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City turns yard waste into dollars

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- It's certainly not the most glamorous job, but bagging yard waste off the side of the road is something Little Rock depends on.

Each year the city generates more than $100,000 from churning yard waste into usable compost and mulch.

"We've got plenty of equipment. We've got four men that work the pave sites," said Little Rock Solid Waste Services manager Warren Atkins. "A good year we'll do about $100,000 [in sales]."

Since the government banned stashing yard waste in landfills more than 20 years ago, the city has been recycling it-- putting it back on people's properties, but as mulch or compost.

"[In a] normal year we [handle] somewhere close to 30,000 tons [of waste]," Atkins continued. "If it's a year in which we have bad storms it could jump above that."

Friday night frights: Extra Halloween caution

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV)- With more people expected out this Friday night, local law enforcement officers are stressing the importance of see and be seen on Halloween.

Halloween is full of fun. Dressing up, trick-or-treating, and lots and lots of candy.

Sergeant Cassandra Davis with the Little Rock Police Department says it's also an evening fraught with safety hazards.

"We know there is not a school day the following day, so young children may be out later than usual."

Because Halloween falls on a Friday, Davis says officers encourage parents to make trick-or-treaters and themselves more visible.

"Look for things like reflective tape. Make sure that the costume maybe has a bright color. If not a bright color, add reflective tape."

Campaign 2014: Political dollar signs

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - What an incredible political season so far. Incredible because of the money being spent, and because of the national attention on Arkansas.

So many TV ads, and those aren't yard signs you're looking at, they're dollar signs.

It's 7:30 a.m. a week before the election, and on one street corner in the heart of Little Rock stands Clarke Tucker, candidate for the State Legislature's District 35 house seat.

On the other corner, his opponent, Stacy Hurst.

Signmakers like AdCraft really need the politicians.

"We struggle until political season and then we make ends meet just fine," said Randi Evans, owner of AdCraft.

This company has been making these things for close to 60 years, and they haven't slowed down.

Little Rock Family: Bullying, what's a parent to do?

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - October is National Bullying Awareness month so THV11 has been talking with Little Rock Family magazine each week about in-depth information about bullying.

Editor Heather Bennett sat down earlier this week with Denise Middleton to talk about what parents need to do in this issue.

On Wednesday, we conclude our series with advice for what a parent is to do whether their child is being bullied or is bullying other children.

1. Examine yourself.

2. Examine your child.

3. Kids learn what they live.

4. Set example of strength, compassion, respect and kindness.

5. Communication is key.

6. Either side...speak up and get help.

Arrest made in February murder

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) – A man is in custody for a February murder.

Lt. Sidney Allen with Little Rock Police said 30-year-old Nathanial Eskridge was developed as a suspect and arrested for the murder of 44-year-old Cedrick Pennington.

Pennington was shot to death next to his car on the 8600 block of Baseline Road.

Eskridge is currently in the Faulkner County Jail.

Lawmakers work to boost teacher salaries

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - New changes coming to the state's public school budget could mean positives for new teachers. This week, the Joint Education Committee finished putting together its recommendations for the budget and included an increase in starting salaries.

"I'm all for that because our teachers deserve salary increases," said Kelly Rodgers, North Little Rock Superintendent. "We need to get closer to what the national average is."

The Committee voted Monday to raise the minimum teacher salary to $31,000. Several Central Arkansas School Districts already offer starting teachers more than the proposed minimum, but that isn't the case for all of the state's 241 districts.

"Unfortunately some districts that are really small, usually, have a hard time paying more than the minimum," said Dr. Jerry Guess, Pulaski County Special School District (PCSSD) Superintendent.

You're not nuts, lots of acorns this year

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV)- Porches and driveways all over the area are covered in acorns. If you think it seems like there's more falling this year than usual, you're not nuts. Experts say this year is different.

You clear off the front walk only to have another thousand acorns drop the next day. Tamara Walkingstick , associate director for the Arkansas Forest Resource Center said we're experiencing a mast year.

"They can really carry a pretty heavy load."

Walkingstick said that occurs when nut-producing trees such as a oaks produce an overabundance of nuts in a particular year.

"We've had a really good growing year and the oaks set at the right time. We didn't have really bad drought as the acorns matured, so they kept them all and now it's time for them to come off."