Beebe appoints Heber Springs woman to state council

March 24, 2009 Heber Springs — Recording an album at 17, winning her high school beauty pageant and supporting herself singing for a decade would make most women proud. If they had performed at such notable places as Branson’s Lawrence Welk Theater and Silver Dollar City, they might even be a little snooty. Lori Hunter, 38, of Heber Springs, however, is not impressed with these accomplishments.

Area tourism up during ’08

March 24, 2009 Tourism and travel in the eight counties that make up the Ozark Gateway Tourism region was up four percent last year over 2007, according to an annual report by the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism. The data was released last week during the 35th annual Governor’s Conference on Tourism held in Fort Smith.

Caverns begin spring schedule

March 24, 2009 MOUNTAIN VIEW — The vernal equinox fell on March 20 this year, marking the time when the days and nights are almost equal in length, and signaling the start of spring. But Blanchard Springs Caverns spring schedule begins on March 31, marking the time when the caverns are open seven days a week.

Family & Friends Briefs

March 24, 2009 New Directions honoredNew Directions, located on White Drive in Batesville, was recently awarded a plaque for raising $500 for Special Olympics during the Polar Bear Plunge.The plaque was presented by Jessica Fagan and Bruce Kelley, Special Olympics representatives.The plaque was awarded for group effort, dedication and enthusiasm, according to a news release.It was also noted that David McQuary of Batesville raised over $4,500 for Special Olympics. Writers club reorganizes

Clubs News

March 24, 2009 Cave City EHCCAVE CITY — The Cave City Extension Homemakers Club met at the Cave City Community Center on March 16. President Judy Breckenridge called the meeting to order and the group sang “Easter Bonnet.” Roll call was “Do you have a flashlight that works?” Eight members and two guests were present. “Words to Live By” were read by Frances Ball. Minutes and treasurer’s reports were presented and approved.

Forgery charges filed

March 24, 2009 Bond has been set for $50,000 for a Batesville man and $15,000 for a Lynn woman for separate incidents of forgery, according to circuit court documents.Lt. Brenda Bittle with the Independence County Sheriff’s Office said in court documents that 22-year-old Randal Hopper of 1770 Batesville Blvd. was being charged with forging 16 checks on a family member’s account.The checks were written to several convenience stores across the county with a total restitution of $368.44 being owed, according to Bittle.

AG warns of stimulus scams

March 24, 2009 LITTLE ROCK — Recently, the Public Protection Department of the Attorney General’s Office has learned of new scams surrounding federal stimulus money and has issued an alert to warn consumers.The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 aims to stimulate the U.S. economy through a number of tax credits and incentives, an expansion of social services and an increase in domestic spending on education, health care and infrastructure programs. Consumers are not slated to receive a check or any other direct payment from the government at this time.

Migrant program benefits students

March 24, 2009 By Andrea BrunerAssistant Managing EditorMigrant students have needs that require specialized help and resources, and that is why the Batesville School District offers the Migrant Education Program.Migrant aide Dede Abbott said the number of people enrolled at Batesville fluctuates because of the nature of the business, but right now there is probably 128 people enrolled from pre-kindergarten to age 21.“That’s why these kids are in the program, because they migrate. ... They just move all the time and this program helps them. ...

Two men cited

March 24, 2009 Witnesses who were concerned for the safety of children and other drivers called police Sunday night to report two cars doing doughnuts in the parking lot and grassy area at Kennedy Park, according to Independence County Deputy Randy Jones.Before Jones could arrive at the park, police dispatch received word that one of the cars, yellow with writing all over it, had left the area headed north on Highway 167 after doing doughnuts in the parking lot near the boat ramp. The other car, red in color, was reported to still be at the park.

‘Polk Bayou kids,’ gold focus of children’s book

March 24, 2009 Five friends, a dog named Kristi and a hidden treasure from 1863 underneath Batesville’s historic district near Polk Bayou.It’s a story almost too good to be true. Almost — because a lot of it happens to be true. Luke Davis, Greyson Wyatt, Chase Baker, Kendra Kelley and Emma Langston are five friends who attend Central Magnet Math and Science Elementary School. There really is a dog named Kristi and Batesville has a history along the bayou that dates back to long before the Civil War.