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Rev. Johnson steps down from Stop the Violence

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- Reverend Benny Johnson stepped down Wednesday from Stop the Violence. He announced that for health reasons he will relieve his duties effective immediately.

Wednesday he talked about his passion for Little Rock and making a difference in the lives of others. He said this was tough a decision, but after 22 years, it was time to move on.

"I mean it's just rough giving this up, but it's something that I have to do," said Johnson.

Rev. Benny created the group in 1991 to stop black on black crime after a death at a local area high school due to gang violence.

Walter Cochran will take over as the new director.

Ark. federal and state lawmakers respond to gun control

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - Arkansas state and federal lawmakers said the sentiment is good, but they criticized the president's proposed policies surrounding gun control.

Republican Congressman Tim Griffin said many Arkansans cherish the second amendment and to move forward with these proposals will jeopardize those rights. Griffin said the president's ideas are dated and the country needs new solutions.

"If there is even one life that can be saved then we've got an obligation to try," said President Obama.

The president brought the nation his ideas to curb gun violence, but Arkansas Congressman Tim Griffin sharply questioned whether these steps will help the issue.

"I haven't seen any proposal yet, particularly as it relates to gun control, that would have stopped any of the recent tragedies," said Griffin.

The president and Vice President Joe Biden urged Americans to let their voices be heard, saying action needs to happen now.

LR Family: New things to do in January

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- Here's a list of fun things to do with the family this week!

Thursday 1/17
Free Military Day at The Wonder Place
Parents in the military are treated to free admission to the popular play space.
Parents in military FREE! and $7 per child
Info: TheWonderPlace.com

Friday 1/18 and Sat 1/19
Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam at Verizon Arena
Monster Jam stars the biggest performers on four wheels...Monster Jam Monster Trucks. These 12 foot tall, ten thousand pound machines race and rip up custom-designed track full of obstacles to soar over - or smash through. The Party in the Pits from 4:30 - 6:15 to give fans opportunity to view trucks up close, and meet the drivers.
7:30 p.m.
$20 to $50
Children 2-12 $5
Info: Ticketmaster.com

Panther men ranked No. 22 in latest NAIA poll

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Philander Smith) -- Philander Smith College has earned a spot in the NAIA Division I Men's Basketball Top 25 teams in the nation.

According to the NAIA, Philander Smith is ranked No. 22, is listed in the ranking for the first time since 2000 - 01. Philander Smith brings a nine-game win streak into its next contest against No. 13 Xavier this Saturday.

This has not been an easy journey for the Panthers as they have suffered numerous close calls in the quest for success, recovering from multiple-overtime and double-overtime wins in the last few weeks alone. The Panthers have dug deep and used a combination of offensive and defensive tactics to overcome their competition.

AHSCA selects 2013 All-Star coaches

CONWAY, Ark. (AAA) - The president of the Arkansas High School Coaches Association, Scott Kelton of Blevins announced the names of the head coaches and staffs for the 2013 Arkansas High School Coaches Association All-Star Football and Volleyball Games along with the staffs of the Cheer and Dance squads at a news conference today at Bear Hall here on the University of Central Arkansas campus.

UCA athletic director Dr. Brad Teague welcomed the members of the AHSCA, the 2013 All-Star coaches and media representatives during the morning press conference.

This summer's game will mark the 58th year of All-Star competition for football and basketball.

Head coach for the East Football squad is Roddy Mote of Harding Academy. Coach Mote will be assisted by Spencer Hill of Highland, Tim Harper of Searcy, Cody Curtis of Salem, Patrick Russell of Mills University Studies, Brad Bolding of North Little Rock and Gail Mote of Harding Academy.

Family asks for thorough investigation into officer-involved shooting

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- After the Michael Daniel was killed in an officer-involved shooting, the family is speaking out and asking for a thorough and fair investigation.

Rizelle Aaron, a civil rights activist and advocate, sent out a press release on the family's behalf. The letter in its entirety and can be read below:

On behalf of the family of Michael Daniel the family submits the following statement from their spokesman Rizelle Aaron:

In the past few months there have been several officer involved shootings in the central Arkansas area including Carlton Wallace, Henry Jones Jr., Bobby Moore Jr. Cleodis Castleberry, Eugene Ellison and the latest, Michael Daniel II. There are two significant similarities in all of these shootings -- all of the victims are male and all are African-American.

Aplin named LRTC's A-State player of the year

JONESBORO, Ark. (ASU) - Arkansas State senior quarterback Ryan Aplin, the 2012 Sun?Belt Conference Player of the Year and GoDaddy.com Bowl MVP, has been selected as the Little Rock Touchdown Club's Arkansas State Player of the Year for the third consecutive season and will be honored at the club's annual banquet on Feb. 1 along with several other award winners at both the high school and collegiate levels.

Aplin joins Arkansas-Monticello's Scott Buisson (2007, 2008 and 2010) and Arkansas' Darren McFadden (2005-07) as the only players to ever receive the Little Rock Touchdown Club's MVP honor at their respective schools three different times. Former ASU?stars Alex Carrington (2008 and 2009), Tyrell Johnson (2007), Reggie Arnold (2006), Eric Neihouse (2005) and Antonio Warren (2004) also received the award in past years.