Arkansas rivers back up; state death toll hits 13

April 29, 2011 LITTLE ROCK (AP) — Flooding in Pocahontas on Thursday inundated the city’s grocery stores and cut off the main north-south highway through town as river systems across east Arkansas continued to back up because the Mississippi River is so high.Counties from the Missouri border to Louisiana reported flooding, a condition that will continue until at least the middle of May.“We think this is going to be an issue for weeks, not days, in east Arkansas,” said Matt DeCample, spokesman for Gov. Mike Beebe.

Crawford touts GOP plan at town hall

April 29, 2011 JONESBORO (AP) — U.S. Rep. Rick Crawford touted his party’s plan to privatize Medicare and cut government spending before a quiet, mostly friendly audience Thursday night — a far cry from the booing and jeering many House Republicans have faced at town halls this spring.Crawford addressed about 100 people in Jonesboro in his first town hall meeting since joining Congress in January. He said the budget passed earlier this month by House Republicans would help reduce the nation’s debt and prevent Medicare from going under.

10K a Day is the Way named a success

April 29, 2011 Ever tried walking 10,000 steps a day?Employees from White River Medical Center, Stone County Medical Center and area businesses including Citizens Bank, LaCroix Optical, Concord Specialties and the city of Batesville have, collectively, walked nearly 50,000 miles (or over 116 million steps) to better their health. White River Health System’s CommHealth Program recently concluded its 10K a Day is the Way walking project using smart pedometers. More than 200 area employees participated in the 90-day pilot project.

Outages decrease

April 29, 2011 LITTLE ROCK (AP) — The number of customers without electricity after deadly severe storms pounded Arkansas earlier this week continues to decline.Entergy Arkansas officials said Thursday the outage tally is at 15,000, down from 88,000 at the height of the storms.Utility company officials say about 1,200 additional workers have been brought to Arkansas to help with the restoration.Entergy officials say preliminary reports indicate 727 poles are either down or broken, 1,296 spans of wire need to be replaced and another 696 spans needed fallen trees removed from them.

Architects gather input for new student center

April 29, 2011 Lyon College is moving forward with plans to rebuild its student center and dining hall after a fire destroyed both in October.Architects from Roark Perkins Perry Yelvington Architects in Little Rock spent last week meeting with students, faculty and staff to find out what they would like to see incorporated into the new building.Ideas given to the architects included stages for performances, banquet rooms, meeting rooms, health and wellness areas, game room, snack bar, campus store, mail room and lounges.

Homecoming set at church

April 28, 2011 CAVE CITY — The annual homecoming at Pleasant Valley Church and cemetery, near the banks of Poke Bayou 10 miles west of Cave City, will begin at 10 a.m. Sunday, according to cemetery committee spokeswoman Cyndie Christopher.The event will open with singing followed by a gospel message, then a potluck lunch.Although thunderstorms are forecast, the gathering will go on as planned with the potluck meal taking place inside the church.Everyone who has family in the cemetery or who has other ties to the community is encouraged to attend.

Roads closed in county

April 28, 2011 The following highways and roads in Independence County remain closed due to high water:• Highway 69 at Newark• Highway 14 at Maple Springs• Highway 37 between Cord and Elgin• Miller Creek Road east of Main Street Batesville• County roads in Oil Trough and a few other low-lying areas, but some may recede enough today to become passable.County authorities remind motorists not to go around barricades and do not drive into standing or moving water over roadways.

One event moved, another canceled

April 28, 2011 Due to the recent heavy rain, the Singing on the Lawn event previously scheduled for the outdoor stage at Parkview Church will be moved indoors.The event will be at 5 p.m. Saturday in the church’s fellowship hall, located at 2600 North St. Louis St., across from the Pool Store in Batesville.Glory Road and Doc & Connie will provide entertainment.All donations will go to Women’s Addictions Resistance Project 180.

Beebe says storm damage estimate may be weeks away

April 28, 2011 JACKSONVILLE (AP) — Gov. Mike Beebe says crews from the Federal Emergency Management Agency are surveying Arkansas storm damage and that he plans to seek federal assistance for rebuilding.Beebe spent Wednesday morning looking at storm damage at Little Rock Air Force Base and North Pulaski High School in Jacksonville.Eleven people were killed in Arkansas storms Monday and Tuesday.

Permit turkey hunt canceled

April 28, 2011 LITTLE ROCK (AP) — The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission has approved an emergency proclamation closing the upcoming permit turkey hunt at the Shirey Bay Rainey Brake Wildlife Management Area in Lawrence County.Officials say recent heavy rain has caused several rivers across Arkansas to rise above flood stage, including the Black River which courses through the wildlife management area. The commission says the high water made driving conditions dangerous and jeopardized the safety of turkey hunters trying to access areas.