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Today's THV at 6:30 p.m.: White Hall man oversees elections overseas

WHITE HALL, Ark. (KTHV) -- Stu Soffer is retired and volunteers as an election commissioner in Jefferson County. After an incredible trip, he is now an international election official.

There are no nonstop flights from White Hall to the Central Asian country of Kyrzygstan. In fact, there are no direct flights from the United States to that country of 5.4 million, at all. Stu Soffer, a Jefferson County election commissioner, found that out quickly.

He volunteered to be a part of a U.S. State Department effort to oversee elections in foreign countries. In October he found himself in the country that had made international headlines just four months earlier.

Sugar Bowl means big boost for business

Robert Mhoon is the man behind the meat counter at Hestand's in the Heights, sharpening up for a busy day.

"We've been extremely busy, taking a lot of specialty orders, things of that nature, everybody's getting ready for the game," Mhoon said.

We caught him starting on the some chicken wings. "This is an order for some hot wings, someone's wanting to make, fifty wings," Mhoon said.

And the dozens of orders go well beyond that.

"We've been doing a lot of shrimp plates, cut some pork loin roasts, some standing prime rib roast," Mhoon said.

Plus some Razorback Dip on the side.

"It's just basically a cheese dip, people use for, you know, a dip to watch the ball games with," Mhoon said.

There was plenty of cheese and toppings at Razorback Pizza game night.

"It ought to be one of the biggest nights of our year, we're expecting a full house," David Cole said.

CenterPoint Energy fixing Pine Bluff gas leak

PINE BLUFF, Ark. (KTHV) -- The Pine Bluff Fire Department has evacuated one block bordered by 3rd and 4th Streets, as well as Main and State Streets because of a gas leak.

Officials report that a CenterPoint Energy gas line was struck around 4:30 p.m. Tuesday when an Entergy subcontractor struck the line.

CenterPoint is on the scene. Officials say they expect the line to be repaired by 6:30 p.m. 

Boil order lifted for Hardin Water Association customers

PINE BLUFF, Ark. (KTHV) -- The Department of Health has lifted the precautionary boil water notice issued for customers of Hardin Water Association, Inc. on Tuesday.

This order was issued as a precautionary measure because of loss of pressure while repairing a water main break. Hardin Water Association, Inc. has repaired the water main and restored pressure to the area.

An adequate disinfectant level has been established throughout the distribution system and the satisfactory completion of the bacteriological survey shows that the water is safe for human consumption and the "Boil Water" notice is hereby lifted.

Arkansas Community Correction inmate dies

PINE BLUFF, Ark. (AP) -- A state Department of Community Correction official says an inmate has died at the Arkansas prison system's Diagnostic Unit in Pine Bluff.

A news release from Community Correction Department spokeswoman Rhonda Sharp said 53-year-old Henry Gibson died Monday from a long-term illness.

The release said Gibson began serving a sentence in June from Greene County for a felony hot-check conviction.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Ring in the New Year safely: DUI checkpoints & free taxi rides

Ring in the New Year safely: DUI checkpoints & free taxi rides

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- Ringing in the New Year with alcohol isn't uncommon, but that's why there are DUI checkpoints across the state. To make sure you don't become another drunk driving statistic, Yellow Cab is ready to take you where you need - safely.
Yellow Cab is gearing up for their biggest night of the year; New Year's Eve. All drivers, operators and managers will be on deck to keep up with demand because on New Year’s Eve they don't do reservations.
David Wages is the Senior Vice President at Yellow Cab. He says, "We anticipate fielding somewhere in the neighborhood of probably 6 to 7,000 right now."
But not everyone will be picked up; drivers don't have time to wait if you wonder off from the pick-up spot.

Pine Bluff mayor, aldermen would take pay cuts

The Pine Bluff Commercial reports that the city's finance department estimates that a 5 percent pay cut for city department heads and elected officials would save the city $55,449.

Redus says city employees likely will have to be furloughed to balance to 2011 budget. He says neither he nor the council would ask employees to endure furloughs without also being willing making a sacrifice.

Pine Bluff aldermen are paid $10,649 annually in salary while the mayor is paid $81,370 a year. Both also receive Social Security and retirement contributions from the city.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)