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Lifting up Louie: How to send encouragement

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Louie Schneider is the little boy who stole our hearts back in February when he shared that he was ready to “meet Jesus,” after what his family thought was his last ride to the hospital.

Louie is by all accounts a miracle. Briefly, he was a foster child before he was adopted by the Schneiders— then, he started having some health issues.

To this day, his symptoms still baffle doctors. But, to everyone’s excitement, he’s more than alive, he just completed a triathlon.

This week, however, we received a worrisome message from his family.

His mom Kristy texted two sad photos of Louie with a message that said, “please pray for my boy, he’s not himself. he is quiet and withdrawn.”

Nothing has changed medically for Louie. His mom just shared that he was “down” and needed some cheer. 

This is where you come in…  

As his mom says, we can’t add days to his life, so we add life to his days.

Send a thoughtful message to Louie by texting (501) 376-1111.

Telling the story of the diversity and magnitude of the human experience is important here at THV11.  And that’s what Louie is showing us—his human experience.

Other ways to reach out and help Louie:

His mom, Kristy’s, blog: https://www.caringbridge.org/visit/lovinglouie

Or send a letter to Louie at:

Louie
c/o Project Zero
10 Kings Court
Little Rock, AR 72211

RELATED: Louie is ready and excited to compete in the Conway Kid’s Triathlon

RELATED: Louie is turning 10 and he wants people to ‘love everyone’ on his birthday!

RELATED: Fulfilling a dream: Louie throws out first pitch at Arkansas Travelers game

RELATED: Louie defies expectations, throws first pitch for baseball team named after him

At Least 27 People Have Been Arrested Over Threats To Commit Mass Attacks Since The El Paso And Dayton Shootings

When authorities arrived Friday to arrest a 15-year-old in Florida after threats to commit a school shooting showed up on a video game platform, he told them he was joking, they said.

“I Dalton Barnhart vow to bring my fathers m15 to school and kill 7 people at a minimum,” the boy wrote using a fake name, according to a Volusia County Sheriff’s Office report.

The teen is one of more than two dozen people who have been arrested over threats to commit mass shootings since 31 people were killed in one weekend this month in shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio.

The raft of cases follows a directive by the FBI director immediately after the two early August massacres for agency offices nationwide to conduct a new threat assessment in an effort to thwart more mass attacks.

The FBI was concerned that US-based domestic violent extremists could become inspired by the attacks to “engage in similar acts of violence,” the agency said in a statement.

Indeed, it was a tip to the FBI that sent sheriff’s deputies to the home of the Florida teen, the sheriff’s report states. CNN is not naming him because he is a minor.

A woman who said the boy is her son told authorities that kids say things like that all the time and her child should not be treated like a terrorist, body-camera footage from the arrest shows.

Joke or not, such comments are a felony in Florida, the sheriff’s department wrote on its Facebook page.

“After the mass violence we’ve seen in Florida and across the country, law enforcement officers have a responsibility to investigate and charge those who choose to make these types of threatening statements,” the post states.

Here are the known threats with publicized arrests that law enforcement agencies have investigated since the Dayton and El Paso shootings:

August 4: A man from the Tampa area called a Walmart and told an employee he would shoot up the store, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement. The man faces a false threat charge.

August 7: Police in Weslaco, Texas, arrested a 13-year-old boy. The boy will face a charge of terroristic threat for making a social media post that prompted a Walmart to be evacuated, police said on Facebook. The boy’s mother brought him to the station.

August 8: A man is accused of walking into a Walmart in Missouri equipped with body armor, a handgun and a rifle less than a week after a gunman killed 22 people in a Texas Walmart says it was a “social experiment” and not intended to cause panic. The 20-year-old was charged with making a terrorist threat.

August 9: A 23-year-old Las Vegas man is charged with possessing destructive devices after authorities found bomb-making materials at his home. The FBI says he was planning to attack a synagogue and a gay bar.

August 9: A 26-year-old Winter Park, Florida, man was arrested after investigators say he posted a threat on Facebook that he was about to have his gun returned and people should stay away from Walmart.

August 10: Officers responded to a threat a man posted on social media, the Harlingen, Texas, Police Department said in a statement. A man was arrested at his home on charges of making a terroristic threat.

August 11: A Palm Beach County, Florida, mother is accused of threatening to carry out a shooting at an elementary school because her children were being moved there, according to CNN affiliate WFTS. The 28-year-old woman is charged with sending a written threat to commit bodily injury.

