Basketball's March Madness and Sadness, plus a football coaching search tightens up
Splash Carwash coming to Maumelle, Neal Moore offers up his take plus sports and news headlines
Welcome to Arkansas Newsroom, a bundled newsletter covering news and sports in central Arkansas. For some answers to frequently asked questions, click here.
Subscribe to the site by clicking the button below …
A trio of North Little Rock High School football assistants are among the 13 applicants for the head coaching job at the high school, the district confirmed on Tuesday.
The application deadline was Monday and the three North Little Rock assistants are Blake Pizan, Clint Reed and Randy Sandefur.
The job came open after J.R. Eldridge left the school to take the head coaching job at Farmington High School. Eldridge had been at North Little Rock for all of one season before leaving. Jamie Mitchell, a Mississippi transplant, was the head coach at North Little Rock before that and spent five seasons at the school.
Pizan briefly left North Little Rock to take the head coaching job at Little Rock Central only to return to his previous school in a matter of weeks. He has also served as interim head coach and has applied previously for the job when Eldridge and Mitchell had been hired.
He currently serves as offensive coordinator.
Clint Reed is North Little Rock’s offensive line coach, while Sandefur coaches the defensive line and also serves as head baseball coach.
Other notable names in the mix include: Maurice Moody, currently the head coach at Jacksonville High School and was previously coach at Little Rock McClellan, where he led the Lions to multiple state title game appearances.
Tyrell Johnson is currently coaching at Episcopal Collegiate and played at Arkansas State and later in the NFL for several teams. Johnson was also a star high school player at Rison before going into coaching.
List of applicants
We’ve made a lot of progress in one year, in some ways. We’ve gone from where I can get a test to where can I get a shot? And most sensible people are seeking out the shots and finding them.
The world is still pretty messed up a year later. We still have mass killings; the disease is not gone, and stupid people are having mask burnings to celebrate their freedom. Yes, some still equate mask wearing as a loss of freedom.
Paid subscriptions make this commentary possible
Our City Council is obsessed with whether a particular breed of dog is allowed to live here in spite of a spotty track record including the recent death of a 1-year-old. We have a very divided electorate on this issue. Many would like to vote on the issue instead letting the Council decide for them. At this point, it’s about trust.
The Council meets again on Monday, April 5, at which time they can vote to lift the breed ban, and then we will start dealing with the complexity of trying to enforce and police all of the facets of owning dogs. Compliance and confusion will be a problem. Let us vote.
I think a bigger issue when it comes to animals is all of the abandoned animals that occupy shelters here and all across the country. Let’s focus on getting them a home and promoting spaying and neutering. Nothing grinds my gears more than seeing a post from someone saying: “they are moving and can’t have a pet,” or “I just don’t have time to take care of it.” Or one I saw yesterday, “They are our son’s dogs, and he is returning to college.” That’s shameful.
Our state government also seems to be focused on things nobody asked them to worry about. For instance, take our own State Rep. Mark Lowery, who keeps looking for ways to suppress history and voting rights. Or consider our mostly irrelevant attorney general who’s worried about how many times a day we pledge allegiance or sing the National Anthem.
The legislature is worried about whether transgender children get to play sports and controlling their medical care. I don’t care what your political stance is, the medical care choices for transgender kids lie with the parents and the children. The legislature couldn’t go home a day too soon for me.
All this is to say that those who represent us should start representing us, not grandstanding for attention or promoting an agenda that is not even their own but generated by a national organization or their misguided party. It’s time to focus inward and do the people’s work.
A Shot in the Park
Don's Pharmacy is hosting a mass drive-through vaccination clinic at Dickey-Stephens Park in North Little Rock this Sunday, March 28, from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Shots will be administered in the Dickey-Stephens parking lot across the street from the park and will be available by appointment only to those in the qualifying 1A, 1B or 1C categories, according to the Arkansas Department of Health guidelines.
Those receiving their first dose will need to be available to return to the park on Sunday, April 25, to receive the second dose.
To schedule your appointment and see a map of the drive-through layout, visit www.donsrx.com/dickeystephens.
Easter Egg Hunt
Maumelle Parks and Recreation is sponsoring its annual Easter Egg Hunt at the Rolling Oaks Sports Complex at 9 a.m. on Saturday, April 3. Visit with the Easter Bunny, collect eggs and candy, and win prizes!! For children 10 and under.
Food Trucks Schedule
Keep an eye on the Brandon Moving and Storage parking lot. They have an ever-changing rotation of different trucks each week. I tried Smoke Beast BBQ. I wanted ribs, which they call “smoke bones” but they had sold out. Got the smoked sausage instead. They are little on the pricey side, but pretty good. This week:
Wednesday and Friday, 5 to 8 p.m., S&K Wings
Wednesday through Friday 4 p.m. - 8 p.m., Firefly 501 (next to Morningside Bagels)
Most of the trucks have their own Facebook pages. Check out their menus and specialties.
