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UA Hope-Texarkana Online Associate Degree in Funeral Services Receives Full Accreditation

The University of Arkansas Hope-Texarkana received word today that the Online Associate of Applied Science Degree in Funeral Service Education has met all conditions for accreditation.  The online program, which began last year, required a one-year self-study and focus visit that assessed online courses and online students, among other criteria. “We are happy to say that after the mandatory one-year evaluation, the online degree has received unconditional full accreditation from the American Board of Funeral Service Education (ABFSE),” said Karen Davis, Dean of Health Professions. UAHT has a longstanding reputation for having a world-class funeral service program.  “The Committee on Accreditation commended UAHT’s Funeral Service Education Program for their engaging teaching methods, student satisfaction, and long-term commitment to excellence,” said Brad Sheppard, Funeral Services Instructor. “The online degree is a natural extension of our on-campus program, which has been continuously accredited by the ABFSE since 1997 and will reflect the same quality education as our on-campus degree.” Continue Reading →

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TxDOT Seeks Public Input on Bicycling Options

TxDOT is holding virtual public meeting for cyclists

WHEN:         Tuesday, June 29, 2021, 4 p.m.

WHAT:         Virtual Public Meeting 

WHERE:       Online, click here for link to information about the meeting

AUSTIN — TxDOT Atlanta District will conduct a virtual public meeting to include a pre-recorded presentation containing both audio and visual components at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, June 29, 2021. Any interested persons may request this meeting be formalized into a public hearing by submitting a written request to Terri McCasland, at 701 E. Main St., Atlanta, Texas 75551, on or before Monday, June 22, 2021. In the event such request is received, the public meeting to be held on June 29 will be rescheduled as a formal public hearing. The purpose of this meeting is to provide information regarding transportation projects and programs that might affect bicycle use on the state system within the Atlanta District. The Atlanta District is made up of Bowie, Camp, Cass, Harrison, Marion, Morris, Panola, Titus, and Upshur counties. Continue Reading →

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Texarkana, TX – Texarkana Independent School District has named Tara Droske as Elementary Teacher of the Year and Robin Hilton as Secondary Teacher of the Year.  Both have moved forward for consideration as Region VIII Teacher of the Year. Droske, who has 12 years in education, serves as a Kindergarten Teacher at Morriss Elementary School.  She holds a Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies and a Master of Science in Curriculum & Instruction from Texas A&M University-Texarkana.  Droske carries certifications in Generalist EC-4, English as a Second Language and as a Master Math Teacher. 

She completed the TISD Leadership Academy program and has served as a Teacher Mentor, Academic Team Lead for Campus Lighthouse Team, Teacher Retention Committee and Campus Quality Improvement Committee for Morriss Elementary. Droske believes that a strong teacher is constantly learning, changing, growing, collaborating, engaging their students, building relationships and growing leaders.  She is a lifelong learner and is always willing to share her knowledge and experience with others. Robin Hilton, TISD Secondary Teacher of the Year, is an 8th Grade Social Studies Teacher at Texas Middle School who has been in the field of education for 29 years.  She holds a Bachelor of Science in History from Baylor University, a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education with an English emphasis from Henderson State University and a Master of Science in Curriculum & Instruction from Texas A&M University-Texarkana.  Hilton holds certifications in Arkansas for Middle School English, Middle School Social Studies and Elementary Teacher Grades 1-6.  In Texas, her certifications include Social Studies Grades 1-8, Elementary Self-Contained Grades 1-8 and Social Studies Grades 8-12. She has been a Mentor Teacher for TISD and Texas Middle School (TMS), served on the Campus Quality Improvement Committee for TMS and on the District Quality Improvement Committee for TISD. Hilton is a Grade Level Team Leader for TMS and a Student Teacher Mentor for Texas A&M University-Texarkana.

She has dedicated her life to teaching and fostering the love of lifelong learning in her students.  Hilton’s teaching style is to teach the child, not the subject, in an effort to make classroom learning fun and personal. Continue Reading →

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Arkansas House of Representatives Reminds Students of July 1 Deadline for Arkansas Academic Challenge Scholarship

This week, we would like to remind families of an upcoming scholarship deadline. July 1 is the deadline to apply for the Arkansas Academic Challenge Scholarship. The scholarship provides tuition assistance to traditional and non-traditional students attending universities and two-year colleges – both public and private – in the state. Freshman students at four-year colleges receive $1,000 from the scholarship. Second- and third-year students receive $4,000, and senior-level students are awarded $5,000 per year.  

