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Governor explains withdrawal from PARCC tests


LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - One day after sidestepping a decision by the state board of education over Common Core testing, Governor Asa Hutchinson explained what he wants to happen now.

The governor, lawmakers, and even many union teachers all want to see the state stop using the so-called PARCC tests.

But when the state board of education voted to stick with the tests, the governor's people dug up a loophole. Advisors pointed out language that gives him the power to make the move.

He explained to the Little Rock Rotary Club that clearly the state is going in a different direction outside the PARCC testing consortium.

"It still leaves what testing we're going to use. We will continue to negotiate that with the state board of education. They ultimately make the decision on that according to the statute," said Governor Hutchinson.

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American Taekwondo Association to reveal new $13 million LR headquarters


LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - Back in 1977, the late Taekwondo Master H. Lee, moved his headquarters from Omaha to Little Rock, because he said the pine trees reminded him of his native South Korea.

The American Taekwondo Association now produces Little Rock's largest annual convention. Over 20,000 visitors from across the U.S. and around the world come here annually for the event.

There are now plans for a new $13 million world headquarters to be built in the Riverdale area. It will feature an office building, museum, training facility, and video production studio.

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.

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.


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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.

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."