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Batesville & Beyond Belinda Cox

Photo by Andrea Bruner

Belinda Cox, a mortgage closer at First Community Bank in Batesville, and her family moved to Arkansas from southern California, in June 2015.

She was an executive for a credit union, and her husband Lonnie, who has a construction company that specializes in pools called Checkered Flag Concrete & Construction, did similar work in California but they were working 60 to 70 hours a week. With three kids, she said they were looking to slow down, especially with a new baby.

She went to Zillow.com and did a nationwide search for her "dream home" -- something out in the country, with a wraparound porch, far away from people (houses in her area were just feet away from one another) and other parameters -- and found a hit in Brockwell, Arkansas.

"We loaded up and came out here to look at it. We didn't like that one but we found one we did like (in Mount Pleasant) so we up and moved." The slower pace, she said, "is exactly what we were looking for and we will never go back."

She said their three kids all had staggered first days of school this year. Their oldest, Ashley, will start the University of Arkansas Community College at Batesville next week and plans to study nursing and maybe go to medical school. Their middle child, son Tyler, attends Melbourne Schools and started Monday, while the youngest, Blakedf, started pre-K on Wednesday.

The variety in school schedules "keeps you on your toes," she said with a laugh.

Sharp jail tax is heading to ballot

ASH FLAT -- It's official: Sharp County residents will be voting on two sales tax proposals to build and maintain a new jail.
On Monday, the Sharp County Quorum Court passed three ordinances in regards to the sales taxes . . .

Batesville Police to move office to industrial park

The city will apply for a 5050 matching grant from the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism's Outdoor Recreation Grant Program for the development of a "splash pad" at this grassy area beside West Magnet.

By Bob Qualls Special to the Guard
The Batesville Police Department will be moving to a new location in a few months.
Police Chief Alan Cockrill told the city council Tuesday that an offer had been made and accepted on the former . . .

The last ride

Driving northwest into the heart of the Ozarks to Berryville recently, I was reminded of the stunning beauty of the place I call home. Passing well-manicured yards and those littered with the playful aftermath of puppies, the . . .

Lyon named as College of Distinction in Business

Photo submitted

Lyon College has been recognized as a College of Distinction in business and education.

By Madeline Pyle Special to the Guard
Recently honored as a 2018-2019 College of Distinction, Lyon College was further recognized as a College of Distinction in business and education.
In the business department, Professor in . . .

Calico Rock Woman named Rural Teacher of the Year

Photo submitted

Rob Roedel, manager, corporate communications at Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas, stands with Connie Moser, a 42-year educator who was recently named the 2018 Arkansas Rural Education Association's Teacher of the Year.

LITTLE ROCK -- Connie Moser, a 42-year educator, was recently named the 2018 Arkansas Rural Education Association's Teacher of the Year.
The Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas have sponsored the Rural Teacher of the Year Award . . .

36 Years Ago
Graduates of the Sulphur Rock High School from 1960-66 will gather at the new school campus on Sept. 25 for the first multi-class homecoming ever staged at the facility.
Alumni guests will be able to tour the new . . .

Entergy donates to WRAAA fund
Entergy employees recently raised $1,155 for the White River Area Agency on Aging's emergency fund, according to Tracy Baxter, WRAAA regional manager.
The fund helps local seniors and disabled with . . .

Surgeons, robot partner to stop joint pain

Photo submitted

White River Medical Center is now offering robotic-arm assisted total knee, partial knee, and total hip replacements with Stryker's Mako System, announced Gary Paxson, administrator.
WRMC is the first hospital in northcentral . . .

Restaurant inspections for week of July 23-27

The Independence County Health Department inspected a number of restaurants and other places where food is prepared July 23-27. Places inspected and any violations found at the time of the inspection are as follows (all are . . .

Felon arrested with gun


A Cave City man is facing charges of being a felon in possession of a firearm after he allegedly pulled a shotgun on a man he thought was an intruder.
Detective Shay Moore with the Independence County Sheriff's Department said . . .

Sexual solicitation of child leads to arrest


MELBOURNE -- A Melbourne man was arrested last week for the sexual solicitation of a child, according to Izard County Chief Deputy Earnie Blackley.
Christopher Austin Freemyer, 50, was arrested Wednesday, Aug. 8, on the class D . . .

Caught on video, man arrested for dressing room voyeurism


A mom armed with the camera on her cellphone helped capture a man accused of using his own phone to record people changing in a dressing room.
In a court affidavit, Investigator Jason Bryant with the Batesville Police Department . . .

Annual water carnival schedule announced

The 75th Annual White River Water Carnival will be held Sept. 8 at Riverside Park in Batesville.
The theme this year is "The Return of the King."
The schedule is:
10 a.m. -- River City Cruisers Car Show
11 -- food trucks, . . .

Hepatitis A kills one; cases number more than 85

A disease that seems to move in Arkansas from feces to restaurant foods to humans continues to romp now in seven Arkansas counties including Independence and, most recently, Sebastian County.
The Arkansas Department of Health . . .

