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.

Local governments seek aid from storm

February 16, 2009 FEMA has promised aid money for damages caused by a recent ice storm, but it won’t be right away and there’s lots of paperwork to be done first.That was the message heard by dozens of city and county government representatives who packed the juvenile courtroom in Batesville Friday afternoon.The “good news, bad news” scenario regarding response by the Federal Emergency Management Agency came from Sylvia Hardy, the public assistance coordinator for the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management.

Go Red for Women event well attended

February 16, 2009 Valentine’s Day usually brings to mind heart-shaped boxes of candy and bouquets of flowers, but last Thursday some 280 people had a different kind of heart on their minds at the Go Red for Women luncheon.The event is an annual fundraiser for the American Heart Association, which reports that heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women in the U.S.The luncheon has raised about $40,000 for the heart association, but it was a first for Betty Harper of Batesville who was there with her sister, Joann Cothrine.

Power restored to NAEC customers

February 16, 2009 SALEM — North Arkansas Electric Cooperative in Salem announced today that power had been restored, where possible, to all of its customers. In a news release, Mel Coleman, North Arkansas Electric Cooperative chief executive officer, said January’s icy weather was unlike any other the cooperative had experienced.“While it was a trying time for both our employees and members, I feel like we did an outstanding job rebuilding a system that took 70 years to build.”

Sharp Co. judge puts road damage at $2M

February 16, 2009 ASH FLAT — Sharp County, still dealing with the aftermath of the recent ice storm, probably has more than $2 million in damage — not counting damages to individuals’ homes, property and timber, County Judge Larry Brown told the quorum court last week.“What made it so bad, it was so widespread,” he said.“That’s a conservative estimate.”

Jewelry, vehicles swiped

February 16, 2009 A Batesville woman returned home Wednesday morning following an extended absence to discover her jewelry missing.Rose Hanson told police she had been out of town for about a month and that is when a gold ring, a loose stone and a pair of earrings came up missing. The items were valued at $5,600, according to Hanson.No suspects were listed in the incident.In other reports filed with the Independence County Sheriff’s Office:

Woman’s death ruled suicide

February 16, 2009 The official report from the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory says that the cause of death of 31-year-old Jennye L. Davis of Newark was suicide. The ruling came this week from Daniel J. Konzelmann, associate medical examiner for the state.Independence County Sheriff’s Lt. Brenda Bittle said this morning that Davis apparently entered the densely wooded area behind her parent’s house in Newark with a bag containing a rope and hanged herself.“She left two notes behind, both related to a bad marriage,” Bittle said.

Student’s purse, $1,484 cash stolen

February 16, 2009 An hour of fun and games at a local game room Monday night ended on a bad note for a local college student when she discovered her wallet, along with $1,484 in cash, had been stolen from her car.Twenty-year-old Rachael Ann Burris of Batesville, a student at the University of Arkansas Community College at Batesville, said she stopped at Riverside Conoco around 8:45 p.m. and bought a few items before driving to Bald Man Games at 1543 Harrison St.