Category Archives: Eye On Independence

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Townsend Appointed as SCMC Administrator

Stanley TownsendGary Bebow, White River Health System (WRHS) Administrator /CEO has announced the appointment of Stanley A. Townsend to Administrator of Stone County Medical Center (SCMC). Townsend stepped into the role of Administrator on October 1.
Townsend follows Renie Taylor, who has been the Administrator of SCMC since 2008 and is retiring from the position.
As Administrator, he will be responsible for overall operations at Stone County Medical Center.
He obtained a Bachelor of Science Degree in Industrial Engineering and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville
“I love working with physicians and staff as a part of a healthcare team to provide quality care to the citizens of Stone County and surrounding areas,” said Townsend.
Townsend is no stranger when it comes to working in healthcare. He owned and operated SCMC, formerly Mountain View General Hospital, from 1985 to 1999.
He has also owned Stone County Home Health Agency, Stone County Nursing and Rehabilitation Facility, Stone County Residential Care Facility, Stone County Durable Medical Equipment, and Stone County Hospice.
He was a member of the WRHS Board of Directors and SCMC Advisory board from 1999-2012. He has served as a Treasurer on the WRHS Board of Directors, Chairman of the Finance Committee, and Chairman over several other WRHS affiliated committees. He has also served as a member of the Stone County Quorum Court for the past five years and is a Justice of the Peace.
He has been honored by the Mountain View Chamber of Commerce for contributions to the business community.
“Stan has a great background in hospital finance, is a leader in the Mountain View community, and is well-respected by the medical community,” said Bebow. “We are pleased to welcome Stan on board and really look forward to his leadership in continuing the development of SCMC.”
Townsend, who came out of retirement to take the position, said he plans to work hard to ensure that the hospital remains a “strong and stable employer,” and also ensure that SCMC continues to meet the needs of Stone County well into the future. “I am excited about the opportunity to partner with the medical staff and employees of SCMC to continue providing quality care to the citizens in our service area.”
Stan and his wife Meganne reside in Mountain View. He has two daughters, Catherine and Caroline.
Stone County Medical Center is a 25-bed critical access hospital serving Mountain View and the surrounding area. SCMC is an affiliate of White River Health System, a multi-facility not-for-profit organization serving North Central Arkansas. For more information, please call 870-269-4361.

Street Joins WRMC Medical Complex

James Mack Street
Gary Bebow, White River Health System (WRHS) Administrator/CEO has announced that James Mack Street will join the White River Medical Center (WRMC) Medical Complex (formerly the WRMC North Complex) as facility administrator. He began on October 1.
As facility administrator of the WRMC Medical Complex, Street will serve as a representative to the residents of Sharp County, being a liaison between the Complex and the community. “We offer many great services at the WRMC Medical Complex, and we just want to ensure that people are aware of what we can do for them,” said Street.
He will also take training which will certify him to educate the public on the health exchange and assist them with enrolling in an insurance plan.
Street obtained a Bachelor of Economics and Business Administration from Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas.
“The WRMC Medical Complex is a treasure in Sharp County,” he said. “Having medical services close to home is critical. As a resident of Sharp County myself, I am thankful that I can utilize such a great facility so close to home.”
Street has been a Sharp County resident for over 40 years. He has spent all of those years as a career banker, and currently operates a cattle farm. Throughout his years in Sharp County, Street has been heavily involved in many community organizations. He is the President of the Sharp County Fair Association, was one of the founders of the popular Cave City Watermelon Festival, and has been president of the Cave City Chamber of Commerce. At WRHS, he served as a member on the Board of Directors for 22 years, where he was involved in establishing the continued expansion of the WRMC Medical Complex. He has been treasurer of the WRHS Board of Directors since January. He has also served as both member and chairman of the Audit, Finance, and Long-Range Planning committees. Additionally, he is a member of the Board of Governors for the Arkansas State Fair and has served as President of the Community Banks Association for two years.
“As a well-established member of the community, James Mack Street will be a great representative for the WRMC Medical Complex,” said Bebow. “He has been faithful to WRHS and the Sharp County community for many years, and we are confident that his dedication to both will lead to positive results for all.”
James Mack and his wife Marcia Chaudoin Street reside in Cave City. Together, they have three children, Marc, Jessica, and Timothy. They also have two grandchildren and one on the way.
The WRMC Medical Complex is a comprehensive outpatient facility in Cherokee Village that offers an array of services including three Primary Care Clinics, WRMC PROS (Physical, Occupational, and Speech therapy), Imaging Services, Endoscopy, a reference lab, and an Urgent Care Clinic, which provides after hours care. Additionally, visiting specialists in Cardiology, General Surgery, Obstetrics/Gynecology, Orthopaedic Surgery, Pain Management, Podiatry, Urology, and Wound Care routinely see patients at the WRMC Medical Complex. To contact the clinic, call (870) 257-6040.

