Other Days

100 years ago

Dec. 16, 1923

JONESBORO -- Charles O'Keith, an escaped Kansas convict who, with Benny Casey, a fellow prisoner, gained his liberty early yesterday after fatally shooting David W. Burns, aged 44, penitentiary parole officer, aboard a Missouri Pacific train near Alicia, was captured by Deputy Sheriff Houston Johnson and the constable of Bono shortly before 9 o'clock tonight. Casey escaped from the officers after a gun battle. ... The shooting occurred on a Missouri Pacific train just before it reached Alicia about 2 o'clock in the morning. After disarming the guard and obtaining his keys to the handcuffs and shackles which bound them, the bandits cut the air hose and stopped the train. They escaped in darkness almost before other passengers on the train realized what occurred.

50 years ago

Dec. 16, 1973

MAGNOLIA -- Rankin Town, an unincorporated community in Columbia County, has received a $12,000 grant from the Roman Catholic Church's Campaign for Human Development to continue its "self-help" effort to overcome poverty. The tiny community of 66 residents, which through a community effort got running water last August for the first time, received the grant with the help of James Overstreet, 36, a Volunteer in Service to America, who has worked in the community for more than two years. ... Part of the money would be used to help residents establish clear title to their land, which reportedly was settled after the Civil War by a man named Allen Rankin, who willed it to his grandchildren. His surviving grandson, however, holds only a quit claim deed, which does not specify exact boundaries or establish which families own what parcels of the more than one acre.

25 years ago

Dec. 16, 1998

YELLVILLE -- Authorities are asking for the public's help in the investigation of fires that destroyed two historic buildings in Rush, a "ghost town" near the Buffalo River. Arson is suspected in the fires that burned the buildings to the ground late Dec. 10 or early Dec. 11, the National Park Service said. A park maintenance worker discovered the ashes of the buildings during a routine trip to Rush. Destroyed were the Brantley House, built around 1899 and home to generations of residents, and the Morning Star Mining Company livery barn, built around 1890.

10 years ago

Dec. 16, 2013

Starting next school year, every Arkansas public high school must offer at least one "digitally delivered" course, such as an online course or a webinar, to comply with the provisions of a recently passed state law. And beginning with the state's high school Class of 2018 -- whose members will start high school in August as ninth-graders -- every public school student must take one of those courses to be eligible for graduation. Arkansas Education Commissioner Tom Kimbrell said last week that multiple efforts are underway on the state level to help school districts meet those and other requirements in Act 1280 of 2013, the Digital Learning Act.

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