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Wednesday, April 1, 2015

New poultry company plans to bring 100-plus jobs to Batesville

A new venture primarily focused on the storage and secondary processing of poultry hopes to bring up to 120 jobs to the Batesville area. Custom Craft Poultry will team with Batesville Cold Storage, a longtime local business owned by Frostyaire of Arkansas, to offer poultry product to foodservice and retail clients with “specific ready-to-cook protein needs,” according to a press release. “In short, we will convert poultry products such as whole breast or tenderloins, as an example, to ‘customer ready’ sizes and forms using a combination of technology and team members,” said Randell Smith, CEO and operating partner of the new joint venture. The company will utilize the building of Batesville Cold Storage by converting 22,000 square feet of the facility, as well as constructing a 7,000-square-foot structure housing offices and a break room. “Over the past three years, the poultry businesses in the area have converted from a frozen-based business to a primarily fresh boneless business, negatively impacting the overall throughput of Batesville Cold Storage,” said Steve Thomas, general manager of Batesville Cold Storage and Frostyaire executive. The venture will create an avenue to provide a new customer base to the existing frozen storage business, according to the release. Custom Craft Poultry’s business intention is twofold, said Smith. “One, Custom Craft Poultry will generate new frozen product customers, increasing the base business for Batesville Cold Storage,” he said. “Secondly, we will generate added value to product currently leaving the community in commodity forms. This business model will ensure longevity to a current local business, while creating new incremental jobs by utilizing raw material primarily grown in the area.” Custom Craft poultry anticipates team member requirements could be as many as 80 positions by year’s end and up to 120 once the facility is fully utilized. “We are excited about our business opportunities and thrilled with being part of the economic growth of Independence County and the surrounding area,” said Smith. 

Stanley Wood Chevrolet going to bat for City of Batesville

The City of Batesville will be provided with new sports equipment thanks to a partnership with Stanley Wood Chevrolet, monetary contribution and instructional clinics. Stanley Wood Chevrolet has joined forces with the national Chevrolet Youth Baseball program to provide the equipment along with a monetary contribution, invitations to free instructional clinics, and an opportunity for community members to earn additional donations for their league via a “test drive” fundraiser. “Playing the game of baseball helps kids develop skills like leadership, cooperation and sportsmanship while bringing families and communities together to show their support,” said Ariel Smith, marketing coordinator for the Batesville dealership. “Stanley Wood Chevrolet and Chevrolet Youth Baseball are proud to participate in a sport that brings so many smiles to kids and families in Batesville. Chevrolet believes that in play, there are possibilities and supports the spirit of teamwork that baseball instills in its players.” This is the tenth anniversary of Chevrolet’s Youth Baseball program, and according to a press release, it “…has helped aid local teams, benefiting more than 3.5 million young people in communities where Chevrolet’s customers live, work and play.” Stanley Wood Chevrolet will present the City of Batesville with over 100 baseballs and softballs. The sponsorship also includes youth clinics featuring current and former players and coaches from the major and minor leagues, and instructors from Ripken Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association. In addition, Stanley Wood Chevrolet will present a check representing a one-time monetary contribution to the City of Batesville. Sponsored leagues across the country will have the chance to earn additional funds as community members take test drives at their partnering dealership to help support the league. In addition to its commitment to youth baseball, Chevrolet also is the Official Vehicle of Major League Baseball. “Chevrolet vehicles are designed and built for families, safety and fun, so we encourage young people and their parents to make a Chevrolet the official vehicle of their household,” said Smith. For more information about Chevrolet Youth Baseball, please visit or baseball. 


The Cleverlys wrap up performing arts series at UACCB

The final event for the 2014-2015 performing arts series sponsored by the University of Arkansas Community College at Batesville (UACCB) Student Government Association and First Community Bank will feature comedy bluegrass band, The Cleverlys, Thursday, April 9. The Cleverlys became a You Tube sensation when their videos performing bluegrass covers of contemporary songs, including Beyonce and The Black Eyed Peas went viral. The band consists of family members Digger, Vernon Dean, Ricky Lloyd, and Munk Cleverly, delivering an evening of “…musical talent, showmanship, traditional bluegrass, hip hop, blues and comedy…,” according to a press release. For more information about The Cleverlys or the performing arts series, call (870) 612-2040. Tickets are $10 each and the doors will open at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are available at UACCB and First Community Bank’s Batesville, Southside and Cave City branches. 


