Family & Friends Briefs

July 13, 2009 Blanchard Springs schedules programs on plant topicsMOUNTAIN VIEW — Blanchard Springs Caverns offers summer interpretive activities at the Blanchard Springs Recreation Area, according to a news release. Activities include outdoor amphitheater programs presented at 8:30 p.m. on Wednesdays and Fridays, day and/or night programs on Thursdays, and guided walks at 9:30 a.m. on Saturdays. Most programs are held at or near the amphitheater, located near the picnic area at the base of Sandfield Bluff.

Area Briefs

July 13, 2009 Filmmaker in Arkansas for documentaryMOUNTAIN HOME (AP) — A California filmmaker recently came to Arkansas to film for his documentary on aquatic life in the Ozarks.Champ Williams says he hopes his film “Ozark Underwater” will be shown on the Arkansas Educational Television Network and other regional PBS stations.

Two hurt in ATV accident

July 13, 2009 ASH FLAT — Two teens seriously injured in a four-wheeler accident about 10:47 p.m. Friday near Wirth were moved out of the intensive care unit in a Springfield, Mo., hospital this morning, Sharp County Sheriff Dale Weaver said.“It’s good news,” he said. “I asked (a nurse) how they would be listed and she said ‘in fair condition.’”The 16-year-olds — Annie Marie Patterson of Gatlinburg, Tenn., and Autumn Baker of Marion — were visiting relatives in the area.

Fallen trees block Highway 14

July 13, 2009 State Highway 14 was blocked by fallen trees for almost three hours early Sunday before firefighters, highway department personnel, power company workers and others could get the road open again, reported Glen Willis, local Office of Emergency Management services director.High winds toppled the trees, some of which became entangled in power lines as they fell, about 1:30 a.m. Sunday, he said.“In front of Larry Shaw’s residence on Highway 14, two trees were blocking the road,” Willis said.

Independence County Fair still accepting pageant applications

July 13, 2009 The Independence County Fair will be July 21-25.The deadline for beauty contests and youth talent contests is Tuesday, organizers said.Citizens Bank will donate a $100 grand prize to the winner of each division in the youth talent competition. The divisions are: variety, vocal group, vocal solo, dance group, dance solo and instrumental solo. The winners in each division will receive a trophy and $25 for solo categories and $50 for group categories in addition to the grand prize money. Second- and third-place winners will receive a gold and silver medallion, respectively.

Von Alt captured near Cushman

July 13, 2009  By Tony McGuffeyGuard Staff WriterBryan D. Von Alt didn’t have a clue anyone else was around until a loud explosion erupted underneath the car he was working on Friday afternoon.When the smoke cleared Von Alt found himself surrounded by members of the Independence County Special Weapons and Tactics team and was taken into custody without incident, according to Independence County Sheriff’s Lt. Brenda Bittle.

Historical society to host talk about White River Monster

July 13, 2009 The Independence County Historical Society will meet at 2 p.m. Sunday at Josie’s at the Lockhouse. Guest speaker Robert Craig will share his research about the legendary White River monster.Josie’s is located at 50 Riverbank Road in Batesville. The program is free and open to the general public.

Guard wins General Excellence award for second time this year

July 13, 2009 ROGERS (AP) — For the second time this year, the Batesville Daily Guard took home the coveted General Excellence award from a news editorial contest.Winners in the Arkansas Press Association journalism contest were announced Saturday at the APA’s annual convention. Entries were judged by members of the West Virginia Press Association. Staff writers Andrea Bruner and Lacy Mitchell also earned first-place awards, and the staff as a whole took home a first, as well.Winners are as follows:• General Excellence — Staff, first.

Batesville launches antiques, crafts fair

July 10, 2009 Main Street Batesville, in partnership with the Batesville Area Chamber of Commerce and Bob Pest Marketing/Communications/Public Relations, will hold the first Autumn Antique and Crafts Festival Oct. 22-24.The event will take place in historic downtown Batesville and at other antique and crafts shops in Independence County. Main Street executive director Paula Grimes said she sees the event as the logical result of the growth of the downtown antique district.

Walnut Ridge firefighters earn honors

July 10, 2009 By Gretchen HuntWalnut Ridge Times-DispatchWALNUT RIDGE — The Walnut Ridge Fire Department received two awards during the annual Arkansas State Firefighters and Fire Chiefs Convention on June 27 in Hot Springs.Three Walnut Ridge firefighters were awarded the Firefighter of the Year Award, and the Ladies Auxiliary received an honor for its scrapbook.Chief Alan Haskins, Captain Wes Lillard and firefighter and paramedic Jeremy Davis received the Firefighter of the Year Award.