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Local Briefs


Departee Creek board to discuss work on Friday

The Departee Creek Watershed Improvement District will hold a board meeting at 2 p.m. Friday in the Oil Trough City Hall.

This will update board members on the latest activities in preparation for work to be accomplished on Departee Creek.

No presentations will be made, but the public is welcome to attend.

'Moonshiners and Government Men' to be discussed

The Independence County Historical Society will meet Sunday, 2 p.m., Old Independence Regional Museum, Ninth and Vine streets in Batesville. The free meeting is open to the public.

Dr. Blake Perkins, chairman of the History Department, Williams Baptist University, Walnut Ridge, will discuss "Moonshiners and Government Men in the Arkansas Ozarks." He will usenational and regional newspaper articles about violent conflicts between backwoods moonshiners and federal employees during the late 1800s and the early 1900s.

"The press coverage helped create powerful stereotypes about Ozarks culture in the popular imagination that remains strong today," said Perkins.

One of the clashes to be explored will be the murder of Charles Jeffrey, resulting from arguments about the cattle dipping vats scattered around the county.

After the meeting, Perkins will hold a book signing for those wishing to purchase his new book, "Hillbilly Hellraisers: Federal Power and Populist Defiance in the Ozarks."

It probes beneath cultural myths to examine actual historical dynamics and to better understand what was really at stake in the infamous clash between mountain moonshiners and government revenuers in the Ozarks.

A native of Lawrence County, Perkins is the fifth-generation descendant to reside on the family farm along the Strawberry River. He earned a bachelor of arts from Lyon College, master of arts from Missouri State University and Ph.D. from West Virginia University.

Library board eyes July 16 grand opening

The Independence County Library Board has called a special meeting for 5:15 p.m. today in the meeting room in the library.

The board will be discussing some final construction details and the July 16 grand opening.

Construction site volunteers needed

Habitat for Humanity of Independence County will continue working on framing at the build site Saturday, July 14 and is seeking volunteers to come join them.

Work will start around 8 a.m. at 394 Pine St. in west Batesville (just across from West Elementary).

Breakfast and lunch will be provided.

Volunteers are also needed for Habitat's store, located at 85 Batesville Blvd., across the road from U.S. Pizza.

For information email info@independencehabitat.org or call 870-793-1999.

Teen boy drowns at Damsite Park

HEBER SPRINGS -- A 17-year-old boy slipped and fell into the water and drowned Saturday, according to Cleburne County Sheriff Chris Brown.

Deputies responded around 10:30 a.m. to Damsite Park after it was reported that the teenager slipped and fell into the water near Trouble Island.

Deputies, along with members from the Corps of Engineers Rangers, North Star EMS, Heber Springs Police Department and Fire Department, and Cleburne County Search and Rescue arrived on scene to help assist in locating the teen.

At approximately 10:50 a.m., divers pulled the teen's body out of the water. North Star EMS transported the teen to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

The boy was reportedly from Memphis, but he was not identified by officials and no other details have been released.