A Christmas project worth doing
Schools drop mask requirements, Maumelle Hometown Thanksgiving set, 'Matilda' starts tonight, Farm Bureau Insurance Awards watch lists released, Football playoffs, plus news and sports headlines
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There’s two free tickets to be had for tonight’s production of “Matilda the Musical” by the theater arts department at North Little Rock High School. The first to reply back to this email will be sent instructions on how to claim them. The show is at 7 p.m. at the high school and click on the flyer below for more information
Maumelle’s annual Hometown Thanksgiving will be held on Thursday, Nov. 25, or Thanksgiving, at Center on the Lake.
A donation of $15 is suggested and it starts at 11 a.m. Carryout is also available.
For more details, check out the flyer below.
Last week’s meeting was a 2 ½ hour marathon with a packed agenda so let’s get right into it. By Chad Gardner and to read more click Maumelle City Council report
AWARDS WATCH: A trio of Maumelle standouts were among the high school football players on the watch list for the 2021 Farm Bureau Insurance Awards that was released on Wednesday afternoon. The Maumelle players are Andrew Chamblee and Nico Davillier, who have both committed to play next season at the University of Arkansas, and Jesse Knight, an all-purpose threat for the Hornets. To read more click Maumelle Hornets, others on Farm Bureau Insurance Awards watch list
MAUMELLE: Maumelle travels to undefeated Greenbrier this Friday in the start of the Class 5A playoffs. Read more by clicking Maumelle travels to Greenbrier for playoffs
NORTH LITTLE ROCK: Under first-year coach Randy Sandefur, North Little Rock achieved one of its its goals, making the state playoffs that start this Friday when the ‘Cats host Fort Smith Southside. Read more by clicking North Little Rock hosts Fort Smith Southside this Friday as playoffs start
CAC: It wasn’t the football season he’d hoped, but perhaps the one Central Arkansas Christian coach Tommy Shoemaker had expected. After Friday’s 63-28 loss at league champion Stuttgart, his Mustangs finished 2-8 overall and 0-7 in the 4A-2 conference, having lost their final seven games. Their wins came in September over Carlisle (55-46) and Mayflower (35-34). By Donna Lampkin Stephens and read more by clicking Mustangs gain experience during tough season
Neal Moore is taking the week off.
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Both the Pulaski County Special School District and the Academics Plus Charter system voted this week to drop mask mandates across their respective campuses.
The School Board for the county district voted 4-3 on Tuesday night at a special call meeting held before its regular monthly meeting.
Masks are now, “optional effective immediately,” the district said in a short statement posted to its Twitter account. The board had previously voted to keep mask wearing going through the first part of December and had originally planned to take up the mandate at its regularly scheduled meeting that month.
At Academics Plus, the system that includes Maumelle Charter and Scott Charter schools, its board of trustees voted to drop the mask mandate and that it was made effective on Wednesday,
The school system said students and adults on campus “are strongly encouraged to wear facial coverings, but they are not required.”
The trustees also voted that if the positive case count reaches 10 or more at its Maumelle campuses, masks would be immediately required, while the number was five at Scott Charter Elementary School.
In a letter to parents and stakeholders, Rob McGill, the chief executive officer of the system, said that the schools were participating “in the Arkansas Department of Health approved Test-to-Stay program” and that with vaccinations now available for those 5 to 11, masks became less necessary.
The test-to-stay program, McGill said, “allows students and staff who have been identified as a probable close contact at school to agree to daily COVID-19 testing during the time of their quarantine. The exposed person must be asymptomatic, have negative tests and agree to wear a facial covering during the prescribed quarantine time. If these measures are met the person can remain in school during the quarantine time frame.”
He added that the school nurse on each campus would administer the program.
Christmas is coming fast, six weeks and counting, so it is time to remember the reason for the season and help others.
Kelli Reep, director of communications at Methodist Family Health, noted in her personal capacity as a friend that there’s “39 kids … who will be in our care on Christmas Day who don't yet have a Christmas angel to provide them gifts for the holiday.”
To look at the list, down to 28 as of this typing, by clicking here and Reep said there’s some choices:
Choose a child’s list (all items on the list can be purchased for $150 or less) and purchase the items on that list
Pick and choose items to send (second choice on the site)
Contribute to the Methodist Family Health Foundation, which provides for the necessities of the children and families in our care throughout the year.
So with that in mind, and credit card in hand, it was time to get scrolling.
One name leaped out and I checked the box. What followed was a message that an email would be sent and it was. The email contained a link to the child’s Amazon wish list and then you click on that link to purchase the items.
They seem like good choices: A remote control truck, Hot Wheels and then a Paw Patrol fire truck with matching pajamas.
Then on the shipping address, you choose, ”Angel Tree Gift Registry Address" and put in the name and Angel Tree Code in the Gift Message box.
That’s it, well you have to pay for it but then that’s really it.
The deadline to purchase the items is Dec. 10 and the email said to check the delivery dates after you’ve made the purchase, but that was fine as three of the four items would come on Friday and the other on Monday.
North Little Rock’s Jason Lee Hale and The Personal Space Invaders, a local band made up of musicians from throughout Arkansas, are donating the proceeds of the download of their original song, This is the Time to Shine, to Methodist Family Health.
Other bandmates are Jay Wedaman, who also is the business manager at North Little Rock’s First United Methodist Church, and plays drums, while Mike Nelson is on Bass.
Proceeds from every download this year, from now until 11:59 p.m. Fri., Dec. 31, will be donated to Methodist Family Health.
The song was written for Methodist Family Health’s new SHINE campaign in which the nonprofit encourages Arkansans to share their light with their communities so all may benefit.
“I did not know a lot about Methodist Family Health when they approached me about writing a song for them,” said Hale, who grew up in is England, Arkansas. “When I learned they are more than 120 years old and work with this state’s children and their families who are struggling with abandonment, abuse and neglect or dealing with psychiatric, behavioral, emotional and spiritual issues, I was inspired to write this song. After talking with my bandmates, we decided to donate all of the proceeds from the song’s downloads until the end of the year.”
Kelli Reep is the director of communications and said Dolly Parton was the inspiration for the sog.
She’s, “a personal ‘shero’ of mine,” Reep said of Parton, the genuinely best thing to ever come out of Tennesse and “she has a bluegrass rendition of a rock song called Shine that I love. It occurred to me that our campaign could do the same thing – Share the Light and SHINE.”
That led Reep to ask Hale, who is a personal friend – [Editor’s Note: Same.] – “if he would write a song for us.” That led to the song being commissioned, “and now he and the band, who performed this sone, are donating 100 percent of the proceeds from the download … to the children and families at Methodist Family Health.”
“Jason has a HUGE heart, he’s a native Arkansan, and he is an incredible singer-songwriter,” Reep added. “It made sense to us that, as Arkansans who understand we have to help each other if we are going to accomplish positive things, we work together.”
To watch the video for This is the Time to Shine, click below:
To download the song, visit your preferred site and search for Jason Lee Hale and The Personal Space Invaders.