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Arkansas to observe Civil War's 150th anniversary

To observe the Civil War's anniversary, at Pine Bluff, the old Boone Murphy House is being renovated. The house served as a Union Army headquarters in the Civil War for a spell.

In Helena-West Helena, reconstruction of a Union Army fort near downtown and an encampment where slaves left plantations and joined Union soldiers is nearing completion.

And in Batesville, the Independence County Historical Society and Batesville Community Theatre are putting the final touches on a reader's theater production that will feature eyewitness accounts of the Civil War in that northeast Arkansas county.

Mark Christ, a member of the Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission, says Arkansas' secession from the union was arguably the most important event in the state's history.

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

Red Cross helps displaced families this Christmas

Every year, unfortunately we hear about Thanksgiving and Christmas house fires. They're usually preventable. The Red Cross is always there to help pick up the pieces, but also wants to remind folks how to avoid a fire this winter.

Since Thanksgiving, many house fires have been caused by bad wiring, fireplaces, candles and overloaded circuits. But the leading cause is cooking mishaps.

Brigette Williams with the Red Cross says, "With the exception of a lightning strike, fires are preventable."

Williams says it's been a devastating holiday. She explains, "Christmas Day we had four homes that were destroyed by fire including one that took the life of a two-year-old."

Arkansas couple arrested in Shreveport for meth lab

Two occupants of a hotel room, 31-year-old Quentin Lucas and 34-year-old Jennifer Walter, both of Camden, were booked into the Shreveport City Jail on one count each of creation and/or operation of a clandestine lab.

Just after 9:30 p.m. last night, a Shreveport Police officer working off-duty security at the Sam's Town Hotel in the 300 block of Clyde Fant Parkway responded to a report of a smoke alarm going off in a guest room on the 20th floor of the building.

The officer made contact with the guests there and noticed a large amount of smoke inside the room. Upon further investigation, a suspected methamphetamine lab was discovered inside the room.

Jefferson County Relay for Life to hold 2011 Kick-off event


The kick-off sets the tone for the American Cancer Society Relay for Life fundraising. Plans will be presented and information shared regarding the upcoming Jefferson County Relay for Life, an American Cancer Society signature event. The 2011 Relay for Life will be 12 hours long and will be held at the Watson Chapel Football Stadium/Track and Field beginning April 29 at 6:00 p.m. and ending April 30 at 6:00 a.m.

Relay for Life is an event that gives everyone in communities across the globe a chance to celebrate the lives of people who have battled cancer, remember loved ones lost, and fight back against the disease.

At Relay, teams of people camp out at a local school, park, and stadium and take turns walking or running around a track or path. Each team is asked to have a representative on the track at all times during the event.

Pine Bluff police looking for Family Dollar store robber

A witness flagged down a police officer and told him there was a robbery in progress at the Family Dollar on 11th and Blake streets.

The police officer said when he arrived, he saw through the window a black male dressed in black clothing wearing a bandanna, with a toboggan pulled down over his face . The suspect was armed with a revolver and had it pointed at the clerk's head.

When the suspect exited the store, the police officer instructed the robber to drop his weapon. When the suspect pointed his weapon at the officer, the officer fired one shot, missing the robber.

The suspect fled east on foot behind the store to Hepburn Street. During the chase, the police officer fired another shot, again missing the robber. He got into a car on Bay Street being driven by an unknown accomplice, and got away with an undisclosed amount of money. The vehicle drove off south and was last seen in the area of 6th and Bay.

UAPB Rural Life Conference registration available

UAPB Rural Life Conference registration available

The 55th annual Rural Life Conference will be held on Friday, Feb. 18 at the Pine Bluff Convention Center. The theme is “Building Healthy Communities by Sustaining Rural Life.” Sponsored by the UAPB School of Agriculture, Fisheries and Human Sciences, the event features 10 workshops. Dr. Sherece Y. West, president and CEO of the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation, is the morning speaker and Dr. Cathie Woteki, under-secretary for USDA’s Research, Education and Economics, is the luncheon speaker.

Preregistration is requested of everyone even though the conference is free to producers, homemakers and retirees.

Republicans block youth immigration bill

An Arkansas Democrat has helped block an effort that would've given thousands of young illegal immigrants a path to legal status if they enrolled in college or joined the military. Related THV Story

Sponsors of the "Dream Act" fell five votes short of the 60 they needed to break through largely GOP opposition and win its enactment before Republicans take over the House and narrow Democrats' majority in the Senate next month.

Five Democrats, including Arkansas' Mark Pryor, joined 36 Republicans in defeating the measure.

The House passed the bill last week. It was a last-ditch effort to enact it before it Republicans take control of the House from Democrats in January.