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Arkansas River rushes into Pine Bluff

PINE BLUFF, Ark. (KTHV) - The Arkansas River continues to rise after the heavy rain this weekend, and now Pine Bluff is seeing flooding all around.

"It'll still take several days for the water level to get to where people are accustomed to," said James McKinnie, Chief Navigation and Maintenance Section with the Army Corps of Engineers.

"The last time we had this type of flooding was in 2008," said Larry Dean Drake, who lives near the Arkansas River.

On Wednesday, Drake rushed over to a nearby island, worried about his goats.

"Today they didn't have but 10 feet," he said. "I had to go get them because the space run out."

So he hopped on his party barge, loaded them up and took them to his home. One road near the river was completely covered by quickly moving water.

McKinnie said the water is unsafe for boaters.

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Protestors want Pine Bluff alderman to resign

PINE BLUFF, Ark. (KTHV) - Frustrated Pine Bluff citizens took to the streets on Tuesday to get their point across; they want Alderman Bill Brumett gone.

The controversy was sparked by a social media conversation between Alderman Brumett and Pine Bluff resident JC Cunningham. Brumett allegedly misspelled the resident's name to include a racial slur.

Protestors say Brumett should resign but Brumett supporters say it is time to move on.

Community activist, Jihad Muhammad, said "This is not going to be a dead issue. This issue is going to stay here as long as Mr. Brumett is on the council. I don't think we should go for people saying that they're sorry if they haven't showed that they have changed their attitude and their behavior."

Memory of missing woman sparks inspiration

PINE BLUFF, Ark. (KTHV) - On this Mother's Day weekend, an effort is being made to turn a two decade search for a missing Pine Bluff woman into something positive for the community.

It has been 21 years since Cleashindra Hall disappeared, but her family continues to hold out hope of finding her.

"This is her letter that said she was going to go to college."

They say there is no bond like the one between a mother and child, but for Laurell Hall, a mother of five, she says her Mother's Day weekend back in 1994 left her with a painful scar.

"Sometimes I just hate going through this stuff…it's really just a reminder that you know, she's still missing."

On May 9, 1994, 18-year-old Cleashindra Hall left her job around 8:30 p.m. and has not been seen since.

Governor speaks at UAPB graduation

PINE BLUFF, Ark. (KTHV) – Saturday was Graduation Day for many schools in the state including the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.

Governor Asa Hutchinson delivered the keynote address to the graduating class at UAPB.

This was the first commencement address for the governor since taking office.

UAPB expected a class of 800 plus to receive degrees on Saturday.

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Pine Bluff Man Trying to Brighten City Through Murals

PINE BLUFF, Ark. (KTHV) -- For 13 years Pine Bluff has been getting a slow yet steady makeover in a very subtle way.

One man has been going around the town painting it with colorful designs meant for a bigger purpose. You may not notice this man's designs, but once you see them you'll realize they're all around.

His name is Harold Goodman Jr. and it's hard to look at him without thinking about change.

"You know anything that you can make look better or change. Change is always good," he said as he painted an insurance sign in Pine Bluff.

The type of change that mirrors his brush strokes: small, consistent, and continuous.

"I love to paint, but it is giving back and it is changing the look of Pine Bluff one sign at a time," he continued.

Cousins continue family tradition with UAPB commencement

Cousins continue family tradition with UAPB commencement

PINE BLUFF, Ark. (UAPB) - For cousins, Cornovious Branch Jr. (CJ) and Tara A. Branch, completing a college education at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff is a celebration of a deeply rooted family tradition.

During Spring Commencement on May 9, 2015, these millennials will follow in the footsteps of over 90 relatives who have graduated from the university. The Branch family tradition at UAPB is built upon a foundation of Faith, Family and Education. It began in the early 1920s when Annie Branch Gentry completed her studies at Branch Normal Agricultural Mechanical and Normal College, (currently known as the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff). The educational tradition has continued for decades producing a lineage of doctors, lawyers, educators, engineers, pastors, entrepreneurs, entertainers and more.

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.