U.S. Marines Call Off Search For 8 Missing Military Members Presumed Dead

On Sunday, the U.S. Marines called off the search for seven Marines and one Navy sailor who went missing after a vessel sank off the California coast on Thursday night. All eight are presumed dead.

The amphibious assault vehicle, known as an AAV, carries Marines from ship to ship. The AAV was carrying 15 Marines and one sailor when it was transferring the sailors from the shores of San Clemente Island near San Diego to a Navy ship when it began to sink. Eight Marines were rescued after the accident, and one later died. Two are in critical condition.  The Marines were attached to the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, based at Camp Pendleton. 

The Marines have suspended all water operations of the more than 800 AAVs until the cause of accident is determined. The investigation is ongoing. 

8 missing service members presumed dead after training ‘mishap’ off California coast

Via www.nbcnews.com

Editorial credit: The Mariner 4291 / Shutterstock.com

Microsoft Confirms Discussions To Buy U.S. Operation Of TikTok

On Sunday, Microsoft confirmed that it is in talks with Chinese company ByteDance to acquire the U.S. arm of its popular video app TikTok.  Microsoft also said they discussed with President Donald Trump his concerns about security and censorship surrounding such an acquisition.

In a statement, Microsoft said they, along with ByteDance, have provided notice of their intent to explore a deal resulting in Microsoft owning and operating the TikTok service in the U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand. The company said it expects those talks to conclude by Sept. 15.

On Friday, President Trump said that he would soon ban TikTok in the United States. Trump and CEO Satya Nadella have spoken, the company said, and Microsoft was prepared to continue exploring the purchase of TikTok’s U.S. operations after their conversation.

In their statement, Microsoft said: “Microsoft fully appreciates the importance of addressing the President’s concerns. It is committed to acquiring TikTok subject to a complete security review and providing proper economic benefits to the United States, including the United States Treasury.”

Microsoft to ‘move quickly’ on TikTok deal following Trump talks

Via www.nbcnews.com

Editorial credit: XanderSt / Shutterstock.com

Justin Thomas Wins WGC In Memphis To Reclaim No. 1 Ranking

Justin Thomas won the FedEx St. Jude Invitational on Sunday to reclaim the No. 1 spot in the world for the first time since June 2018. Thomas took the win over defending champion Brooks Koepka, sealing the World Golf Championship victory on the par-5 16th. 

Thomas closed with a 5-under 66 to finish at 13-under 267 and take the $10.5 million winner’s check for his 13th PGA Tour title. At 27, he became the third-youngest player since 1960 to reach 13 PGA Tour wins, trailing only Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus.

Koepka will go to TPC Harding Park in San Francisco looking to defend his PGA championship title. He finished with a 69 and tied for second with Phil Mickelson (67), Daniel Berger (65) and Tom Lewis (66).

Justin Thomas holds off Brooks Koepka to win WGC, reclaim No. 1 ranking

Via www.espn.com

Editorial credit: Hafiz Johari / Shutterstock.com

NY Mets Slugger Yoenis Céspedes Opts Out Of 2020 Season

NY Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen said Sunday that outfielder and designated hitter Yoenis Céspedes is opting out of the 2020 season. “We will support him in that decision,” Van Wagenen said, adding, “It was surprising, without question. And at the same point, we have to go forward and we have to not allow anything from keeping us from going forward and attempting to win every game.”

Céspedes, 34, did not report to the team’s ballpark ahead of Sunday’s game against the Braves, which lead the team to issue a formal announcement regarding his absence. “As of game time, Yoenis Céspedes has not reported to the ballpark today,” Van Wagenen said in the initial statement. “He did not reach out to management with any explanation for his absence. Our attempts to contact him have been unsuccessful.”  Van Wagenen said the club learned of Céspedes’s decision late in Sunday’s game against the Braves.

Céspedes was appearing with the Mets for the first time since July 2018, having gone more than two years between appearances due to multiple injuries.

Mets’ Cespedes opting out after Sunday no-show

Via www.espn.com

Editorial credit: Debby Wong / Shutterstock.com

Updates on two recent shooting incidents in Batesville

Batesville Police Department officials have released more information surrounding Thursday night’s reported shooting incident and an ensuing one-vehicle crash near a Littlefield convenience store. And the department is also confirming investigators are working on a reported shooting incident last night at Hawg’s Exxon.

