Obituary: Dennis L. Wood

Dennis L. Wood, 72 of Glencoe passed away Thursday, July 22, 2021.  He was born on Jan. 29, 1949, in Jonesboro, Arkansas to Buford and Aurie Belle Cagle Wood.  He was a retired city mail carrier for Trumann, Arkansas, and a U.S. Navy Vietnam Veteran.    He was of the Baptist faith.

He was preceded in death by his parents and a brother, Kenny Wood.

Survivors include his significant other of 23 years, Linda Davis of the home; two daughters, Rae Anne Hellenthal and Elizabeth Berry both of Williford; five grandchildren, Alyssa Maness, Mackenzie Wells, Trystin Wallace, Caleb Berry, and Marian Berry; six great-grandchildren, Marlee Maness, Marcus Wells Jr., Ahbree Maness, Ella Laughlin, Kymani Wells and Devauntae Johnson Jr.; and a host of other relatives and friends.

Memorial services will be held at a later date.  Arrangements are by Qualls Funeral Home of Cave City.

Obituary: William “Randy” Huff

William “Randy” Huff, 63 of Southside passed away Wednesday, July 21, 2021.  He was born March 10, 1958, in Little Rock, Arkansas to Bearl and Rosie (Bennett) Huff.  He was a U.S. Army Veteran having served in Desert Storm and achieved the rank of Major.  He was a member of the Lighthouse Gospel Church in Southside.

He was preceded in death by his parents.

Survivors include his wife Virginia (Morriss) Huff of the home; sons, Chad Huff (Holly) of Jacksonville and Johnny Moore (Tonya) of Era, Texas; daughters, Teresa Hodnett (Dean) of Midland, Texas and Ramona Michaels (Rick) of Kingwood, Texas; sisters, Patricia Huff of Cabot and Pam Depriest (Chris) of Beebe; grandchildren; Ashton Huff, Connor Huff, Carson Huff, Rhett Hodnett, Hud Hodnett, Jonathan Moore, Tyler Moore, Rick Michaels III, Lindsey Michaels and Sophie Bell; uncle and aunt, Billy and Donna Huff of Batesville; several nieces, nephews, cousins and a host of other relatives and friends.

A memorial service will be held, Tuesday, July 27, 2021, at 7:00 p.m. at the Qualls Batesville Funeral Service Chapel with Edward Wilford officiating.

Visitation will be from 6:00 p.m. until service time.

Obituary: Diane Walker

Diane Walker, 80, of Newark entered the gates of heaven early Thursday morning July 22, 2021. She was born in Newark on June 5, 1941, to the late Paul Thomas Yarber and Dellar Frances (Huff) Yarber.

Diane was very active in the church. She served the Lord Jesus Christ in life as well as a member of Newark Southern Baptist Church. She loved to study her bible and sing specials at Sunday service.

She also enjoyed gardening but her passion in life was using her spiritual gifts to serve the Lord and being a loving wife, mother, sister, and friend.

She is reunited in heaven with her parents. She is survived by her loving husband, Bobby Walker; her son, Eric Quintin Walker; her daughter, Felicia Gail Walker; and her two sisters, Cora Lee Looney and Regina Faye Eick.

Services are entrusted to Willis Funeral Service of Batesville, AR. There will be a graveside service at Blue Springs Cemetery, Saturday, July 24, 2021, at 10 a.m.

Lyon College announces intentions for Fall 2021

According to a press release from Lyon College’s Assistant Athletic Director for Media and Communications, Lyon’s Director of Athletics Kevin Jenkins issued a statement on behalf of the institution intending to return to normal operations for athletics this upcoming year.

“The AMC, SAC and NAIA plan to return to normal operations for the 2021-22 academic year.  Lyon College Athletics will plan the same but will be monitoring COVID-19 in our area, state, and region as we begin competitions in the fall.  We will be following decisions made by the CDC, local and state governments. Please visit for the latest information. Go Scots Go!”

To view the Lyon College’s Fall 2021 COVID-19 policies, click the link here.

