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Friday, Apr. 29, 2016

Storms, murders in 2006

Thursday, January 4, 2007

Over the past year Sharp County has been a flurry of activity with murders, convictions and storms. Here is a look back at the first six months of the year.

JANUARY: William and Leslie Young were arrested Jan. 3 for the stabbing death of 38-year-old Stephen Furr at Furr's home near Poughkeepsie Jan. 2. Leslie Young was convicted July 21 and sentenced to life in prison without parole. William Young is awaiting trial.

Brendon Labor was sentenced Jan. 3 to 35 years in prison for attempted capital murder and residential burglary. Labor shot Priscilla Partridge, who he said was his former lover, twice in the head at her home at Foxfire Apartments in Ash Flat Dec. 11. Partridge is recovering.

A body was found in the septic tank of the late Jerry Stevens' home near Ash Flat. The body, which was later identified as that of Bridgett Sellers, had been sawed into pieces. Sellers had been missing since May 2003. Stevens, the only person of interest in the investigation, died Jan. 10. The case is now closed.

The Red Mule convenience store in Highland was destroyed by fire Jan. 19. The store caught fire around 3 a.m.

The nieces of Pearl Hansen were awarded a $16,000 check Jan. 30 for a portion of the $75,000 their aunt had been duped out of by a fraudulent Canadian telemarketing scam.

The Sharp Nursing Home officials announced the nursing home in Sidney was to close by March 3.

MARCH: White River Medical Center broke ground March 1 on a new medical complex adjacent to KN Medical Building on Highway 62/412. The clinic will open in 2007. The new building will be paid for by Dr. Surinder Sra, Dr. Tommy Taylor and Dr. Jerry Ellis, and will be rented by WRMC to provide comprehensive outpatient services. It will be the new home to existing clinics now at other locations in the Quad Cities -- Midway Medical Clinic and Dr. Tim Young, Hardy Medical and Dr. Don Lamoureaux, WRMC Urgent Care Clinic, WRMC Specialty and Endoscopy Clinic, WRMC Progressive Home Care and WRMC Pros, which provides physical, occupational and speech therapies.

Florida businessman Frank Schupp ceased negotiations to purchase the former Eastern Ozarks Regional Health System in Cherokee Village.

A spring storm pounded the area March 8 and 9 and brought 1.75 inch hail to Cherokee Village. Creeks and rivers swelled leaving some roads impassable due to high water. Trees were also toppled.

George A. Nelson Jr. was found March 28 inside a home on Dry Bone Road near Ash Flat. Nelson escaped from the Arkansas Department of Correction in Camden two days earlier. Nelson, formerly of Hardy, had been serving 10 years on numerous drug convictions from 2000 and 2001, all from Fulton County.

APRIL: Lauren Rutledge, 17 months, died April 7 of craniocerebral injuries caused by severe blunt force trauma. Shane Buckshot Haggins, who had been at the home Rutledge shared with her mother and siblings, was later charged with capital murder. Haggins was found dead in his cell Sept. 13 of apparent suicide. Details were never released.

An April 2 storm brought softball sized hail to the county. An F1 tornado began 2.8 miles southwest of Williford and continued to grow in intensity as it continued to Marmaduke with winds of more than 200 mph. The tornado injured 52 and killed one.

Robert Smith, 19, of Cherokee Village drowned in Lake Cherokee April 15 after suffering an apparent seizure while swimming across the lake.

MAY: Steven Wertz was arrested May 1 and James Snyder was arrested May 2 for their involvement in the deaths of Terry and Katherine Bone Watts Dec. 31, 1986. The couple were found dead inside their home in Ash Flat by Katherine Watts' mother the day of the murder. Wertz and Snyder both pleaded not guilty and are awaiting trial. Sheriff Dale Weaver promised to reopen the case when he was elected.

Eugenie Rubel died May 16 in a car crash in Highland. Rubel's vehicle struck a car driven by a recent Highland graduate. Rubel's car was then struck by a pickup truck driven by another new graduate. No charges have been filed in the case.

Former Cave City School District Superintendent Larry Brown won the Democratic primary against challenger Marcus Goings. Brown went on to defeat independent Wayne Long in the November election.

Life Care Ambulance in Cave City notified Judge Joe Stidman that it would no longer provide service as of Nov. 15. The ambulance district was then transferred to Spring River Paramedic Ambulance Service.

JUNE: Norris McGhee Jr., 6, of Germantown, Tenn., drowned June 10 after he was caught in a crevice in a rock shelf of the Spring River near Hardy.

Randall Lipe was arrested at a home in Cherokee Village June 15 on a warrant from St. Francis County for allegedly raping a 19-year-old mentally challenged man November 1999. Lipe had served time in prison in 2003 for unrelated charges. His DNA taken at that time linked him to the sex crime.

Six of the 11 Highland Fire Department members resigned June 30 after two aldermen questioned the department's records. Most of the firefighters returned to the department in the following days. Fire Chief Doug Wortham did not return to the department and left days later to served overseas with the Army National Guard.

JULY: Ashley Anderson of Cave City was crowned Miss Sharp County during the Sharp County Fair.

The Twin Rivers School District held a public hearing July 20 at the Williford campus to inform district patrons about the possibility of constructing a new unified school in Ravenden. The district is composed of the former Williford and Oak Ridge Central school districts.

C.C. Baird was sentenced July 14 to three years probation and six months home detention and fined $7,500 for mail fraud and money laundering while operating Martin Creek Kennels and Pat's Pine Tree Farms near Williford. Baird's wife, Patsy, was sentenced to two years probation and fined $2,500. The Bairds allegedly mistreated animals and used false records to sell animals to research facilities throughout the country.

Highland first responder William J. Thompson accepted a Congressional Record award from Sen. Mark Pryor's office June 28 for saving a man's life on Christmas Eve 2005 by performing CPR.

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