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Arkadelphia divided over changing street name

The city of Arkadelphia is trying to answer the question, what's in a name. In this case it's the name of a major street. So far the answer is controversy.
The city of Arkadelphia is trying to answer the question, what's in a name. In this case it's the name of a major street. So far the answer is controversy. It has many people in Arkadelphia fired up.

The Clark County town can't agree on what to do with a major thoroughfare in Arkadelphia. They're also talking about how to honor the preeminent civil rights leader, Martin Luther King Jr.

The 10,000 or so residents of Arkadelphia are divided over one street. A public forum was held to air concern or support for renaming Pine to Martin Luther King Jr. Street.

"Someone suggested Pine Street / honorary Martin Luther King Street," says resident Rose Phillips. "Can we settle for that, is that an option?"

The city council voted 4-2 to approve the name change. But after an uproar over not having a public hearing before the vote, the council has changed course.  Now they're getting that public input.

"I've been to two of these meetings and to me its like apartheid. People are trying to hold people down for no reason," Willie Reed says. "A street is just a street."

"If it comes down to a vote I don't care, it needs end," Pam Goff says. "I myself support the double name or leaving it as is."

Those supporting the change say its about moving Arkadelphia forward.

"Some businesses won't even look at coming to Arkadelphia because they see this issue and that we can't get along."

Those opposed cite cost for businesses to redo advertising with the new name.

"Why does it have to be a zero sum game," asks Anita Williams. "Why does there have to be a winner and a loser? Can't we find a win win?"

The city council gets another shot soon to find that. 

The hearing took place at Henderson State, not city hall chambers.  But the council in attendance, making notes.  They could revote on this issue in two days.

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