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DHS launches new agency website

 DHS launches new agency website

In an effort to make services, programs and initiatives easier to access and understand, the Arkansas Department of Human Services has created a new website for the agency.

Once on the new site, users will find maps and directions to county offices, information about dozens of programs, a portal to apply online for public assistance, additional resources and much more.

The new site, http://humanservices.arkansas.gov, launches Monday. People visiting the old site http://www.arkansas.gov/dhs will be redirected to the new page.

'Stay Alive: Don't Text and Drive'

'Stay Alive: Don't Text and Drive'

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Motorists will notice a special message on digital signs across the state this week, one authorities and safety advocates hope will make them change their behavior. The signs will read “Stay Alive, Don’t Text and Drive.”

The Natural Wonders Council and the Arkansas Coalition Against Texting While Driving want motorists to put their cell phones away when they’re behind the wheel. Distracted driving results in thousands of preventable fatalities every year. Arkansas First Lady Ginger Beebe, honorary chairwoman of the Natural Wonders Council, facilitated the campaign with Arkansas State Police.

The messages will run from July 17-23 and from Aug. 7-13.

New Miss Arkansas

Kristen Glover, 21, competing as Miss Ouachita Baptist University, won the title on Saturday night at Summit Arena before a crowd of more than 2,500.

A tap dance and remix of the classic "I Got Rhythm" was her talent presentation.

Glover received the overall interview award and preliminary awards on Wednesday for Lifestyle and Fitness in Swimsuit and on Thursday for Presence and Poise in Evening Gown.

She will make her first official appearance today during a press conference in Hot Springs. Today's THV will have the latest tonight at 5:30pm and 10pm.

Today's Box Office: 'Harry Potter' comes to a fitting end

After 10 years of films, the Harry Potter franchise comes to a fantastic finish with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2. It finds our hero still on his quest to find and destroy the remaining horcruxes that will also destroy "you know who". The quest is filled with amazing special effects, narrow escapes, and a captivating good vs. evil story.

It's a great ending to a fun franchise that has not only captured imaginations and made dollars upon dollars but will continue through the books and the films to entertain generations for many to come.

Update: Sales tax holiday coming soon

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- Gearing up for back to school can be costly, but shoppers will get a small break this school year thanks to a new sales tax holiday.

The two-day tax free holiday has been set for the first weekend in August.

Typically if you spend $100 on school supplies your sales tax on that purchase would tack on an extra $7.50 if you're buying in the city of Little Rock.

Imagine though, a weekend where that extra $7.50 was exempt? That will become a reality in just a few weeks.
While we're in the thick of summer, stores and students are already prepping for the upcoming school year.

Madie Fudge and her daughter Corene say they're starting early in hopes of finding the perfect backpack.

"Her backpack is very important to her, so we're shopping for a backpack today."

But just like most of us, Madie and Corene say staying on budget is very important to them in this weak economy.

'Today's THV at Noon': Should parents lose custody of obese kids?

LITTLE ROCK, Ark.  (KTHV) -- Some anti-obesity advocates want to hold parents responsible for letting overweight children indulge too much. 

Harvard University scientists suggest that removing children from a home could be justifiable if there is proof that the parents repeatedly refused to address the children's health problems, including severe obesity.

Critics of the article say the researchers' theory is well-intentioned, but misguided. They say the obesity epidemic is a societal issue and blame should not be placed solely on parents.

The Centers for Disease Control estimates that 17 percent of children in the United States are considered obese.

Today in the C-Block we want to know your thoughts. Do you agree with this extreme move? Do you think it goes too far? Email us at cblock@todaysthv.com.

Decline in lottery proceeds

Decline in lottery proceeds

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- Initial reports indicated a $4 million shortfall. Today we learn it's much higher, $10.8 million.

Commissioners put the pressure on Director Ernie Passailaigue at Wednesday's Lottery Commission meeting.

Passailaigue says part of the problem is that fewer people are buying Powerball tickets and other ticket games, instead opting for scratch-offs. These sales, Passailaigue says, is something they need to improve.

Lots of customers stop for gas at Exxon in Little Rock off Old Cantrell. But manager Lonnie Thornton says they often walk away with more.

"The scratch-offs sells more than the Powerball and Mega Millions and Cash 3 does," says Thornton.

Thornton says it's all about immediate rewards.

"They want the instant money. [They] want it handed out of that register. They think they have a better chance of winning and it's instant money, just like that," Thornton adds.