‘Denim & Diamonds’ dance, silent auction tomorrow in Batesville

Family Violence Prevention, Inc. will hold its sixth annual fundraiser, “Denim and Diamonds,” tomorrow, April 2, at the Edwards Commons Dining Hall on the campus of Lyon College in Batesville. Described as a “dance and silent auction to end domestic abuse,” the event will feature local band, Tripping Nicky, providing live entertainment throughout the evening, and Stacey Lewis, a survivor of domestic abuse, sharing her story. Heavy hors d’oeuvres and carving stations will also be available in addition to the silent auction. Tickets are $50 per person or $80 per couple and are on sale now at Centennial Bank, Citizens Bank, First Community Bank, Merchants & Planters Bank, and Southern Bank, as well as the Family Violence Prevention Outreach Office, located at 192 E. Main St., inside the Independence County Courthouse. For more information, contact Patty Duncan at (870) 793-4011. 

ER or primary care provider: when to know where to go

Seconds count during a medical emergency, which is why access to immediate care is critically important. The White River Health System network includes three emergency rooms: White River Medical Center (WRMC) in Batesville, WRMC Medical Complex in Cherokee Village, and Stone County Medical Center in Mountain View.  Over 3,500 patients are treated at these facilities each month, and each patient who comes to the ER receives an appropriate medical screening.  “Every patient who comes through our doors does so because they have a health concern,” said Dr. Doug Bernard, chief medical officer at WRMC. “ER Physicians and nurses choose emergency medicine out of a genuine desire to care for patients needing immediate care, although, many of the patients being treated in ERs across the nation may be better cared for by their primary care provider.” Situations that don’t require emergency medical care can increase ER wait times and cause frustration for patients. “Education on how to recognize a medical emergency,” Dr. Bernard says, is the key to accessing medical care in the most appropriate setting. Patients who fear they are having a stroke or heart attack, have deep cuts, possible broken bones, trauma to head, neck, back or eyes, sudden severe pain, or pregnancy concerns, for example, should not hesitate to come to the ER. Those with mild fevers, sore throats, colds, earaches, headaches, joint pain, mild or moderate pain, or coughs should consult their primary care provider.

The Arkansas Foundation for Medical Care (AFMC) has published guidelines for medical screenings in emergency rooms.  The guidelines help hospitals direct patients to the most appropriate setting for care while ensuring that no patient is denied emergency medical care.  These guidelines include referring patients to their primary care provider for non-emergency conditions and notifying patients that their insurance may not cover the cost of non-emergency care if it is provided in an emergency room.   “It is important for patients to understand these new guidelines when considering coming to the ER for care,” said Dr. Bernard. “No patient will be denied care; however, as a result of these new guidelines put in place by the AFMC, patients might instead be re-routed to their primary care provider so those with emergencies can better be served in our facilities.” This change is taking place in hospitals across Arkansas. For more information on when to go to the er vs. when to call a primary care provider, visit healthlibrary.white or read the link on White River Health System’s Facebook page. 

Ozark Foothills FilmFest kicks off this weekend

The 14th annual Ozark Foothills FilmFest will be held April 3-4 and April 10-11 in Batesville. The 2015 installment of the festival will screen 28 films and host 20 visiting filmmakers from across the country. All screenings will be held at Independence Hall on the campus of the University of Arkansas Community College at Batesville. Highlights of the festival include a screening of the silent 1928 film, Lonesome, with live musical accompaniment by the Doug Talley Quartet of Kansas City, Mo. on April 10, and a conversation by film professor and director Jay Craven at Morningside Coffee House in Batesville on April 3 at 12 noon. Craven’s film, Northern Borders, will also screen at the festival. And on Saturday, April 4, Arkansas Film Commissioner Christopher Crane will announce the winners of the “From Around here” Arkansas Film Awards in the Narrative and Documentary categories at Independence Hall. For more information about this year’s festival, go to or call (870) 251-1189.