Soldier sentenced in baby’s death

December 5, 2008 SEARCY (AP) - An Arkansas soldier has been sentenced to 40 years in prison after pleading guilty to first-degree murder in the death of his infant stepson. Patrick West pleaded guilty Wednesday in the death of 5-month old Aiden Turnage. Authorities say Aiden suffered several skull fractures after he was slammed into a railing.

Tire fire breaks out at Arkansas industrial park

December 5, 2008 CAMDEN (AP) - A warehouse for Cooper Tire Company in Camden containing 100,000 tires caught fire Thursday. Officials are investigating the cause, and say the tires could burn for several days. Assistant Fire Chief Mitch Barnett said firefighters were called to the scene at Highland Industrial Park about 2 a.m. The building frame collapsed later and the fire spread throughout the 200,000-square-foot building.

Family raises sweet potatoes

December 5, 2008 WYNNE (AP) - The Matthews family has been raising sweet potatoes outside Wynne for over a hundred years. It's a sweet business, to get those orange beauties from their fields to your kitchen. You have to look hard to find a sweet potato farm in Arkansas. There are relatively few compared to our Southern neighbors.

Izard County JPs attend last meeting

December 5, 2008 MELBOURNE - Tuesday evening's Izard County Quorum Court meeting was the last for four justices of the peace. New faces will be seated at the quorum court in January. Leaving are JPs Thomas Rushin, Bill Savell, David Sherrell and Clovis Vest. Glendon Everett, Neil Olan, Karla Rush and James Simmons will be the new JPs on the quorum court.

Forgery charges filed; three men arrested

December 5, 2008 A felony forgery warrant has been issued for a Batesville man in a case dating back to December 2007, according to an affidavit filed with the Independence County Circuit Court Clerk. In the affidavit, Sheriff's Investigator Lt. Brenda Bittle said the case originated on Dec. 31 of 2007 when the Exxon Tiger Mart convenience store called police to say a man was there trying to cash a check that didn't belong to him.

Family & Friends Briefs

December 5, 2008 'Our Town' auditions scheduled Auditions for the spring production Thornton Wilder's "Our Town" will be at 7 p.m. Dec. 9 in Holloway Theatre on the Lyon College campus with scheduled callbacks on Dec. 10.


December 5, 2008 Nathan Christopher Douglas Raymond and Marcie Douglas and Shawn of Charlotte have announced the birth of a son and brother at White River Medical Center on Dec. 1, 2008. The baby weighed 7 pounds, 14 ounces and has been named Nathan Christopher Douglas.

Area Briefs

December 5, 2008 Parade, other festivities set for Saturday The city of Batesville will kick off the Christmas festivities Saturday. The annual tree lighting ceremony will begin at 5:30 p.m. in front of Municipal Building at 500 E. Main Street.

30 more soldiers with 39th Brigade return to U.S.

December 5, 2008 CAMP SHELBY, Miss. - About 30 more members of the 39th Infantry Brigade Combat Team arrived here late Wednesday afternoon after a 24-hour trip home from Kuwait. The soldiers are advanced party personnel from the 1st and 2nd Battalions of the Brigade's 153rd Infantry Regiment, the 1st Battalion, 206th Field Artillery Regiment, and the Brigade Headquarters. The troops arrived in advance of the main push of soldiers in order to assist in maintaining accountability and out-processing the troops when they arrive over the next couple of weeks.

Main Street fire determined to be accidental

December 5, 2008 The cause of a fire that partially burned a downtown Batesville structure on Thanksgiving weekend has been declared as accidental. Assistant Fire Chief Brent Gleghorn said an adjuster and an investigator arrived in town Thursday and, although local fire officials had secured the building, when the adjuster arrived around noon he found that the rear door of the building at 101 W. Main St. had been kicked in, despite a steel bar and padlock on the inside of the door.