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    LR Mayor gives state of the city address

    6:48 PM, Mar 26, 2013   |    comments
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    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola, focused the state of the city address on crime, economic development, and future enhancements of the city.

    Stodola said while overall crime was slightly down in 2012 from the previous year, more work needed to happen to curb the city's criminals.

    "I hear from citizens daily whose homes have been broken into, their cars have been broken into, they've broken out the windows of convenient stores, and things have been taken. And, people feel violated and frankly people are mad," said Stodola.

    Stodola said failures in the justice system allow criminals back on the streets.

    "76 percent of the people that we arrested in the last six months of 2012 had a prior felony conviction," said Stodola.

    The mayor hopes legislative action will add funding to the state department of correction to keep criminals off the streets. He added that the city will invest $3 million in a felony reentry program that will include a pre-release plan and monitoring system.

    "And, the city will also be contracting with existing organizations, who will provide these individuals with job skills and employment," said Stodola.

    Stodola said he's working on city code to curb violence in certain apartment complexes. He said there are a handful that have hundreds of police calls a year.

    The mayor also gave an update on the Little Rock economy, citing expansions at Wells Fund, Goodwill Industries and the Bass Pro development. Stodola said in 2012 the city brought in more than 500 jobs.

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