Arkansas cancels clinics offering Johnson & Johnson vaccine

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas is joining other states in temporarily halting use of the Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine while a federal review is underway.

The Arkansas Department of Health says vaccination clinics with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine are canceled, but ones offering the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines will continue as planned.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration said Tuesday they were investigating unusual blood clots that occurred 6 to 13 days after vaccination.

More than 6.8 million doses of the J&J vaccine have been administered in the U.S., and the vast majority have had no or mild side effects.


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 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.

Obituary: Brian Merl Day

Brian Merl Day, 67, of Hardy, AR died Friday, April 9, 2021, in Batesville, AR.

He was born Jan. 4, 1954, in Twin Falls, Idaho to the late Arthur A. Day and Elda (Huff) Hayward.

Brian spent the first half of his life in Utah.

After retirement, he moved to the Highland/Hardy area of Arkansas and became the owner/operator of Indian Hills Bowling Alley.

Brian enjoyed the outdoors, whether it was riding 4×4’s, boating, fishing, or camping.

Brian is preceded in death by both of his parents; and two brothers, Bob Day, and Jerry Carter.

He is survived by his wife Debbie Day; his sons, Christopher Byron (Dianna), Joseph Byron, and stepson, Jared Watts; his daughter, Cassidy Day (Justin Robertson), and stepdaughters, Erica Ladd, and Brittany Midkiff; his brother, Dennis Day (Shauna); his sister, Marilyn Jensen, and two sisters-in-law JoAnn Carter, and Bonnie Day; 21 grandchildren; 7 great-grandchildren; and a host of extended family and friends.

Arrangements are entrusted to Willis Funeral Service of Batesville, AR.

The family will host a Celebration of Life on Thursday, April 15, 2021, at 7 PM at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints building in Ash Flat, AR. 13324 Hwy 62 East, Ash Flat, AR 72513.

Southside City Council approves compensation for mayor, others

The Southside City Council met Monday night and voted to begin compensation for Mayor Ray Bowman, Treasurer Byron Sutherland, and Recorder John Casey.

This is the first time the persons filling these positions will receive compensation since the formation of the city and the council. The mayor will receive $15,000 annually while the treasurer and recorder will receive $2,500 each on an annual basis.

The council’s decision to begin compensation on June 1, 2021, was unanimous.

Also at the meeting, the council voted to join the Arkansas Municipal League.


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 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.

Nova Joe’s announces expansion, new concept stores in Searcy and Batesville

If you’ve been keeping an eye on the dirt work occurring at the old Tommy’s Kingburger location on Harrison Street in Batesville, you’ll know the building that housed the now long-gone burger and fries hangout was demolished in early January (see images below).

Now comes official word as to what business is heading to the old Tommy’s address.

The lot is being prepped for what is being called the “flagship” location of the soon-to-be-rebranded Nova Joe’s.

According to a media release from Nova Joe’s, the new Batesville location at 2100 Harrison St. will “…become the model for their new concept stores and will lead them into future expansion.”

The Batesville-based drive-thru coffee shop launched in 2019 with a location at 3000 Jennings Lane (pictured above).

The Nova Joe’s concept store, the first of which is scheduled to open in May at 3212 Race Ave. in Searcy, will offer an expanded menu featuring a chicken breakfast sandwich; fresh-cooked “Nova Bites”; chicken nuggets, tenders, and chicken sandwiches served on yeast rolls; and “uniquely cut french fries that can’t be found anywhere else in the state,” the release said.

The stores will also feature Nova Joe’s “classic coffee and espresso drinks, and fan-favorite espresso milkshakes.”

Zac Stewart, Nova Joe’s creator and owner, said in the release he did not have chicken in mind when he initially opened his drive-thru only coffee shop.

“I was presented with an idea to expand and serve high-quality food items that would pair well with our superior espresso. After a lot of research and taste testing, we believe this will be an excellent combination that will please a variety of guests.” Stewart said.

Stewart said it was successful business entrepreneur Robert Foster, most well-known for his launch of Spartan Mowers, who approached him with the idea of expanding.

“People are busy, and their schedules are crazy,” Foster said in the release. “We want to serve people great food and drinks that will help make their day better. Hence the concept behind the new Nova Joe’s slogan — ‘Let’s Make Today Better!’”

The slogan is a part of their overall rebranding, which will also include a new logo, icon, and color scheme.

“This rebranding helps us define who we are. We want Nova Joe’s logo to be synonymous with our goal of positively encouraging faith, family, and community,” said Stewart.

An official opening date for the new Batesville location after its completion has not been announced, but the dirt and foundation work continues.

Images from the January 2021 demolition of the former Tommy’s Kingburger building on Harrison Street. A new concept and flagship store for Nova Joe’s will be built at the location.
The future location of the new Nova Joe’s flagship store. Image from April 13, 2021.

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 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.

