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Bald Knob fires police chief on mayor's 1st day

BALD KNOB, Ark. (AP) - The police chief in Bald Knob has been fired during a City Council meeting called by the town's new mayor on her first day in office.

The council voted 4-3 Wednesday with Mayor Beth Hale Calhoun casting the tie-breaking vote to fire Police Chief Tim Sanford after calling the special meeting to vote on firing him.

Calhoun said more than 750 people asked her to make the change while she was campaigning for mayor. She declined further comment.

Sanford said he was dedicated to the job and called it his life.

Calhoun appointed assistant Chief Eric Ballantine to serve as interim police chief.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Batesville votes to form police department

BATESVILLE, Ark. (AP) - Elected officials in a northeast Arkansas town have voted to create a police department after more than 20 years without one.

KAIT-TV reports (http://bit.ly/1AKrxG7 ) the Batesville City Council voted unanimously Wednesday night to re-establish the department. The Independence County Sheriff's Department had been providing law enforcement services since 1981, after the city discontinued its police force.

Alderman Chris Poole says the city pays about $1.2 million annually for the county to provide about two officers on duty. He says the city can staff up to about four for the same amount of money.

The city's contract with the county will expire in six months.

Mayor Rick Elembaugh says city officials will start considering interim police chief candidates and forming the department next year.


Arkansas Trail of Holiday Lights continues to shine

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - The Arkansas Trail of Holiday of Lights continues to shine as more than 60 communities around the state take part to brighten the holiday season.

Twenty-one communities in the Northwest Arkansas area are participating and the events run the gamut from the huge Lights of the Ozarks in Fayetteville, complete with live camel rides, to ice skating at the outdoor rink in Bentonville.

In North Central Arkansas, Batesville shines with over a half-million lights throughout downtown. The striking Cleburne County Courthouse in Heber Springs is decked out again this year, as is the historic court square in Mountain View.

One of the largest light displays is based in the northeast corner of Arkansas. The Lights of the Delta are Blytheville's contribution, with six-million sparklers and more than 48 motion displays.

Happy Holidays! List of events in Arkansas

Happy Holidays! List of events in Arkansas

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) – Here's a look at city holiday events all around Arkansas:



Conway Parade – Dec. 13 at 6 p.m.; begins at Deer and Front Streets and ends at Mill Street



Hot Springs Parade – Dec. 8 at 6:30 p.m.; downtown Hot Springs



Pine Bluff Parade – Dec. 6 at 2 p.m.; downtown Pine Bluff



Holiday Crafts Open House - Dec. 20 Plantation Agriculture Museum State Park

Little Rock Parade – Dec. 6 at 3 p.m.; downtown Little Rock

Family finds reason to be thankful amid sorrow

BATESVILLE, Ark. (AP) - Even in her final days Margaret McMillin found much to be thankful for.

Good knees were one, The Batesville Daily Guard (http://bit.ly/1FoXCER ) reported.

Except for over the Internet, Keith and Margaret McMillin had never even seen the house that would become their home on Chamblee Drive when they moved from Texas to Batesville in 2005.

"That's what's known as faith," Keith said with a laugh.

When they turned down the street, Margaret was sold. She couldn't get over the trees, or their beauty, Keith remembers. Here, they would be closer to their daughter, Laura Rumans, and two of three grandchildren while son Mark remained in Texas where their oldest grandson, who recently received his Ph.D., also lives.

Arkansas Elections Results 2014

Arkansas Elections Results 2014

For all elections results, go to our real-time elections page: http://www.thv11.com/elections/

Arkansas Legislature to remain under GOP control

Arkansas Legislature to remain under GOP control

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Republicans have locked up control of the Arkansas Legislature for 2015.

The GOP on Tuesday won at least 62 seats in the 100-member House, while Democrats took at least 34. Results are pending on four races.

In the 35-member Senate, Republicans will hold a 24-11 margin after winning all four races decided Tuesday.

Republicans also won all seven constitutional offices.

In 2012, Republicans won control of the Legislature for the first time since Reconstruction, clinching 51 seats. Afterward, lawmakers passed one of the strictest abortion laws in the country and approved a voter ID law - but both laws were later found unconstitutional.

Legislators also passed a bipartisan plan to expand health coverage to more than 200,000 people by using Medicaid money to buy private health insurance for poorer Arkansans.