“A Downtown Tribute Concert to Levon Helm”

On September 28th Main St. Batesville in association with Merchants & Planters Bank and the Batesville Area Chamber of Commerce will present Danny Dozier and the Lockhouse Orchestra’s Downtown Tribute to The Band’s Levon Helm at the historic Lander’s Theatre.
Mark Lavon “Levon” Helm was an American musician and actor, famous as the drummer and frequent vocalist for the grammy-winning rock group, The Band. Some of their many recordings include “The Weight”, “Up on Cripple Creek”, and “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down”. The Band frequently toured and collaborated with Bob Dylan and was inducted into the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame in 1994. In 2004 Rolling Stone ranked them 50th on their 100 Greatest Artists of all Time list.
Helm was known for his deeply soulful, country-accented voice, multi-instrumental ability, and creative drumming style. He also had a successful career as an actor, appearing in such films as Coal Miner’s Daughter and The Right Stuff. In 1998, Helm was diagnosed with throat cancer, which caused him to lose his singing voice. After undergoing treatment he gradually regained the use of his voice. His 2007 comeback album Dirt Farmer earned the Grammy Award for Best Traditional Folk Album. In 2010, Electric Dirt, his follow-up to Dirt Farmer, won the first Grammy Award for Best Americana Album and repeated the win the next year with his live album Ramble at the Ryman. In April 2012 Levon Helm lost his battle with cancer and died at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City.
The idea to pay tribute to this international celebrity came to Batesville’s local celebrity, Danny Dozier, when he was thinking of ways to improve and drive traffic to the downtown area. Twelve years ago Bob and Judy Pest started the Ozark Foothills Film Fest. Levon came down from Woodstock, NY to do a grand opening show at the historic Melba Theatre. Danny was asked to show him around town before the concert and, as they drove down Main Street, they passed the Landers Theatre. The whole roof had collapsed and the structure had trees 40 feet high growing inside the original cut sandstone walls. When Levon saw the old, dilapidated building, he commented on how sad it was to see such a historic part of a town in that condition. It was clear he had affection for the building and its significance in the downtown area. He suggested doing a concert to raise money to restore it. The day went on and the Film Festival was a huge success and everyone enjoyed Levon. There was never a concert for the theatre, but as we all know, it is now completely restored and is a beautiful structure and part of our city’s heritage. The conversation stuck with Dozier and now he’s adhering to Helm’s suggestion. “I think downtown is still the heart of Batesville. It’s where our commerce and city identity began and I feel it’s important to not just sustain it, but preserve and develop it and be proud to present it to our residents and visitors,” says Danny.
The concert will be held in the historic Landers Theatre on Main Street, on Saturday, September 28th beginning at 7:00. It will include covers of songs that Levon performed and recorded with The Band and also his solo albums. The music touches on several styles, spiritual, folk, blues and rock n roll. That formula is what is now known as Americana music, of which Levon was at the epi-center. The Lockhouse Orchestra is made up of musicians and singers from north central Arkansas including Sarah Roark, Penny Wolfe, John Parks, Jerry Bone, Jason Moser, and Danny Dozier. There will be several special guests including Mike Foster, Charlie Chalmers, and Gary Gazeaway.
All profits from the concert will go to Main Street Batesville to help with improvements in the downtown area, specifically the Pocket Park, an outdoor community gathering place on East Main between Third and Fourth Streets.
This event is proudly sponsored by Merchant and Planters Bank with assistance from the Batesville Area Chamber of Commerce and The Batesville Area Arts Council. Tickets can be purchased in advance for only $10 and they can be purchased at Merchants & Planters Bank, Batesville Area Arts Council, The Chamber, Citizens Bank, First Community Bank, Southern Bank, Liberty Bank, WRD Entertainment and The Guard. There are a limited number available, so you’re encouraged to get yours before they’re gone.

