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5 arrested during 'Operation Spicy Possum'

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - A nation-wide crack down on synthetic drugs landed five Arkansans behind bars.

The bust, called "Operation Spicy Possum," left the following men facing drug charges with intent to distribute: Amjad Kattom, 36; Sahar Kattom, 34; Yousef Qattoum, 37; Abdul Aziz Farishta, 50; and Adam Kattoum, 20. Each is facing conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute a controlled substance and analogues of a controlled substance. Eassa Rawashdeh, 23, had also been implicated in the crime but has not been arrested.

Authorities said the men sold the drugs in several central Arkansas businesses including Sunshine Food, Sunshine Mart, Woodrow Discount Store, Joseph's Discount Store, Smokey's Discount tobacco, and Hip hop Sportwear from July 2012 to June 2013.

They could face up to 20 years in prison and/or a $1 million fine with no less than three years of supervised release.

Police: Same man suspected of robbing 2 banks this week

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - Little Rock police think the man who robbed a bank Wednesday afternoon is the same man who robbed a bank Monday afternoon

Sgt. Cassandra Davis said Wednesday's incident happened at a Summit Bank, located at 1800 N. Taylor Street, off of Cantrell Rd. between University Ave. and Kavanaugh Blvd. The suspect is not in custody.

Davis added that no customers were in the store at the time of the robbery. No weapon was displayed, and no one was hurt.

The suspect is Roderick Wilbert, who was last known to live at 2202 Chester Street in Little Rock. Police also think he robbed the U.S. Bank, at 10720 Rodney Parham Road on Monday.

Anyone with information on either of these cases or on Wilbert's whereabouts is asked to contact Little Rock police at (501) 371-4621.

Outreach center closes, homelessness up since last year

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - Homelessness and crime continue plaguing areas surrounding the 12th Street and Woodrow Street intersection. An outreach shelter's recent closure is believed to be part of the problem.

The Stewards of Christ Ministry Outreach closed its doors on 11th Street in December. The center helped hundreds of homeless and troubled residents with food, counseling, and employment. Florise Blood said vandalism and lack of funding played a big part in forcing her to leave the area.

"There are nice churches, and they have good programs for other things but not for the homeless person," said Blood, who now runs a daycare in Sherwood. "You can't just feed them and let them go back. You have to have something to offer to them. You have to offer them hope."

Police on the lookout for bank robbery suspect

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - Little Rock Detectives are currently on the lookout for a man believed to be responsible for a bank robbery.

According to Sgt. Cassandra Davis, officers are trying to find Roderick Wilbert who is wanted in connection with a U.S. Bank robbery that happened June 24 at 10720 N. Rodney Parham Road. Police said Wilbert was identified from surveillance video taken at the bank.

He currently has warrants out for his arrest for aggravated robbery and theft of property.

Tellers said the bank robber, alleged to be Wilbert, did not display a weapon but did give them a note demanding money. When he fled, another man picked him up in a light green Ford SUV. Officers are also trying to find information on the driver of the SUV.

PCSSD names two new middle school principals

UNDATED (PCSSD) - The Pulaski County Special School District (PCSSD) has named two new middle school principals. Lourdes Goodnight will take the helm of Jacksonville Middle School and Ryan Burgess will oversee the Maumelle Middle School for the 2013-2014 school year. They will begin their duties July 1, 2013.

Goodnight was most recently the assistant principal of Jacksonville High School, where she was credited for implementing and coordinating the successful freshman academy.

Police investigating woman's death as a murder

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - Police are now investigating a Little Rock woman's death as a murder following an autopsy report from the Arkansas State Crime Lab.

According to Sgt. Cassandra Davis, 51-year-old Gloria Summage's body was found June 19 after firefighters extinguished at fire at her home on East 8th Street. Davis said investigators found injuries on her body but did not specify how those injuries were caused.

No suspect or motive has been developed in her murder so far.

Related Link:

Body of Gloria Summage found after Little Rock house fire

LRSD addresses concerns about building new high school

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - Little Rock School District leaders addressed concerns Monday night about building a new high school in southwest Little Rock.

Earlier this month the Board of Directors voted to delay a vote on a land purchase east of Mabelvale Pike for 30 days after parents raised questions. Pamela Smith, the district's communications director, said McClellan High School is in desperate need of repair.

"We've identified the McClellan site as a possibility for a brand new, wonderful state-of-the-art school which focuses on STEM education, which of course is Science, Technology, Engineering and Math," she said.

The new site would be a state of the art facility that school district leaders hope will help transform LRSD into a nationally recognized model.