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Debate over possible crematorium near school

RUSSELLVILLE, Ark. (KTHV) - A group of parents are up in arms about the possibility of a crematorium being built next to an elementary school in Russellville.

The owner already got approval for a cemetery. This land has been in the Humphrey family for 100 years, and Jim Bob Humphrey has been working on the crematorium/cemetery plan for the past two years.

The Center Valley Elementary School is nearby, and parents and some neighbors are saying this is too close for comfort.

"I don't like the concept of a crematorium next to a school."

Especially when it's Loni Ice's son's school.

"I mean they stay there for eight hours every day."

This year her son will be in 3rd grade at Center Valley Elementary School. Ice says people aren't worried about the cemetery.

"I'm concerned about the environmental part more than anything else."

Tabor becomes first business data analytics graduate at Tech

Tabor becomes first business data analytics graduate at Tech

RUSSELLVILLE, Ark. (ATU)--Alex Tabor of North Little Rock helped the business data analytics degree program in the Arkansas Tech University College of Business reach a milestone during summer 2014 commencement ceremonies on Saturday, Aug. 9.

Tabor became the first Arkansas Tech student to graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree in business data analytics.

Among those present to congratulate Tabor on his achievement was Terry Rothwell. She is an Arkansas Tech alumna, a member of the Arkansas Tech Hall of Distinction and the founder and chief executive officer of Celerit, an information technology and technical consulting firm based in Little Rock.

Tabor served an internship with Celerit as part of his academic preparation.

Arkansas Tech launched its business data analytics program during the 2012-13 school year. It is the first baccalaureate degree program in Arkansas that approaches data analytics from a business perspective.

Gay couples oppose delaying Arkansas lawsuit

Gay couples oppose delaying Arkansas lawsuit

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Lawyers for gay couples challenging Arkansas' ban on same-sex marriages say they don't want a delay in the case while U.S. Supreme Court considers taking up the matter.

Arkansas officials last week asked a federal judge and the state Supreme Court to suspend in-state challenges while a similar case is being taken to the nation's highest court.

Utah had its gay-marriage ban overturned at the local and appellate court levels and has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to take up the case.

The lawyers for Arkansas couples said Wednesday they oppose a delay. They say the Utah case is different than Arkansas' and that suspending the case would delay justice for their clients. They also said the U.S. Supreme Court hasn't said whether it will take up the Utah case.

Westbrook to serve as interim director of bands at Arkansas Tech

Westbrook to serve as interim director of bands at Arkansas Tech

RUSSELLVILLE, Ark. (ATU)--Michael Westbrook has been selected to serve as interim director of bands at Arkansas Tech University during the 2014-15 academic year.

A 1980 graduate of Arkansas Tech with a Bachelor of Arts degree in music education, Westbrook is retired from a 34-year career directing bands and teaching music for public schools in Arkansas and Oklahoma.

Westbrook, who studied music at Arkansas Tech under Gene Witherspoon and Hal Cooper, began his career in the school districts at Conway (1980-83), Fort Smith (1983-85) and Van Buren (1985-91).

He moved to Oklahoma and served as director of bands at Stillwater High School from 1991-2004 and Westmoore High School in Oklahoma City from 2004 until his retirement in 2014. Along the way, Westbrook earned a master’s degree in conducting pedagogy and performance from Oklahoma State University.

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.

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."