1 dead, officer injured after shooting at high school in Knoxville, Tennessee

Authorities confirm that one person was killed and a police officer was injured Monday during a shooting at a high school in Tennessee. The city’s police department said in a statement that shots were fired after officers in Knoxville responded to a report of an armed person at Austin-East Magnet High School on Monday afternoon. It wasn’t clear if the person, described as a male, was a student. The person was killed and a Knoxville police officer was struck at least once, suffering what the department said were non-life threatening injuries. A second person was detained for further investigation, authorities said.

Knox County Schools Superintendent Bob Thomas said the school had been secured and students who weren’t involved in the shooting were released to their families. Thomas called the incident “tragic.” During a news conference about students returning to in-school learning, Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee asked people to pray for victims of the shooting and their families.

Shooting at Knoxville, Tennessee, high school leaves 1 dead, police officer injured

Via abcnews.go.com
 

MLB, NBA, NHL games in Minnesota postponed in wake of Daunte Wright shooting

Games involving Minnesota pro sports teams in MLB, the NBA, and NHL that were scheduled for Monday have been postponed in response to the fatal police shooting of Daunte Wright on Sunday in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota. Wright, a 20-year-old Black man, died during a traffic stop after a police officer yelled “taser,” but fired a gun instead.

A game between the Minnesota Twins and Boston Red Sox was the first to be postponed, with the Twins announcing the decision and saying it was “rooted in safety” after the club spoke with local officials. The Minnesota Timberwolves-Brooklyn Nets contest also was cancelled Monday, the Timberwolves announced. The matchup between the Minnesota Wild and St. Louis Blues was postponed as well, according to statements from the Wild and and an announcement from the NHL.

Minnesota’s MLB, NBA, NHL games postponed in wake of Daunte Wright shooting

Via sports.yahoo.com
 

Editorial credit: James Kirkikis / Shutterstock.com

MLB, NBA, NHL games in Minnesota postponed in wake of Daunte Wright shooting

Games involving Minnesota pro sports teams in MLB, the NBA, and NHL that were scheduled for Monday have been postponed in response to the fatal police shooting of Daunte Wright on Sunday in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota. Wright, a 20-year-old Black man, died during a traffic stop after a police officer yelled “taser,” but fired a gun instead.

A game between the Minnesota Twins and Boston Red Sox was the first to be postponed, with the Twins announcing the decision and saying it was “rooted in safety” after the club spoke with local officials. The Minnesota Timberwolves-Brooklyn Nets contest also was cancelled Monday, the Timberwolves announced. The matchup between the Minnesota Wild and St. Louis Blues was postponed as well, according to statements from the Wild and and an announcement from the NHL.

Minnesota’s MLB, NBA, NHL games postponed in wake of Daunte Wright shooting

Via sports.yahoo.com
 

Editorial credit: James Kirkikis / Shutterstock.com

Conor McGregor calls off UFC 264 fight with Dustin Poirier over Twitter feud

Conor McGregor says his scheduled fight at UFC 264 on July 10 against Dustin Poirier is off, after the two exchanged words via Twitter on Monday.

The issue between the two began after Poirier called McGregor out for not donating $500,000 to his charity The Good Fight Foundation, after McGregor said he would if Poirier defeated him in January (which he did).  Poirier tweeted that McGregor’s team stopped responding when he inquired about the donation after the January fight. He said his foundation reached out three times with no reply.

McGregor responded: “A donation, not a debt. We’ve been awaiting the plans for the money that never came. I do with all my donations. Know where it’s going dot for dot. Otherwise it goes walking. As is the case with a lot of these foundations, sadly.” Poirier responded saying that his team reached out to McGregor’s team via email to discuss the process but they never received a response. McGregor then resorted to name-calling and obscenities before ultimately tweeting that the fight was off. 

Conor McGregor calls off UFC 264 fight with Dustin Poirier over missing charitable donation

Via sports.yahoo.com
 

Editorial credit: Keith J Finks / Shutterstock.com

Hutchinson signs bills increasing median teacher pay

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas’ governor has signed legislation to raise the target median salary for teachers by $2,000.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Monday signed identical House and Senate bills that raise the target median pay to $51,822, starting with the 2021-2022 school year.

Hutchinson said the increase will especially help rural districts that have not been able to raise pay in recent years.

The legislation sets aside $25 million for districts that are below the new median teacher salary.


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 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.

State Police work two fatal accidents in area

Troopers from the Arkansas State Police were on the scene of two highway fatalities in the area over the weekend.

The first occurred Friday afternoon on Zion Road in rural Izard County. 

According to the state police, a vehicle, driven by Michael Moore, 57, of Evening Shade, left the roadway, struck a tree, drove through a fence, and struck a second tree before stopping against a third tree. 

The preliminary fatal crash summary said Moore was ejected from the vehicle and pronounced deceased at the scene. 

The second accident occurred Sunday afternoon in Strawberry when a vehicle traveling east on State Highway 230 crossed the centerline and ran off the roadway before overturning twice, according to the state police. 

The preliminary fatal crash summary for that accident said one minor passenger was killed while another was injured along with two adults. The injured were transported to area hospitals. 

Both fatal crash summaries report the weather was clear and the roads dry at the time of both accidents.


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 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.