Batesville Area Chamber President/CEO Graduates from Community Development Institute

August 5, 2013, Batesville, AR—Crystal Johnson, Batesville Area Chamber of Commerce president/CEO, was among the 32 individuals who were awarded graduation certificates during the 27th Annual Community Development Institute – Central (CDI) at the University of Central Arkansas on August 2, 2013. Johnson completed all three years of the institute’s program of study.
CDI trains community leaders and economic development professionals on how to strengthen their local economies and build communities. This is achieved by developing the ability of participants to identify community assets, set goals, encourage collaboration and partnerships with stakeholders, and bring communities, organizations and businesses together to respond to a broad range of economic and quality of life issues.
The complete institute experience is a three-year program with one week of training per year. Participants move through the program curriculum in cohorts and are exposed to a comprehensive applied approach to the field of community and economic development.
UCA is the birthplace for the Community Development Institute, which started in 1987 in partnership with Entergy, Southwestern Bell and ARKLA. Since that time, CDIs have been established in Texas, West Virginia, Idaho and Illinois, and a national governing and certification body, the Community Development Council, has been created. More information about CDI can be found at

Water Carnival guarantees a full day of events for everyone to enjoy!

* The River City Cruisers Car Show at Riverside Park will open at 9 a.m., featuring antique, classic, muscle cars as well as street rods, trucks and late models.
* Putt-N-Putt on Gap Road, sponsored by Citizens Bank, will host a tournament at 9 a.m., offering prizes for several divisions and bringing back a tradition that started in 1990.
* At 2 p.m., the Future Fuel Water Carnival Parade, themed “Remembering the Magic” will make its procession down Main Street.
Other events will open at the park after the parade, giving spectators time to enjoy all the festivities.
Events at Riverside Park will begin at 3 p.m. and end at 2 a.m.
* The FNBC tent will open for token and t-shirt sales as well as 5K registration.
* The Lyon and Pepsi Kid Zone, featuring FNBC train rides, Pepsi’s inflatable major league batting cage inflatable, free Pepsi products, activities provided by Lyon College, and bounce houses.
* Acts by local performers
* Vendors offering a variety of food, demonstrations and crafts
* New this year: Batesville Area Arts Council’s Art in the Park, sponsored by W.R.D. Entertainment, will feature local artists’ works for display and sale and will offer free face painting and art activities for all to enjoy. The Arkansas Arts Center’s Artmobile will also be on site for the event.
* The LaCriox and Peco Chicken Wing Cook-Off will feature local teams participating in a competition for over 1,500 dollars in prize money. Prizes will be awarded in different categories including a People’s Choice Award. Spectators can purchase tokens prior to the event that can be exchanged to sample wings and vote on the wing they like best.
* The 2nd Annual Rubber Ducky Regatta, sponsored by Bad Boy, Inc., will take place to benefit the Christian Health Center of Batesville.
* New this year: The Citizens Bank Pit Party will offer the opportunity for autographs and photos with the lawnmower racers. An official Arkansas Lawn Mower Association race will follow.
* White River’s Got Talent, sponsored by First Community Bank and Bad Boy, Inc., will kick off at 6 p.m. with the youth division, followed by the adult division at 7 p.m. Performers will be competing for cash prizes.
* The 2nd Annual Liberty Bank Bone Collector Hot Wing Eating Contest will take place. “Gurgitators” will be competing for a cash prize and the chance to have their name printed on the Bone Collector championship belt.
* New this year: World-renowned magician Justin Flom will perform (sponsored by Flowers and McDonald’s). Flom has been featured on the Ellen Show and has performed in nearly 30 countries.
* A fireworks display sponsored by Beller Dental and Merchants and Planters Bank will light up the sky. Spectators must be at Riverside Park to enjoy the show.
* New this year: The Afterglow 5k, sponsored by Citizens Bank, Pleth and Rockstar, is glow-in-the-dark experience that is not about how fast you can run, but about how much you can glow! Participants will run through Riverside Park, then dance across the finish line and into the after party. Over 1,000 participants have pre-registered. The event is limited to the first 1,500 participants.
Other traditional Water Carnival events:
* Pageants held August 3
* White River Bass Classic held September 28
* White River Water Carnival Dance at Josie’s featuring the band The Jokers, food, drinks, and prizes. Tables are being sold as well as individual tickets.
The Water Carnival committee is organized by the Batesville Area Chamber of Commerce and is led by a committee of 20 community leaders and facilitated with the help of more than 100 volunteers and over 20 sponsors. Committees and volunteers meet year-round to plan this family event that offers the community a fun-filled day and attracts visitors throughout the region. This year a survey team will be on-site to collect information from visitors. Results will be used to determine the economic impact of the carnival.
For additional information, to volunteer or see a complete list of sponsors, contact Crystal Johnson at the Batesville Area Chamber of Commerce at 870-793-2378 or,, or find us on Facebook

