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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."

City board waiting on LRPD residency ordinance vote

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - The Little Rock City Board of Directors has rejected a proposed ordinance that would have required newly-hired Little Rock police officers to live within the city limits.

The board heard passionate arguments on Tuesday night about residency restrictions for Little Rock police. Sixteen locals took the podium, some arguing that close police relationships were imperative in their communities while others argued that it violated their freedom as Americans.

"We would not be able to fill the slots available to keep us at the numbers to properly protect the citizens of Little Rock," said John Gilchrist, Vice President of the Little Rock Fraternal Order of Police (FOP).

He told THV11 that recruiting is hard enough without residency restrictions. On June 29, 37 new recruits are set to start at the Little Rock LRPD.

Maritime work challenged by runoff in river

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - All the wet weather and flooding that comes with it is presenting challenges for the people who work with the Arkansas River.

Navigation has been restricted and runoff has maritime traffic on the lookout for new obstacles.

Commercial barge traffic has been held off for weeks here along the Arkansas River, and another flood threat looms. Barge traffic has resumed for now, but not without its challenges.

"There's a lot of obstacles out there."

As the water continues to recede, you'll notice shoals of sediment dropped by flood waters throughout the Arkansas River. Though barge traffic has just reopened, recreational boating is still prohibited.

"You'll see some sandbars build where they used to not be. You'll see some disappear."

Little Rock young chef wins trip to the White House

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - An 11-year-old's skills in the kitchen have landed her an invitation to the White House.

Aspen Smith is the Arkansas winner of a nationwide recipe challenge put on by Michelle Obama. The 2015 Healthy Lunchtime Challenge promotes cooking and healthy eating.

She may be young, but at age 11, Aspen Smith has some pretty big dreams.

"I want to be a baker when I grow up and have my own bakery," said Aspen.

"The Food Network is on 24 hours a day in our house. We might as well drop cable!," said Aspen's father, Lee Smith.

It's a passion her family says she was born with, but really ignited when she took cooking classes at Episcopal Collegiate School and attended chef's camp at Pulaski Tech last summer.

215 Arkansas schools honored with reward funds

215 Arkansas schools honored with reward funds

UNDATED, Ark. (Arkansas Learns) - Being a high performing and improving school not only draws recognition and honor, it also can result in additional funding.

In the 2014-2015 school year, 215 public schools were recognized as high performing and gaining schools through the Arkansas School Recognition and Reward Program. The program recognizes the top 20 percent of schools based on academic achievement, academic growth and graduation rates.

According to the Arkansas Department of Education, “pursuant to Ark. Code Ann. §6-15-2107, the Arkansas School Recognition Program was created to provide financial awards to public schools that experience high student performance, student academic growth, and for a secondary school, high graduation rate.

18th Annual Youth Fishing Derby

18th Annual Youth Fishing Derby

JACKSONVILLE, Ark. (KTHV) - Fish enthusiasts ages 15 and under are preparing for a day of outdoor fun in Jacksonville. 

Jacksonville Parks and Recreation along with Arkansas Game and Fish are hosting their 18th Annual Youth Fishing Derby Saturday, June 20 at Dupree Lake at #1 Park St. 

Registration is free and will begin at 7 a.m. The tournament will start at 8 a.m. and will last until 10 a.m. rain or shine. 

Prizes will be awarded for different derby categories such as smallest fish caught, most fish caught and longest fish caught. Participants must be present to receive the awards. 

For more information on the Youth Fishing Derby, call (501) 982-4171.

Free summer movie lineup in Heber Springs

Free summer movie lineup in Heber Springs

HEBER SPRINGS, Ark. (KTHV) - Free summer movie event 'A Night Under the Stars' begins June 20. 

Teen Recruiters has teamed up with Swank Motion Pictures and local businesses to provide a free movie watching experience at Spring Park in downtown Heber Springs. 

The 2015 lineup includes:

Saturday, June 20- Spare Parts (PG-13)

Saturday, July 11- Paddington (PG)

Saturday, August 22 - Captain America The Winter Solider (PG-13)

Pre-movie events will begin at 7 p.m. and films will begin at dusk. 

Both the pre-movie events and the film showings are free and open for anyone to attend.

For more information on 'A Night Under the Stars' or if you would like to sponsor a free movie night contact Barbara Owens at (501) 238-2413 or Brad Bates (501) 722-0938.