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Arkansas continues defending 12-week abortion ban

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel is continuing to defend the state's 12-week abortion ban to a federal appeals court, arguing the state has a legitimate interest in barring the procedure at that point in a woman's pregnancy.

McDaniel on Wednesday filed a reply brief with the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which is weighing whether to uphold a federal judge's decision that the 12-week ban is unconstitutional. U.S. District Judge Susan Webber Wright struck down the ban in March.

McDaniel argued in the brief that the ban is constitutional under existing court precedent.

The Republican-led Legislature approved the ban last year, overriding a veto by Democratic Gov. Mike Beebe.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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Assistant soccer coach hired at UALR

Assistant soccer coach hired at UALR
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Bri Garcia has been hired as an assistant coach for the University of Arkansas at Little Rock soccer team. Coach Adrian Blewitt announced the addition to the team Wednesday. Garcia spent the past year as an assistant coach at Nebraska, and she spent five years as a player at Penn State. Garcia also has assistant coaching experience with the U.S. Olympic Development Program and at summer camps at Penn State. A defensive specialist as a coach, Garcia will focus on organizing the Trojans' back line and protecting the UALR goal. She broke down game film and assisted with on-field coaching with Nebraska last year as the Huskers won the 2013 conference regular-season championship and tournament championship. (Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Federal disaster declarations made for 10 Arkansas counties

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - United States Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack has made Secretarial disaster declarations for farmers and ranchers in 10 Arkansas counties that suffered losses due to flash flooding, excessive rain, high winds, hail, and dangerous lightning beginning on June 29, 2014, and continuing. Qualifying farmers will be eligible for federal aid, including emergency loans.

Responding to requests from Governor Mike Beebe, Vilsack issued disaster declarations in response to flood conditions in Cross, Independence, Jackson, Lee, Lonoke, Monroe, Prairie, St. Francis, White, and Woodruff Counties.

MoneyPak scams becoming more common in Arkansas

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) – The only things between a criminal and someone else's money are a 14-digit number and a good lie, as too many Arkansans are learning.

Criminals are increasingly turning to items such as Green Dot MoneyPak cards as a means to steal. Criminals trick consumers into believing that sweepstakes winnings await, that they can avoid jail time or they can pay their overdue utility bills with payments from these types of cards. Once criminals have the number from the back of the card, it's almost impossible for a consumer to ever recover money.

Attorney General Dustin McDaniel issued this consumer alert today to warn Arkansans about potential scams and to offer tips on how to avoid fraud when using MoneyPak or similar products.

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My Town Hero: The Motivator

My Town Hero: The Motivator

JACKSONVILLE Ark. (KTHV) - Every now and then, we find ourselves stuck in a rut. One man in the city of Jacksonville has made it his duty to inspire just about everyone he encounters. It's one of many reasons he was nominated for My Town Hero.

When James Bolden is on the move, he's bound to light someone on fire with enthusiasm.

"He makes people feel motivated by his demeanor, his behavior, personality everything about him," said Jill Ross, Jacksonville human resource director. Internationally, he's known as The Motivator, but Ross also knows him as a city alderman. When employee morale was down, she knew exactly who to turn to. "He spent 15 hours of his own time training 300 city employees.”

She said Alderman Bolden spent an hour teaching them how to handle stress and stay motivated during tough economic times.

Local lawyer's Gridiron returns to The Rep

Local lawyer's Gridiron returns to The Rep

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) – The Arkansas Repertory Theatre is thrilled to announce that more than 75 lawyers and law professionals will once again take The Rep stage with their production of Gridiron. After a four-year hiatus, the lawyers bring back their biannual musical production spoofing Arkansas people and politics. Its first show will premiere at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 13 with a special offering of light bites and complimentary beer and wine. Four shows will follow on Thursday (8 p.m.), Friday (7 p.m. and 9 p.m.) and Saturday (8 p.m.).

Gridiron traces its origins back to 1916 when a few theatrically inclined lawyers banded together to write and perform a vaudevillian-style dinner show. The show was an immediate success and became an annual event. It’s now close to celebrating its 100th anniversary. Some believe it is the longest-running production of its kind in the nation.

Dyslexia testing to begin in public schools

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - Schools in Arkansas are now following through with new requirements for all students with dyslexia.

This comes after Arkansas lawmakers approved a measure ensuring that all children with the disability would have proper resources in public schools.

This fall, every child in Kindergarten through second grade will get tested for dyslexia. The tests determine if a child may be at risk for literary problems.

"I've had a lot of parents tell me their kids are seeing success in reading. Some of them were already at a point where they hated school and hated reading and once they started in the program, working with one of the intervention programs we use, than they start liking to read," said Lynn Cooper, Nettleton Special Education director.