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Historic Pine Bluff home destroyed in fire

PINE BLUFF, Ark. (KTHV) – A century old home in Pine Bluff was destroyed after a fire on Tuesday night.

No one was injured when the historic home burned to the ground, but the loss is being felt across the community.

All that's left of the home is an empty charred shell.

Built in the early 1900's, it was one of 72 homes in Jefferson County on the historical registry of homes, and under a major renovation.

"The whole roof was engulfed…it was sad. It was a lot of work gone down the drain."

It was a difficult sight for former owner Tim McNeil to watch as a fire destroyed the house he spent three years and $50,000 renovating, in minutes.

"I just had a dream to turn it around and we spent three years trying," said McNeil.

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Dog attack prompts change to 20-year-old law

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Ark. (KTHV) - The city of Pine Bluff has pit bull restrictions, but the recent attack happened right outside city limits, meaning it falls under Jefferson County's discretion.

The county only has a vicious animal ordinance, one that was enacted in 1995. Now, loved ones of the victim are hoping to get the outdated ordinance changed.

"Dealing with it day by day," John Smith explained. The circumstances are almost surreal for Pine Bluff resident John Smith. He continued, "I honestly believe that even if it had not been De'Trick, it was going to be someone."

In March, Smith's best friend, De'Trick Johnson was mauled to death by a pack of eight pit bulls belonging to the owner of CJ's Garage, who happens to be Smith's father. Upon further investigation, THV11 learned there had been multiple reports previously filed against the owner, John Chester Smith.

Pine Bluff alderman's use of racial slur prompts walkout

PINE BLUFF, Ark. (AP) - Four aldermen in central Arkansas have refused to work with a colleague on city business over his use of a racial slur during an online debate.

The City Council members, all of whom are black, walked out of a meeting April 20 to protest alderman Bill Brumett, who is white, after he misspelled a black man's last name in a way that included a racial epithet.

Brumett was arguing with a Pine Bluff native on Facebook last month when he became agitated by the man's misspelling of the alderman's name. Brummett says he then intentionally misspelled J.C. Cunningham's name, and meant to type "Cunningham," but instead wrote "Cooninham."

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

PBPD hosting neighborhood cleanup Wednesday

PINE BLUFF, Ark. (KTHV) – The Pine Bluff Police Department is hosting a neighborhood cleanup event on Wednesday from 8:30 a.m. to noon.

The cleanup will happened in the "C" section of the city, which according to police, is the area is from 16th Avenue to 23rd Avenue, north to south, and Elm Street to Hickory Street, east to west.

The mayor's office, code enforcement officers, city inspectors, the fire department and other civic organizations will be picking up trash and litter, cut excessively tall grass, and generally address problems in the neighborhood that would enhance residents' quality of life.

Volunteers can meet up for the event at Old Saint James Church at 16th and Mulberry Streets. Lunch will be served after the cleanup.

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Benton PD needs help locating runaway teen

Benton PD needs help locating runaway teen

BENTON, Ark. (KTHV) - The Benton Police Department is asking for the public’s help in finding a 17-year-old who ran away from his home Thursday, April 23.

Christopher Bennett left his home Thursday, and according to reports, has not been seen from his parents since. 

Bennett is described as being a white male standing at approximately 5'6" tall and weighing at around 150 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes. He is believed to still be in the central Arkansas area. 

Police stated that any person who knowingly harbors a runaway could face charges. 

Anyone with information about Bennett's whereabouts is encouraged to contact the Benton Police Department at (501) 778-1171 or (501) 315-TIPS.


Little Rock Fashion Week looking for aspiring models

Little Rock Fashion Week looking for aspiring models

By: Destiny Esaw

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - Little Rock Fashion Week is hosting its annual Model Search. Come ready, dressed and impress this year’s LRFW judges.

Judges include:

  • Marlisa Goldsmith, KTHV 11 morning anchor
  • Chevette Durham, owner of Bouncing Kidz Boutique
  • Karia Daniel, licensed cosmetology instructor and loctician
  • L.A. Rose, owner of Hollywood Beauty & Style and Deco Rose Couture Custom Fashions
  • Omar Rosas, Salon Karizma hairstylist
  • Rance Golden Jr., creator of Total Rance Live and audio engineer of KARK NBC 4 and KLRT FOX 16

“I’m always excited about the annual model search to discover new talent and see familiar faces” says Brandon D. Campbell, creator and executive producer of LRFW. “LRFW is the best platform for those models who dream of being the next Naomi Campbell, or the next Tyson Beckford to be discovered or to take their modeling careers to the next plateau.”

K2 drug making a comeback in Pine Bluff

PINE BLUFF, Ark. (KTHV)- After a surge of interest a few years ago, the once trendy drug, K2 has made a comeback according to Pine Bluff Police.

Synthetic marijuana, also known as K2, is illegal in Arkansas, but Pine Bluff Police Officer Richard Wegner says that isn't stopping people from using it and it is continuing to cause problems.

"One or more cases a day. Sometimes there will be almost like an explosion of it. Almost like several people got it all at once and we'll see a rush."

Wegner says the name of the drug is misleading, often referred to as fake pot, but says that's where the similarities end.

"Synthetic marijuana is absolutely nothing like regular marijuana. It has very violent side effects."

That's one of the scariest things about synthetic marijuana, or K2, according to Wegner.