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Shooting sparks Confederate flag debate in Arkansas

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - In the wake of last week's mass shooting at an historic black church in Charleston, South Carolina's governor called on lawmakers to remove the Confederate flag from state capitol grounds on Monday afternoon.

Now, that debate is getting pretty heated in Arkansas.

The Arkansas state capitol does not fly the Confederate battle flag, but our state flag does feature a blue star that is meant to commemorate the Confederacy. That star had added to a growing debate over the confederate flag itself.

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32nd annual Pops on the River coming next month

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - The Fourth of July is around the corner and you know what that means. It's time for the 32nd annual Pops on the River!

Following its tradition of free family fun, there will be bounce houses, live music and more. It kicks off this Independence Day at noon in Downtown Little Rock.

The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra will perform at 8:30 p.m. and the fireworks show will start around 9:30.

For more details, click here.

Bruno's Little Italy to open downtown deli

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) – Bruno's Little Italy has announced plans to open its own deli in downtown Little Rock.

According to our affiliate at Arkansas Business, co-owner Gio Bruno said that the lease was signed on Thursday and a delicatessen will open at 308 Main St. next door to the restaurant.

No time frame has been set for the deli's opening.

Bruno's Little Italy, founded by Bruno patriarch Jimmy in the late 1940s, opened at 310 Main St. in September 2013 and business has been brisk since; it did almost $1 million in food sales alone last year.

LRSD adding 15 more Pre-K classes

LITTLE ROCK, Ark (KTHV) – The Little Rock School District is adding 15 new Pre-K classrooms.

The new seats will be open at nine elementary schools, and the school district will be accommodating 4-year-olds for qualifying families this upcoming school year.

"I'm very excited because we were in the P3 now we're going to the P4. So the good part about it is meaning that early childcare here to stay and is needed in this area," said Dieatrie Long, a parent who is glad for the change.

The new classrooms will be at Bale, Booker, Carver, Franklin, Geyer Springs, Rockefeller, Romine, Stephens, and Washington elementary schools.

If you're interested in enrolling your child, he or she must be four years old by August 1. If your child has already been assigned a seat, they will remain at their assigned school.

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Mosaic Templars Cultural Center to host Juneteenth Celebration

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) –Mosaic Templars Cultural Center will host the seventh annual Juneteenth Celebration of Freedom on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The free, street-festival style event commemorates the end of slavery, while celebrating African-American achievement and culture. "Juneteenth is a time for reflection," said MTCC Executive Director Sericia Cole. "As an African-American history museum, it's important for MTCC to share the entire narrative of the African American experience. It's truly amazing to think that the descendants of enslaved people are now entrepreneurs, politicians, scientists, educators, leaders and innovators in various fields. We think that's worthy of celebration."

Patrol officer injured in car accident

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - A police officer was injured on Thursday night while responding to a robbery at Walgreens on Rodney Parham.

According to Lt. Steve McClanahan with the Little Rock Police Department, the accident happened at Kanis and Emergency Drive.

The officer was injured and transported to Baptist Hospital. The officer was wearing his seatbelt, and other parties involved were not injured.

Stay with THV11 and THV11.com for more information as it becomes available.

Condition of many levees in Ark. unknown

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - The flooding we have seen the past few weeks is drawing real concern about the condition of the state's levees. Now, state lawmakers are now calling for action.

Along the banks of the Arkansas River in Little Rock, some of the levees are controlled by the Corps of Engineers.And then, there are the unknown. An extensive number of privately-owned levees are in limbo.

Recently, flood waters tore away a 150-yard section of an old levee in Perry County, and a feared breach in Miller County led to evacuations.

"This was an area that was supposed to be protecting this area."

State Senator Jason Rapert lives near the Perry County levee that was overtopped by the Arkansas River, and like many others, he saw his land swallowed up by floodwaters.

"I could actually hear water pouring. It sounded like a waterfall actually."