August 11: A Mississippi teen is accused of making threats in the Lamar County School District, the agency says on Facebook.

August 12: Authorities charged an 18-year-old Ohio man who the FBI says threatened to assault federal law enforcement officers and showed support for mass shootings in a post online. Court documents say that the teen had a stockpile of weapons and ammunition.

August 12: A 25-year-old Jefferson County, West Virginia, man was arrested on charges of making terroristic threats online to kill people, according to CNN affiliate WDVM.

August 13: Albert Lea Police arrested and charged a 15-year-old Minnesota girl for threatening a school shooting on social media.

August 13: A man was arrested in Phoenix after police say he threatened to blow up an Army recruitment center, according to CNN affiliate KTVK.

August 15: A tip from a citizen led Connecticut authorities and the FBI to investigate and arrest a man who they said expressed an interest in committing a mass shooting on Facebook and had weapons and tactical gear, the FBI and Norwalk Police Department said.

August 15: A 15-year-old girl was arrested in Fresno, California, for posting a photo of a Walmart gun case with rifles displayed and the caption, “Don’t come to school tomorrow,” the city’s police chief said. “The teen’s very bright future is now stained by this,” he said, adding she was booked with making terrorist threats.

August 16: A 15-year-old boy was taken into police custody in Volusia County, Florida, after investigators say he threatened to commit a school shooting in comments on a video game chat platform.

August 16: Two Mississippi juveniles were arrested in connection with threatening messages to two Tupelo schools, placing a school in partial lockdown, according to CNN affiliate WTVA.

August 16: A Florida man was arrested and charged with threatening to commit a mass shooting after his ex-girlfriend alerted authorities to a series of ominous text messages he sent her.

August 16: A 14-year-old in Arizona was arrested by Tempe Police after online threats were made against a school, according to CNN affiliate KNXV.

August 16: A Chicago man, 19, was arrested after police say he threatened to kill people at a women’s reproductive health clinic on iFunny, a social media platform where users can post memes, federal prosecutors said Monday.

August 16: A 35-year-old Clarksburg, Maryland, resident was arrested in Seattle after being charged with threatening to kill people and calling for the “extermination” of Hispanics, according to a statement released by the US attorney for the Southern District of Florida.

August 17: New Middletown Police arrested a self-described white nationalist who they say threatened to shoot an Ohio Jewish community center.

August 18: A man was arrested in Reed City, Michigan, after authorities said he posted online videos making threats toward Ferris State University and other locations, according to CNN affiliate WXMI.

August 18: Claremore, Oklahoma, police arrested an 18-year-old who they say made social media threats against police officer families, according to a Facebook post from the Claremore Police Department.

August 19: A 38-year-old truck driver was arrested after making “credible threats to conduct a mass shooting and suicide” planned for Thursday, an FBI special agent said in a sworn affidavit filed in the Southern District of Alabama.

August 19: Maui Police arrested an 18-year-old man after a social media post claimed he intended to “shoot up a school,” according to CNN affiliate KITV.

August 19: A 37-year-old Rapid City, South Dakota, man was arrested and charged with threatening to blow up state and federal government agencies, Pennington County Sheriff’s Office said in a post on Facebook.

Summer savings tips after shocking utility bills in hot Arkansas heat

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — It can be a real shock when that utility bill arrives, especially after a cool spring. Now many customers are seeing their payments soar.

To avoid an even bigger bite in the budget as the heat waves continue, Entergy Arkansas, the state’s largest electric utility company, is offering tips for regaining control of the thermostat now that tons of shocked customers call asking for help.

“It definitely increases once the air conditioners start running,” said Heather Hendrickson, the program director for Entergy’s efficiency programs.

Her overriding advice is to make your home as energy-efficient as possible. There are investment-level things you can do, but also free or low-cost ideas. 

For the big-ticket items, Hendrickson says to replace old appliances with more efficient systems, get “smart” thermostats that can be programmed for different times of the day and improve the insulation in the attic or crawlspace.

But there are also easy changes.

“A good little tip: turn on your fans,” she said. “Those fans can literally make you feel two to three degrees cooler.”

She says that can make a world of difference when you take the next step and turn up your thermostat. Don’t do anything extreme, but find a temperature that is comfortable while trying to hit a temperature sweet spot.

“The average, we say, is 78 degrees,” said Hendrickson pointing to guidelines from the US Dept. of Energy. “You save a lot of energy by turning that thermostat up. For every one degree higher, you can get about a two to three percent energy savings.”

