Afternoon Update - Thursday

These are some of the stories we're tracking at Region 8 News.

A Marked Tree man is charged with 14 counts of rape on shocking allegations by police. Read about that here. Josh Harvison was in Marked Tree speaking to the family of the suspect and has more on Region 8 News at Six.

Driving to Little Rock just got a little easier. Today was the ribbon-cutting to upgrade a stretch of U.S. 67 to Highway 226 to interstate standards. Governor Mike Beebe and others were on hand and Keith Boles reports with more on Region 8 News at Five and Six. Read more here.

A wild story from this afternoon: a runaway balloon believed to be carrying a 6 year-old boy. It was later revealed that the child was not inside of the aircraft. We're tracking this story here on so check back for new updates.