Texarkana water’s odor criticized

April 1, 2011 TEXARKANA, Ark. (AP) — Texarkana water officials say the city’s water is safe despite complaints about the taste and odor.Texarkana Water Utilities director Bill King said the problem is due to algae in Wright Patman Lake where the city has been getting its water. King says the city is in the process of shifting the water supply to take water from Millwood Lake where algae is not a problem.King said the problem is aesthetic and is not a danger. He said rain is needed to raise the lake level and help eliminate the bacteria problem.

Farmers to grow less rice in 2011

April 1, 2011 LITTLE ROCK (AP) — Farmers in Arkansas, the nation’s leading rice producer, plan to cut the amount of rice they grow in the coming season and replace it with more profitable crops, according to a report released Thursday.A U.S. Department of Agriculture survey says farms are expected to grow about 1.4 million acres of rice. That’s a 22 percent decline from last year’s 1.79 million acres.

Message service for new mothers

April 1, 2011 LITTLE ROCK (AP) — The Arkansas Department of Health says it’s offering a new text messaging service called “text4baby” to pregnant women and new mothers.The department said Thursday that the free program includes three weekly messages that provide health tips for the mother and baby. Topics include birth defects prevention, immunization, nutrition, seasonal flu, mental health, oral health and safe sleep.The messages also can connect women to prenatal and infant care services.

Annexation to be topic

April 1, 2011 SULPHUR ROCK — The Sulphur Rock City Council will meet at 6 p.m. Monday in the city hall to hear reports, including a progress report concerning the proposed annexation of a small area north of town, said Recorder-treasurer Ann Heathwaite.Current bills will also be reviewed.

Drama set for Monday

April 1, 2011 The West Magnet fifth-grade drama students will present “U.S. Constitution Reviver: Philadelphia” at 6 p.m. Monday in the school’s gym/auditorium. “The contestants are the actual writers and framers of the Constitution, duking it out to be the last Founding Father standing,” a news release states. We’ve conjured up the Founding Fathers so we can witness the birth of our nation.”The “Revivers” will explain, justify and argue how they contributed to the making of the Constitution.

New Shrine club forms

April 1, 2011 The newly formed Sahara Shrine Club will meet at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Kelly-Wyatt’s Restaurant for a meal and discussion on the forming of the Sahara Shriner Club in north Arkansas. The meeting is open to all Shriners and their ladies.

3 expelled at Cave City

April 1, 2011 CAVE CITY — Three ninth-grade students — a 15-year-old girl, a 16-year-old boy and a 17-year-old boy — were expelled for one calendar year from Cave City High School following disciplinary hearings Tuesday, Superintendent Steven Green reported.The three were caught March 16 with prohibited substances on campus. Police responded, their parents were called and the students were released to their parents.The juvenile justice system will handle the case, Green said.The expulsion hearings were taken during a special meeting.

Chesapeake Energy closes sale

April 1, 2011 OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Chesapeake Energy Corp. has announced the closing of the sale of its assets in the Fayetteville Shale in Arkansas to BHP Billiton Limited of Australia.Oklahoma City-based Chesapeake announced the closing in a news release. The company announced plans for the sale for $4.75 billion in cash in February.Chesapeake CEO Aubrey McClendon says the deal allows Chesapeake to make “substantial progress” in reducing its debt.

Man arrested for false report

April 1, 2011 MOUNTAIN HOME (AP) — A Baxter County man has been arrested for falsely reporting his 8-year-old son missing.Authorities arrested 45-year-old William Nash Thursday night for filing a false police report and disorderly conduct after finding that the boy had gone to church with neighbors. Sheriff John Montgomery says the neighbors had the father’s permission to take 8-year-old Bryan Parker with them.The boy is now in state custody.

Park dedicated at John 3:16

April 1, 2011 CHARLOTTE — John 3:16 Ministries, a spiritual boot camp for men with drug and alcohol addictions, recently held a ribbon cutting to celebrate the opening of its new playground and park.The park features an indoor playground, basketball, sand volleyball, horseshoes, a walking track, an outside playground, two gazebos, two pavilions and an amphitheater.