At two-year colleges, first-year students receive $1,000 annually, while second-year students are awarded $3,000. Continue Reading →

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OICA Plans Heroes Ball for July

Nominations Open for Anne Roberts People’s Choice Child Advocacy Awards

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy’s annual Heroes Ball – celebrating the Oklahoma’s heroes for children – will be held across two venues and virtually on the Zoom platform. The Oklahoma City venue for the evening will The Skirvin Hilton Hotel in downtown Oklahoma City. The Tulsa venue will be in the Greenwood area as this year’s Heroes Ball will pay tribute to those lost and forever changed by the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre. The two venues will both have speakers and will simulcast between each other as well as webcast to those who attend remotely across the Zoom platform. The 2020 Heroes Ball was conducted at the height of the pandemic and was fully virtual as it was webcast across the Zoom platform. Continue Reading →

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Lessons in the Legislative Process Build Better Leaders

With the end of the legislative session, the work for the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy now transitions to more of an educational component. From the early part of the year through the end of May, our work primarily is dedicated to not only educating lawmakers about policy and the impact of potential laws, but also to reach out to Oklahomans of all backgrounds across the state to encourage them to reach out to policymakers. These calls help share the desires of constituents in legislative districts to help influence the direction of bills being considered and voted upon. We are at this point collecting ideas for suggestions on interim studies and compiling the results of the legislative session to share with advocates across the state. If you have a civic organization in your community that would like to hear from the staff or board members with OICA, we spend much of the middle and latter part of the year working with local leaders to help encourage advocacy and outreach. Continue Reading →

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Arkansas House of Representatives Updates 6-4-21

Tourism in Arkansas is making a big comeback.  While the pandemic severely impacted the industry in 2020, there are signs that tourism is rebounding and doing better than before the health emergency began. The tourism tax collections for March 2021 exceeded collections from March 2019 by 14.6%. From mountain biking adventures to world-class art museums, Arkansas destinations play an essential role in our economy. Before the pandemic, travel-supported jobs represented 6.6% of Arkansas’s total private industry employment. We also know that 8.4 jobs are created for every $1million spent on tourism in our state. Continue Reading →

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Miller County Launches ACT® Work Ready Community Initiative

Texarkana, Arkansas—Miller County announced today, they have engaged in the process to become a certified ACT® Work Ready Communities (ACT® WRC). This practice demonstrates their commitment to developing a strong workforce pipeline, desirable to employers, economic developers, and current and future citizens of the county. “Miller County is excited to partner with the Texarkana USA Regional Chamber of Commerce to launch ACT® Work Ready Communities initiatives that use the ACT® WorkKeys® NCRC® as the basis for industry-driven efforts that link education, workforce, and economic development,” said Judge Cathy Harrison, Miller County Judge. The ACT® Work Ready Communities (ACT® WRC) initiative empowers states, regions and counties with data, processes and tools that drive economic growth by identifying skills gaps and quantifying the skill level of their workforce. Participants leverage the ACT® WorkKeys® National Career Readiness Certificate® (ACT® WorkKeys® NCRC®) to measure and close skills gaps and build common frameworks that link, align, and match their workforce development efforts. Continue Reading →

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Texarkana, Texas Farmers’ Market Awarded Grant

Texarkana, TX: The Texarkana, TX Farmers’ Market was awarded a grant of $2,000 by the Texas Department of Agriculture for marketing assistance. This grant was only available to Farmers’ Markets that received GO TEXAN certification through the Texas Department of Agriculture. The grant award is to promote the Best Salsa in the Ark-La-Tex Competition that will be held on August 7th, 2021 at the Farmers’ Market location on the corner of 3rd Street and Texas Blvd.

City Planner, Keith Beason said, “This is a great momentum booster following the cancellation of the Salsa Competition last year.  We look forward to making a big comeback for the 2021 Best Salsa in the Ark-La-Tex Competition.”  The grant will help with advertising, signage, printing, and paying a guest chef for a cooking demonstration at the event. 

Registration for salsa competitors will open soon.  Updates will be shared on Facebook at and on the Farmers’ Market website,  All salsa entries must be tested by the City of Texarkana, TX Inspections Department before salsa can be distributed. The Texarkana Farmers’ Market is funded in part by a USDA grant and local sponsors. For more information please contact, Keith Beason, Planner II and at 903-798-3901 or email Continue Reading →

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