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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Boating Education class coming to ASUN

Arkansas State University-Newport (ASUN) will host an Arkansas Game and Fish Commission (AGFC) Boating Education course Saturday, March 14 from 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. in room 127 of Walton Hall on the campus of ASUN. There is no fee for the class, but registration is required and may be completed by calling (870) 512-7861 or by emailing Jennifer Ballard at  Boating Education manuals will be provided, but students will need to bring a pen or pencil.  There will be a one-hour break for lunch.


The Batesville Area Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors recently celebrated new radio stations, Outlaw 106.5 FM and AM 1130, with a ribbon cutting at the W.R.D. Entertainment studios. Outlaw, programmed by Ken Loggains (center, holding scissors), features a classic country-based format along with alt-country artist selections and also broadcasts Melbourne Bearkatz sports. Photo submitted


Harps CEO recognized by National Grocers Association

Pictured (from left):  Rick Brindle, vice president, Mondelez;  Roger Collins, chairman and CEO, Harps Food Stores; Valerie Oswalt, president, U.S. Sales, Mondelez; Peter Larkin, CEO NGA Photo submitted

Roger Collins, the chairman and CEO of Harps Food, was recently presented the 2015 Thomas K. Zaucha Entrepreneurial Excellence Award during the National Grocers Association (NGA) Annual Convention in Las Vegas. The award is named for Zaucha, who was NGA’s president and CEO from its inception until his retirement in 2009. The award is given to an independent operator who exemplifies persistence, vision and creative entrepreneurship. “I have been blessed to have an amazing team of leaders who are committed to both our values and to finding a way to be successful,” said Collins, who joined Harps in 1986. “Seeing our employees reap the benefits of that success has been very rewarding”. Harps stores are located in Arkansas, eastern Oklahoma and southern Missouri and, under the leadership of Collins, are currently 78 stores strong and growing at the rate of 5 to 7 stores annually. Collins and Gerald Harp, then chairman, worked together to convert Harps to an employee-owned company in 2001, making Harps the largest employee-owned company headquartered in Arkansas. 

UACCB offering adult education class

The University of Arkansas Community College at Batesville (UACCB) Adult Education Program has joined efforts with the Arkansas Rehabilitation Services (ARS) Batesville Office to meet educational needs in the community. An adult education class will be offered at the ARS Batesville Office at 111 N. 12th St. on Tuesdays and Fridays from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. beginning March 10. This class is open to adults 18 years and older. The class is designed to meet a variety of student needs, but its main purpose is to increase academic skills for employment purposes, according to a press release. Students without a high school diploma can prepare for the GED test. Instruction will also be available for students with low reading scores wanting to apply to the Arkansas Career Training Institute (ACTI) in Hot Springs or who have not been able to reach the reading requirement for admission into college. Students can utilize this class to prepare for the Career Readiness Certificate (CRC) test or to increase math or reading skills for employment. Assistance in preparing resumes, completing job applications, and interviewing will be provided to enrolled students. The location of the class at the Batesville ARS Field Office was chosen so that ARS clients would be more comfortable attending class in a familiar setting. Additionally it was thought that the location just off Main Street might be more convenient to the general public who have transportation issues that prevent them from traveling to the UACCB campus located just outside of town. For more information about the class, contact Nancy Whitmire at UACCB (870) 612-2085 or Sarah Lassiter (870) 793-4153 or Kimberly Clayborn (870) 972-0025 at ARS.


‘DENIM DONATION’ – Joe McAdams (far right) accepts a $500 donation to White River Specialized Industries from representatives of Citizens Bank’s “Blue Jeans Fund,” including (from left) Joyce Prickett, Coleda Gardner, Amanda Crider, Penny Rueter, Julie Grady, Cindy Garrett, Justin Teague, Mitzi Hughes, Helen Shaw and Charla Foster. Photo submitted

Citizens Bank ‘Blue Jeans Fund’ benefits White River Specialized Industries

About a dozen employees of Citizens Bank recently toured White River Specialized Industries and presented the organization with a $500 contribution from the bank employees’ “Blue Jeans Fund.” Joe McAdams, executive director of White River Specialized Industries, thanked the bank employees for the contribution and provided a tour of the facility. White River Specialized Industries provides training and a sheltered workplace for about 40 developmentally disabled adults who are available to perform various contracted jobs for local companies. Since the early 1970s, White River Specialized Industries has provided a wide variety of programs for adults with developmental disabilities that prevent them from entering the mainstream workforce. The Citizens Bank Blue Jeans Fund now has surpassed $10,500 in financial support to worthwhile causes and charitable organizations in the past two years. Money in the fund accumulates as bank employees donate $1 per week to be allowed to wear blue jeans to work on Fridays. Each time the fund reaches $500, bank employees select a charity to receive a donation. 


United Way announces new executive director The United Way of Independence County has a new executive director. Allison Phelps, the former director of programs and events at the Batesville Area Chamber of Commerce, was named to the position Feb. 13. Her first day was Monday, Feb. 16. “We are excited to have Allison join our team,” noted a press release from the board of directors announcing the appointment. “Allison holds a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Texas and is an active member of the community. An energetic and dynamic leader, her skills and experience with strategic planning, fundraising, as well as her commitment to community impact, make her a perfect fit for United Way.” 

 “I am honored to have been chosen to lead an organization dedicated to improving the quality of life in our community,” said Phelps. “Working at the chamber has been great experience for me and I am excited to expand my reach in the non-profit sector.” The search for Phelps began in early December with Phelps being selected for the position by a local executive committee comprised of United Way board members. Phelps, and her husband, Kyle, relocated to Batesville in 2013.