A release from the investigative division of the Batesville Police Department said around 8:30 Thursday night, BPD officers were dispatched to the area of Chaney Drive and St. Louis Street in regards to a single-vehicle crash. 

A gold-colored sedan had smashed into a utility pole located beside the Littlefield store, affecting a transformer in the area, the release said. Dispatch also informed responding officers that witnesses came forward stating that they had observed the sedan driving through the south side of Riverside Park. The witnesses informed officers they believed they had heard gunshots coming from the gold sedan. 

Additional witnesses, who were in a vehicle driving in the area, said they were passed by the sedan, which was traveling at a high rate of speed, according to the release. As the speeding sedan approached the intersection of Meyers and Chaney, they said they believed they heard two more gunshots come from the vehicle. The witnesses said they lost sight of the sedan before discovering it crashed.

The release said other witnesses at the crash scene saw two male subjects flee the area on foot. 

Based on the witnesses’ description of the two subjects, a 34-year-old male was later located on Broad Street, and he was determined to be the suspected passenger in the vehicle. And through further investigation, the release said a 26-year-old male, the suspected driver of the crashed vehicle, was later located in Cleburne County.

Both suspects are in custody and have been placed on a Criminal Investigation Division Hold at the Independence County Detention Facility.

The release said it is believed at this time that the shots fired were random and into the air, and were not directed at any person or object. This is an ongoing investigation, according to the BPD.

And details have been limited on another reported shooting from last night at Hawg’s Exxon on St. Louis Street.

According to a report from KAIT 8 News, BPD officers received a call at about 8:30 p.m. regarding a shooting in the parking lot of the convenience store and gas station. The report said one person was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, and a firearm was taken from the scene. (Click here to read the KAIT report.)

In a text to White River Now Sunday morning, Batesville Police Chief Alan Cockrill said the investigation regarding last night’s incident is ongoing as well.

White River Now will update these stories as they develop.

white river now with all logo 2020 (JULY)

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 yourfm 99.5. Have a news tip or event to promote? Email White River Now at news@whiterivernow.com. 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.

For more local news and info from White River Now, head to our home page.



And another item we will be asking Batesville Police about is KAIT’s report of shots fired  in an area of a convenience store in North Batesville.  Our math says this makes the second shooting in Batesville within three days, and the third shooting within a month.

Court info: Pleasant Plains man accused of alleged child sexual abuse

According to information filed in Independence County Circuit Court, the Independence County Sheriff’s Department received a “Crimes Against Children” referral, alleging child sexual abluse, on Wednesday, July 29. The filing said the victim was under the age of 10 while the suspect was 60 years old

The court info said the reporting party was told by a juveline of alleged sexual abuse by the accused, identified as Lonnie Keith Cavaness (pictured below), 60, of Pleasant Plains

The individual also told authorities that the juvenile told the individual who sexually abused them and how, and how a younger juvenile was spanked with a belt, leaving marks on the second juvenile’s back and buttocks.

Lonnie Keith CavanessImage via Independence County Sheriff’s Department

Cavaness was brought to the sheriff’s department that Wednesday evening where authorities say, during an interview, Cavaness admitted to the rape and battery, according to court filings.

He is now charged with five counts of rape, a Class Y felony.

Each count of that felony carries a sentence of 25 years to life in prison.

He is also charged with one count of second-degree battery.

Cavaness is in custody on a $500,000 bond.

white river now with all logo 2020 (JULY)

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 yourfm 99.5. Have a news tip or event to promote? Email White River Now at news@whiterivernow.com. 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.

For more local news and info from White River Now, head to our home page.

Obituary: Naomi Jean Bruce Insell

Naomi Jean Bruce Insell, 90, of Desha, passed away Thursday, July 30, 2020. She was born on October 2, 1929, in Desha to Charles Clifton Bruce and Easter Oklahoma “Homa” Leonard.  She grew up in Desha and attended the Desha Methodist Church. On November 11, 1950, she married Charles Ray Insell in the parsonage of the Desha Methodist Church.

