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My Town Hero: Program helping children become better readers

My Town Hero: Program helping children become better readers

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) – One man in Little Rock has started a program designed to help children become better readers. Second Baptist Church in downtown Little Rock started the MLK Reads program a year ago with the help of Minister Chris Ellis.

"We looked around and felt that third grade reading levels were connected to drop out rates, poverty rates, and incarceration,” explained Ellis. "We didn't want to just put a Band-aid on something. We wanted to get to the root causes."

According to a recent report published by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, about 16 percent of children who are not reading proficiently by the end of third grade do not graduate from high school on time. That number rose to 35 percent for children who were also poor, putting them at a major disadvantage when it comes to their education.

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Happy belated birthday to Jennifer Blackstock!

Happy belated birthday to Jennifer Blackstock!

Jennifer Blackstock, your new mother-in-law is wishing you a happy birthday (the belated part wasn't her fault)!

The Russellville resident reportedly celebrated her special day by eating crab legs.

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Russellville accepts convention center proposal


RUSSELLVILLE, Ark. (AP) - Russellville city officials have accepted a proposal from a Tennessee firm to build a convention center and hotel complex in Arkansas.

The Courier reports the Russellville City Council called a special meeting Tuesday. They unanimously voted to authorize Russellville's mayor and city clerk to sign a development proposal with Hunt Properties.

The CEO of Hunt Properties says he believes the company can have a drawing of the hotel and convention center toward the end of the year.

The proposal calls for construction to start on the hotel and convention center within 180 days.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


Race for the Cure scheduled for October

Race for the Cure scheduled for October

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - Women united in the city on Tuesday as the Arkansas chapter of the Susan G. Komen Foundation made their big "Race for the Cure" announcement.

The theme for this year's race is "Move. Be Moved".

A breast cancer survivor spoke at the event today, describing her fight and what the race means to her.

"My wonderful husband Barry Marshall and my beautiful daughter Mattie Underwood were right by my side during the process giving constant, love, care, support and it's this same love that you cannot help but to experience on the race day," said survivor Celese Marshall.

The race is set for Saturday, October 4th. Their goal is set at $1.6 million for breast cancer research, education, screenings and treatments.

The Arkansas Race for the Cure is one of the largest Komen events across the country.

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My Town Hero: Batesville mom provides kids with second chance at childhood

My Town Hero: Batesville mom provides kids with second chance at childhood

BATESVILLE, Ark. (KTHV) - In Batesville, one woman has dedicated her life to helping children believe in themselves and lead fulfilling lives.

"When I first moved in I was scared to death,” said Jamey Vanlandingham, who first set foot on Cheyenne Ingram’s porch 7 years ago. "My parents at the time were not stable enough, and DHS stepped in. I'd gone from one place to the next.”

But this time was different.

"You walk in the door, and you immediately get a feeling like ‘I'm at home,’" Vanlandingham described, saying that Ingram welcomed him with open arms when he came to the Arkansas Sheriff's Youth Ranch in Batesville. "It wasn't like ‘Well what did you do? Why are you here?’ It was more of a ‘Well, you're one of mine now. Let’s be a family.’"

For Jamey, the ranch provided a second chance at childhood, but he wasn't alone. Cheyenne was raising several other young boys just like him who'd been abused or neglected.

Scammers using spoof calls and texts

Scammers using spoof calls and texts

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - You can no longer trust the number that comes up on your caller ID. This message is coming from the Attorney General's Office.

Scammers are using numbers you recognize and sometimes even your own phone number to get you to answer your phone. This is called spoofing. And now, even spoof texts are popping up in the state. One woman says she gets these calls every day.

Any time the phone rings, Leslie Ford questions whether to answer it.

"It would be nice to just be able to pick up the phone and say hello," said Ford.

But over the last three years, for Ford, picking up the phone and just saying hello happens less and less. Several years ago, Ford put her home phone number on the national do not call list. But calls continued to come in every day, sometimes three to five times a day.

Ford added, "California. Pennsylvania. Florida."

Update: Mother charged in death of 10-month-old

Update: Mother charged in death of 10-month-old

YELL COUNTY, Ark. (KTHV) – Last week, a 10-month-old baby and his father were found dead in the woods after an extensive search. Now, the baby's mother is facing a manslaughter charge.

The baby, Harper Alexander Floyd, and his father, 33-year-old Brian Allen Floyd, were found dead in a wooded area in Yell County on Tuesday, July 29 around 1:50 p.m. by U.S. Forest Service Investigators.

According to Yell County authorities, the father and son were last seen in the Ouachita Mountains area south of Blue Mountain Lake. The truck they were believed to be traveling in was found three days after their disappearance in a remote and treacherous area off Forest Road 18.