2018 observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day brings changes

The observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day 2018 brings changes at the local and state level.

Action by the Baxter County Quorum Court in December added Martin Luther King, Jr. Day to the county's list of paid holidays. With the court's unanimous approval, Baxter joined the state's other 74 counties in observing the holiday.

At the state level, 2018 marks the end of the practice of commemorating Confederate General Robert E. Lee on the same holiday as the slain civil rights leader. A new law signed by Governor Asa Hutchinson following the 2017 legislative session removed Lee from the state holiday honoring King on the third Monday in January. The Civil War general will instead be honored with a memorial day, not a state holiday, on the second Saturday in October.

The new law also requires public schools in Arkansas to expand their curriculum about the Civil War and civil rights.

With the observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, most financial institutions are closed, along with other government entities, including Gassville City Hall.

The Donald W. Reynolds Library Serving Baxter County will be closed for the holiday. Regular hours will resume on Tuesday, when the library will be open from 10:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m.

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