During her working years, she was a secretary and teller and was a volunteer at the White River Medical Center. She was a member of the Believer’s Community Church in Batesville.

Her family was most precious to her and she loved spending time with them especially the “great” grandchildren.  She had a “soft spot” for them and would play blocks with them on the floor. She also enjoyed gardening and reading.

She is preceded in death by her husband, parents, brothers, Leonard Fillmore “Buster” Bruce, Charles Davis Bruce, and sister, Lois Kelley.

Jean is survived by her daughter, Judy Allen and husband Bill, of Batesville; sons, David Insell and wife, Kathy, of Batesville, Steve Insell and wife Becky, of Desha; grandchildren, Davy Insell, Kevin Insell, Joe Insell, April Hobbs, Michael Allen, Chris Insell, Elizabeth Newton,  Laura Baker; and 21 great-grandchildren.

A private graveside service will be held with David Insell, Joe Insell, and Bill Allen officiating.

Pallbearers will be Davy Insell, Joe Insell, Kevin Insell, Chris Insell, Aaron Hobbs, Michael Allen, and Joel Newton.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the following: Humane Society of Independence County, 5 Environmental Drive, Batesville, AR 72501; Batesville Help and Hope, Inc. 2622 E. Main Street, Batesville, AR 72501; Arkansas Sheriff Youth Ranch, 100 St. Vincent Place, Batesville, AR 72501.

Obituary: Troy Wayne Barnes

Wayne Barnes, 66, of Harrisburg departed this life Thursday, July 30, 2020, at St. Bernard Medical Center in Jonesboro. He was born December 23, 1953, in Heber Springs, the son of Clyde and Ellen (Holland) Barnes.

Wayne married Mary Willbanks in 1973 and they have enjoyed 47 years of marriage. He graduated from Southside Greer Ferry, was a factory worker for most of his life and of the Baptist belief.

He was preceded in death by his parents and two brothers: Darrel Barnes and Roy Barnes. Wayne is survived by his wife, Mary of the home in Harrisburg, one son, Josh (Bridgette) Barnes of Newark, two daughters: Heather (John) Kundert of Paragould, and Taylor (Willie) Belcher of Harrisburg, one sister, Sylvia Qualls of Jonesboro, eight grandchildren: Kristen, Jamie, Kiley, Luke, Ian, Logan, Braxton, and Parker, one great-grandson, Silas. Following Cremation the family will have a Private Memorial Service.

Arrangements are by Jackson’s Harrisburg Funeral Home.

Obituary: Charles Dean Goff

Charles Dean Goff, 91, of Batesville passed away Wednesday, July 29, 2020.

He was born on November 8, 1928, in Batesville to Jennings Bryan Goff and Tiny (Rosenbaum) Goff.

Charles was a member of the Christian Science Church of Batesville. He developed the Eastwood Addition in Batesville during the ’70s and ’80s; he also enjoyed traveling, fishing, camping, was a horse trainer and a real outdoorsman. Charles worked for the United States Postal Service for 40 years, of which 30 years he was postmaster at Locust Grove. He was also a veteran, serving in the US Army during the Korean War.

Survivors include his two sons, Mark Goff and Brian (Sheila) Goff both of Batesville; four grandchildren, Chad (Kari) Goff, Erika (Brad) Magar, Dylan Goff and Reed Goff; three great-grandchildren, Logan Goff, Caden Goff and Sophie Magar; one brother-in-law, Dan Leonard; and many other relatives.

He was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Betty Jean (Lee) Goff; brother, Lee Edward Goff; and sister, Rosalee Leonard.

Pallbearers are Chad Goff, Dylan Goff, Reed Goff, Brad Magar, Frankie Lee and Charlie Williams. Honorary pallbearers will be Dan Leonard, Buddy Wilkins and Frank Wallace.

Graveside services will begin at 2:00 p.m. Saturday, August 1, 2020, at Oaklawn Cemetery under the direction of Roller-Crouch Funeral Home of Batesville with Butch Ketz officiating.

There will be no visitation.

Memorials may be made to Children’s Home of Paragould, 5515 Walcott Road, Paragould, AR 72450.

We are complying with the Arkansas Department of Health guidelines and social distancing will be observed. All attendees must provide and wear their own masks.