November 7, 2007 Edition

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Training continues for 39th Brigade

Spec. 4 Carlton Winters of Walnut Ridge (front) and Spec. 4 Herbert Moore of Jonesboro, members of the Arkansas National Guard's 39th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, check a truck for IEDs during a drill near the Walnut Ridge Regional Airport. The drill was one of several the soldiers will be practicing before leaving for training in Mississippi in early 2008.

In October, just over 3,000 soldiers reported to their local armories for military duty in preparation for deployment to Iraq with the Arkansas National Guard's 39th Infantry Brigade Combat Team. Company A 2nd Battalion 153rd Infantry, located in Walnut Ridge, was among those activated.

The 90-day pre-mobilization training program, which began on Oct. 1, has been in full swing since, according to Lt. Clint Leonard. The group works five days a week now that they are on active duty. They have physical training each morning. During the day they do field training and briefing.

"Its important for them to go through these briefings as well as the training," said Leonard. He added that they learn vital information including cultural awareness so that in the field they will be able to tell a Sunni from a Shiite. Each soldier must be proficient in 215 warrior training tasks prior to deployment in January. Examples include first aid, communications and weapons.

Chamber Banquet is Nov. 27

The Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce has set its annual banquet for Tuesday, Nov. 27, at 6:30 p.m.

Foothills Celebration well attended

Nearly 3,000 people piled into the small town of Black Rock for the 2007 Foothills Celebration over the weekend. The celebration was kicked off with a ham and bean supper Friday evening as vendors set up booths and those in the tractor pull made last minute adjustments.

Businesses plan holiday open houses

Several area businesses are planning open houses this weekend to usher in the Christmas shopping season. The open houses are being coordinated through the Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce.

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