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Holiday Hero Central: Harding Place Christmas Tree program

Harding Place is a Christian assisted living facility on the campus of Harding University in Searcy.

The Harding Place Christmas Tree program works directly with the Arkansas Department of Human Services and the White County Foster Parent Association to provide Christmas presents to foster kids in White County. 
The Christmas Tree Gallery will be open December 1st - 11th. There will be about three dozen trees set up around the facility, each one representing a organization like Home Instead Senior Care.

Area residents are invited to visit Harding Place to stroll through the gallery, enjoy cocoa and cookies, and bring an unwrapped present to place under the tree of their choice.

Each toy represents a vote for the best tree, and at the end of the allocated time a tally is made to see which small, medium and large organization or business has won a trophy.

Hydrochloric acid leak forces Ark home evacuations


The Searcy Daily Citizen reported that about 25 homes were evacuated at 9 a.m. Thursday, about 30 minutes after the leak was discovered at the intersection of Arkansas Highways 36 and 367.

Assistant Fire Chief Doug Baker says about 60 gallons of the substance leaked, creating a four-foot high cloud of caustic fumes that were dissipated by the wind. No injuries were reported.

Baker says a private contractor will conduct the cleanup.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Harding University announces construction projects

Harding University’s board of trustees approved two major construction projects Nov. 5 to be completed before the beginning of the 2011 fall semester on the Searcy campus.

At its semiannual fall meeting, the 21-member board gave approval for administrators to move ahead with plans for the $4 million renovation of Stephens Residence Hall for women and a 21,000-square-foot, $1.6 million addition to Ganus Athletic Center.

The two new projects, coupled with the $4 million addition to the Mabee Business Center already underway, will give the University almost $10 million in new and renovated facilities by the end of 2011.

The renovation of Stephens Residence Hall will be completed during the summer 2011. The facility is the second-largest residence all on the campus, housing 240 female students.

Included in the renovation will be a new pitched-roof replacing the current flat roof and a more efficient heating and cooling system.

Union Rescue Mission starts Thanksgiving program


Families will be referred to the Union Rescue Mission by area agencies, such as St. Francis House, Agape Church, Martindale Baptist Church and The Summit Church- North Little Rock. The last day for families to sign up for food boxes will be Friday, November 12, 2010. There is enough food in each box to feed a family of four, and families with more than four members will receive more than one box.

The Feeding the Multitude Food Drive is conducted annually by the Union Rescue Mission. Local churches, schools, and civic organizations collect canned food items, boxed stuffing, cake mixes, and frosting. More than 50 volunteers will come to the Mission on Confederate Blvd. Saturday, November 21 to help pack the food boxes.

(Source: Union Rescue Mission)


Winners of the 2010 Duck Pluck for Special Olympics!

The Arvest Bank/Peabody Hotel Duck Pluck for Special Olympics Arkansas is in the books with Tracey Zeiner winning the Grand Prize - $2,500.00 in gift cards to Walt Disney World!  Tammy Foreman won a $1,000 cash from Arvest Bank and Andrea McNeely won the 42" Plasma HDTV provided by Cardinal Health.Below is a list of the prizes drawn Friday night at the Peabody Hotel. A special thanks to Arvest Bank, The Peabody Hotel, Golden Corral and all sponsors who contributed tomake this a great event for the whole family! 

In all about $15,00 dollars was raised for Special Olympics Arkansas!


Ark. jury decides against woman in bar fight suit

The Searcy Daily Citizen reports that Notra McGhee had sued the Elks Lodge, claiming it was negligent in the 2008 death of her brother, Larry Martin.

McGhee's attorney, Connie Grace, says Martin got into a fight with a man who hit then pushed Martin, who hit his head on the floor. Martin was placed in a chair.

The club's attorney, Bill Frye, says the man pushed Martin when Martin fell into him. Frye added that Martin's blood alcohol level was .19 at the time, and that 911 was called.

Grace says the medical bills for Martin reached $1.3 million.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Searcy Fire Department receives ISO class 1 rating

ISO measures major elements of a community's fire suppression system, such as personnel training, manning levels of engine and ladder companies, water supply, and distribution systems, receiving and dispatching fire alarms, fire fighting equipment, needed fire flow, and fire company locations.

The grade is broken down into three sections:
1. Water system 40%
2. Fire department 50%
3. Communications receiving and handling alarms 10%

By analyzing the data and using criteria outlined in a rating schedule, a field analyst will produce a final classification number for a community. Each of the 43,000 plus communities are graded from one (1) to ten (10), with one being the best. This also would mean lower or higher insurance rates depending on the classification number.

Presently, SFD is the only fire department in the state to have received the ISO Class 1 rating.