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Pryor welcomes summer interns

Pryor welcomes summer interns

Pryor Welcomes Arkansas Summer Interns

City passes $318k measure to help ex-offenders find jobs

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - The city of Little Rock passed a measure that would give $318,000 to organizations which help ex-offenders find jobs on Tuesday.

"The department of correction gives them a hundred dollars and a pat on the back and says, 'Hey good luck, and don't ever commit anymore crimes,' and we know that we've run about a 45 percent recidivism rate," said Mayor Mark Stodola of Little Rock.

The money will come from the sales tax and would go to organizations like The Goodwill Industries of Arkansas, Our House and the Quality Living Center.

"When you're an ex-offender, and you are on a job search, there is a different level of stress that goes along with that job search," said Michelle Allen with Our House.

Allen said she works with ex-offenders on developing positive attitudes.

Little Rock mayor pushing for immigration reform to help city

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - Immigration Laws were last updated in 1986, and now Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola is pushing for reform.

The mayor met with Arkansas businessmen for a roundtable since the outdated laws have led to Little Rock losing workers.

"Today there's a great need for those jobs, and we need change this year, hopefully from the congress," said North Little Rock general manager Paul Rivera.

Business owners are not the only ones being affected by this issue.

"The point is it affects Little Rock very specifically. That's the main point. It affects my ability to try to create an environment for jobs, to help increase the wages for people in the city, and to make a better life for them," explained Stodola.

The mayor hopes that congressman will see this issue and that a change will be made by the end of the year.

Gun control group holds rally in Little Rock

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV/AP) - A gun control group held a rally in Little Rock to urge U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor to take another look at a measure expanding background checks for firearm sales.

Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a group co-founded by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, is holding the rally Friday at Allsopp Park. The event comes as the group is airing ads in Arkansas criticizing Pryor for voting against the background checks measure.

The rally featured survivors of gun violence. Angela Barnes lost a loved one to gun violence and has hope as the Senate attempts a new gun bill soon.

"There's so much going on and something has to happen. To start off, we can close down or close up the loopholes and make it harder for the dangerously mentally ill and also convicted felons to have access to guns through our systems," she said.

Arkansas Treasurer arrested for extortion

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Arkansas Treasurer Martha Shoffner has been arrested for extortion by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and is being held in Pulaski County Jail.

FBI spokeswoman Kimberly Brunell said Shoffner was arrested Saturday at her home in Newport and is scheduled for a federal court hearing Monday. Brunell said Shoffner was arrested on charges of "extortion under color of official right." Brunell said she would have more details Monday.

Shoffner, a Democrat serving her second term in office, has faced questions over the past year about the way her office has handled state investments. Legislative auditors last year said Shoffner's office in 2011 sold 11 bonds from its investment portfolio before they had matured and purchased similar bonds from the same brokers, resulting in a net loss of more than $58,000.

7th Annual Little Rock Film Festival Showing Both Sides of River

7th Annual Little Rock Film Festival Showing Both Sides of River

Don't miss the 7th Annual Little Rock Film Festival May 15 - May 19! See award winning films and filmmakers from around the globe right here in walkable Little Rock/North Little Rock. For more information on the film festival or to purchase passes, visit LittleRockFilmFestival.org

Newtown father visits Little Rock in hopes of speaking to Sen. Pryor

LITTLE ROCK (KTHV) - He lost his 6-year-old son in the Newtown school shooting back in December.

The little boy's mother has family in Fayetteville, but the still-grieving father told THV 11 News that he came to Little Rock this week to visit a friend. He also hoped to speak with U.S. Senator Mark Pryor and find out why he voted against a recent bill that would have expanded background checks on gun sales.

"Best day of life and happiest day was the day Jesse was born, and the saddest and worst day was the day I lost him," Heslin said.

Jesse Lewis was in first grade when the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting happened in Newtown.

"The only way I can describe Newtown is that it's a broken-hearted, heavy-hearted community at this point," Heslin said.

Newtown is a still-grieving community that's since taken a stand for tougher gun laws, including Heslin.