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Wednesday October 7, 2015

John 3:16 Variety Night scheduled For October 17

Dance, food, fun and a unique beauty pageant will highlight the tenth annual John 3:16 Variety Night, Saturday, Oct. 17 at Independence Hall on the University of Arkansas Community College at Batesville campus. Variety Night is an annual fundraiser to benefit the ministries of John 3:16.

This year’s event will feature the John 3:16 dance team performing with the North Arkansas Dance Theatre dance team in a skit entitled “Mississippi Squirrel,” and a beauty pageant with all-male contestants. A silent auction as well as a live auction will also be held with Mooney Starr serving as auctioneer.

Tickets are $10 and include a catfish dinner to be served during the evening. Tickets are available at Dairy Queen in Batesville and First Community Bank’s main branch in Batesville. There will also be a drawing for a Chevrolet Tahoe sponsored by Stanley Wood Chevrolet.

The silent auction begins at 3 p.m. Dinner will be served at 5 p.m. with the live auction beginning at 6 p.m. Entertainment will kick off at 7 p.m.

The men at John 3:16 Ministries welcome all area residents to enjoy the evening while helping raise money for a worthy cause.

For more information, contact John 3:16 Ministries at (870) 799-2525 or visit john316mini- 

Walmart grant allows SCMC to enhance mammography services 

Thanks to a $167,000 grant from the Walmart Foundation State Giving Program, Stone County Medical Center (SCMC) now has advanced technology for detecting breast cancer. The White River Health System (WRHS) Foundation secured funding for the purchase of digital mammography equipment and the expansion of its GYM (Get Your Mammogram) screening project.

Digital Mammography, along with computer-aided detection, offers sharper image quality which can detect breast cancers at an earlier more treatable stage. The American Cancer Society recommends annual mammography screening for women beginning at age 40. Women with a family history of breast cancer or other risk factors should talk with their provider about the best time to begin screening.

The Health Resources and Services Administration has identified Stone County and the surrounding area as a medically underserved region. The National Rural Health Association Policy Brief reports that women living in rural areas do not receive regular screening mammography and are diagnosed at a later stage of breast cancer compared to women living in large cities. Because breast cancer is the second most common cancer for women in the US, lifesaving early detection is critical in fighting the disease.

We are pleased that the Walmart Foundation chose Stone County Medical Center as the recipient of the State Giving Grant,” said Gary Bebow, CEO of WRHS. “The grant, along with the GYM project, allows us to improve the mammography screening process for women in the region, which could save lives.”

The WRHS Foundation’s GYM project links uninsured women over 40 to breast health education, screening services and, if needed, navigation to breast cancer treatment services. This year, SCMC hosted a breast cancer screening event at the Stone County Primary Care Clinic. Free clinical breast exams were provided by volunteers, Dr. N.J. “Nick” Piediscalzi and Robyn Sweet, RNP. The women participating also received referrals for mammography at SCMC.

“Our area of the state is extremely rural, which sometimes makes it difficult for women to get the mammography coverage needed. It is even more difficult for those who have no insurance or insufficient coverage,” said Stan Townsend, SCMC administrator/COO. “Digital mammography and the GYM Project together help us reduce the number of late stage breast cancer cases and will, hopefully, lead to higher survival rates for women in the community fighting breast cancer.”

“Walmart is committed to giving back to the communities we serve,” said Michael Lindsey, director of public affairs at Walmart.  “Providing better detection and outcomes for breast cancer is critically important, and we commend SCMC and are honored to be able to provide assistance for such a worthy cause.” 

Arkansas State Sen. Missy Irvin (front row; third from left) stands amongst representatives from Walmart, Stone County Medical Center (SCMC), and the White River Health System Foundation while Walmart presents a $167,000 check to SCMC, allowing them to enhance mammography services. Photo submitted

Fowler Center presenting Super Scientific Circus Friday

Arkansas State University’s Fowler Center teams up with the Arkansas Science Festival to present Super Scientific Circus on Friday, Oct. 9, as the family friendly performance of the 2015-16 Riceland Distinguished Performance Series.

Shows will begin at 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. at the Fowler Center, 201 Olympic Dr. in Jonesboro. The show sponsor is the Arkansas Science Festival.

Fowler Center’s Family Friendly Series features affordable ticket prices and entertainment that appeals to younger audiences, according to Bob Simpson, Fowler Center director.

The Super Scientific Circus, starring Mr. Fish and Trent the Mime, proves that science can be fun and funny. Alternately assisted and foiled by the comedic antics of Trent the Mime, Mr. Fish uses amazing circus skills involving boomerangs, bubbles, beach balls, bull whips, and magic to introduce the principles of friction, inertia, centripetal force, aerodynamics, sonic booms, air pressure and ultraviolet light.

All seating is reserved. Tickets for the Family Friendly Series are $8 for children and seniors, $10 for adults. For additional discounts for schools and groups of 15 or more, contact the A-State Box Office at (870) 972-2781. For more information on the Arkansas Science Festival, go to

Tickets may be purchased at the A-State Central Box Office in the Convocation Center, located at 217 Olympic Dr. in Jonesboro, or by calling (870) 972-ASU1 or toll-free at (888) ASU-FANS. Tickets are also available online from the A-State Box Office at and from 

Students at Central Magnet Elementary participated in See You at the Pole on Wednesday, Sept. 23. The nationally-held event unites students in prayer before God interceding for their generation. Photo submitted

The IMPACT Independence County committees held their first official meetings last week. The Tourism Committee met on Tuesday, Sept. 22 to discuss potential projects that will enhance and further define Independence County tourism opportunities and revenue. The Education Excellence Committee also met on Tuesday, Sept. 22 and brainstormed ideas for future goals regarding primary, secondary, and post-graduation education and workforce training for area schools. The Economic Prosperity Committee and the Healthy Living and Well-being Committee each convened on Thursday, Sept. 24 and discussed improvements that could potentially improve the county's quality of life and industry development. Photo submitted