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Hospital reports increase in snake bites

Hospital reports increase in snake bites

LITTLE ROCK, Ark.(KTHV)- Doctors and nurses at Arkansas Children's Hospital are reporting a 50 percent increase in snake bites this summer.

Children's Hospital typically sees 20 to 25 snake bites a year, but already this year they've treated 30 cases. Donna Parnell-Beasley is the trauma coordinator at Arkansas Children's Hospital, and she says they're not really sure about the uptick, but wants parents to be aware.

"Children may have been outside playing more than when it's really, really hot."

Parnell-Beasley says 2014 is shaping up to be the summer of snakes

"The majority of the injuries we've seen this summer have been on feet where children step down next to a snake and a snake bites them."

Arkansas Tech Freshmen move in Saturday

Arkansas Tech Freshmen move in Saturday

The life-changing experience of a college education begins this weekend for Arkansas Tech University freshmen.

The Arkansas Tech Office of Residence Life will host move-in day on Saturday, Aug. 23, for the members of the freshman class who will live in campus housing. 

The first wave of freshmen will begin moving in at 7 a.m. Saturday, followed by the remainder of the on-campus freshmen at 8:30 a.m. Saturday.

After a series of activities designed to introduce on-campus freshmen to their residence halls, their campus and each other this weekend, their off-campus counterparts will join them on Monday, Aug. 25, and formal freshman orientation will begin.

Classes for the fall 2014 semester will begin on Wednesday, Aug. 27.  

Snakes found in Clarksville high school gym

Snakes found in Clarksville high school gym


CLARKSVILLE, Ark. (KFSM) - The beginning of the school year can be a scary time for students, teachers and parents, but things got really scary for Clarksville High School after several snakes were found in the gym.

Assistant Superintendent Toby Cook said the issue started over the summer and the last snake was caught on Monday, the first day of school.

Experts assure the reptiles are not an immediate threat as many turned out to be grass snakes less than a foot long. Cook says no one has been injured or bitten.

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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.