Judge handling W. Memphis slayings case won’t quit

August 11, 2009 JONESBORO (AP) — Lawyers for two of the three men convicted of killing three West Memphis 8-year-olds in 1993 asked Circuit Judge David Burnett to step aside from the case Monday, citing his announced plans to seek a state Senate seat.Burnett denied the motion.The judge is presiding over a hearing on claims by Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley that they weren’t adequately represented by their trial attorneys.

Guard to host open house Friday afternoon

August 11, 2009 The Batesville Daily Guard will host a Customer Appreciation Open House from 2 to 5 p.m. Friday at the newspaper office, 258 W. Main St. in downtown Batesville.Refreshments will be served.Also, the Guard is running a 15-percent off coupon in this Thursday’s Customer Appreciation special section.“This is our way to show our customers our thanks, and we hope everyone will stop by and visit with our staff,” said Pat Jones, general manager of the Batesville Daily Guard.———www.guardonline.com

Loyd appointed fire services coordinator

August 11, 2009 ASH FLAT — Dick Loyd of Center was appointed as Sharp County fire services coordinator during Monday’s regular quorum court meeting.The coordinator works with all fire departments in the county.Loyd, a retired businessman, said that as a retiree he has time to devote to the job, which is an unpaid position. He said he has taken firefighter training and first responder courses.One thing he plans to work on is to make sure that everyone is listed in their correct fire districts in the 911 emergency call system.

More students foster need for teachers

August 11, 2009 With more students expected to attend Batesville Schools this fall, Superintendent Ted Hall wants to be prepared when the school bell rings and the classroom doors open a week from Wednesday. In a unanimous vote during a special meeting Monday afternoon, the Batesville School Board agreed to hire five new certified teachers for the 2009-10 year. With students transferring under Freedom of Choice to attend Batesville and new kindergartners coming in, along with all the returning students, the additions will ensure a proportionate student to teacher ratio.

Mabry to head ICEDC

August 11, 2009 Monday evening marked another key development for Independence County with Ed Mabry selected to head the county’s Economic Development Commission.“We interviewed three potential candidates and eight applications,” Renee’ Martin said. Martin represented the ICEDC board of directors Monday and told the quorum court Mabry was their choice for director.“Ed really had the qualifications that we were looking for and experience,” Martin said, noting Mabry’s past positions and international experiences.

Flu shot clinic scheduled

August 11, 2009 PLEASANT PLAINS — Pleasant Plains will become the first city in Arkansas to hold a flu shot clinic, Mayor Rick Siler and the council announced Monday night.The flu clinic will be the same day and time as the one at the Independence County Fairgrounds — 8 a.m. Oct. 29. The Pleasant Plains clinic will be at the First United Methodist Church, 6101 Batesville Blvd., and it too will be drive-through.“Everything we do in Independence County is drive-through,” said Jim Reynolds, site manager with the Department of Health.

Creative Economy initiative receives national exposure

August 10, 2009 CALICO ROCK — The National Assembly of State Arts Agencies recently hosted a Web seminar entitled Arkansas’ Creative Economy: Creativity in The Natural State, during which the ongoing efforts of the North Central Arkansas Regional Economic Development (NCARED) sponsored Creative Economy team was highlighted, according to a news release.

Quorum court meets tonight

August 10, 2009 The Independence County Quorum court will meet this evening. On the agenda are six ordinances amending the annual budget and one resolution of appreciation. Also on the schedule for discussion are Hydroelectric Project Legal Fund, future highway infrastructure projects and the appointment of a director for the Economic Development Commission.The meeting will begin at 6 p.m. at the Jess B. Carpenter Building Juvenile Courtroom.

WRPDD to discuss funds

August 10, 2009 White River Planning and Development District has scheduled a meeting at 6 tonight at the Ramada Inn at 1325 N. St. Louis St. to discuss the disaster funds available from the Arkansas Economic Development Commission.The WRPDD is scheduled to receive approximately $3.4 million. At the meeting, various types of eligible projects, the number of applications a city or county can submit, and the amount of funds available will be discussed.

Aldermen to hear reports

August 10, 2009 OIL TROUGH — The Oil Trough City Council will meet at 7 tonight in the city hall to hear monthly departmental reports, Recorder-treasurer Amy Goyne said.A review of current bills completes the agenda.