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Mexican's 'Harry Potter' hoard is world's biggest

September 30, 2014

MEXICO CITY — A Mexico City man is in Hogwarts heaven after his collection of "Harry Potter" memorabilia was named the world's largest.

Menahem Asher Silva Vargas has spent nearly 15 years hoarding all things related to British author J.K. Rowling's young-adult wizard-fantasy series, which spawned eight blockbuster films.

His collection fills two rooms and counts everything from magic wands and toy figurines to Gryffindor scarves and replica Quidditch brooms.

Guinness World Records officially recognized it Monday as the world No. 1, at 3,097 pieces. The old mark was 807.

Olympian Michael Phelps arrested on DUI charge

September 30, 2014

BALTIMORE — Authorities say Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps has been arrested on a DUI charge in Maryland.

Transit police say they stopped the 29-year-old Phelps at the Fort McHenry Tunnel in Baltimore around 1:40 a.m. Tuesday.

Maryland Transportation Authority Police say Phelps was going 84 mph in a 45-mph zone. Police say officers stopped Phelps just past a toll plaza.

Phelps has been charged with driving under the influence and excessive speed. He was released after his arrest.

Police seize 37 marijuana plants at Arkansas home

September 30, 2014

POCAHONTAS — Pocahontas police have arrested a man who they say was growing nearly 40 marijuana plants in a home he was renting.

Police Chief Cecil Tackett told KAIT-TV on Monday that it's "by far" the largest growing operation officers have discovered. He said the 37 plants ranged from seedlings to 5 feet tall.

Police were called to the residence for a welfare check after the homeowner said the 37-year-old tenant hadn't paid rent in months. Officers say they could see and smell marijuana plants and obtained a search warrant.

Tackett says the man was arrested a few days later.

Trojan horse rolls way into Benton; goes against Issue 3

September 30, 2014

A giant Trojan horse stood near the lawn of the Saline County Courthouse on Monday morning. Members of the "Vote Against Issue 3" campaign placed a 10-foot-tall symbolic wooden horse on the lawn to protest issue 3 which will appear on the November general election ballot.

Issue 3 is titled the Arkansas Elected Officials Ethics, Transparency and Financial Reform Amendment and if approved, would permit legislators to serve a total of 16 years in the House or Senate and would establish limits on lobbying efforts by former legislators, as well as campaign donations and gifts from lobbyists.

Benton signs 3-year C.W. Lewis lease; parks department able to use stadium

September 30, 2014

C.W. Lewis Stadium is now available to the Benton Parks and Recreation Department for use as a venue for rental.

On Sept. 22, Mayor David Mattingly and Donald Bobbitt, president of the University of Arkansas System, signed a three-year lease that allows the city of Benton to use the university-owned stadium.

Parks and Recreation Department director John Eckart says he expects to begin accepting reservations for use of the facility on Oct. 1.

More info can be found in today's issue of The Saline Courier.

Wagon-decorating contest set for 2014 Old-Fashioned Day

September 30, 2014

Youngsters are invited to gussy up their wagons, give them a western look and come on down to Old-Fashioned Day.

Angela Ross, coordinator of the 2014 Old-Fashioned Day, announced plans for a a wagon-decorating contest with western theme in conjunction with the Oct. 11 celebration that raises funds for the Benton Senior Wellness and Activity Center.

Ross said the contest will begin at 10 a.m. and will be held on the west side of the courthouse lawn, facing First United Methodist Church.

More info can be found in today's issue of The Saline Courier.

2 of 3 suspects captured; police nab 2/3 of alleged bank robbery trio

September 30, 2014

Detectives with the Benton Police Department have arrested two suspects in conjunction with a June 16, 2014, robbery at Malvern National Bank in Benton and an additional suspect remains at large.

Rodney Hurdsman, 45, and Stephanie Hurdsman, 39, were taken into custody without incident on Monday in Shreveport, La. The pair currently are incarcerated and are awaiting extradition to Arkansas. They may face charges in other states, authorities said.

More info can be found in today's issue of The Saline Courier.

Realtor's body found; suspect pleads not guilty

September 30, 2014

LITTLE ROCK — A man accused of abducting and killing a real estate agent in rural Arkansas pleaded not guilty Tuesday to preliminary charges of kidnapping and capital murder, hours after the woman's body was discovered in a shallow grave.

Arron Michael Lewis appeared in court Tuesday and pleaded not guilty to one count each of capital murder, kidnapping and robbery, as well as four weapons charges, according to the office of Pulaski County District Judge Wayne Gruber.

Cotton explains Farm Bill vote; U.S. Rep. gives opinion on the nation's next AG

September 27, 2014

U.S. Rep. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., who represents the state's Fourth District, is challenging incumbent Mark Pryor for his seat in the U.S. Senate.

Polls of likely voters indicate the race is considered a toss-up with some polls showing Cotton with a 3 to 4 percentage margin over Pryor.

The race between the two candidates has intensified in recent weeks in advance of the Nov. 4 general election.

Pryor says Cotton financed by billionaires; Cotton: He took $50,000 from same donors

September 27, 2014

U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., has been traveling the state as part of his campaign for re-election to the U.S. Senate and included a visit to The Saline Courier office on Tuesday.

During an interview with The Courier and in his campaign document "What's at Stake: A Study on Tom Cotton's Votes Against Arkansas," Pryor asserts that Cotton has received more than $20 million from the Club for Growth and a group founded by David and Charles Koch.

 

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