Education Briefs

December 10, 2008 Parents, students help needy families MOUNT PLEASANT - Mount Pleasant Elementary students, parents, teachers and staff recently participated in a Thanksgiving Food Drive for the community. Students in grades K-6 began collecting canned and nonperishable food items on Nov. 12 and continued until Nov. 25. At that time all food collections were divided into boxes to be distributed to 15 families in the Mount Pleasant area. Each of the grocery boxes contained a turkey.

Honor Roll

December 10, 2008 Southside Elementary SOUTHSIDE - The students listed below made the honor roll for the first nine weeks of the 2008-09 school year at Southside Elementary School, according to a news release: First: all A's - Destini Ables, Trevor Avey, Lorelai Bagwell, Emma Barker, Kiarah Benton, Ashlyn Blevins, Eli Boozer, Marshall Branscum, Jacob Brooks, Jeremy Ciamaricone, Timothy Creekmore, Cory Daniels, Kristine Dillehay, Alex Fike, Kent Garrett, Colton Goodman, Jace Grigsby, Natasha Hightower, Aleesa Holt, Molly Housdan, Destinee Hunter, Aliyha Jackson, Rynne Jefferson, Summer Jeffery, Larkin Jones, Kirsten King, Madison King, Harmonie King-Wilkey, Kendall Kourakis, Kenly Long, Cody Malone, Leksey Mason, Aaron Massey, Christain Maya, Skyla McElroy, Kallee McGhee, Felicia Middleton, Abby Millikin, Julie Nanney, Joshua Narramore, Kelsey Nunnally, Kristina Pennywitt, Briar Pratt, Haley Puckett, David Riggs, Keeley Rose, Caroline Russell, Emma Russell, Chloe Sharp, Kristen Sherrill, Tanner Sherrill, Kurstin Skinner, Lacey Slisher, Hunter Smart, Andrew Starnes, Andrew Taylor, Caleb Taylor, Morgan Teague, Kelby Thorne, Angel Tucker, Kayla Verser, Abbey Walker, Payton Walls, Olivia Williams, Robin Wilson, Autumn Winkle, Tyler Wood; general - Abie Addison, Blake Beach, Dawson Blevins, Jacob Brinsfield, Tanith Brown, Charlie Donna, Breanna Fisher, Colten Gann, Landen Gray, Brooke Hammack, Huston Harmon, Logan Huckabee, Belinda Jaco, Bailey Johnson, Sydni Joslin, Colton Langston, Chloe Low, Alexis Mcleod, Lucas Nicholson, Ethan Patterson, Savannah Roberson, Evan St. Clair, Monica Swaim, Trace Tate, Madison Vannattan, Justin Vargas, Shelby Warden, Raven Young

2008 season has Missouri wineries popping their corks

December 10, 2008 KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A year after a freak spring freeze nearly derailed the Missouri wine industry, the grape gods have been kind to vineyard owners like Sarah Schmidt - perhaps too kind. A cool, wet spring and summer produced enough grapes to fill the storage tanks at Schmidt's Baltimore Bend Vineyards with juice, fulfill all of her contracts to supply fruit to other wineries and still leave grapes hanging in her 7-acre vineyard.

Short breeding season gives best herd results

December 10, 2008 Producers frequently claim they can't establish a 60- to 90-day breeding season because it's too much trouble to keep the bulls away from the cows and too costly to build separate facilities for the bull.

Sex sting nets man 4 years

December 10, 2008 LITTLE ROCK (AP) - A former colonel in the Arizona National Guard has been sentenced to four years in federal prison as part of a guilty plea after he was caught in an Internet sex sting. Donald Lee Wodash Jr., 47, believed he was communicating with a 14-year-old girl when he had a sexually explicit chat, exposed himself by using a Web cam and tried to set up a meeting with the child at a convenience store, authorities said.

GPS, cameras watching over Baby Jesus

December 10, 2008 When Baby Jesus disappeared last year from a nativity scene on the lawn of the Wellington, Fla., community center, village officials didn't follow a star to locate him. A GPS device mounted inside the life-size ceramic figurine led sheriff's deputies to a nearby apartment, where it was found face down on the carpet. An 18-year-old woman was arrested in the theft.

Illinois governor returns to work day after arrest

December 10, 2008 CHICAGO (AP) - Illinois Gov. Rod Blagovich returned to work today, a day after he was arrested and accused of scheming to enrich himself by selling President-elect Barack Obama's vacant Senate seat.

Jefferson County voters reject half-cent sales tax

December 10, 2008 PINE BLUFF (AP) - A half-cent sales tax intended to boost economic development and workforce training efforts in Jefferson County was rejected by voters in a special election Tuesday. With all precincts reporting final but unofficial tallies, results showed 4,325 votes, or 56 percent, cast against the proposal, 3,348 votes, or 44 percent, in favor.

Escapee leaves in handcuffs

December 10, 2008 LINCOLN (AP) - Even when Richard Burley was hiding, he wasn't hard to find. Burley, 24, ducked out during an appearance in district court in Lincoln on Tuesday, even though he was wearing handcuffs and an orange jumpsuit and was to have been taken back to the Washington County Jail because he faced other charges.

Newspaper appeals court ruling

December 10, 2008 LITTLE ROCK (AP) - A seal on jail records involving the suspect in the death of a television anchorwoman should be lifted, a newspaper has told the state Supreme Court. The filing Tuesday by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette asks justices to overturn a ruling by Little Rock District Judge Lee Munson keeping jail roster information, visitor logs and other details about Curtis Lavelle Vance from public inspection. Munson issued a ruling Monday saying the release of those details could "irreparably compromise" Vance's chance at a fair trial.