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Arkansas lawmakers OK ban on informal transfers of adoptees

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Arkansas lawmakers have given final approval to a bill banning the informal transfer of adopted children known as "re-homing," a measure prompted by a legislator who gave away his adopted daughters to a man who later admitted to sexually assaulting one of them.

By 88-0 and 89-0 votes, the House agreed to changes to legislation criminalizing the practice of giving an adopted child to an unrelated family without state oversight and another proposal that the state create new services for parents after they adopt.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson has said he plans to sign it into law.

The ban was proposed after the Arkansas Times reported that Republican Rep. Justin Harris of West Fork gave his adopted daughters to a man who later admitted to sexually assaulting one of the girls.

Little Rock Nine members voice opposition against HB 1228

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) – On Tuesday, Ernie Green and Carlotta Walls Lanier, members of the historic "Little Rock Nine," voiced strong opposition to HB 1228.

Green and Lanier are two of nine African-American students who boldly integrated Little Rock's Central High School during the civil rights movement. Today, they are taking another historic stand with LGBT Arkansans and their allies and supporters.

"'Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,' Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. told us, and those words are as true today as they were half a century ago. In our home state of Arkansas, legislators are attempting to enshrine their own hatred into law," said Green and Walls.

Arkansas Gives: THV11 takes closer look at Thea Foundation

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - This coming Thursday is the day set aside for Arkansas Gives, the largest single day of online giving this state has ever attempted.

The goal is to raise $1 million. With your smartphone, tablet, computer, or carrier pigeon, you can send in a donation of $25 or more to your choice of 350 Arkansas nonprofits.

The Arkansas Community Foundation will add a quarter of a million in bonus dollars. But, it's the impact the money will have that makes this day so historic.

As an example, take the Thea Foundation that is completely dedicated to the nurturing of talent in Arkansas.

Opponents of HB 1228 pray for Governor veto

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - Surrounding the gate to the governor's mansion, hundreds of Arkansans call for a prayer for equality. It's all about HB 1228, a piece of legislation offering protection to business owners who do not want to serve certain individuals. Opponents of the bill call it discrimination.

"This bill is a fraud," said Wendell Griffen, pastor at New Millennium Baptist Church.

Outspoken and outraged religious leaders stood with Arkansans on Monday night.

"It's important for all of people to speak up and legislators know that this piece of legislation does not represent Arkansas values," said Kendra Johnson, Assistant Director of the Human Rights Campaign.

Jermain Taylor pleads not guilty in court

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - Former heavyweight boxing champion Jermain Taylor appeared in court on Monday.

Taylor pleaded not guilty to terroristic threatening and aggravated assault charges from an incident after an MLK parade in January.

Taylor asked to be released from rehab for a few hours to take care of some business, but the judge denied that request.

The boxer reportedly shot at a man and his wife and children at the parade on Wolfe St.

Arkansas Senate rejects bid to take up foreign law ban

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - The Arkansas Senate has rejected an effort to take up legislation prohibiting judges in the state from basing any rulings on foreign laws, including Islamic Sharia law.

Senators on Monday rejected by a 16-11 vote a motion to bypass the Judiciary Committee and bring the proposal directly to the floor for a vote. Pulling the bill from committee is a rarely used procedural move that requires at least 18 votes.

The proposal would ban the state's courts from basing its rulings on any foreign law, legal code or system that doesn't grant fundamental liberties ensured under the U.S. or Arkansas constitutions. The measure has stalled before the Judiciary Committee, which is evenly split between Democrats and Republicans.

(Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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.