Achor easily wins Primary
Tuesday was a busy Election Night for North of the River, Council accepts legal settlement, Career Staffing Services, Beverly Smith win SBA award, Planning Commission meets tonight and headlines
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Death toll jumps up
The weekly death toll from the ongoing pandemic went back up this past week as the total number of dead Arkansans was at 35.
The largest weekly increase since 35 deaths were reported for the week of April 20
The previous week it was at 16
The total number of dead Arkansans is now at 11,461
As for the national trends, the forecast numbers from the Centers for Disease Control are below and through June 18.
Most forecasts have settled in at 11,500 total deaths in the next four weeks but with one outlier that is now calling for around 12,000 deaths.
If you don’t want to get sick and die, there’s some things you can do: Get vaccinated Get boosted Wear a mask Avoid crowds
ICYMI: Argenta Community Theater sets 12th season lineup: The Judy Kohn-Tenenbaum Argenta Community Theater recently announced the lineup for its 12th season as well as the opening of a new educational annex.
Upcoming meetings: The North Little Rock School Board will meet at 5:30 p.m. tonight and the Maumelle City Council will meet next Monday night.
Upcoming events: Monday is Memorial Day and trash routes will be pushed back a day as a result.
There’s now a one-stop shop to learn about vaccination sites and other Covid related information. Click here to learn more.
Travs at home
The Arkansas Travelers are at North Little Rock’s Dickey-Stephens Park this week with a series against Amarillo. Sunday night will feature a can’t miss fireworks show for the Memorial Day holiday.
Today... 6:35 p.m. ... vs. Amarillo; Promotions: $3 Thirsty Thursday
Friday ... May 27 ... 7:05 p.m. ... vs. Amarillo; Promotions: Fireworks
Saturday ... May 28 ... 7:05 p.m. ... vs. Amarillo; Promotions: Salute To Seattle & Jersey Auction and Kids Run The Bases
Sunday ... May 29 ... 5:35 p.m. ... vs. Amarillo; Promotions: Memorial Day Fireworks and Operation: Military Appreciation
Tuesday ... May 31... 6:35 p.m. ... at Springfield
Wednesday ... June 1... 6:35 p.m. ... at Springfield
Thursday ... June 2 ... 7:05 p.m. ... at Springfield
Friday ... June 3 ... 7:05 p.m. ... at Springfield
Saturday ... June 4... 6:35 p.m. ... at Springfield
Sunday ... June 5 … 5:35 p.m. ... at Springfield
Maumelle: City Council accepts legal settlement
The Maumelle City Council had a special meeting on Wednesday night and decided to accept a settlement with former city employee Jennifer Corriveau.
The meeting had been called by Mayor Caleb Norris. The vote was 6-0 and the meeting was adjourned after a short 11 minutes.
Council members Ken Saunders and Steve Mosley were both absent.
The settlement was for a total of $30,000 with $10,000 going to the plaintiff and $20,000 going to pay attorneys' fees.
A previous settlement was rejected earlier this month, 6-2, but that was partially over an unspecified amount for legal fees.
The case started August 2018 and was over unpaid overtime from Corriveau’s time in the city's Public Works department. It was related specifically to time spent during her lunch hour catching phone calls, while she was on her break.
At the Council meeting, it was said the city "had binders of information" related to how the time was spent.
Most federal cases take about 18 months to two years but the case was continued three times due to issues with the federal courts and the ongoing pandemic.
The Council meeting can be viewed by clicking below.
Maumelle Planning Commission to meet tonight
The Maumelle Planning Commission will meet at 6:30 p.m. tonight at Maumelle City Hall for its regular monthly meeting.
The agenda is a full one with five items of new business but no old business.
Two of the items are related with both being for the proposed expansion of the Plastic Ingenuity facility at 105 Champs Boulevard.
One item is to combine lots, while the other is for a warehouse expansion.
Another warehouse expansion is proposed by Ink at 400 Casey Drive.
The remaining items of business are a long-planned expansion of athletic facilities at Maumelle High School that would include a track, baseball and softball fields and an indoor practice facility.
All are located on the school's campus at 100 Victory Lane.
The last item is a proposed development at 9900 White Oak Crossing by Cypress Bend-IM Property.
The development, a site plan is above, would cover a little more than 20 acres and would feature a total of 63 lots. Each home would be at least 1,500 square feet for a one-story residence. Each home would be at least 50 percent brick exterior.
The agenda can be viewed by clicking here and the meeting is open to the public.
Boulevard’s Career Staffing Services, Beverly Smith win SBA award
Career Staffing Services, located on Maumelle Boulevard, was recently named the winner of the SBA Arkansas Women-Owned Business of the Year.
Beverly Smith, above, owns and operates the business she founded in 2000.
The company said it specializes in filling medical back office and administrative positions, clerical positions and light industrial jobs.
The award recognized Smith’s company for its “hard work and commitment to their local community.”
