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My Town Hero: Hot Springs woman starts homeless ministry, helps in African schools

My Town Hero: Hot Springs woman starts homeless ministry, helps in African schools

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. (KTHV) - Bonita Garrabrant is someone who has certainly gone above and beyond to help serve others.

She not only helps the less fortunate in her community, but also others who are thousands of miles away. For that reason, she was nominated as a THV My Town Hero.

Four years ago, Bonita Garrabrant started a homeless ministry at Lake Pointe Church after her heart was gripped by the needs of homeless men and women in downtown Hot Springs.

Governor Beebe announces intent to grant pardons

Governor Beebe announces intent to grant pardons

LITTLE ROCK - Governor Mike Beebe today announced his intent to grant 15 pardons. An additional 38 clemency requests were denied and six had no action taken upon them. These include requests from both inmates and non-inmates.

The 15 applicants intended for pardons have completed all jail time, fulfilled all parole-and-probationary requirements and paid all fines related to their sentences. There is a 30-day waiting period to receive public feedback on the pardons before final action is taken.

Governor Beebe intends to grant pardons to the following people:

Kevia K. Bolden (Memphis, TN): Shoplifting This notice is issued based on the date of conviction (2007 - Little Rock District), the fact that all terms of the applicant's sentence have been completed and there have been no further criminal-law violations. There are no law-enforcement objections to the application.

My Town Hero: 7-year-old raising funds to help ease friend's pain

My Town Hero: 7-year-old raising funds to help ease friend's pain

Bethany and Anne Marie are two little girls with bubbly personalities and a bond like none other.

Anne Marie is a 9-year-old who suffers from a rare skin disorder called Epidermolysis Bullosa or ED, which causes her skin to blister in response to heat, movement, or friction. Bethany, 7, is trying to raise funds for a saltwater pool in an effort to ease Anne Marie’s pain.

Bethany has been making and selling rainbow loom bracelets to raise the $25,000 needed for the pool to be installed in Anne Marie’s back yard. So far, she has already brought in $14,000 in just nine weeks, with donations coming in from as far away as California.

"I felt a little sad, I was trying to figure out what to do for her,” explained Bethany. "I get happier and happier because we're getting closer to the pool."

A Place to Call Home: Sierra

A Place to Call Home: Sierra

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- Time and again, we've shared with you stories of abandoned, abused, and neglected children, left behind for the state to care for.

Through THV11's partnership with the Arkansas Department of Human Services, our effort is to help find these children forever homes.

In the case of a 17-year-old, life comes full circle in this story, except one thing is missing: a family to call her own.

WATCH STORY: http://on.kthv.com/1ikGXf8

"I thought they were precious," Sierra said with a smile at the Humane Society of Pulaski County.

Their innocent yips for attention, along with their sweet puppy eyes, was all enough to melt the 17-year-old's heart

A pup named Franklin and a kitten named Vida have Sierra's full attention. This is the only place she wants to be.

"I really love horses, cats, dogs, all of the above," Sierra told us.

Mobility van could give woman independence for first time in 16 years

Mobility van could give woman independence for first time in 16 years

CABOT, Ark. (KTHV) - The National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association (NMEDA) is giving local heroes from across the country a chance to win a custom Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle. One of the local heroes nominated for the competition is from right here in central Arkansas.

Becky Justice, a 38-year-old from Cabot, has been proving people wrong most of her life. Affected with Spina Bifida*, Justice said she fought her school in the early 1990s to make the campus wheelchair accessible rather than giving in and finding a different school. Now, she’s trying to once again to gain her independence through a contest made possible by NMEDA.

 “I was told that I helped to start the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) because of my part in helping to make the school wheelchair accessible,” Justice wrote on her NMEDA entry.

Day 30: Woman celebrates 30th birthday with 30 random acts of kindness

Day 30: Woman celebrates 30th birthday with 30 random acts of kindness

BENTON, Ark. (KTHV) – Most birthdays are celebrated with a cake, candles, and a few good friends wishing you a happy one, but one Benton woman decided to do things a little differently this year for her 30th.

Nicki Simpkins, of Benton, is doing a random act of kindness each day for the 30 days leading up to her birthday. Simpkins said she decided that Jan. 27 would no longer be about her; instead, she wanted it to be about others. 

She said she was driving home from visiting her in-laws in November and was thinking about the big birthday ahead; she had originally anticipated doing a 30 before 30 list to accomplish things like running a 5K or going to a concert, but a recent family death inspired her to leave the world a little bit better for her son in the future.

In fact, she plans to continue doing these random acts of kindness even after her big day is over.

ASMSA instructor receives teaching award

ASMSA instructor receives teaching award

HOT SPRINGS — The Lewis E. Lyle Chapter of the Air Force Association has named Nick Seward its Chapter Teacher of the Year for the high school division.

Seward is a computer science instructor at the Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences and the Arts.

He is also a coach of the school’s CyberPatriot competition team. The competition, sponsored by the Air Force Association, features teams of high school students interested in careers in cybersecurity or other science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) disciplines. The teams compete to protect computer systems from cyber attacks.

 Schools nominate teachers for the award, and the chapter members vote on the nominees, said Larry Louden, the Lyle Chapter president. Louden and Morris Cash, the chapter’s secretary, presented the award plus a $250 prize to Seward this week.