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My Town Hero

My Town Hero: Basketball coach becomes father figure to athletes

My Town Hero: Basketball coach becomes father figure to athletes

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - Tonight's My Town Hero is a legendary Little Rock basketball coach. He's accomplished some remarkable things on the court over the years, but it's what the Arkansas Sports Hall of Famer is doing off the court that makes him so worthy of being called a Town Hero.

This man needs no introduction. Just take a look at the plaques along his wall, and you'll know right away you're in the presence of greatness. Charles Ripley, Head Basketball Coach and Athletic Director at Arkansas Baptist College, wears many hats, but the most significant pertains to meeting the needs of his young athletes.

My Town Hero: Little Rock firefighters save Good Samaritan

My Town Hero: Little Rock firefighters save Good Samaritan

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - Each week for My Town Hero we highlight people in central Arkansas who have gone above and beyond in their community. We introduce you to multiple heroes right here in Little Rock as we share an amazing story of survival, friendship and heroism.

When the fire alarm goes off, firefighters drop everything and race to an emergency. But, it typically ends there. They'll likely never meet the person they've saved. Chirie Bazzelle was adamant about meeting the men she knows saved her life.

"They're my heroes, my angels. I truly believe they're my angels,” she told THV11.

My Town Hero nominee: Todd Johnson

My Town Hero nominee: Todd Johnson

CONWAY, Ark. (KTHV) - Todd Johnson works with children in Conway to make a difference through leadership.

Johnson actively recruits and leads Boyscout Troop 534 and Cubscout Pack 400.

He was nominated by a woman who only idenitified herself as Callista.

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Do you know someone in your community who goes above and beyond? Maybe they’re always helping people, or greets everyone with a smile. Perhaps they’ve beat unthinkable odds or have accomplished something exceptional.

We want to highlight them. To have your My Town Hero featured, email the following information to mytown@thv11.com:

My Town Hero: Mom's love leads to special needs calling

My Town Hero: Mom's love leads to special needs calling

PANGBURN, Ark. (KTHV) – Carol Yarrington is a woman with ambition! She has spent the past seven years getting her Bachelor’s degree and Master’s degree in special education all so she can be a voice for children with special needs.

Yarrington felt the calling to be someone that special needs children could rely on after she witnessed her own son, who has autism, go through school. As the years went by, she noticed that some special education teachers didn’t seem to care or did not have the appropriate training. Even if it was just in one child’s life, she was determined to make a difference.

As parents, we all have that desire to get our kids the best education possible. For parents of children with special needs, that desire can turn to frustration. Yarrington is making a difference in the lives of her students every day, but it's the journey that led her to them, that makes her extra special. She teaches students with special needs at Heber Springs Elementary.

My Town Hero nominee: Sam Pike

My Town Hero nominee: Sam Pike

QUITMAN, Ark. (KTHV) – Sam Pike isn’t your average recent high school graduate. This 17-year-old is also a junior firefighter for Quitman Volunteer Fire Department and a first responder.

Pike has logged over 100 hours of service so far and will soon be traveling to Orlando, Fla., to compete at Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) nationals. He was also awarded Jr. Volunteer of the Year from the City of Quitman for 2014. 

“Most kids his age do not show the maturity as well as the responsibility to make decisions that affect a person’s life,” said his mother, Elizabeth Fry-Pike, who also nominated him for the My Town Hero honor. “I might be just a little bit bias because he is my son, but I am so proud of him.  He means a lot to this community.”

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My Town Hero: Greenbrier man starts prison ministry

My Town Hero: Greenbrier man starts prison ministry

GREENBRIER, Ark. (KTHV) - This week's My Town Hero is striving to make his community better, and hoping to save lives along the way. Eddie Kelso, of Greenbrier, said he simply saw a need and decided to do something about it.

"3.2 percent of our adult population is in jail, probation, or incarcerated. That's one out of every 31 adults in America doing some time,” said Kelso, a pastor for 17 years who has witnessed the grim reality of life behind bars. "I'm seeing them destroying their lives, and it's such a waste."

Kelso turned his vision of starting a prison ministry into a reality. Four years ago he became a Certified Religious Assistant in Arkansas prisons. He and his wife Joy, then created "Know the Truth about Prison Ministry" in effort to reach inmates and their families. Today he continues to travel from one prison to the next, volunteering his time to try and prevent inmates from becoming repeat offenders.

My Town Hero: Woman adopts 5 children, offers daycare to low-income families

My Town Hero: Woman adopts 5 children, offers daycare to low-income families

AUGUSTA, Ark. (KTHV) - Becki Watkins Hodges’ dedication and passion for helping children in need was brought to THV11’s attention when three people nominated Hodges for our weekly My Town Hero honor. The three of them said Hodges is the absolute definition of a hero as she works closely with children and provides an in-home day care service for low-income families.