Chamber plans community pool party
The Batesville Area Chamber of Commerce will hold a Business After Hours event at the Batesville Aquatics Park from 6-8 p.m. Thursday.
Tickets are free but must be obtained at the chamber prior . . .

Paint party

Photos by Luke Stroud

Jeanette Emerson helps Lemon with her art, while Anna Clark (far left) and Victoria Covington watch.

WRHS announces new staff


Dr. Mantinderpreet Singh, neurologist, has joined the medical staff at White River Medical Center and is in practice at Batesville Neurology Clinic at 1699 Harrison St., according to a news release.
As a neurologist, Singh . . .

Black bear sightings increase amid dry weather

By JOSH DOOLEY The Baxter Bulletin
MOUNTAIN HOME -- Black Bear sightings in the Twin Lakes Area are increasing due to a lack of food, according biologist Allen Cathey with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.
Normally, . . .

Author to present historical stories


Dozens of stories about the early days in the Arkansas Ozarks will be shared in a program by Dr. Brooks Blevins in the Old Independence Regional Museum at 2 p.m. Sunday, April 26.
He will be introducing his newest book, "A . . .

BHS to cut energy costs with new solar panels

Photo by Tony McGuffey

As part of the finishing touches to Batesville High School parking lot (before classes start later this week) a member of the school maintenance team aligns a handicap parking stencil for painting.

Beginning this school year, as part of the plan to cut costs and upgrade the campuses within the Batesville School District, BHS is the first to receive solar panels, mounted on a covered walkway, to generate electricity for . . .

Pastor races for special needs inclusion

By BUCK RINGGOLD Southwest Times Record
FORT SMITH -- Once he relocated to Fort Smith nearly a year ago to pastor at a local church, Jarrett Banks immediately made sure he ordered a chair.
It was no ordinary chair, however. The . . .

Animal cruelty, battery, other arrests made

MELBOURNE -- One man was arrested for animal cruelty while two women are facing domestic battery charges in separate incidents, according to a news release from the Izard County Sheriff's Office.
Jeremy Jerrod Eubanks, 29, was . . .


The time for the Pleasant Plains City Council was incorrect in Monday's Guard. The council will meet at 6 . . .

City Council to meet

Batesville City Council will meet Tuesday at the Municipal Building at 5:30 p.m.
During the meeting, the council will consider a resolution authorizing Mayor Rick Elumbaugh to apply for the Arkansas Department of Parks and . . .

School board to meet

Cave City School board will meet tonight at the Cave City High School Library at 6 p.m.
During the meeting, the board will set a date for the Sept. meeting and Annual Report to the Public. An out-of-state trip request will also . . .

Sharp court to meet Monday

The Sharp County Quorum Court will meet at 6 p.m. Monday in the Sharp County Courthouse.
This regular monthly meeting is open to the . . .

Pleasant Plains growing

PLEASANT PLAINS - When the city council meets Tuesday night the major topics on the agenda will be resolutions that include annexation of homes, the start of phase one of getting the town's own sewage treatment plant and a city . . .

Quorum court to vote

The Independence County Quorum Court will discuss a pay increase for Batesville School Resource Officers at its monthly meeting tonight.
The ordinance is an amendment to the annual budget for 2018. It will raise two of the . . .

City mayor appointed

Mayor Jonas Anderson of Cave City recently accepted an appointment to the Executive Committee of the Arkansas Municipal League for the 2018-19 session.
According to the League's website, the committee is responsible for "adopting . . .

Child Advocacy Centers at work to open Batesville house

Photo by Frank Wallis

Lindsey Carter, executive director of the Child Advocacy Centers Batesville House, talks about interior changes needed for the Boswell Street house that will be the location of some CAC operations.

Lindsey Carter expects Independence County and four adjoining counties to produce 350 child abuse cases in 2018 including many that will be made ready for prosecution through an investigative model developed by Child Advocacy . . .

Couple fell in love at Colton's, ended up at Freddy's

Photo submitted

Elijah, Aaron, Aubrey and Cami Elms take a fun photo outside of their new eating establishment that is opening this week in Batesville. "This photo shows our real personalities," the couple said.

When the Newark graduate landed a job at a local eating establishment it didn't take long for the cute Southside girl to catch his eye.
Colton's Steak House had just opened its doors in Batesville and Aaron Elms was working as a . . .

Armed teachers get mixed reviews from public

Photo by Tony McGuffey

Signs like this, which announce armed security, will be posted at all Batesville School District buildings and parking.

There will be an added layer of security when Batesville classes resume this semester: Armed staff.
The move to allow certain members to carry guns is in an effort to ensure the safety of the students, and staff, in the event of . . .

Arkansas architect's team wins NASA project

Associated Press
LITTLE ROCK -- A northwest Arkansas architect is part of a team that has won a NASA competition to build homes on Mars.
Trey Lane of Rogers and two teammates placed first among 19 teams from around the world and . . .