“The team at Career Staffing Services has worked hard since the pandemic keeping its clients staffed and helping Arkansans get back to work,” Beverly Smith said. “We got creative, thinking outside the box, looking for ways to do things differently.”
The SBA said the award, “ honors an outstanding woman-owned and controlled business that has been operating for a minimum of three years.”
Achor cruises to Primary win
Maumelle pharmacist Brandon Achor easily won his Primary election on Tuesday night against opponent Wes Booker by almost 75 percent.
Achor, who is running for the newly created State House seat 71 that represents a portion of Maumelle, will now move on to November’s General Election. Achor won every precinct and jumped out by almost 70 to 30 when the early voting results were released a little after polls closed at 7:30 p.m.
Election results for State House 71
Brandon Achor ... 2,208 ... 74.65%
Wes Booker ... 750 ... 25.35%
Votes Cast ... 2,958
Below is a transcript of a Question and Answer session Achor did with ArkansasNewsroom.com. It has been lightly edited.
>> At what point did you start to feel comfortable with the results?
We were surprised to see how quickly the Early Voting tally was released, almost immediately after the polls closed and given the trend of final votes mirroring early voting in our district we felt comfortable after seeing those results.
>> Were you surprised by the margin of victory?
Very! We knew Wes Booker would run a competitive and passionate campaign and enjoyed all of our interactions with his team. The victory, regardless of margin, is an extremely humbling and encouraging vote of confidence heading towards November.
>> How do you plan to campaign for the November general election?
Maintain our messaging and prioritize touch points with the community. We want the district at large to all feel our accessibility and accountability that those who voted last night value.
>> Anything else you want to add?
Having grown up in Maumelle and being able to serve alongside my wife in our pharmacy business, we have been blessed with a unique level of access to care and serve to our neighbors. I am honored to have the opportunity to carry that compassion out from behind the counter and to the Capitol!
Brandon Achor ...58
Wes Booker ...28
Booker ... 121
Booker ... 126
Booker ... 56
Booker ... 36
Booker ... 15
Booker ... 33
Booker ... 65
Booker ... 27
Jones, Lowery win on Tuesday night
It was a busy Election Night on Tuesday as Arkansas voters decided the political fates of multiple North of the River candidates.
One closely watched race was for Prosecuting Attorney for Pulaski and Perry counties.
Winning was North Little Rock’s Will Jones, above, a former deputy Arkansas Attorney General and currently a prosecuting attorney in Jefferson County. Jones defeated Alicia “Lisa” Walton in a race that wasn’t decided until late into the night on Tuesday.
Will Jones ... 30,033 ... 53.34%
Alicia 'Lisa' Walton ... 26,270 ... 46.66%
Votes Cast ... 56,303
Jones is married to North Little Rock Judge Paula Juels Jones and he and his family have been fixtures in the North Little Rock Community for decades now.
The best news about this race is that your mailbox will no longer be clogged with flyers from Jones and Walton as spending to replace a retiring Larry Jegley topped six figures for both candidates.
Also winning on the judicial election side was Wendy Scholtens Wood, who defeated Stephanie Casady for the Court of Appeals seat that serves Pulaski, Saline and Perry counties or District 6, Position 2. It was the narrowest of margins as Wood won 50.08 percent of the vote for a winning margin of 126.
Woods, a 6–foot-4 former professional basketball player and All-American at Vanderbilt, became a familiar figure as her campaign signs featured her with a basketball and appeared to be life-sized.
Judge Stephanie Casady ... 37,882 ... 49.92%
Wendy Wood ... 38,008 ... 50.08%
Votes Cast ... 75,890
Moving back to the primary. Maumelle State Rep. Mark Lowery, who was term-limited from running again for the House, won the state-wide Republican primary for state Treasurer. Lowery handily won by almost 75 percent in his race against state Sen. Matthew Pitsch of Fort Smith.
On the Democratic side, Maumelle’s Josh Price lost his Primary to Anna Beth Gorman for Secretary of State, 59 to 41 percent.
State Representative Mark Lowery ... 238,144 ... 74.79%
Senator Mathew W. Pitsch ... 80,257 ... 25.21%
Votes Cast ... 318,401
Secretary of State
Anna Beth Gorman ... 52,548 ... 58.59%
Josh Price ... 37,135 ... 41.41%
Votes Cast ... 89,683
Overall, state-wide turnout was at not quite 26 percent with 455,743 ballots cast out of 1,762,024 registered voters with Sarah Sanders and Chris Jones winning respectively, the Republican and Democratic primaries for governor. While Sen. John Boozman and U.S. Rep. French Hill prevailed in their Republican primaries. As did Jonesboro’s Rick Crawford, who now represents a portion of Pulaski County.
Tuesday night was also a bad night for the Bequettes as “Joke Briquette” lost to Boozman in the Senate race and his now banned from Twitter uncle, Chris, lost to Leslie Rutledge in the lieutenant governor’s race.
Tuesday results also mean, for the first time in a long time, Wheel watchers won’t have to mute the TV during the endless campaign ads.