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.’

Russ to hold book signing

March 24, 2009 Author Nancy Russ will have a book signing from 1 to 4 p.m. Friday at Paper Chase Book Store in Batesville.The books Russ co-wrote with her daughter, Anne Russ, “Was the Funeral Fun?” and “What’s More Fun Than a Funeral?” are set in a fictitious small town in Arkansas named Hilltop.

Community School opens new secondhand shop

March 24, 2009 The Community School Inc. is announcing the grand opening of a new secondhand store, New to You. The store will be located at the White River Specialized Industries building at 1550 Cottonwood, next to the White River Firefighters Training Center off Chaney Drive in Batesville. The store offers clothing, shoes, furniture, toys, books, kitchen ware, and numerous other items at the new store, according to Amy Lewis, an employee of the school.“We have lots of Easter baskets for the kids, too, as well as arts and craft items,” Lewis said recently.

McCord moves to White Co.

March 24, 2009 SEARCY — A former Batesville doctor has moved to White County.Dr. Stacie McCord — an oncologist with five years of experience — recently joined Dr. Ryan Koch in practice at White County Oncology. McCord treats cancers of all types and blood disorders.

Cedar Ridge board discusses bonus vs. cost of living increase

March 24, 2009 NEWARK — A cost of living increase to the salary schedules, or a one-time bonus, was discussed at the Cedar Ridge School Board meeting March 17.A spread sheet that indicated the ranking of Independence County, other adjoining school districts, and 2A conference districts was presented to demonstrate the district’s low ranking among all three. Superintendent Ann Webb provided costs for a 1- to 3-percent increase in the $52,000-155,000 range.