Three children die in fire

February 20, 2009 MADISON (AP) — Three children died early today in a house fire in eastern Arkansas, though the mother was able to rescue an infant sibling from the flames.The four-bedroom brick home was fully engulfed when emergency responders arrived, Madison Police Chief Jonathan Parks said.Parks said the baby is 6 months old. The ages of the children who died was 13, 10 and 4.“All of them, I knew well,” Parks said. “It’s a small community.”

School board wants to downsize

February 19, 2009 CONCORD — The Concord School Board will meet at 7 p.m. Monday in the high school library to consider reducing the number of board members from seven to five beginning with the 2009-10 term, Superintendent Mike Davidson said.Local boards do not have the authority to do that for themselves, but they can vote to petition the state Department of Education to allow the reduction.The directors will also consider renewing administrators’ contracts and consider revising the 2008-09 school calendar.

Service News

February 19, 2009 Maj. Marcus Bowers was promoted by Presidential Order to lieutenant colonel in the United States Marine Corps Reserve on Feb. 1, according to a news release.Lt. Gen. Keith J. Stalder, commander U.S. Marine Corps Forces Pacific, promoted Bowers in a ceremony aboard the battleship USS Missouri at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on Feb. 5. In attendance were over 100 military staff, friends and family members, including Bowers’ wife, Aida; children, Connor and Sara; and father, Marcus Bowers Sr., of Batesville.

Two arrested for marijuana

February 19, 2009 ASH FLAT — Two men were arrested following a search of a home at 26 Gale St., just north of Cave City, on Wednesday, Sharp County Sheriff Dale Weaver said.“Officers located approximately 1 pound of marijuana and drug paraphernalia,” Weaver said.Arrested were 26-year-old Nicholas Rodriquez and 28-year-old Gavin Lovrien.Formal charges are expected to be filed on both men for possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver and possession with intent to use drug paraphernalia.

Charges filed in check forgery case

February 19, 2009 Bond has been set at $50,000 for a Batesville man accused of trying to cash a check on a closed account at the drive-through window of a local bank, according to a court affidavit filed by Independence County Sheriff’s Lt. Brenda Bittle.Bittle said employees of the bank called police when 37-year-old Fred Owen Hicks presented the check and a teller discovered the check was on a closed account.

Midland recommended for full accreditation

February 19, 2009 PLEASANT PLAINS — The Midland School District recently was monitored by an AdvancED Team for accreditation purposes on a national level. The group encompasses North Central Accreditation and the Southern Colleges Association.The team, which was led by Billy Folkes, a retired professor from Southern Mississippi University, was “very pleased by the progress that the district has made,” according to a news release. Noting good Benchmark test scores and visionary leadership as strengths, the team has recommended the status of full AdvancED accreditation.

Death believed from natural causes

February 19, 2009 The death of a 60-year-old Desha man is believed to be from natural causes, according to a report filed with the Independence County Sheriff’s Office.Judy Mashburn, of 280 Brushy Road, told Deputy Randy Sharp that her husband, Paul Owen Mashburn, had been sick several weeks before he took a turn for the worse early this morning.According to Judy Mashburn, her husband had been to the doctor several months ago for bronchitis and had used a prescription drug at that time.

Moorefield supports tax

February 19, 2009 Moorefield — The Moorefield City Council voted Monday evening to support the sewer tax proposed by Batesville to upgrade their sewer system. “The city of Batesville and all of Independence County are tied together,” Moorefield Mayor Randy Nash said. “Without this sewer system upgrade we will not be able to attract new industry. New industry means more jobs. And a rate increase will only make the problem worse by placing pressure on companies already in our area. So, I see the tax to support the bond issue as the only option to address this problem.”

Family history workshop set

February 19, 2009 HOT SPRINGS VILLAGE — The Hot Springs Village Genealogical Society will host a Spring Family History Workshop from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. March 21 at the Coronado Center in Hot Springs Village. Michael John Neill, a recognized genealogical expert, author and speaker, will be presenting an all-day seminar of “Genealogical Problem Solving” to include the following topics: Researching the Entire Family; Problem Solving Applied to Genealogy; I Found it; Now what?; Tried and Tested Tidbits.

Sheriff: Body found identified as missing boy

February 19, 2009 LITTLE ROCK (AP) — Searchers on Wednesday found the body of a 3-year-old Chidester boy missing for more than a week, only a few hundred yards down the shoreline from where his mother kept an anxious vigil on White Oak Lake.Ouachita County Sheriff David Norwood told The Associated Press that rescuers found the body of Dominick Arceneaux, barefoot and clad in blue jean shorts, floating in the water around 11:45 a.m. Dominick’s body rested on the water only 10 feet from the shore, Norwood said.