Area Briefs

February 17, 2009 MELBOURNE — The Izard County Sheriff’s Department continues to work on locating cemetery headstones that disappeared some weeks ago from a cemetery near Knob Creek, according to Sheriff Tate Lawrence. The Pauper’s Cemetery was cleaned and headstones were constructed and put up in the small cemetery by the local cemetery association. Lawrence said the association has worked many cemeteries in the county, identifying unmarked graves, casting the headstones and erecting them. Lawrence said that shortly after the headstones were erected, they disappeared.

Next two ‘Habitat’ families announced

February 17, 2009 To some, a doorbell might not seem like much.But for Dale and Tabitha Leigel, it means more than words can say.Next month, Independence County’s first Habitat for Humanity family will move into the house that has taken 52 weekends and more than 2,000 hours to build.It’s a house they can call their own after years of renting.At Habitat for Humanity’s “Home Is Where The Heart Is” benefit banquet Saturday night, Tabitha said it was “heart” and a lot of it that went into the building of their new house.

Arrest made on gun theft

February 17, 2009 MELBOURNE — Following the Friday night disappearance of a handgun inside a Melbourne apartment, Dustin Baird, 21, of Melbourne was arrested with formal charges of theft pending. Baird, according to Sheriff Tate Lawrence, was granted permission to enter the apartment under some pretense and when he left the apartment the handgun was missing. The sheriff’s department has recovered the handgun at another residence. Charges of theft by receiving and being a felon in possession of a gun are pending against the occupant of the other residence.

Two theft cases solved

February 17, 2009 MELBOURNE — Two theft cases in Izard County were recently solved and warrants have been issued for Donald Wayne Walker, 54, of Hickory Ridge.According to Izard County Sheriff Tate Lawrence, his department received a theft report of a Kawasaki all-terrain vehicle, a shotgun, trailer and a deer target in August of 2007. The theft occurred at the vacation home of Rene Julian on Jumbo Road.

Area Briefs

February 17, 2009 A Valentine’s Day break-up with his girlfriend apparently led to the suicide death of a 30-year-old Independence County man, according to the Independence County Sheriff’s Office.Deputy Kirk Green said the body of Phillip R. Prickett was found just before noon Saturday in the garage of a residence at 2710 Camp Tahkodah Road that he had been sharing with 24-year-old Amanda C. Stark.Green said upon his arrival at the residence, Stark told him that she and Prickett had decided to end their relationship and he had been packing his belongings to leave.

Area Briefs

February 17, 2009 There were no signs of forced entry into the bookstore at Lyon College where $415 turned up missing from a cash register over the weekend, according to Independence County authorities.Deputy Randy Jones said he spoke with college security officer Wally Hightower around 8 a.m. Monday and learned that someone had gotten into the bookstore and taken money from a locked cash register.According to Hightower, a door to a loading dock that leads into a bookstore workroom was found open and showed no signs of forced entry.

Area Briefs

February 17, 2009 ZION — The Zion Volunteer Fire Department will host an open house and appreciation chili supper at 3 p.m. Saturday. The buildings that were destroyed in the February 2008 tornado have been rebuilt, and this event has been planned to show appreciation to the community and to all who had any part in the rebuilding efforts, according to a news release. Several people donated time, money and equipment; many of those volunteers were from other fire departments, the release sates. For more information, call (870) 368-7509 or 368-7653.

Area Briefs

February 17, 2009 PLEASANT PLAINS — Independence County residents living in the Pleasant Plains Fire District will pay their fire dues with their 2009 property taxes, Fire Chief Stacey Caplener said.White County and Jackson County residents living in the Pleasant Plains Fire District will receive notices of their dues in mailouts like in previous years, he said.Fire dues for 2009 are $35.

Thornton announces retirement at FNBC

February 17, 2009 ASH FLAT — After 20 years of leading First National Banking Company’s lending division, John Thornton recently announced his retirement as a full-time employee, said Clark Sanders, director of marketing.Thornton plans to work part-time for FNBC this year, said FNBC Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Martin Carpenter. “We’re excited for John. He will be relocating to be close to his family in Northwest Arkansas. He will continue to work for FNBC on a part-time basis during 2009 to help transition to his successor.”

Area Briefs

February 17, 2009 CAVE CITY — The Cave City School Board will meet at 7 p.m. Monday in the Cave City Elementary Library for expulsion hearings for three middle school students, Superintendent Steven Green said.The students are boys. Two are in the seventh grade and one is an eighth-grader.The situation is drug-related.After the hearings, the board will discuss a certified employee’s position and administrative contracts during a personnel session.The directors will also consider a proposed 2009-10 school calendar.A monthly financial report completes the agenda.