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Local VA hosts town hall meeting to discuss healthcare

NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - Emotions ran high at a community forum Tuesday on the North Little Rock VA campus. The town hall meeting, hosted by the Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System, was designed to generate a discussion on ways to improve veterans' health care. Many veterans said the actual care they've gotten at central Arkansas VA facilities has been top-notch, but the process of trying to navigate the bureaucracy of the VA in order to get that care was a nightmare.

"The VA has to understand that the tactics that you all have been using for years is outdated," said U.S. Navy veteran Noel Washington, just one of dozens of veterans expressing their frustration with the VA Tuesday. "Most of these vets that's been up here today, they are upset and they have a right to be that way… we have the right to be seen, to be heard and our complaints should be addressed and that's why we're here today."

Foodie Scene: Travis McConnell and Butcher & Public

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV)Travis McConnell, owner of Butcher & Public, stopped by THV11 Saturday morning to talk about his new business at the old Argenta Market.

Butcher & Public is a butcher shop and charcuterie that will be opening in the next few weeks and will be sharing the space with Good Food by Ferneau. McConnell will operate a traditional meat counter, make his own bacon and sausage, and operate a unique "meat-share" program.

The meat-share will be a monthly online offering. Customers will sign up for a fixed-price basket with five pounds of meat that will be selected based on a theme (an Italian basket, a breakfast basket, etc.). They will then pick up their basket at the shop.

McConnell is very passionate about sourcing his meats locally; he works with ranchers and livestock producers in Arkansas to sell high-quality meat that is at peak freshness.

NLRSD calls on police and staff to help with parking concerns

NORTH LITTLE ROCK,Ark. (KTHV) - A master renovation plan will leave the North Little Rock School District looking more polished than ever. But this master plan comes with a traffic concern: When students arrive for class on Monday morning, where will they park?

North Little Rock School District Superintendent Kelly Rodgers says they have all the extra precautions in place.

Overall, the district's 13 construction projects are an exciting endeavor for the entire community, but it comes with a price tag. The high school campus alone costs more than $100,000,000. Those funds come from the mileage increase voters approved, savings from the district, and state facilities partnership money. The costs cover everything from a new football stadium to new furniture.

"This school has been built for 40 years," says Director of Facilities Gene Hark, "the community, the staff, the students are all very excited."

Pulaski Tech and LULAC announce scholarships for Latino students

Pulaski Tech and LULAC announce scholarships for Latino students

NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (August 15, 2014) –Pulaski Technical College and the League of United Latin American Citizens on Friday announced a scholarship program that will benefit Latino students who want to attend college.

Pulaski Tech President Margaret Ellibee signed a memorandum of understanding with Terry Richard-Trevino, director of LULAC Arkansas, and Michel Leidermann, president of LULAC Council 750 Little Rock, to award two students with scholarships each in the amount of $1,500 per semester, in the fall and spring semesters. Those students can reapply for the scholarship each year.

The first scholarship recipients are Yazmin Santillan, a recent Hall High School graduate, and Randy Olivas, a graduate of Central High School. Both students live in Little Rock. Santillan plans to pursue a teaching or nursing career, and Olivas plans to pursue a technical certificate in automotive technology.

NLRHS shares parking instructions, map

NLRHS shares parking instructions, map

NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (NLRSD) - Due to construction at North Little Rock High School Campus, parking plans have been finalized for the first day of school on Monday, August 18, 2014.  Take a look at the instructions for students and parents:

PDF: NLRSH Parking Lot (http://on.kthv.com/1rdGUH0)

PDF: NLRHS Parking Instructions (http://on.kthv.com/1qcVUyz)



* Depending on the direction from which you are coming, you will either turn left, right or go straight onto East Pershing Blvd to Poplar Street (there is a stoplight at the intersection.)

* Turn right onto Poplar Street

* Turn left into the SOPHOMRE entrance of the parking area

Be watchful! School personnel will be out directing traffic and assisting students in finding the appropriate area.

Vigil honors woman's life taken in last year's shooting

NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - One year later, Samantha Olson's loved ones gather at the very intersection where her life was taken.

Her husband Eric Olson has been parenting alone for the past year, while trying to cope. Olson said, "Sometimes the days are a little bit long and when you're looking for answers and praying for justice it just seems to take a long time."

The sudden death of Samantha Olson has not been any easier to accept for her mother. Olson's mother, Phyllis Vontungeln said, "Like I said whoever took my daughter's life created enough devastation in order to last them a d*** lifetime in the penitentiary." For the first time Olson's mother spoke candidly to THV in a one-on-one interview. She said, "I have good days and I have bad days." Today, however, Phyllis Vontungeln considers it an emotional one. " I think of my daughter quite often," she continued.

No new leads one year after Samantha Olson's death

NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) – One year after Samantha Olson's death, police are at a stand-still with no new leads.

"As time, you know, continued to go on, you know two months, three months, four months past this incident happening, things started slowing down a bit as far as getting tips in, getting leads in," said Sgt. Brian Dedrick, North Little Rock Police.

Police still don't know who shot 31-year-old Samantha Olson. She was traveling east on McCain Blvd in North Little Rock when she reached JFK, a bullet came flying from another moving vehicle. Her vehicle rolled through the intersection and stopped right in front of the Starbucks on the corner. But in one of the busiest intersections in the city, no one captured a picture of the driver.