- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 24, 2014

BATESVILLE, Ark. (AP) - Residents of Southside have filed a petition to incorporate their community as a city to avoid possible annexation into Batesville.

The group Keep Southside Free From Annexation filed a petition of incorporation Monday and signatures were verified Tuesday. A hearing is set for Oct. 24 before County Judge Robert Griffin, who will determine whether the petition is legal.

Last month, the Batesville City Council voted to place on the Nov. 4 ballot a plan to annex Southside into the city. The judge says he plans to rule on the request for incorporation before the election.

Keep Southside Free From Annexation Co-Chairman Brandon Gay says about 2,000 residents live in the proposed incorporation area.

Bella Vista, which was officially formed in 2006, was the last Arkansas city to incorporate.

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