Archive - News Article
March 10th, 2013
More photos are available here: http://bentoncourier.com/content/what-happened-midtown-vision
Rachel Arrington thought she was getting in on the ground floor of something big when she bought a home in the area of Bryant referred to as Midtown.
Public hearings were held that sold Midtown as a â€ślifestyle.â€ť The mixed-use zone development would be the type of place where people walked and rode their bikes to the corner store â€” the kind of place where shop owners lived in apartments above their businesses. The developers promised beautiful homes and landscaping.
The man accused in the Feb. 21 invasion of a Benton couple's home where he allegedly attacked the occupants and then fled in their vehicle is fighting extradition to Saline County.
Saline County Sheriff's Office officials said the suspect, 41-year-old Derek Dione Wilkerson of Mesquite, Texas, remains in custody in the Dallas area.
The U.S. Marshals Task Force reportedly apprehended Wilkerson about 12 hours after the incident in this county.
Lt. Mike Frost of the sheriff's office said the department is in the process of obtaining a governor's warrant to bring Wilkerson to Saline County.
Instead of a birthday celebration, members of Gregory Tyrone Pike's family are holding a candlelight vigil to honor his memory.
The event is scheduled for 6 p.m. Sunday at the Saline County Courthouse gazebo.
Community residents are invited to attend the event being held on the day that the murder victim would have turned 20.
Pike's mother, Tinka Robins, noted that her son's body was found Jan. 27 off River Road. He had died Jan. 16, authorities reported.
Saline County sheriff's deputies are continuing to investigate the death.
Downtown Benton will host the 2013 Saline County Easter Egg hunt on Saturday, March 23, at the Saline County Courthouse.
Lisa Baldwin, coordinator of the event, noted that the hunt is a long-standing tradition, having taken place for more than 35 years.
However, she pointed out some changes that are being made "to better serve children and acquire additional volunteer help."
Chief among the changes is the date, Baldwin noted.
Benton Police Department is seeking community residents' assistance in locating a runaway juvenile, Chelsea Bauer, who recently ran away from her home in Benton and has not been seen since that time. Â
Chelsea, 17, is Hispanic and has brown eyes and hair. She is approximately 5 feet 3 inches tall and weighs 140 pounds She was last seen wearing a pink "hoodie"-style jacket, blue jeans and brown slip-on shoes. Chelsea was traveling on foot and is believed to still be in the Central Arkansas area.Â Â
Classical guitarist Peter Fletcher is returning to Herzfeld Library in Benton as part of a national tour that will culminate at Carnegie Hall in New York City.
The artist has scheduled the local concert for 1:30 p.m. Saturday, March 16. The program is open to the public on a first-come, first-served basis.
Fletcher has performed numerous times at the Benton library and always has drawn an enthusiastic audience, library officials said.
A couple camping at Lyle Park in Benton failed to leave as instructed by Benton police and now face charges of criminal trespass.
At 10:30 a.m. on March 3, Officer Mike Connell responded to a call from residents in the area who had contacted the police about the situation. Upon arrival at Lyle Park, Connell found a tent with a car parked in front of it and instructed the occupants to step outside and speak to him.
According to the police report, a man, later identified as Landon Miller, eventually "opened the tent flap.â€ť
The Bryant RadioShack was robbed at gunpoint Tuesday, and authorities are still looking for the suspect.
Witnesses said the robber, who wore a hoodie and camouflage mask, came into the store and demanded money, according to a news release from the Bryant Police Department.
The RadioShack employee opened the register drawer and the suspect took the cash and fled. Officers searched the area and were unable to locate anyone.
They are searching for a white male estimated to be about 5'10" and between the ages 25 and 30 years old.
Bonnie Vocque, 28, was up late studying. Her family was asleep. At 1:30 a.m. Monday, the sound of smoke alarms broke the silence of her family's rural Saline County home.
Four hours later, the family's world had changed.
When she heard the alarms, Bonnie awakened her husband Luke, 33, and her daughters, Aubrie, 12, and Lacy, 11.
"The house was filled with smoke. We got the girls and went outside," she said. "Luke dialed 911 and shortly after he placed the call, the windows blew out. The whole house was engulfed."
Two Benton High School Band students recently performed with the Little Rock Wind Symphony in "An Organ Extravaganza!" at Second Presbyterian Church in Little Rock.
Hunter Law and Paul Davis, both senior percussionists, were asked to play by the symphony after Benton Band Director Trisha Sterling recommended them.
"I've been a member of the Little Rock Wind Symphony for eight years," Sterling said. "They asked me if I had any percussionists that were the caliber to play with them, and I said I had two."