Sign up now for September and October Craft Classes at the Arkansas Craft School

September at the Craft School kicks off with “Handmade Books” (Sept. 6 – 8) “Wet Felting– An Exploration” (Sept. 10 – 12) and “Boxes and Two-Piece Approach to Hollow Turning” – a woodturning class (Sept. 13 – 15).
September 20 – 22, JoMichael Stoddard will be offering a class on “Beginning Bobbin Lace.” This is not tatting, but true lace, which is made by intertwining threads with the use of small, cylindrical bobbins. Tuition is $175.00, with all materials and tools provided by the instructor.
September 23 – 27, John Van Orman will be teaching students to construct their own dulcimers, utilizing McSpadden Dulcimer kits. The class will be held at the Craft School, but is offered in conjunction with the Ozark Dulcimer Gathering to be held the same week at the Ozark RV Park. The 5-day class is $275.00, with a $185.00 materials fee, and students may expect to have a finished dulcimer at the end of the week.
Bob Byers returns to the Craft School September 28 & 29 to teach his class “Eggstravagant Art – the Ukrainian Pysanky.” If you have ever seen these gorgeous decorated eggs, you will want to learn the skills to make your own. The two-day class is $125.00, with a $35.00 materials fee which includes not only all the supplies you will need for the class, but a take-home kit which will allow you to continue making pysanky at home.
October brings Leonard Olson to the Arkansas Craft School – you read about him last year in “American Profile” (which comes with many local newspapers). Leonard hails from Iowa where he makes kaleidoscopes, and he will be offering a kaleidoscope making class for us October 4 – 6. The class tuition is $225.00, with a $25.00 materials fee.
Community craft classes will begin again starting in mid-October. Dates and class offerings will be announced soon!
Visit the Arkansas Craft School’s website, for more information on these and other upcoming classes, as well as registration forms and scholarship applications. Students may also sign up for classes by calling Terri Van Orman at(870) 269-8397. The Arkansas Craft School, located in Mountain View, Arkansas is dedicated to the education of aspiring and practicing craft artisans for success in the Creative Economy. The Craft School partners with Ozarka College, and Pulaski Technical College, who offer Continuing Education credits for all Craft School courses. Support for the Arkansas Craft School is provided, in part, by the Arkansas Arts Council, an agency of the Department of Arkansas Heritage, and the National Endowment of the Arts.