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Bears cruise past Scots 81-67


UCA (4-7) had four players in double figures to put away a scrappy Lyon College squad 81-67 before a crowd of 1,047 at the Farris Center.

UCA trailed only twice early in the game, but once the Bears got a lead for good at the 14:30 mark of the first half, the outcome was never in doubt. Senior guard Imad Qahwash tied his career high with 21 points, shooting 7 of 12 from the field, and added five assists. Senior center Carlos Dos Santos also had a career high with 19 points, hitting 6 of 9 from the field and 7 of 10 from the free-throw line.

"I'm very happy we pulled off a win heading into the Christmas break,' said UCA head coach Corliss Williamson. "It will be nice to have something positive to build on when we get back. I was very proud that we were trying to take our practice to the game. That's something we've struggled with in the past.

State Farm Awards honor state's best

The veteran staff at Hooten's Arkansas Football selects three finalists for each category, and those finalists are invited to attend the State Farm Awards.

State Farm's spokesman in Arkansas, Gary Stephenson, said, "We are pleased to be working with the recognized authority on Arkansas high school football, the Hootens organization. State Farm congratulates all of the finalists for this year's awards."

State Farm has a strong, long-standing commitment to supporting education and community involvement and is proud to honor Arkansas' finest young athletes.

Batesville bank reopens after shut-down by state


The FDIC entered into a purchase-and-assumption agreement with Southern Bank of Poplar Bluff, Mo., and the Batesville bank reopened its doors under the new name Saturday.

Bank president Woody Castleberry tells the Batesville Daily Guard that he and the employees of the former First Southern Bank are staying on board with the new owners and he couldn't be happier. He says that morale among employees is "amazingly good," considering everything that has transpired during the past couple of weeks.

Castleberry announced earlier this month that as much as $22 million worth of bonds purchased by the bank may have been worthless.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Republicans block youth immigration bill

An Arkansas Democrat has helped block an effort that would've given thousands of young illegal immigrants a path to legal status if they enrolled in college or joined the military. Related THV Story

Sponsors of the "Dream Act" fell five votes short of the 60 they needed to break through largely GOP opposition and win its enactment before Republicans take over the House and narrow Democrats' majority in the Senate next month.

Five Democrats, including Arkansas' Mark Pryor, joined 36 Republicans in defeating the measure.

The House passed the bill last week. It was a last-ditch effort to enact it before it Republicans take control of the House from Democrats in January.

Nov. 2010 crime victim reparations announced

Arkansas Crime Victims Reparations Board awarded $255,687.03 in reparations to 136 crime victims during November. Additional expenses were paid in three previously submitted cases.

The Crime Victims Reparations Program provides compensation for victims' unexpected expenses, including medical treatment, mental health counseling, lost wages, replacement services and funeral expenses. Most awards are limited to $10,000 or less; however, for victims receiving catastrophic injuries resulting in total and permanent disability, the maximum award can be as high as $25,000.

The program was created by the General Assembly in 1987.

For the entire 2009 year, the Crime Victims Reparations Board awarded 1,738 claims for a total payout of $3,821,954.01.

A portion of the reparations funding comes from fines imposed on convicted criminals. Additionally, court costs and fees are a major revenue source for the program.

Update: Senate votes to overturn military gay ban

Former Air Force Major Mike Almy says, "I'm not sure it's really sunk in yet. It's just a tremendous day forward for ending discrimination against gay and lesbian Americans."

Senators voted 65 to 31 in favor of repealing Don't Ask Don't Tell. It was originally put in place 17 years ago. Legislators supporting the repeal feel they're getting rid of a discriminatory measure, but opponents say it's a bad move during war-time and will hinder soldier performance.

Now that the bill has overcome its final hurdle in Congress, some Arkansans are calling it a major victory.

While folks remain strongly opposed, the repeal will mean for the first time in American history, gays can be openly accepted by the military without fear of being kicked out.

Arkansas Bank Department closes First Southern Bank

According to our partners at Arkansas Business, First Southern Bank of Batesville was closed today by the Arkansas State Bank Department before its assets were acquired by Southern Bank of Poplar Bluff, Mo.

As of Sept. 30, 2010, First Southern Bank had about $191.8 million in total assets and $155.8 million in total deposits.

Southern Bank paid the FDIC a premium of 0.25 percent to assume all of the deposits of First Southern Bank. In addition to assuming all of the deposits of the failed bank, Southern Bank agreed to purchase approximately $152.8 million of the failed bank's assets. The FDIC will retain the remaining assets for later disposition.