smokey from last year? He will be glad to see you when you come.

Area Brief

December 22, 2008 Sharp JPs to meet tonight ASH FLAT - The Sharp County Quorum Court will meet at 6 tonight in the main courtroom in the county courthouse in Ash Flat to consider a "cleanup ordinance," County Judge Larry Brown said.

Sheriff reminds citizens: Don’t drink and drive

December 22, 2008 MELBOURNE - The Izard County Sheriff's Department, along with local Arkansas State Police officers has intensified their efforts during this holiday period to get drunk drivers off of the highways, county roads and streets of Izard County.