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Non-native bird found in Arkansas, giving bird watchers a surprise

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - With a snowy blizzard hammering the East Coast, it appears that a special bird doesn't want any part of it.

The Great Black Back Gull, native to New England, has been spotted in Arkansas on Lake Dardanelle by the Audubon Society of Central Arkansas.

According to Ornithologist Dan Scheiman, the bird was first seen Thursday, and bird watchers were able to snap a photo of it on Friday. Scheiman saw it for himself on Sunday.

While the gull is common on the east coast, it's believed it's never been seen in Arkansas before.

Crematorium debate continues in Russellville

RUSSELLVILLE, Ark. (KTHV) - The struggle continues for one Russellville man as he works to build a crematorium next to an elementary school.

The state's Department of Environmental Quality plans to hold a public hearing in February, and will be taking any public comments. Oral and written comments will be accepted, but written comments are preferred.

That meeting will take place at the Russellville city hall on Feb. 17 at 6 p.m.

Arkansas Tech to host MLK Jr. events

Arkansas Tech to host MLK Jr. events

RUSSELLVILLE, Ark. (KTHV) - Arkansas Tech University in Russellville are taking part in the nationwide celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Jan. 19 through the 21. 

The university will host a series of events collectively known as "Giving Voice: Building Bridges and Breaking Barriers."

On Monday, Jan. 19 the celebration will begin with a community service at 9 a.m. at the Hindsman Tower. At 2 p.m. there will be a campus march starting in front of the Doc Bryan Student Services Center.

At 9 p.m. Tuesday, there will be an open mic night in Baswell Techionery.

On Jan. 21, a gallery walk will be held from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. in the Young Ballroom. 

The university's African-American Association (AASA), Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity, Spectrum and Student Government association as well as the Arkansas Tech Office of Residence Life and the Arkansas Tech Division of Student Services will all be sponsoring the event.

UCA holds annual MLK prayer breakfast

UCA holds annual MLK prayer breakfast

CONWAY, Ark (UCA) - The University of Central Arkansas will host its annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Prayer Breakfast on Friday, January 16 from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. in the Student Center Ballroom. This year’s theme is "The Blueprint for Change: Nonviolence. Unity. Perseverance."

The guest speaker for the event will be Charles O. Stewart, chief executive officer for Stewart Real Estate Development, LLC and co-founder/chairman of the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame and Arkansas Black Hall of Fame Foundation.

“The breakfast is held each year to celebrate the spiritual legacy, moral courage and fortitude that Dr. King brought to the social justice movement of this country," said Angela Jackson, director of the Office of Diversity and Community. "It is also an event that gives us a chance to reflect on how far we have come and how much further we have to go as a society."

The event is free and open to the public.

Johnson County road to be closed for railroad work

CLARKSVILLE, Ark. (AP) - The Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department says a state highway in west-central Arkansas will be closed because of repairs to a railroad crossing.

The AHTD says Highway 109 between Clarksville and Morrison Bluff in Johnson County will be closed Sunday from 7 a.m. until 5 p.m., weather permitting.

The closure is to allow Union Pacific Railroad to make repairs to the railroad crossing.

Signs will direct traffic to a detour route using Highways 64 and 23.

(Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Anglin chosen interim vice president at Arkansas Tech

RUSSELLVILLE, Ark. (AP) - A.J. Anglin has been selected as interim vice president for academic affairs at Arkansas Tech University.

A native of Siloam Springs, Anglin brings 40 years of experience in higher education to his new role at Arkansas Tech. He will begin his duties on Jan. 5.

Anglin will succeed John W. Watson, who has served in the position since 2008 and was granted a change in assignment by the Arkansas Tech Board of Trustees to return to full-time teaching at the university.

Robin E. Bowen, president of Arkansas Tech, says it's anticipated that Anglin will serve as interim vice president for about 18 months. She says the institution intends to have a permanent leader for its academic affairs division in place by July 1, 2016.

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

Arkansas Tech University honors fall graduates

RUSSELLVILLE, Ark. (AP) - The latest class of college graduates will soon have their degrees from Arkansas Tech University.

Arkansas Tech will confer about 675 degrees during fall 2014 commencement ceremonies in Russellville this weekend.

Students earning degrees from the Arkansas Tech Graduate College will participate in a ceremony on Friday. A second ceremony on Saturday will include candidates from the College of Arts and Humanities, the College of Business and the College of Education.

Individuals graduating from the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, the College of Natural and Health Sciences, the College of Professional Studies and Community Outreach and those earning an associate's degree will also participate in Saturday's ceremony.