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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Batesville Christmas parade, lighting ceremony set for Dec. 1

Main Street Batesville will be aglow with festive holiday lights as the 2014 Batesville Christmas Parade kicks off in downtown Monday night, Dec. 1, at 7 p.m., according to the Batesville Area Chamber of Commerce. The city of Batesville will also hold its lighting ceremony with the theme of “Cowboy Christmas” at City Hall, beginning an hour earlier, at 6 p.m. Parade applications are available at the chamber’s office located at 409 Vine St. and on the chamber’s website at Gold sponsors for the parade are FutureFuel and Henard Utility Products. Silver sponsors are Eye on Independence, Flowers Baking, Hiland Diary, The Home Depot, Kallsnick Inc., Marshall Dry Goods, Sherwood Urgent Care, Thompson’s Jewelry, and W.R.D. Entertainment. For more information, contact Mandi Curtwright with the Batesville Area Chamber of Commerce at (870) 793-2378. 

First Community contributes to K-9 fund

The Independence County Sheriff’s Department recently received a $1,000 donation from First Community Bank of Batesville to help the department in their goal to obtain a new K-9 partner. Crook, the K-9 partner of sheriff’s deputy Chris Toland, was recently retired. “Independence County is fighting a major battle on a daily basis against the use and distribution of illegal drugs,” said Sheriff Steve Jeffrey. “Our K-9 partners are an invaluable resource in our effort to combat this and other problems in our community. “When we were forced to retire Crook, we started immediately searching for ways to replace him. First Community Bank was one of the organizations to step up and help us.” Dale Cole, chairman and CEO of First Community Bank, hopes other individuals and local businesses will do the same. “Replacing a K-9 partner isn’t cheap,” said Cole. “It will cost the sheriff’s department approximately $11,000 to get a properly trained and equipped police K-9. Everyone who lives or works in Independence County receives the benefits from the hard work of our police force.” “We’re interested in keeping our area safe, with a low crime rate,” said Boris Dover, president and COO of First Community Bank. “The K-9 unit certainly contributes to that goal.” Donations can be made to the Independence County Sheriff’s K-9 fund at 1750 Myers St., Batesville, AR, 72501.


‘Thirsty’s Run for the Kids’ planned for Dec. 13

The third annual Thirsty’s Run for the Kids will be held Saturday, Dec. 13, at the Eagle Mountain Shopping Center. The event will be from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Donations of $10, one unwrapped toy or a non-perishable food item are welcome. All proceeds will benefit three National Guard families. For more information, contact Digger or Dory at (870) 214-1182. 

Ice skating coming to White River Wonderland

The city of Batesville is teaming with the Batesville Area Chamber of Commerce and First Community Bank to bring ice skating to the city’s White River Wonderland Christmas light display at Riverside Park. Beginning Monday, Dec. 1, visitors will have access to a synthetic ice skating rink, located in the Riverside Park amphitheater. “We are excited to enhance the already spectacular White River Wonderland,” said Mayor Rick Elumbaugh. “People come from across the region and neighboring states to visit our spectacular light show and to ride carriages through Riverside Park. Johnathan Abbott, the mastermind behind the project, has managed to create a breathtaking light display on the banks of the White River, which has quickly become a holiday must-see. The entire community has embraced the effort, and many local businesses have offered financial support for the project. First Community Bank has generously offered to sponsor the ice skating rink, allowing us to offer yet another dimension for visitors and hometown residents alike.” “Working together on community projects is at the heart of what we do,” said Dale Cole, chairman and chief executive officer of First Community Bank. “Our hope is to give the community something to enjoy but to also promote tourism and draw visitors to the area. The addition of an ice skating rink is a great way to complement what has already been done in creating the community’s White River Wonderland project. The Batesville Parks and Recreation Department has been very gracious to coordinate the skating rink project, they hope to have it ready on Dec. 1 when the lighting ceremony takes place at 6 p.m. in the park.” A nominal maintenance fee of $5 per skater will be charged for a 30-minute session. Skates are included in the price, but visitors are welcome to bring their own ice skates. Discounts are available for schools, churches, and other groups of 25 or more. Group accommodation can be scheduled by calling the city of Batesville at (870) 698-2427. The rink’s hours of operation are 1 p.m. until 10 p.m. from Sunday to Friday and 10 a.m. until 10 p.m. on Saturday. It will be closed on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Children under 18 should be accompanied by an adult. The rink is scheduled to close on Sunday, Jan. 4. 

Tommy Muston (left), a Farm Bureau agent and a veteran of the first Gulf War and Afghanistan conflicts, stands with Butch Duncan (center) of Independence County Farm Bureau as Duncan presents a donation to Maj. Jim Ives (right), U.S. Army (retired), of the Harry B. Stokes VFW Post 4501 in Batesville. The donation will help support veteran causes. Photo submitted