Prison inmate found dead

June 12, 2009 TUCKER (AP) — An inmate at the state prison system’s Tucker Unit who was found hanging in his cell has died.Prisons spokeswoman Dina Tyler says guards found 48-year-old Jessie Garcia unresponsive inside a single-man cell at 7:20 a.m. Friday. Tyler says Garcia apparently wrapped cloth around his neck and through bars on his cell door, then sat down.Tyler says guards saw Garcia awake and talking around 7 a.m. She says Garcia had not threatened suicide, but suffered from seizures and mental illness and went to the prison’s infirmary Thursday night.

Southside honors Foley, approves projects

June 12, 2009 SOUTHSIDE — Southside Middle School Principal Joe Franks has resigned as principal but will continue with the district, following a board meeting Monday night.After a short executive session, the board voted to accept a letter of resignation/request for reassignment, effective June 30. Franks has requested reassignment as a classroom teacher.The board also recognized Superintendent Dan Foley for his 20 years of service to the district and presented him with a plaque and a gas grill. Foley is retiring June 30.

Hitting squirrel trap leads to jail time

June 12, 2009 When Tony Lee McComb allegedly hit Orville Elumbaugh’s homemade squirrel trap, maybe he shouldn’t have done it when Elumbaugh wasn’t home, and maybe he shouldn’t have used a bicycle as a getaway vehicle.

Family & Friends Briefs

June 12, 2009 Rosie to have homecomingROSIE — Rosie Baptist Church will have its homecoming services at 11 a.m. Sunday.A potluck will follow the service. Williams to be honored for birthdayFLORAL — Aileen Williams will celebrate her 80th birthday with a drop-in reception from 2 to 5 p.m. at her home, located at 3660 Camp Tahkodah Road in Floral.All friends and family are invited. Theme set for county fair

Area Briefs

June 12, 2009 New church to hold servicesBeginning on Sunday, Second Chance Full Gospel Church will be having services.Sunday school starts at 10 a.m., followed by worship service at 11. Wednesday Bible study is at 7 p.m.Pastors are Jonathan Martin of Sulphur Rock and Rick Womack of Newark. They said everyone is welcome.The church is the site of the Old Country Church on Griffin Road, just off Indian Springs Road, between Batesville and Gainesboro.For more information, call (870) 291-2929. 

Man who pointed gun at woman faces charges

June 12, 2009 A Newport man who pointed a gun at his girlfriend’s cousin is now facing charges in Independence County.Jarell D. Hampton of 805 Garfield St., Newport, has been charged with possession of a firearm by a certain persons, a class B felony; aggravated assault, a class D felony; and third-degree domestic battery, a class A misdemeanor.

Council considers apartments near Big Pine

June 12, 2009 A plan to build some apartments in east Batesville has drawn fire from those in a neighboring subdivision.Tuesday night, the Batesville City Council considered an ordinance rezoning property in the Holmes Subdivision from residential-1 to commercial-2, as requested by Brandon Holmes and Nathan Higginbottom.The planning commission met June 1 and held a public hearing on the rezone request. The commission voted 4-2, with commissioners Ken Smith, Steven Lewis, Nina Womack and Brian Langston voting in favor and Mike Fagan and Ronnie Hampton voted against.

Free fishing weekend announced

June 12, 2009 MOUNTAIN HOME — Youth can fish for free and for great prizes on Saturday at the Kids Fishing Derby at Quarry Park across from the Norfork National Fish Hatchery below Norfork Dam in Mountain Home. The derby is open to children under the age of 16. Participants should bring their own fishing gear and be on site to register at 8 a.m. Fishing will start at 9. Prizes will be awarded in each age division. There will be special prizes for biggest fish and most fish caught. The derby will end about noon and lunch will be provided.

Progress continues on farmer’s market

June 12, 2009 Most Saturdays, you’ll find Shirley Weaver at the Batesville Farmer’s Market. Same with Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays — the only days the farmer’s market is open.Being open only four days a week may be something of a hindrance for customers who were perusing the selections at the Weaver’s Produce stand. Within the space of about 10 minutes, four people were there looking for tomatoes. Weaver doesn’t have any yet, but she said it won’t be long before they start getting green tomatoes, with the ripe ones to follow.

Two cases of swine flu reported

June 12, 2009 The Arkansas Center for Disease and Control now has 14 confirmed cases of swine flu and two of those are in Independence County.Ed Barham, public information officer with the state health department in Little Rock, said he had just spoken with Independence County Health Administrator Sonia Nix, but had no specifics.The World Health Organization declared a swine flu pandemic Thursday — moving it to the agency’s highest alert  — level 6.