It won’t settle arguments over the ideal temperature, but the Energy Dept.’s website spells out how the smaller the difference between indoor settings and outdoor temps, the lower the bill can be.

“People underestimate window coverings,” Hendrickson said. “Your blinds. Your curtains. Those make a huge impact, especially on the west and south side of the house that see the most sun.”

And remember that setting a higher temperature all day is way better than shutting it all down when you’re not home.

“You don’t want to turn it back on and have it be three hours of just pulling all the power and making the machine run 24/7,” Hendrickson said.

Entergy has a page with different tips for saving money. They offer level billing that averages out costs over a 12-month period, avoiding spikes in the heat of the summer and cold of winter. They also work with customers on payment plans if they are experiencing hardship.

RELATED: The coolest you should keep your house is 78 degrees, federal program recommends

RELATED: Scientists confirm July set new global heat record

RELATED: Experts warn of dangerous heat expected across Arkansas Monday

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When it is hot outside it can actually be very dangerous, that means workers and students have to change up certain routines to be able to keep themselves safe.

Showers and storms are likely throughout Saturday, especially in the afternoon when more rain may develop.

VIDEO FORECAST

RAIN TIMELINE

A few showers and a couple downpours are possible in the morning, but near noon, more showers and even a few thunderstorms may form and push south, carried by the Northwest Flow. This will peak throughout the afternoon. Later tonight and into early Sunday morning the weather should quiet down and the skies should dry out. There could be a lingering sprinkle on Sunday, but overall things look drier for the second half of the weekend.

Shower And Storm Threat Continues For Saturday

Shower And Storm Threat Continues For Saturday

WEEKEND LAKE FORECAST

Rain and storms are possible on-and-off throughout Saturday, with a much drier day in store for Sunday. Lightning could cause issues if boating today.

Shower And Storm Threat Continues For Saturday

Shower And Storm Threat Continues For Saturday

Futurecast 10AM:  More showers and storms could begin to develop.

Shower And Storm Threat Continues For Saturday

Shower And Storm Threat Continues For Saturday

Futurecast 2PM:  Isolated storms will be ongoing throughout the afternoon.

Shower And Storm Threat Continues For Saturday

Shower And Storm Threat Continues For Saturday

Northwest Arkansas:  HOUR-BY-HOUR

Shower And Storm Threat Continues For Saturday

Shower And Storm Threat Continues For Saturday

River Valley:  HOUR-BY-HOUR

Shower And Storm Threat Continues For Saturday

Shower And Storm Threat Continues For Saturday

Dentist offers 20K Smile makeover to one deserving veteran

HOT SPRINGS VILLAGE, Ark — The old saying goes “when you smile, the whole world smiles with you,” but what if you’re embarrassed about your smile?

A dentist in central Arkansas is working to change that, by offering a new smile at no cost to one deserving veteran.

For the past two years, Dr. Stephen Raines has been helping patients fix their smiles at Village Dental Clinic in Hot Springs Village. It’s a passion that runs deep in his family.

“My dad is a dentist so what got me into dentistry is that he said he basically wakes up every morning excited to go to work just as he was the first day,” Dr. Raines said.

It’s that passion for helping others that gave him the idea to do something big for someone else.

“I figured if I am going to give something away I want it to be some kind of awesome, deluxe over the top. Not just basic needs, but something really cool. A smile transformation,” Dr. Raines said.

That is how Dr. Raines came up with the idea of the 20K Smile Giveaway, a contest to help a veteran gain their confidence back with a brand new smile.

“There are tons of vets that don’t really get the care they need and I want to do something for them that’s not just to fix a few of their small problems. I want to give them a Hollywood smile,” Dr. Raines said.

Since he announced the contest, Dr. Raines has received dozens of submissions from around the state, everywhere from El Dorado to Russellville.

“A lot of them are really emotional. It’s a lot of wives nominating husbands talking about how their husband has sacrificed so much, but doesn’t do anything for himself. I’ve had one person, the same person received ten nominations,” Dr. Raines said.

The winning veteran, chosen at random, will receive a complete smile makeover up to $20,000. Dr. Raines said he hopes it not only gives them a new smile, but a boost of confidence.

“I’ve had people I’ve done big work like this for where we deliver the crowns we give them the mirror and they just break into tears. So we are hoping for that kind of reaction,” Dr. Raines said. 

If you have a veteran you would like to nominate, visit here.

Nominations are accepted until August 31st.