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Arkansas leads nation in fire deaths

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - Arkansas leads the nation in fire deaths according to the American Red Cross.

The group is working to reduce the number of home fire deaths and injuries by 25 percent over the next five years, calling it the Home Fire Preparedness Campaign.

Officials say if they can go into homes, partner with fire departments, make sure people have working smoke detectors and that people are educated with a fire plan than they can prevent these fatalities.

For more fire safety and prevention tips, click here.


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Pay raises for college administrators in Arkansas

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) – There have been major increases for college presidents in Arkansas over recent years.

Doctor Don Bobbitt, president of the U of A system, is making roughly $506,000 a year. That's 42 percent higher than his predecessor just four years ago.

Chancellor Laurence Alexander at UAPB earned more than $303,000 for the 2013 fiscal year. That's up 4 percent from 2010.

Our partners at Arkansas Business broke down more of the numbers in the Administrator's Compensation Survey, which you can find here.


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Attorney General announces new school safety initiative

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (October 21, 2014) – Attorney General Dustin McDaniel announced on Tuesday the launch of a new school safety training initiative for school districts and law enforcement agencies to help educators and emergency responders better prepare for active threats on campuses.

Agents with the Attorney General's Special Investigations Division will offer a number of specialized training courses, all at no cost to school employees and law enforcement officials, McDaniel said at a news conference at his office

"As a law enforcement official and as a father, it's important to me that we do everything we can to make sure that our State's children are safe while they are at school," McDaniel said. "These training programs improve the safety of our children by instructing teachers, administrators and emergency responders about how to protect and save lives in the event of an active threat on campus."

3 homicides in less than 24 hours prompt LR crime discussion

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - Three separate homicides in less than 24 hours in Little Rock. Local activists have reached out to THV11, concerned about what happened over the weekend. Now they're wondering what's being done to combat crime in our city.

"You have more people committing crime and you have more people going to the graveyard," said Reverend Benny Johnson, a local activist.

The first murder happened on Saturday morning about a mile from the Capitol building. The second and third happened late Saturday night, just off Highway 67.

"It appears that the last two had some commonalities, some friends and associates that were in common," said Lt. Sidney Allen, Little Rock Police Department.

With this year's homicide count now at 38, local activist Reverend Benny Johnson said something has to be done.

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Federal judge sets hearing in marriage case

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - A federal judge has set a hearing for next month in a lawsuit challenging Arkansas' gay marriage ban.

U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker on Monday scheduled a Nov. 20 hearing over competing motions in the lawsuit challenging a 2004 constitutional amendment and earlier laws defining marriage as between a man and a woman. A group of same-sex couples is challenging the ban.

The hearing will be on the couples' motion for summary judgment in the case, and on a separate motion by the state seeking to dismiss the lawsuit.

The state Supreme Court is considering a separate case regarding the gay marriage ban. The state appealed a Pulaski County judge's ruling against the ban, which led to hundreds of same-sex marriages. The judge's order was suspended while it's on appeal.

Update: 2 U.S. Bank robberies connected

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- Little Rock police officers are investigating a bank robbery.

LRPD tweeted this at 12:16 p.m.:

Lt. Sidney Allen said after noon a black male suspect entered the U.S. Bank at 11402 W. Markham. He said the suspect came to the counter and presented a plastic bag to the teller and instructed the teller to put the money in the bag, and they complied.

Allen said police believe the suspect in today's bank robbery is the same man who robbed the U.S. Bank Oct. 15 on Baseline Rd.

Enthusiasts celebrate all things bike-related at Biketoberfest

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) – It has been a great weekend for getting out and riding a bike. With that in mind, the River Market and our friends at Chainwheel teamed up for Biketoberfest Sunday.

They put the event together last year for the first time, and it proved to be such a hit that they brought it back. The event celebrates all things bike-related with stunt shows, food, and art. It also featured a bike swap-and-shop -- similar to the ones held at events like Pedalpalooza.

"It's a chance to bring the community together with a little bit of food, a little bit of drink and entertainment, and I think it's a good time to be had not just by cyclists but by the community in general," said Dimitri Harris with Mech Custom Bicycles.

All of the money raised goes toward Recycle Bikes for Kids.

The event helped wrap up Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodala's car-free challenge week.