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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Intimidator teaming up with Mahindra USA for new line of UTVs, bringing expansion and new jobs

Intimidator, Inc., the Batesville-based manufacturer of side-by-side 4x4 utility vehicles, is expanding their facilities and bringing an expected 150 jobs to the area with the announcement of an agreement to manufacture an all-new line of UTVs for Mahindra USA. Based in Houston, Tex., Mahindra USA is part of the Mahindra Group’s Automotive and Farm Sector – the number one selling tractor company in the world, based on volumes. Named the Mahindra mPACT XTV, the new rollout will begin with six models available through Mahindra’s dealer network beginning in early 2015. Mahindra dealers were given a sneak preview of the new utility vehicles at Mahindra’s regional dealer meetings in October. “We are looking forward to a long-term and productive relationship with Mahindra to bring the mPACT XTVs, that are built with pride from the ground up in Batesville, Arkansas, to its strong and growing North American dealer distribution network,” said Robert Foster, who with his wife, Becky, co-owns Intimidator, Inc. “We will boost UTV production significantly in the coming years as we expand the rollout to all markets to meet demand.” Intimidator has immediate plans to add 7,600 sq. ft. to its 122,000 sq. ft. headquarters in Batesville, and is working closely with the Independence County Economic Development Board on plans for a major facility expansion in the area’s new industrial park within three years. In addition, the expected demand for the Mahindra mPACT XTVs will add 150 new jobs at the Intimidator manufacturing facility, which currently employs more than 50 people, as production is ramped up to meet this demand. “Our partnership with Intimidator brings together two companies with shared vision, an innovative approach to product design and a passionate commitment to quality,” said Mani Iyer, president of Mahindra USA. “Mahindra is dedicated to investing in the future through new product development to provide our dealers and customers with products that continue our tradition of delivering the unmatched value they have come to expect from Mahindra.” “The Mahindra mPACT XTVs are all designed to provide superior performance and deliver impressive work and transport capabilities,” according to press release from Mahindra USA. “This XTV lineup offers category-leading cargo box and towing capacity. Each model offers spacious, comfortable seating for driver and passengers and is loaded with standard features such as true 4WD, 12-inch ground clearance, power cargo box lift, front and rear receiver hitches - all backed by an industry-leading three-year powertrain and one- year bumper-to-bumper warranty.” The gas and diesel versions will be available early next year in three styles: Standard (three-passenger with cargo); Crew (six-passenger with cargo); and Longbed (three-passenger with extra cargo that folds to a flatbed). “The Mahindra mPACT XTV stole the show at our North American regional dealer meetings in October as our dealers responded with overwhelming support for this new product line,” said Cleo Franklin, Mahindra USA’s vice president of marketing and strategic planning. “Pre-orders at the regional dealer meetings exceeded our expectations and we are looking forward to getting these top-of-the-line utility vehicles in the hands of our customers in 2015. The utility vehicle segment is a natural extension to our growing line of tractors and will add fuel to Mahindra’s rapid growth in North America.” The new Mahindra XTVs will begin to roll out in early 2015 to select markets and expand through the United States and Canada through the remainder of the year. For more details and weekly updates on the Mahindra mPACT XTV series, visit

Hance named Radiology Director at WRHS

Gary Bebow, CEO of White River Health System, recently announced that Judy Hance has been named Director of Radiology at White River Medical Center (WRMC) in Batesville and at the WRMC Medical Complex in Cherokee Village. Hance has been at WRMC for thirteen years. As Director of Radiology, Hance will be responsible for overseeing total operations of the Radiology Department. “Judy Hance has many years of experience in radiology, thirteen of those at our facility,” said Bebow. “Her experience, attention to detail, ability to connect with employees, and compassion for patients, make her a perfect fit for this leadership role.” Hance attended the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. She is registered in Diagnostic Radiology, with certifications in Cardiac/Vascular Interventional Radiology, and Mammography. “Throughout my career in Radiology, I have had the good fortune to work at great medical facilities with great people, but none compare to the services and qualified staff we have within WRHS,” said Hance. “I am so thankful for the support of the Radiology staff at WRMC and the WRMC medical complex for making my transition seamless.” 

The Batesville Area Arts Council (BAAC) will be hosting its annual Kids’ Holiday Workshop, where participants will create their own Gingerbread House out of graham crackers, icing, various candies, and several other food items. The workshop will be held on Saturday, Dec. 6 at the BAAC Gallery on Main, 226 E. Main St. in Batesville. Cost of the workshop is $5 per student. To register a child or for more information, visit or call (870)793-3382. Photo submitted

Local church taking collections for Operation Christmas Child

This week is National Collection week for Operation Christmas Child, sponsored by the humanitarian organization, Samaritan’s Purse. Each November, thousands of churches, groups and individual donors prepare and collect shoeboxes filled with toys, school supplies, personal items and other small gifts. The boxes are then distributed to needy children in over 100 countries. To donate, prepare a shoebox or empty average size cardboard box, fill with items, wrap, and include $7 per box donation to cover shipping and other related costs. Locally, the boxes can be taken to Calvary Baptist Church, at the corner of 20th and Lyon streets in Batesville between the hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays; from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday; and from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. National Collection Week ends Monday, Nov. 24.

 “Little Mermaid” coming to UACCB

The Arkansas Arts Center Children’s Theatre on Tour will perform The Little Mermaid at the University of Arkansas Community College and Batesville’s (UACCB) Independence Hall on Monday, Dec. 1 at 7 p.m. Children’s Theatre on Tour is part of the State Services program at the Arkansas Arts Center. “The Children’s Theatre on Tour brings the magic of the theatre to thousands of children and families across the state,” said Arkansas Arts Center executive director Todd Herman. “Every year, their performances wow the audiences and create extraordinary theatre experiences that educate, challenge and inspire young people and their communities.” The play is written by Mike Kenny and based on the original story by Hans Christian Andersen. The presentation of The Little Mermaid is free, but tickets are required to ensure adequate seating is available. Tickets outlets are the Cave City and Southside branches of First Community Bank as well as the main branch on the corner of St. Louis and Harrison streets in Batesville. Tickets are also available at the cashier window in the main classroom building on the campus of UACCB. For questions or more information, call (870) 612-2040.