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Award-winning writer to kick off UCA's LGBT History Month

CONWAY, Ark. (Sept. 15, 2014) — The month of October will be filled with events to help celebrate the diversity of gender identity/sexual orientation on the University of Central Arkansas campus, from display of the AIDS Memorial Quilt in Harrin Hall to the Pride Walk anchored in the Crafton Alumni Pavilion.

One highlight of this year's festivities will be a visit from award-winning writer Bernard Cooper, who will be an artist in residence with the UCA College of Fine Arts and Communication.

Cooper, a memoirist and fiction writer who, with razor wit, unsparing honesty and cutting insight, explores themes of sexuality, familial relationships, AIDS and loss, will give a public reading at the College of Business Auditorium on Tuesday, Sept. 30, beginning at 7 p.m. A Q&A session and book signing will follow.

The reading is free and open to the public.

Conway city attorney to fill open judicial spot

CONWAY, Ark. (AP) - Gov. Mike Beebe has appointed the Conway city attorney to serve out the remainder of the term of a circuit judge who was removed from the bench by the Arkansas Supreme Court last week.

Beebe announced Monday that he's appointed Michael Murphy to serve as a circuit judge in the 2nd Division of the 20th Judicial Circuit. Murphy replaces Mike Maggio, who was removed from the bench by the high court for inappropriate comments Maggio admitted making on an online forum.

Beebe says Murphy's appointment expires Dec. 31. After that, Murphy will take over as a circuit judge in the circuit's 5th Division after winning the seat earlier this year.

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Hot Springs man arrested for Internet stalking a child

FAULKNER COUNTY, Ark. (KTHV) – A Faulkner County man is behind bars after being arrested for Internet stalking of a child.

The Faulkner County Sheriff's Office released a press statement saying they arrested Richard Shreck, 56 of Hot Springs, Sept. 9.

The sheriff's office said an investigator had been talking to Shreck through an online chat room, and was using a profile of a mother with two kids under 10, and Shreck had allegedly asking about having inappropriate relations with the children.

According to the sheriff's office, Shreck decided after a month of talking with the "mother" he decided it was time to meet the mom, then plan to take the children back to his lake house in Hot Springs.

When Shreck arrived at the prearranged meeting place, the was surrounded by authorities and taken into custody.

11-year-old captures essence of Arkansas through photos

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. (KTHV)- Every day we pass hundreds, if not thousands of people. We see their faces, we see their clothes, but we don't always see beneath their image to their essence.

One young Arkansas girl is trying to change that, one picture at a time.

11-year-old Katie Chandler began the Facebook page Humans of Arkansas in July as a way to tell the hundreds of stories we don't see every day.

"Some people reject us and some people are glad to do it," Chandler said smiling.

"Essentially what's she's trying to do is to capture the essence of Arkansas through photographs, and anecdotes, and quotes," added Katie's mother Amanda Chandler.

Even though she's from the tiny town of Newhope, Katie has traveled all over Arkansas, cementing moments in time in Hot Springs, Little Rock and Fayetteville, introducing new characters, triumphs, and tribulations with each snap shot.

My Town Hero: Woman dedicates life to homeless adults, children

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - A woman in Little Rock has dedicated her life to helping working homeless adults and their children stay together and live successful lives. Her passion to help others is what makes her so deserving of being featured as a My Town Hero.

For Georgia Mjartan, there's nothing more rewarding than helping children and their parents succeed.

"I grew up not a mile from Our House. I was very aware of the disparities and social injustices even as a little girl," said Georgia Mjartan. She explained that that's what motivated her to do something meaningful in her own community. After taking over as Executive Director of the homeless shelter, Our House in 2005, Georgia became inspired to create a youth center. "I looked around and saw all of these homeless children who had nowhere to be during the summer hold up in a dark dormitory in the shelter."

Conway voters OK funds for Central Landing project

Conway voters OK funds for Central Landing project

CONWAY, Ark. (AP) - Voters in Conway have approved a plan to rededicate and extend a sales tax to support the redevelopment of the city's former airport into a shopping and restaurant area.

Voters on Tuesday easily approved the measure, which authorizes the city to rededicate an existing 1/8th percent sales tax. The tax will allow the issuance of about $21 million in municipal bonds that will support infrastructure for the planned Central Landing center.

The tax had been set to expire in 2021 but is now extended until 2045.

Plans for the Central Landing project include a department store, shops, restaurants and residential housing. The project is to be built at the site of the city's former airport, which is being replaced by a new airport that recently opened.

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Hendrix students and staff excited about nationwide ranking

Hendrix students and staff excited about nationwide ranking

CONWAY, Ark. (KTHV)- It was a big day for students and staff at Hendrix college as they learned their school was ranked number one in up and coming liberal arts schools nationwide by U.S. News and World Report.

"I chose Hendrix over a lot of really good schools and I wouldn't go back on that," said Junior Sybil Watkins. "This day and age having a well-rounded education is really important to employers so I think that it's really good that Hendrix is taking a name for that."