Break-in, criminal mischief reported

March 25, 2009  No suspects have been determined in the theft of some $375 worth of tools and other items from a vehicle at Pilgrim’s Pride parking lot.Independence County Deputy Jonathan Brown said he was dispatched to the north parking lot around 9:50 p.m. Tuesday where a car had been broken into.“Adrian Humphries advised that when he got off work he went to his 1997 Ford Mustang and found that someone had pushed his front seats down and pulled his back seat up,” Brown said.

Children’s birding workshop offered in Jonesboro

March 25, 2009 JONESBORO — The Forrest L. Wood Crowley’s Ridge Nature Center will host “Let’s Get Birdy,” a workshop for children ages 8 to 12, at 9:30 a.m. May 2.Children will learn some bird identification techniques, then test their newfound skills around the nature center’s trails. Binoculars will be provided.Pre-registration is required.  For more information, call Sarah Baxter, information and education coordinator with the Arkansas Game & Fish Commission, at (870) 933-6787 or

Family & Friends Briefs

March 25, 2009 Hayes to celebrate birthdayRuth Hayes will celebrate her 90th birthday with a reception from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday at Central Avenue United Methodist Church’s Life Center, located at 1205 N. Central Ave. in Batesville.All friends are invited to attend. Christine Lynxwiler to hold autograph session at Hardy

Foxy Ladies, Red Hat Society

March 25, 2009 The Foxy Ladies of White River Red Hat Society met March 17 at the Batesville Country Club with 36 members present.Helen Baker, queen mother, called the meeting to order. Willie Strong gave the invocation.Visitors, absent members and those celebrating birthdays in March were recognized.Joy Gunther, vice-queen mother, gave the financial report and mentioned that the club’s cookbooks are still available at $10 each.

Man gets 35 years

March 25, 2009 HARRISBURG (AP) — A man accused of killing a security guard at a lumber plant has been sentenced to 35 years in prison after pleading guilty to first-degree murder.Bruce Wade Pennington, 62, entered the plea Monday in the May 12 shooting death of Dorman Ray Cooper, 26.Cooper was shot while working the guard shack at the Columbia Forest Products plant in Trumann. Pennington turned himself in the same day.

Area Briefs

March 25, 2009 Logging accident claims lifeMELBOURNE (AP) — A Mount Pleasant man was killed Tuesday when he was struck by a falling pine tree while logging in Izard County.Dexter Johnson, 52, died while working with two other men cutting down trees at a farm near Melbourne, according to Izard County Sheriff Tate Lawrence. Lawrence says the large tree struck Johnson as others worked to cut the tree down around noon Tuesday.Izard County Coroner Eddie Howard says Johnson was pronounced dead at the scene. 

Passion Play scheduled for 6 days

March 25, 2009 SOUTHSIDE — Just like springtime, preparation for and performing the annual Passion Play is a time of renewal for Allen Chapel Free Will Baptist Church, member Tammy Moore said.“We all come together during this time,” Moore said. “In some ways it is like a revival for us; we are focused more intensely on the life of Jesus and how that should apply to our everyday life. The modern characters always bring it home, like this really could be me or my family going through this, and yes, God is there to help just like in the play.

Historical ordinance discussed

March 25, 2009 An effort to preserve the historical features of the downtown area was discussed Tuesday night at the Batesville City Council meeting.If accepted, the new ordinance would make Batesville eligible to become one of about 20 cities in the state to join the Certified Local Government program that would direct grant money toward preservation of the older business buildings downtown.Terrell Tebbetts, with the Independence County Historical Society, gave the council an overview of the ordinance that had been approved earlier by the planning commission.

Ogilvie named to Hall of Fame

March 25, 2009 FORT SMITH — Batesville’s Craig Ogilvie, a veteran newspaper writer, editor and illustrator, was inducted into the Arkansas Tourism Hall of Fame during the 35th annual Governor’s Conference on Tourism in Fort Smith on March 17.“It’s a high honor — the highest honor tourism can give in Arkansas, and I’m really honored to have it,” Ogilvie said Tuesday. “I’m only the third from this area to receive it.“Leo Rainey was the first to receive it in this area, and Donna Baker was the second.”

Man threatens deputy with chain saw

March 25, 2009 ASH FLAT — As the man attacking Sharp County Deputy Gary Mitchell with a running chain saw advanced closer and closer, Mitchell thought he was going to have to shoot.“I had my weapon drawn and an officer with me had his weapon drawn,” Mitchell said. “That’s the closest I’ve come to having to shoot somebody. I had the slack out of my trigger and everything.”But just short of pulling the trigger, Mitchell said, “I thought, ‘There’s surely some way around that.’