Baesville Parks and Recreation Depart. registration deadline Oct. 3rd for Scuba Diving Certification Class at the Batesville Aquatics Park (Posted by Ginger Smith)

The Batesville Parks and Recreation Department is closing registration for a Scuba Diving Certification Class at the Batesville Community & Aquatics Park tomorrow, Oct. 3rd.  Oct. 6-8th class days.  
Class starts on this Friday night from 7-10 pm. Saturday and Sunday all day from 9am – 5pm. Only 1 weekend of classroom and pool work and you’re ready to go to the lake! Now it’s time for the open water training. This consist of 4 open water dives at Norfork or another great destination, open water training is done over a weekend. Two weekends and you are a certified diver!
The cost of this course is $299.00 This includes classroom, pool work, and open water training, and the use of all the scuba equipment and should be fitted to you.
You will need to furnish mask, fins, snorkel, boots, and open water kit (text book included in kit), these are available at extra costs and can be purchased at JT Dive Shop of Jonesboro (870-935-3289).
Our goal is to have a safe and fun diving experience to make you the most comfortable diver to go diving with a buddy. You must preregister by Tuesday, (October 3rd) before this class!
For more info contact us at 870-698-2427 and register for the class @

Ginger Smith joined OGTC in 2014 as a volunteer, and has lived in this area since 1972 when she moved to be near her parents, the late Doss and Vivian Burgess. Her late father was Independence County Appraiser and any time family, whether kids or grand kids, came to visit for even a short time, he would take them to A.D. Hill’s grocery store, and get them a soda pop and candy bar, see the talking bird there, and end up “checking out the great White River.” All the kids and grands have played on the banks there, picnicked, and played on the old train. Ginger is adamant, since she moved to Batesville, there is just no other place to raise a family. Her love for the area and desire to help promote it in her professional capacity led her to seek volunteering, and Charlie Morris, whom she met when she was a typesetter at the Daily Guard Newspaper, put her in touch with Cathy Drew, Executor Director of OGTC. She has been on board since then and says she has loved everything she has done and is proud to represent North Central Arkansas.
The last 20 years of her employment she worked for the late County Judge David Wyatt, West Elementary School Principal Jerry Harris, and Circuit Clerk Claudia Nobles and Judge John Kemp. At the Guard Office she says she made friends for a life time, and then the West Elementary teachers, students, and their families grew close to her forever. Her last job she was hired in a newly created position to collect felony fines and restitution. She was so proud that after three years she more than tripled the annual revenues that she retired! Her part-time retirement job was with the ortho docs, Drs. Allen and Angel where she also met many people from all over the area, and made another set of new friends! She is a published writer and has also written feature articles for the Batesville Guard TV Guide and the Arkansas Democrat Gazette.
She has a daughter, Misty Long Sparks, son-in-law Dloyd Sparks, and three grands, Dalton Lee, Victoria Lynn and Anna Rose, who own her heart, and three more heartbeat grands, Nico and Corbin of Washington, and a late granddaughter, Ginger Savannah. Her late husband, Ken Smith, was the Batesville Postmaster.
Totally retired now, Ginger offers her time and writing abilities to OGTC as she travels around the state and visits with so many nice folks, writes reviews, and tries to be a worthy representative for Ozark Gateway Tourism. She is a people person who really cares for all God has blessed us with in our beautiful state of Arkansas in the United States of America.