Stoplights to change to flashing lights

July 23, 2009 Two stoplights in downtown Batesville may be seeing their last days, which could make several citizens happy, judging by the amount of comments directed to city hall.Mayor Rick Elumbaugh said at Tuesday night’s city council meeting that since he’s been in office, he’s heard several requests and questions from citizens and the council about stoplights on Main Street at the intersections with Third and Fourth streets.

Area Briefs

July 23, 2009 Benefits set for Strawberry manSTRAWBERRY — Two events are upcoming that will benefit Charles Duncan of Strawberry, according to Terri Mitts.A fish fry will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday at Spanky’s in Elgin. The cost is $5 per plate.The Movin’ Country Band will perform from 8 p.m. to midnight Saturday at Spanky’s. Cover charge is $5 per person.All proceeds from the two events will go to pay Duncan’s medical expenses and other bills. Lake Charles State Park to host programs

Fair first for some, many for others

July 23, 2009 There’s a first time for everything.For 10-month-old Khaelar AudaBelle Worley three of those firsts came Wednesday during the Independence County Fair.It’s her first fair, her first funnel cake and her first time to ride the carousel, said Michelle Cox, her grandmother, while sitting outside the educational booth, taking a break from the festivities before sunset.For Cox, the Independence County Fair has been an annual event for more than 20 years, something she’s enjoyed bringing her four children to, and now, her first grandchild.

Boy’s death determined accidental

July 23, 2009 WALNUT RIDGE — A boy who would have celebrated his 12th birthday today died Sunday of an accidentally self-inflicted gunshot from what he thought was a toy gun, investigators with the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department have determined.Jace Freeman of rural Smithville was shot near his right temple about 7:30 p.m. Saturday while playing with his 13-year-old brother, Dyllon, in their great-grandmother’s yard. The home is in the Jesup community.

Council gives nod for system

July 23, 2009 Independence County’s tornado sirens are old, outdated and obsolete, so officials are looking at a new way to alert citizens not only to serious weather but other emergencies as well.Tuesday night, Batesville 911 Dispatch Supervisor Joy Wilson and Independence County Office of Emergency Management Director Glen Willis presented a program on AlertXpress, a high speed notification solution used by the Arkansas Crime Information Center and other government agencies.

Boy’s death determined accidental

July 23, 2009 WALNUT RIDGE — A boy who would have celebrated his 12th birthday today died Sunday of an accidentally self-inflicted gunshot from what he thought was a toy gun, investigators with the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department have determined.Jace Freeman of rural Smithville was shot near his right temple about 7:30 p.m. Saturday while playing with his 13-year-old brother, Dyllon, in their great-grandmother’s yard. The home is in the Jesup community.

Familiar face, visitor wins PJ 5K titles

July 22, 2009 Familiar and not-so-familiar faces led the way at the PJ 5K Friday night.Emily Carroll won the women’s division at the annual benefit for cancer research. The senior-to-be at Melbourne High School, a consistent winner in road races and in high school cross country and track and field meets, finished the 5-kilometer course in 20 minutes, 19.62 seconds.Jesse Littlefield, a visitor from Bonita Springs, Fla., won the men’s division in 18:05.87.The race starts and finishes in front of Eagle Mountain Magnet.

News of other days

July 22, 2009 Editor’s note: This column ran previously in the Guard on Aug. 2, 1996.

Heavy rains close roads

July 22, 2009 Flash flood warnings from the National Weather Service were dead-on Tuesday night.Glen Willis, coordinator for the Independence County Office of Emergency Management, said he had received reports from across the county that from 4 to 5 inches of rain fell throughout the day.He also said there were 25-30 flash flood spots across the county that required roads to be closed temporarily.“From about 6 to 10:30 p.m. was a pretty rough time,” Willis said.

Board races develop

July 22, 2009 While incumbent Deborah Frazier will hold onto her Position 1 spot on the Midland School Board, James Brandon Bowren will challenge incumbent James Grider for Position 2, making it the only school board race to develop in Independence County as of Friday’s noon deadline. Both positions carry four-year terms. Write-in candidates had until noon today  to file, County Clerk Karen Wooldridge said.At Southside, Vonda Crowl has filed for an at-large, five-year term position to replace board member Gary Mize.