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Testimony ends in trial over Conway center

The U.S. Department of Justice sued the state, claiming the center institutionalizes people for a lifetime without making an effort to integrate them back into the community. The Conway center is home to about 500 residents.

Attorneys for the state argue that the facility is the best option for parents and caretakers who are forced to make difficult decisions about where their loved ones should live.

Testimony ended Friday morning. U.S. District Judge Leon Holmes ordered both sides to file briefs and responses in the case. That's expected to take at least 90 days.

Gov. Mike Beebe released the following statement at the close of the trial:

Earthquake magnitude lowered, map Ark. earthquakes with THV Interactive Radar

The temblor was originally assessed as a magnitude 4.4, but the U.S. Geological Survey revised the number downward. The center was about 15 miles northeast of Conway and about 30 miles west of Searcy.

Researchers say quakes of 2.5 to 3.0 magnitude are typically the smallest felt by humans.

Campers at Woolly Hollow State Park, in Greenbrier, felt the quake. "Well my son said what was that and I said I don't know I guess it was an earthquake," says camper Janice Linn.

AETN hosts 9 debates for 2010 election

And Monday night, the first of several to come this week hit the airwaves. 

By now we've all seen the signs and the commercials. But it's now time to debate.

"Welcome to Debate Week here on the Arkansas Educational Television Network," Moderator Steve Barnes said.

The first of two political match-ups aired Monday night and more are on the way.

"We're doing nine debates in five days," Allen Weatherly said.

Weatherly is AETN's Executive Director. They're taping each day this week at UCA and playing the debates at night.

"It's a good opportunity for the entire state to see potential representatives or leaders in action," Weatherly said.

Some folks like Ryan Reynolds came to the tapings, which open to the public.

"I believe any live is always better, you're cutting out the chances of something being edited out," Reynolds said.

Conway fire truck catches fire


The Log Cabin Democrat reports that a ladder truck caught fire Tuesday while it was being driven to the downtown station.

Conway Fire Chief Bart Castleberry says the turbo malfunctioned and caused oil to flow onto the engine. Castleberry says the firefighters on board heard a rapid banging from the engine that was quickly followed by heavy smoke.

The fire damaged the wiring in the engine. The ladder truck will be in the shop for about a week.

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

UCA chemistry dept. gets $500,000 research grant


Three research grants, totaling $498,622, will fund projects for UCA undergraduate chemistry students to conduct research in gas-phase chemistry, surface chemistry, and archeological chemistry.

"When you consider that these three awards are in the context of a substantial amount of existing external funding, in addition to documented successes in undergraduate research via publications, presentations, and placement of our graduates in top graduate schools in the country, it is clear that the UCA Department of Chemistry has established itself as the premier undergraduate program in chemistry in the state of Arkansas and, arguably, one of the best in the country," said Dr. Robert Mauldin, professor and chair.

Drs. Bill Taylor, Don Perry, and Karen Steelman recently received notice of their awards. Here is a description of each project:

Developing News: Conway man accused of having explosives in home

The wife of 28-year-old Danny O'Neel called police after she discovered explosives in their home. Police said Wednesday that officers found factory-made explosives that were allegedly taken from O'Neel's employer, an oil and gas firm.

Police were able to secure the explosives and put them into storage. Officials wouldn't describe a quantity or type of the explosives.

The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms has taken over the investigation. Police say no charges related to the explosives have been filed yet.

THV's Pam Baccam is following up on this story and will have more on "Today's THV at 6:00" and todaysthv.com.

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

Conway named in 'geekiest city' top 10

Conway may be considered a small town to some Arkansans, but it's making a big name for itself as one of the ten geekiest cities in the U.S.

But what makes a geek, a geek? And how do Conway residents feel about the title?

"I think it's pretty impressive actually."

"It's a badge of honor to be called a geek."

"It's just cool to be a geek."

Conway came in at number six for geekiest cities in the country.

Kim Williams, Director of the Conway Downtown Partnership, says she's proud to be on such a list.

"Then I heard the list we were in and, well, I'm kinda glad to be in that list. I mean that's a strong list to be in, with Harvard... those are some great communities," syas Williams.

Cotton Rohrscheib says Conway has all the ingredients to be a geeky city.

"It's hard to pinpoint one because it's just so eclectic. There's something for everybody in Conway," Rohrsheib says.