Chamber to host ribbon cutting

March 21, 2011 The Batesville Area Chamber of Commerce will hold a ribbon cutting at 11 a.m. Thursday at John 3:16 Ministries to celebrate the opening of its new playground and park.The park has an indoor playground, basketball, sand volleyball, horseshoes, a walking track, an outside playground, two gazebos, two pavilions and an amphitheater. John 3:16 is a spiritual bootcamp for men with drug and alcohol addictions that offers a refuge for men to have the opportunity to heal spiritually, mentally and physically.

Pine Bluff to present railroad show

March 21, 2011 PINE BLUFF — Cotton Belt Rail Historical Society Inc. will hold its annual Railroadiana Show and Sale from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 2 at the Arkansas Railroad Museum, located at 1700 Port Road in Pine Bluff.There will be railroad memorabilia, model trains, tracks and accessories, all scales N, HO, O and G and working modular layouts by model railroad clubs.Door prizes will be awarded every hour.Admission is $5 for adults, $2 for children 6 to 12 and free for children under 6.For information about reserving tables, call the museum at (870) 535-8819.

Blytheville museum to hold Artifact ID Day

March 21, 2011 BLYTHEVILLE — The Delta Gateway Museum will hold Artifact ID Day from 1-3 p.m. Saturday, allowing members of the public to bring in their historic and prehistoric artifacts. Staff from the Arkansas Archeological Survey (AAS) will be at the museum to identify and provide information about objects and artifacts brought in by private collectors and members of the public. Leslie Hester, founding director of the Delta Gateway Museum, is a Heritage Studies PhD student at Arkansas State University.

‘King’s Speech’ brings voice to speech therapy

March 21, 2011 SEARCY — Since “The King’s Speech” premiered last December, the Stuttering Foundation of America, a nonprofit educational and referral organization, reported receiving call after call from individuals inspired to take control of their own speech problems.

Three arrested in motel drug bust

March 18, 2011 Three Batesville men, Quincy J. Cook, 28, Gene L. Barris, 30, and Tim Van Nguyen, 27, remain in the Independence County jail under a parole and probation hold following a drug bust at a local motel Wednesday.The three were arrested after bail bondsman Kevin Caldwell arrived at the motel and encountered Cook who fitted the description of Antonio Earnest, a client that Caldwell was looking for, according to a report filed by Cpl. Patrick Collins of the Independence County Sheriff’s Office.

2008 inmate death lawsuit settled for $35,000

March 18, 2011 ASH FLAT — A federal lawsuit against Sharp County and former Sheriff Dale Weaver stemming from the death of a jail inmate in February 2008 was settled Tuesday in Little Rock, County Judge Larry Brown said.James E. Patrick II, administrator for the estate of Brian Lashley, was asking for $150,000.“We settled it for $35,000,” Brown said.“We had a pretty good chance of winning it, but even if a jury awarded $5, we would have had to pay attorney’s fees” and those could have been costly, he said.

United Way deadline nears

March 18, 2011 The United Way of Independence County reminds organizations applying for 2012 agency status to turn in applications by March 31. All non-profit agencies applying must have been established for a period of at least two years. No applications will be accepted after that. Applicants need to provide a direct and meaningful service to the people of Independence County and the surrounding counties. For those interested in applying and in need of an application, call the United Way office at (870) 793-5991.

Dawe appointed to AATYC President’s Executive Council

March 18, 2011 MELBOURNE — Ozarka College President Dr. Richard Dawe was recently appointed to the Executive Council of the President’s Council to the Arkansas Association of Two-Year Colleges (AATYC). This group consists of eight members — four from two-year colleges and four from four-year colleges and universities around the state of Arkansas. The Executive Council serves in an advisory capacity to the director and board of the Arkansas Higher Education Coordinating Board and the President’s Council for the effective development and coordination of higher education in the state.

Local businessman wants steamboat at Batesville

March 18, 2011 Batesville businessman Steve Carpenter wants to bring the historic steamboat Mary Woods No. 2 to Batesville — what’s left of it.Joan Ellison of the state Parks & Tourism Department announced recently that it would cost too much money — estimates reportedly ranged between $1.8 million and $2.7 million — to repair and renovate the former floating museum that was moored at Jacksonport State Park and that the state plans to take bids on recoverable portions of the boat. Any money raised would be put toward building a new visitor center at the park, she said.

‘Not guilty’; Two claim innocence in hate crime case

March 18, 2011 LITTLE ROCK — Jason Walter Barnwell, 37, of Evening Shade and Gary Don Dodson, 32, of Waldron, appeared Thursday before United States Magistrate Judge Beth Deere for an initial appearance on federal civil rights charges, according to Christopher R. Thyer, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas. Barnwell and Dodson were arrested Wednesday on a federal complaint charging them with use of a destructive incendiary device in the course of a conspiracy to deprive a Hardy couple of their civil rights.