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My Town Hero: Mom's love leads to special needs calling

My Town Hero: Mom's love leads to special needs calling

PANGBURN, Ark. (KTHV) – Carol Yarrington is a woman with ambition! She has spent the past seven years getting her Bachelor’s degree and Master’s degree in special education all so she can be a voice for children with special needs.

Yarrington felt the calling to be someone that special needs children could rely on after she witnessed her own son, who has autism, go through school. As the years went by, she noticed that some special education teachers didn’t seem to care or did not have the appropriate training. Even if it was just in one child’s life, she was determined to make a difference.

As parents, we all have that desire to get our kids the best education possible. For parents of children with special needs, that desire can turn to frustration. Yarrington is making a difference in the lives of her students every day, but it's the journey that led her to them, that makes her extra special. She teaches students with special needs at Heber Springs Elementary.

My Town Hero: Greenbrier man starts prison ministry

My Town Hero: Greenbrier man starts prison ministry

GREENBRIER, Ark. (KTHV) - This week's My Town Hero is striving to make his community better, and hoping to save lives along the way. Eddie Kelso, of Greenbrier, said he simply saw a need and decided to do something about it.

"3.2 percent of our adult population is in jail, probation, or incarcerated. That's one out of every 31 adults in America doing some time,” said Kelso, a pastor for 17 years who has witnessed the grim reality of life behind bars. "I'm seeing them destroying their lives, and it's such a waste."

Kelso turned his vision of starting a prison ministry into a reality. Four years ago he became a Certified Religious Assistant in Arkansas prisons. He and his wife Joy, then created "Know the Truth about Prison Ministry" in effort to reach inmates and their families. Today he continues to travel from one prison to the next, volunteering his time to try and prevent inmates from becoming repeat offenders.

My Town Hero: Woman adopts 5 children, offers daycare to low-income families

My Town Hero: Woman adopts 5 children, offers daycare to low-income families

AUGUSTA, Ark. (KTHV) - Becki Watkins Hodges’ dedication and passion for helping children in need was brought to THV11’s attention when three people nominated Hodges for our weekly My Town Hero honor. The three of them said Hodges is the absolute definition of a hero as she works closely with children and provides an in-home day care service for low-income families.

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.