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News in brief

NEWS SNIPPETS IN THE RIVER VALLEY AND OZARK AREA by The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette | May 20, 2010 at 3:04 a.m.

— MAUMELLE Academics Plus to discuss name change

MAUMELLE - Jess Swe ere, chair man of t he school board for Academics Plus Charter School, said he noticed many students and Maumelle residents referring to the school simply as “the charter school.” That observation prompted him to make a recommendation to the community relations committe e at Ac ademics Plus to change the school’s name.

“The community relations committee will be holding a meeting about that,” Sweere said.

The meeting is scheduled for 4 p.m. Tuesday.

Keep reading the River Valley and Ozark Edition for more coverage on Academics Plus Charter School.

POPE COUNTY Russellville airport approved for grants

RUSSELLVILLE - The Russellville Regional Airport will receive $600,000 from the state Department of Aeronautics Commission. The commission met May 11 and agreed to fund the construction of a new hangar and other upgrades at the airport.

Matching grants will require the city of Russellville to provide more than $100,000 for the projects.

Airport manager Bobby Day said the construction of the new hangar will support future development.

“It will generate revenue for the airport of about $1,200 a month,” Day said.

Construction of the hangar will likely start in less than a month.

CONWAY COUNTY Sculpture show planned for June

MORRILTON - The fifth annual Arkansas Sculpture Invitational Show and Sale will take place from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, June 19, and from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, June 20, in front of the Morrilton Railroad Depot. In order to expand the event, it was moved from Little Rock to Morrilton several years ago.

“Various sculptures will be displayed for two days, and this is a great way to be able to commission or buy yourfavorite piece while being able to meet the artist who created it,” organizer Rebecca Harrell said.

She encourages all those attending the show to visit with individual artists and dine at Morrilton restaurants.

VAN BUREN COUNTY Group campaigns to legalize medical cannabis use

CLINTON - A group of civic activists has been meeting monthly since January to discuss the issue of medical cannabis use.

“We agree with [Sen. Randy Laverty, D-Marble Falls] that it is time for a strong dose of honesty and sanity in the drug-war issue,” said a group member who wanted to remain anonymous.

The group believes the issue is much larger than marijuana use itself.

“This is really about how we treat sick people like they were violent criminals,” the group member said.

The activists have drafted a bill they call the Arkansas Medical Cannabis Act of 2011, which is being circulated for public comment.

Group spokesman RobertReed said the group compiled the legislation from a review of similar laws in other states.

For more information, search for “Arkansas for Medical Cannabis” on Facebook, and keep reading the River Valley and Ozark Edition.

FAULKNER COUNTY Conway Symphony Orchestra to perform for students

CONWAY - The Conway Symphony Orchestra has finalized plans for its annual classroom project. The orchestra will visit Conway elementary schools through Wednesday to perform demonstrations of the orchestra’s work. The final demonstration will take place at the Boys and Girls Club in Mayflower.

For more information, visit www.conwaysymphonyorchestra.org.

YELL COUNTY Sheriff’s deputy dies in accident

BELLEVILLE - Part-time Yell County sheriff ’s deputyMike Patton, 36, of Belleville, died on the evening of May 13 after an agricultural-machinery accident.

Friends gathered to remember Patton on Sunday.

“He was a wonderful human b eing,” Yel l C ounty Sheriff Bill Gilkey said. “A thing about Mike was that when a situation arose, you didn’t have to ask for his help.

He was always here.” Patton helped the Sheriff ’s Department with regular patrol duties, manhunts, searches for lost children and severe-weather response.

“He was always taking care of everybody else,” Gilkey said.

To see your news briefs appear in this section of the River Valley and Ozark Edition, contact Caroline Zilk at czilk@arkansasonline.com or (501) 244-4326.

River Valley Ozark, Pages 72 on 05/20/2010

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