First Community Bank hosting tour of Greece

First Community Bank is sponsoring a two-week tour in October focused on “Exploring Greece and its Islands.” Bank customers and guests will have the opportunity to discover the ruins of ancient Greece.

“As we organize travel, please know that the health and safety of our customers remain our top priority. We will follow the best practices and protocols in regards to COVID-19 to ensure a safe, secure, and seamless experience,” said Dale Cole, chairman and CEO of First Community Bank. “This tour to Greece is the first step we are taking to expand our travel program as an additional benefit to our loyal customers.”

This once-in-a-lifetime journey, scheduled for Oct. 17-31, will explore Greece’s most important ancient monuments, including the legendary Acropolis, the famed Temple of Zeus, the archaeological site of Olympia, and ancient artifacts of Delphi.

During a comprehensive land tour of Greece, travelers will view the excavations of the ancient city at Akrotiri, the most important prehistoric settlement found anywhere in the Eastern Mediterranean, and local experts will conduct guided tours of Athens, Meteora, Delphi, and Olympia.

Travelers will experience the winding streets, vineyards, marketplaces, and beaches of Mykonos and Santorini; visit a farm to see how olive oil and wine are produced; and learn how to cook traditional Mediterranean cuisine.

Space is strictly limited on this tour, so interested travelers should plan to reserve their spaces now or during a preview party to be held Tuesday, August 10 at 5:30 p.m., in the Main Street community room at First Community Bank, 301 E. Main Street, in Batesville.

The program is being developed by longtime travel expert Chuck Jones who, along with his wife Sarah, has in recent years hosted dozens of entertaining and enlightening tours and events throughout the Mid-South region, and to destinations across North America and Europe.

For additional information on how to experience the iconic sights of Greece and its islands, call First Community Bank at (870) 612-3400, and ask for Chuck Jones in the marketing department.

Get up-to-date local and regional news along with the latest sports and weather every weekday morning by listening to Gary B. on Ozark Newsline, broadcast from the First Community Bank Newsroom on Arkansas 103.3. White River Now updates are also aired weekday mornings on 93 KZLEOutlaw 106.5, and Your FM 99.5. Have a news tip or event to promote? Email White River Now at Be sure to like and follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Add don’t forget to download the White River Now mobile app from the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store.

Rutledge calls for putting state’s individual income tax elimination on ’22 ballot

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge says she’ll try, as she runs for governor, to put on next year’s ballot a proposition to end the state’s individual income tax.

Rutledge announced on Thursday her plan to push for the proposed constitutional amendment. Getting a proposed amendment on the ballot would require at least 89,151 signatures from registered voters.

The Batesville native is running against former White House press secretary Sarah Sanders for the GOP nomination. Rutledge launched her candidacy last year.

Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson is barred by term limits from reelection next year.

Get up-to-date local and regional news along with the latest sports and weather every weekday morning by listening to Gary B. on Ozark Newsline, broadcast from the First Community Bank Newsroom on Arkansas 103.3. White River Now updates are also aired weekday mornings on 93 KZLEOutlaw 106.5, and Your FM 99.5. Have a news tip or event to promote? Email White River Now at Be sure to like and follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Add don’t forget to download the White River Now mobile app from the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store.

U.S. sanctions Cuban officials over human rights abuses, protests

The U.S. Treasury Department announced Thursday that the United States imposed new sanctions on Cuban officials accused of “serious human rights abuse and corruption” amid ongoing protests calling for economic reform and COVID-19 relief.

The sanctions target Cuba’s Interior Ministry and Alvaro Lopez Miera, head of Cuba’s Ministry of the Revolutionary Armed Forces. The financial penalties come under the Global Magnitsky Act, which seek to fight human rights abuses. The Treasury Department said Lopez Miera and the MINFAR “have attacked protesters and arrested or disappeared over 100 protesters in an attempt to suppress those protests.”

