Sale OK’d – Townsend buy moving forward

February 18, 2011 The Delaware-based Townsends Inc., won court approval Thursday to sell almost all its assets to an Alabama-based poultry company and investment firm for $76.4 million.

Cave City Bass Club sets 2011 schedule

February 18, 2011 CAVE CITY — The Cave City Bass Club voted last week to shorten its 2011 tournament schedule from the usual 12 held in past years, said tournament director Ron Watkins.Only 10 tournaments will be held this year, plus the year-ending Classic which has also been a regular addition to the longer schedule.The decision was made mostly in anticipation of higher gasoline prices, Watkins said.

Youth expo set for April

February 18, 2011 LITTLE ROCK — Fifth-grade teachers in central Arkansas are encouraged to enroll their classes in the fifth Arkansas Game and Fish Commission Youth Outdoor Expo set for April 26-27 at Lake Sylvia Recreation Area in the Ouachita National Forest.The free expo about 30 miles west of Little Rock is limited to 1,000 students each day on a first-come, first-served basis.

Trout plan revisited

February 18, 2011 BENTONVILLE — The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission Trout Management Program will revisit the management plan for the seven-mile trout fishery in the White River below Beaver Dam in northwestern Arkansas. The current management plan was developed about five years ago.Since that time, management actions outlined in the plan were implemented and it’s time to determine if these strategies have worked and whether public expectations of the fishery have changed, according to Jeff Williams, AGFC trout biologist.

Wildlife photographer Ray Mears to speak at wild game supper

February 18, 2011 Nationally recognized wildlife photographer Ray Mears will be the featured speaker at this year’s youth expo and wild game supper to be held at Allen Chapel Free Will Baptist Church Feb. 26, according to a church press release. Mears, who has traveled the world photographing wildlife and nature, will tell of his life adventures into the outdoors and how it has impacted him.The talk will follow the wild game supper slated to begin at 5:30 p.m.

Great Backyard Bird Count begins

February 18, 2011 LITTLE ROCK — Blackbirds made the headlines when a flock of thousands fell from the skies in Beebe New Year’s Eve. Now enthusiasts across the continent are counting the birds — not just blackbirds, but birds of more than 600 species — in the annual Great Backyard Bird Count. The count begins today and continues though Monday, creating an instantaneous snapshot of bird life across the U.S. and Canada.

Little Rock teacher pleads guilty to prostitution

February 18, 2011 LITTLE ROCK (AP) — A high school teacher in Little Rock has been placed on paid administrative leave after school officials learned she pleaded guilty in November to a prostitution charge.The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports school officials were not aware of the plea by 27-year-old McClellan High School algebra teacher Solona Islam until informed by a reporter. Islam was placed on leave Wednesday.

Report focuses on risks of natural-gas development

February 18, 2011 LITTLE ROCK (AP) — A new report says that exploiting Arkansas’ natural gas deposits carries some risks, but also makes suggestions on how those risks can be minimized.The report was issued Thursday by the Arkansas Public Policy Panel, a statewide organization that says it promotes social and economic justice. The author of the report, Debbie Doss, is chair of the Arkansas Conservation Coalition.The report says some of the risks of natural gas production in the Fayetteville Shale formation include environmental pollution, harm to wildlife and landscape disturbances.

Woman granted visits with same-sex partner’s child

February 18, 2011 LITTLE ROCK (AP) — A woman whose partner in a same-sex relationship gave birth to a child before they broke up was granted visitation rights Thursday by the Arkansas Supreme Court, which said its ruling follows the law even though Arkansas has outlawed homosexual marriage.The court said Emily Jones of Perry County was entitled to visit the child — designated only by her initials E.B. in the decision — because she had been the girl’s primary caregiver for the 3 ½ years before Jones and the girl’s biological mother, Alicia Bethany, ended their relationship.

Hearing for ex-trooper delayed

February 18, 2011 LITTLE ROCK (AP) — A hearing on whether to reinstate an Arkansas state trooper who was fired and criminally charged in a fatal crash has been delayed.Prosecutors charged Andrew Rhew with manslaughter in the November 2009 crash that killed Vickie Freemyer.Arkansas State Police chief counsel Ken Stoll told the Arkansas State Police Commission Thursday that Rhew was dismissed in December for exceeding the speed limit and being involved in an accident while not running his emergency equipment. Rhew appealed his termination.