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Little Rock family searching for miracle

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - A Little Rock family is asking for help with a costly procedure for their baby boy. To get it, they'll need go all the way to Mexico.

It's just another Friday in the Davis house. Hadlee Rogers and Haven Davis spend their Spring Break doing one of their favorite things, playing with their baby brother Hayes. But parents Rebekah and Wade Davis see the challenges that lie behind their smiles.

"He has milomaningacell, which is the worst kind of spina bifida," said Rebekah Davis, referring to her 11-month-old son Hayes. "And that is when there is a hole in the spine and there's nerves protruding from the spine."

Just two days after his birth, Hayes had surgery to close the hole in his spine, but his doctors weren't too hopeful that he'd ever be able to walk.

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Fallen Firefighter's Memorial ceremony this weekend

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - An event to honor Arkansas' fallen firefighters is happening on Saturday.

THV11's Craig O'Neill will be at the Arkansas' Fallen Firefighter Memorial reading the names of the men and women who have died while rescuing others.

The monument was dedicated in March of last year after a decade of hard work from supporters.

The monument is at the state capitol, and the ceremony will begin at 1 p.m.

Crime Prevention Task Force to hold first meeting

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (March 27, 2015) – Little Rock's Capital City Crime Prevention Task Force will hold its first meeting on Friday, April 3 at noon.

Task force members will gather in the Little Rock Board of Directors Chambers. The first meeting will serve an organizational purpose where a monthly schedule will be established. Attendees will also discuss areas for research and discussion on issues impacting crime rates in Little Rock.

During the course of these monthly meetings, experts, speakers and interested members of the community will share ideas and thoughts with task force members. It is expected that the Capital City Crime Prevention Task Force will ultimately issue a report with recommendations and best practices for implementation.

A calendar of monthly meetings will be distributed once it is finalized by task force members.

Health organizations urge House to oppose e-cig bill

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (March 25, 2015) - With just days left in session, Senate Bill 978 that regulates and classifies electronic cigarettes appears to be headed to the House floor for debate.

Leading health organizations oppose the bill over language that protects the tobacco industry and pre-empts local control of e-cigarettes.

The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Heart Association, American Lung Association, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids and Americans for Nonsmokers' Rights issued the following statement asking Senators to oppose the measure:

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Arkansas House backs changes to lottery-funded scholarships

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - The Arkansas House has approved two major changes to the way lottery-funded scholarships are awarded.

By a 64-23 vote, the House approved legislation that would cut the scholarships incoming freshmen would receive and base eligibility solely on standardized testing. A separate proposal to award the scholarships based on the number of credit hours earned by college students was approved on a 77-0 vote.

Both measures head to the Senate. The bill changing eligibility would take effect in the 2016-2017 school year, and the sponsor of the other measure said he'll amend it to take effect at the same time.

Arkansas voters approved the lottery in 2008 to raise money for scholarships. Supporters say the changes would be a backup if the games' revenue doesn't improve over the next year.

Arkansas House rejects ending life sentences for juveniles

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Juvenile offenders in Arkansas will continue to be sentenced to life without parole for certain crimes after the state House rejected a bill to end the practice.

House members voted 53-29 Thursday against the proposal to eliminate the sentence for future offenders who are under the age of 18 when they commit a crime. The bill would not have been retroactive but would have required the families of victims be notified of parole hearings.

Democratic Rep. Greg Leding of Fayetteville says his bill would have brought Arkansas in line with other states such as Texas and Alaska. He says some children deserve a second chance.

Opponents say the change would be disrespectful to crime victims and that inmates could commit other crimes if released.

Arkansas Senate backs limit on Common Core test contract

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - The Arkansas Senate has voted to limit the length of the state's contract with a testing company whose assessments are based on Common Core education standards.

The bill approved by the Senate on a 22-2 vote Thursday prevents the state from entering into a contract for more than a year with the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers. The measure requires the state to consider the recommendations from a state task force before deciding to renew its involvement in PARCC.

An earlier version of the House-backed bill called for an end to the state's involvement in the PARCC exam. The bill heads back to the House.

The PARCC exam is based on Common Core education standards that have been adopted by a majority of states, including Arkansas.