The anti-government protests are the largest seen in decades in the communist country, as people took to the streets earlier this month in the capital of Havana and other locations as Cuba continued to suffer from a deepening economic crisis and the pandemic.

President Joe Biden released a statement Thursday said the Cuban people have the right to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly, just as Americans do: “I unequivocally condemn the mass detentions and sham trials that are unjustly sentencing to prison those who dared to speak out in an effort to intimidate and threaten the Cuban people into silence,” he said.

Editorial credit: Eli Wilson /

CDC stands firm on mask guidance despite surge of Delta COVID-19 variant

CDC Director Rochelle Walensky told reporters on Thursday that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is standing firm for now with its guidance  that only unvaccinated people need to wear masks to be safe, and vaccinated people are able to go without. Last May, the CDC said that vaccinated people could safely go without masks indoors, citing evidence that people who are fully immunized are unlikely to get sick and unlikely to spread the virus. However since then, the new “Delta” variant of the virus has spread rapidly across unvaccinated pockets of the U.S., once again overwhelming health care workers who say victims of the delta variant are younger and have become sicker. On July 9 the CDC issued guidance for schools, which calls on any unvaccinated staff and students to wear masks. Kids under 12 don’t yet qualify for the vaccine.

Walensky said “we are always looking at the data as the data come in. But CDC mask guidance hasn’t changed and that — for now — there’s no need. Fully vaccinated people are protected from severe illness, and we’ve always said that communities and individuals to make the decisions that are right for them based on what’s going on in their local areas.”  She later added: “In areas that have high and low amounts of vaccination … if you’re unvaccinated, you should absolutely be wearing a mask. If you’re vaccinated, you have exceptional levels of protection from that vaccine, and you may choose to add an extra layer of protection by putting on your mask and that’s a very individual choice.”

Later on Thursday, President Joe Biden said:“We follow the science. What’s happening now is all the major scientific operations … are looking at all the possibilities of what’s happening now,” he said. “We have a pandemic among the non-vaccinated — those who are not vaccinated.”

Editorial credit: bear_productions /

NFL planning to enforce forfeits in event of games cancelled due to COVID-19 outbreaks

The NFL announced Thursday it will not allow games to be rescheduled in 2021 in the event of a COVID-19 outbreak. The league’s new policy was announced in a memo sent to all 32 teams, in which it states that if a team is forced to cancel a game due to COVID-19 infections among its non-vaccinated players, the team will likely have to forfeit the contest, per the NFL’s memo. Organizations that cause cancelations in 2021 could also face discipline from NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.

COVID-19 forced a number of postponements during the 2020 season, though all teams played the entire 16-game schedule. There were no postponements in the playoffs, and Super Bowl was held as scheduled on Feb. 7.

The 2021 season is slated to begin on Thursday, Sept. 9 when the Buccaneers host the Cowboys.

Editorial credit: Alena Veasey /

Cardinals’ DeAndre Hopkins questions NFL future due to COVID-19 vaccine concerns in since-deleted tweet

In a since-deleted tweet, Arizona Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins questioned his future in the NFL due to the COVID-19 vaccine.

Hopkins said in the tweet: “Never thought I would say this, But being put in a position to hurt my team because I don’t want to partake in the vaccine is making me question my future in the @Nfl.” The tweet was deleted about 30 minutes after it was posted; Hopkins then later tweeted: “Freedom?”

The tweets were posted on the same day the NFL announced that teams that had COVID-19 outbreaks among unvaccinated players could be forced to forfeit games. The NFL said more than half of its teams have COVID-19 vaccination rates greater than 80% of their players, and more than 75% of players are in the process of being vaccinated. Nearly all clubs have vaccinated 100% of their Tier 1 and 2 staff. Teams have appropriate protocols set up for staffers who have not been vaccinated, consistent with the guidance given last April.

Hopkins played the first seven seasons of his NFL career with the Texans before he was traded to the Cardinals prior to the 2020 season. He has 10,009 receiving yards, the 49th most in NFL history.

Editorial credit: JASON TENCH /