KASU

Little Rock

LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas (AP) - A former Little Rock police officer has been arrested on a misdemeanor battery charge for his role in a shooting that left a shoplifting suspect injured.

Fifty-six-year-old Ralph Breshears surrendered to authorities Tuesday and later posted bond at the Pulaski County jail and was released.

Court documents show Breshears in July was taking a shoplifting suspect into custody when the suspect broke free and fled to a nearby fast-food restaurant. The man forced a woman from her vehicle and was attempting to drive away when Breshears shot him.

The anniversary of the desegregation of Central High School in Little Rock has brought national attention to Little Rock and renewed interest in the nine students who made history this month 60 years ago, even as a number of Little Rock residents talk of re-segregation of the school district and the ongoing state control of the city's public schools. 

At a symposium on Saturday, the Little Rock Nine and their families told stories about segregation. Ernest Green’s sister Judy said their parents inspired them to stand up.

This is the 6:04 KASU newscast for Wednesday, September 20th.  

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — An Arkansas trial has been delayed for a Tennessee rapper and his bodyguard, who face federal weapons charges

The scheduled Monday trial of Ricky Hampton, who performs as Finese2Tymes, and bodyguard Kentrell Gwynn, both of Memphis, was postponed on Friday until March 19.

Hampton is charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm in connection with a shooting outside a nightclub in eastern Arkansas and Gwynn is charged with providing a felon with a firearm and with providing armed security to a felon.

Both have pleaded not guilty.

This is the 6:04 KASU newscast for Monday, September 18th.  Here are the stories reported this morning:

Little Rock's annual music festival, Riverfest, is suspending operations after four decades.

The Riverfest, Inc., board of directors announced Tuesday that 2017 was the last year for the music festival in downtown Little Rock and North Little Rock. The festival's executive director, DeAnna Korte, says rising costs and more competition from other festivals made it difficult for Riverfest to continue.

Korte says hot and rainy weather in May and June also affected Riverfest's ability to be successful.

A push in Pulaski County to temporarily bar certain musical performances if a city deemed its content to encourage violence fell flat in a Quorum Court meeting Tuesday night. Justice of the Peace Judy Green of central Little Rock believes going to certain rap concerts can encourage people to be violent. The proposal was a response to the shootout at Power Ultra Lounge earlier this month. 

Local leaders are scrambling for solutions in the wake of a mass shooting at a Little Rock night club earlier this month. The Pulaski County Quorum Courts is considering during Tuesday’s meeting on a resoultion encouraging cities to place a 180 day moratorium on musical performances deemed to encourage violence.

Low unemployment, affordable housing, strong healthcare access and below-average poverty rates are the positives in the Little Rock Metropolitan area. Some negatives: a high crime rate, fewer professional and technical jobs than other cities, low employment specialization, and slow growth in the ratio of large to small businesses. That’s according to the University of Arkansas at Little Rock Arkansas Economic Development Institute’s fourth annual Little Rock Metro Report Card, released Thursday.

pixabay.com

Encouraging lawmakers to make informed policy decisions when it comes to legislation about science…that is the goal of a march that occurs this month at the state capitol in Little Rock.  The theme for the event is “Stand Up for Science.” Dr. Michele Merritt is assistant professor of philosophy at Arkansas State University.  She came up with the idea of a March for Science. 

"You don't have to be a scientist to appreciate science," says Merritt.  "I am not a science professor, but I rely on science and I wanted to protect what I see is valuable research that is going on."

The 93-year-old bridge in Arkansas was deemed too weak to stand.

But it turned out to be a wee bit stronger than authorities anticipated.

On Tuesday, demolition crews wired the bridge with explosives to bring it down. There were a series of booms, some puffs of black smoke, and then ... well ...

The bridge stayed put. The crowd that gathered to watch its demise was left with laughter instead of shouts of glee.

"That didn't go as planned," the highway department admitted on Twitter. It added a hashtag: #TheDayTheBridgeStoodStill.

Little Rock Police are apologizing and dropping the misdemeanor charge against Democratic state representative and civil rights attorney John Walker. He was taken into custody Monday for filming a traffic stop and refusing to leave the scene

Chief of Police Kent Buckner now says Walker never should have been arrested.

Jonesboro Police Department

Recent fatal police shootings of 2 African American men, followed by violent retaliation by some against officers in Dallas & Baton Rouge has the nation on edge.

Black communities and law enforcement are struggling to find peace, unity, understanding, and trust with each other in cities affected by violence, even here in Arkansas:

“We already have a target," said Keithston Page.  "Not only being Black, but being a man, period, in this White man’s world."