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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Museum to host Spring Family Day

Celebrate the spring season with Old Independence Regional Museum at Spring Family Day on Saturday, March 28 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. This year’s theme is “Arkansas the Natural State” with special programming that includes Rodney Paul of Raptor Rehab of Central Arkansas, who will be bringing owls, hawks and falcons; Dr. Becky McPeake of the University of Arkansas Extension Service, who will be presenting the program “Snakes Alive”; Dr. Tamara Walkingstick of the University of Arkansas Extension Service talking about wild edibles; Tony Guinn from Blanchard Springs Caverns presenting about bats and cave life; and Dr. Gus Lorenz with the University of Arkansas Extension Service talking about Arkansas insects. Other programming will include Powhattan State Park interpreter, Steve Saunders who will talk about the fur trade and keel boats on the White River and Amanda Nikkel demonstrating Dutch oven cooking on the museum’s open, outdoor hearth. “We are excited about the list of presenters coming to our Spring Family Day to highlight Arkansas’ wild heritage,” said Amanda Nikkel, humanities educator. Museum volunteers will also be holding a bake sale with treats available for purchase to benefit the museum. Old Independence serves a 12-county area: Baxter, Cleburne, Fulton, Independence, Izard, Jackson, Marion, Poinsett, Sharp, Stone, White, and Woodruff. Parts of these present-day counties comprised the original Independence County in 1820s Arkansas territory. The museum is open Tuesday to Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and from 1:30 to 4 p.m. on Sundays. Admission is $3 for adults, $2 for seniors and $1 for children. The museum is located at 380 S. 9th St., between Boswell and Vine Streets in Batesville. 

Batesville Kiwanis Club hosting Circus

The Kiwanis Club of Batesville is sponsoring the Kelly Miller Circus for the exhibition of an all-new 2015 show. The circus will roll into town on Sunday, March 29 and be held at Riverside Park. Visitors can view the animals being unloaded and fed at 7:30 a.m. and watch the elephants raise the big top beginning at 9 a.m. Guides will be furnished for groups and anyone attending. The traditional “old style” circus will present performances at 2 and 5 p.m. Tickets are available at Citizens Bank, First Community Bank, Southern Bank, Batesville Area Chamber of Commerce, and Carlee’s Crown Shop. Advance tickets are $6 for children and $12 for adults. Tickets will be $15 for adults and $7 for children at the big top the day of the circus. 

Ozark Foothills FilmFest line-up announced

The 14th annual Ozark Foothills FilmFest recently released the schedule of screenings and ancillary activities slated for this year’s festival. The festival is scheduled for April 3, 4, 10, and 11. All screenings will take place in Independence Hall on the campus of the University of Arkansas Community College at Batesville. Related activities will take place at Lyon College, MorningSide Coffee House, and Elizabeth’s restaurant, all in Batesville. The FilmFest will screen 28 films during the four day event, over half of which are Arkansas premieres. Twenty of the filmmakers whose work is screening will attend and conduct post-screening Q & As. Some of the Arkansas premiere narrative features to screen are: Northern Borders, described as “…a humorous and sometimes startling coming-of-age story about a young boy sent to live on his grandparents’ rural Vermont farm in which Genevieve Bujold mixes humor, warmth, and a touch of insanity with beautiful grace and Bruce Dern perfectly conveys his character’s hardened shell with only glimpses of the love underneath”; The Frontier, starring Max Gail (Wojo on the TV series Barney Miller), a family drama; and Stomping Ground, a horror/comedy hybrid about a hipster and his southern girlfriend that has been described as “a scary relationship comedy about love and Bigfoot hunting.” Noteworthy documentary features include: Misfire: The Rise and Fall of The Shooting Gallery about the indie production company responsible for the films, Stand by Me and Sling Blade; and Billy Mize and the Bakersfield Sound about the legendary titular musician. The festival will continue its tradition of screening a restored classic silent film as films were screened in the 1920s—with live music accompaniment. This year’s film is Lonesome by director Paul Fejos, described as “…a New York City symphony set in antic Coney Island on the Fourth of July weekend.” The film will be accompanied by the Doug Talley Quartet, who also composed the score they will perform. 

Film critic and scholar Jonathan Rosenbaum has observed: “It has often been said that the art of the silent film achieved a certain perfection of expression immediately before sound came in and made that art a thing of the past. Lonesome is, in many ways, a classic example of this.” Films by Arkansas filmmakers figure prominently in this year’s Ozark Foothills FilmFest line-up, fifteen of which will screen on Saturday, April 4. Most of the filmmakers represented will be in attendance. For the complete festival schedule, as well as information about venues, tickets, and lodging, visit The 2015 Ozark Foothills FilmFest is sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Arkansas Film Office, the Mid-America Arts Alliance, the Independence County Recreation Fund, First Community Bank, Suddenlink, Citizens Bank, FutureFuel Chemical Company, W.R.D. Entertainment, Mandy Maxwell Graphic Design, Mark Martin Ford, Bad Boy Mowers, Kent’s Firestone, Bryant’s Pharmacy, and numerous other Batesville businesses. 


Sulphur Rock Magnet Elementary scores big

Local banks, businesses, parents and school staff drew fans to Sulphur Rock Magnet Elementary’s March Madness basketball tournament on Friday, March 13, raising $5,500 for the school. The tournament pared competing businesses and organizations against each other in games of basketball. First Community Bank took a victory over Citizens Bank; Stanley Wood defeated Mark Martin; Bad Boy won over the Game Day/Wal-Mart/Tom Ford Auto team; and Dr. Rodney Griffin/Best Equipment team outscored Tripp supply in the final round. “While the competition was fierce, this tournament brought out the best in the people of our area,” said Johnnie Moore, the school’s sports director and event organizer. “Not only did we raise money to purchase basketball uniforms for our students, we saw our community working together to help meet the needs of one of our local elementary schools. Everyone at Sulphur Rock Magnet Elementary is so grateful to the businesses and fans who made this a great success.”