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Wednesday July 1, 2015

Citizens Bank, co-sponsors to host 2015 ‘Celebrate America’ in Batesville’s Riverside Park July 4

A full afternoon and evening of entertainment will precede the region’s premier fireworks display as Citizens Bank hosts its 18th consecutive “Celebrate America” event on Saturday, the Fourth of July, in Riverside Park in Batesville.

“Citizens Bank is proud to provide families a great place to gather on the banks of the White River to observe Independence Day with fun, fellowship and entertainment,” said Phil Baldwin, bank president and CEO. “We are thankful for the continued support of our major sponsors: W.R.D. Entertainment, Batesville Daily Guard and Flowers Baking Co.”

Everyday Life, an energetic and popular band that has delighted local crowds in the past, will be back to top this year’s show with a concert that begins at 7 p.m. The day-long celebration also includes food and craft vendors; bounce houses; and other children’s activities, such as face-painting and balloon animals. Live performances will also feature the North Arkansas Dance Theatre, and a demonstration by the Treasure Island Gymnastics and Martial Arts Academy.

The evening will conclude with the fireworks extravaganza at about 9:15 p.m. Again this year, the “Celebrate America” fireworks will ignite nearly overhead from the detonation zone in Kennedy Park, which is located directly across the river from Riverside Park. “

We are ready to welcome thousands of people from across the region who will enjoy a full day of entertainment, activities, and fireworks in Batesville,” said Baldwin. “We also appreciate the participation of our many returning and new co-sponsors, including Batesville Poultry, City of Batesville, Cup’d Up Outdoors, Dowell Transport, FutureFuel, Lyon College, UACCB, White River Health System, Amy Beth Anderson, Al Crouch and Bud Shreve, U.S. Pizza Co., and Intimidator Inc.”

The parking lot for Kennedy Park will be closed all day on Saturday, July 4. Access to the sandbar will be allowed until approximately 8 p.m. A parking area will be provided for trucks with boat trailers, and a shuttle will transport boaters to and from the parking area. 

IMPACT Independence kickoff scheduled for tonight at UACCB

Don’t forget IMPACT Independence, a casual community meeting and cookout, is scheduled for tonight beginning at 6 p.m. at Independence Hall on the University of Arkansas Community College at Batesville (UACCB) campus. Gov. Asa Hutchinson along with county leaders and representatives from the Arkansas Economic Development Commission will be attending the event which will also give Independence County residents the opportunity to participate in a survey that will eventually be utilized in a strategic plan for the area.

For more information, call (870) 793-2378 or go to 

WRHS Receives Grant to Purchase Birthing Simulator

When it comes to giving birth, there are times when extra special care is needed to ensure the safety of both mom and baby. Thanks to a grant from the Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield’s Blue and You Foundation for a Healthier Arkansas, White River Health System (WRHS) now owns a device called a Noelle Birthing Simulator that will help clinical care teams be more prepared for many different obstetric emergency situations that might occur in expecting women.

Noelle is a life-sized birthing simulator programmed to reenact the birthing process both with and without pregnancy complications such as eclamptic seizures, fetal distress, shoulder dystocia (when a baby’s shoulder gets stuck in the birth canal and halts delivery), trauma-induced labor (such as those caused by car accidents or falls), and more. Through these reenactments, emergency personnel learn critical techniques for handling these situations.

A simulation-based crisis team made up of White River Medical Center (WRMC) employees will conduct training drills using the Noelle Simulator at WRMC in Batesville, the WRMC Medical Complex in Sharp County, and the Stone County Medical Center in Stone County. Since pregnancy emergencies can occur anywhere, at any time, training will not only be to emergency department personnel working inside our facilities, but also to trauma teams, emergency medical service providers, and first responders in surrounding counties.

“The Noelle Birthing Simulator will be an essential training tool for our obstetric staff, emergency staff, and local emergency personnel,” said Melanie Creighton, nurse manager of Women’s Health Services. “Labor and delivery can be very unpredictable and we want to ensure that those involved in caring for a distressed mother or baby are prepared to handle any situation that might arise, leading to the best possible outcome.”

The Blue & You Foundation provided a grant in the amount of $25,270, which will aid in purchasing the machine, providing training efforts, and assisting with further certification courses for OB staff.

“This program was one of 35 chosen from among 202 applications, so the process was very competitive,” said Patrick O’Sullivan, executive director of the Blue & You Foundation. “We especially liked that this equipment and training would be made available to medical personnel working in several surrounding counties.”

The Noelle Birthing Simulator will be available for training this summer.

WRMC is a 224-bed regional referral center and the flagship facility of WRHS, a not-for-profit healthcare system serving residents throughout north central Arkansas. The system includes hospitals, outpatient facilities, primary care and specialty physician office practices. White River Health System is a member of the Premier Alliance, the American Hospital Association, and the Arkansas Hospital Association and licensed by the Arkansas Department of Health.  

Pictured, from left: Melanie Creighton, RN and Michelle Snow, RN demonstrate the Noelle Birthing Simulator.
A grant from Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield's Blue and You Foundation provided funding for the tool.

Pictured, from left:  Melanie Creighton, RN; Michelle Snow, RN; Dick Bernard, WRHS Foundation Board of Directors president; Tim McCall, Blue and You Foundation representative; and Gary Bebow, WRHS CEO celebrate the presentation of the grant funds for the Noelle Birthing Simulator.  Photos submitted


The Independence County Farm Bureau Board hosted a Legislature “Thank You” reception Monday, June 22, 2015. Those attending were Dwight Tosh, Michael John Gray, and James M. Sturch as well as about 30 board members, staff and spouses. Photo submitted


Representatives from Merchants and Planters Bank were on-hand for the bank's Dr. Red Bell Memorial Golf Tournament at The Course at Eagle Mountain in Batesville. Pictured, from left: Jerry Henderson, Randy Ramsey, Randy Cross, Andrew Brock, Joey Treadway, Lee Conditt, and Jim Gowen, Jr. For the third year in a row, Tommy Ford (left) and Dr. David Bell were the winners of the tourney. Photos submitted