It’s Not Over, Till It’s Over
We haven’t defeated Covid. In fact, there are increases in 15 states and people are still dying. There are disturbing reports of those dealing with the debilitating long-term effects of the disease. Don’t let down your guard. Don’t buy the hype. Wear your mask in public gatherings. Keep your distance. Get your shot.
See you on the Boulevard.
More news at www.ArkansasNewsroom.com.
Neal Moore is a public relations consultant and resident of Maumelle. Send your Maumelle news or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks, PJ.
The long empty Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market in the Maumelle Town Center will become a Splash Car Wash and Lube Center later this year, per documents filed with the city’s Planning Commission.
The property had sold for $2.5 million to Paul and Lisa Stagg earlier this year but plans for the car wash, along with an Oil & Lube operation first came to the city’s attention when it was brought to the Planning Commission in August 2020.
Stagg owns and operates the Splash Investment Group that is based in North Little Rock. He had founded Arkansas Carwash Systems, that had more than 50 car washes across the state, then founder Boomerang Carwash, that had 25 locations in Arkansas and across the region.
According to the company website, Stagg sold Boomerang in 2009 to start his current group, along with another called Clean Tech Ventures.
Since then, he has built five Splash locations, with four in central Arkansas, and the other in Rogers. He also has seven other car washes or oil change businesses, in central Arkansas.
The Neighborhood Market closed early in 2016 and has sat vacant ever since. The property, owned by Wal-Mart, had specific requirements for what kind of business could fill the space.
The new Splash site will be 2.45 acres and have a total of 39 spaces for the carwash, and another 18 parking spaces for the oil change operation, and it will be .63 acres, so the total operation will be just a hair over three acres in size.
At the meeting in August, developers said that they were, “not proposing any change to the building footprint” and that the area would see extensive landscaping.
The building’s facade would also feature brick, porcelain tile and glass among other materials and would be of “high quality.”
Other Splash locations
Splash Car Wash Benton: 2620 Congo Road, Benton
Splash Car Wash North Little Rock, 5116 John F. Kennedy Blvd., North Little Rock
Splash Car Wash Conway, 1505 Old Morrilton Hwy., Conway
Splash Car Wash Rogers, 4203 W Huntington Drive, Rogers
Splash Car Wash Russellville, 1301 E Main St., Russellville
Location of other operations
Baseline, Little Rock
Geyer Springs, Little Rock
HOT SPRINGS -- Maumelle coach Michael Shook has gotten close before.
In his 10 years being the boys head basketball coach at the school, he has led the Hornets to nine state tournament appearances and three state championship games.
The last of which was Saturday night here in Hot Springs.
In all three appearances, Maumelle has come up short.
Against Jonesboro, the final was 58-56, and in the loss, Maumelle never led during the game, but cut the margin to just one point before the game’s final two seconds and Riley Wade’s three-pointer that would have won the game went wide.
Shook’s first state title game was in 2015, and that was a 9-point loss to Little Rock McClellan. The next one was that next year, and in that one, it was 82-82 at the end of regulation against Forrest City. The Mustangs went on to win, 91-85, in a wild shootout that’s best remembered for R.J. Glasper and Shawn Williams shooting toe-to-toe.
Glasper was the Forrest City star, who plays this weekend for Oral Roberts in the NCAA tournament, while Williams’s college career ended this season at Nicholls State in Louisiana.
Williams finished with 44 in the game, while Glasper had 40 in the win.
“We've established a winning culture for the most part or a runner up culture,” Shook said, trying to laugh after a bitter loss.
“The seniors, you know, they've set the tone for us all year,” Shook said. “Just extremely high character kids, hard workers. And we knew that because they've set the tone and these juniors here have followed suit and they've been bought in.”
Shook said a mid-season win against Little Rock Parkview provided the inspiration for Maumelle as they trailed 16 at the half against Jonesboro.
“W we were down 17 to them and we came back and beat them,” Shook said. “We talked about that at halftime. We knew that, just settling down, getting back to playing the way we play and that we would have a chance.”
As for the players, “ we left it all out there,” junior guard Carl Daugherty Jr. said. “I know we all played our hearts out and tried.”
Despite crowd restriction due to the ongoing pandemic, Maumelle still brought a sizable chunk and they made a difference as well.
“We've got tremendous fans,” Shook said. “They did a great job this morning, when we left they gave us a sendoff. Had the police and fire department escort us out of town and everybody was there … they showed up.”
The motto on the shooting shirts Maumelle wore before the game was “We > Me” and, “we talk all the time, like a lot of other programs do, about it being a family … the community, they bring so much energy for us and that's definitely a big part of it.”