Covid-19 and a grim milestone

Live basketball coverage; Neal Moore offers up his take, Juhl and Smith take home wrestling titles plus news and sports headlines

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Live basketball coverage

Maumelle, Central Arkansas Christian and North Little Rock are all in action later today in state tournament action and coverage from those games will be posted at the links below. For information on how to stream the games or buy tickets or anything else, those questions are answered by clicking here. This day of coverage is only available to paid subscribers and will be unlocked on Friday.

The headlines

Sports headlines

Moore on Maumelle: My Take 

Neal Moore

As predicted, the Dog Ordinance Debate has blown up on several fronts, primarily social media. There are salvos being launched from both sides, many informative and many incendiary. Only a few know why we are even making this such a priority and many of us are still not sure why.  

But we also have outside forces working among us. A national group called RepealBSL is sending emails and has a mechanism where you can have them send a form letter to all of the Maumelle City Council members. On their “action” list, Maumelle is at the top. Here is the form letter they will send for you if fill out the form: 

Dear City Council Member,

I ask that you please repeal the archaic ban against dogs labeled as "pitbulls". Scientific studies, veterinary, canine, and public safety experts agree that BSL and breed-based bans are ineffective and a waste of public resources. Even worse, they are discriminatory towards responsible owners and punish dogs based only on their appearance or assumed breed, sometimes resulting in the seizure of loved pets that have done nothing wrong. Furthermore, repealing the ban will improve public safety because it will allow animal control and public safety officials to focus on more relevant breed-neutral factors that are directly and scientifically linked to dog bite-related incidents such as irresponsible owners, aggressive dogs (of any breed), and problems related to abuse or neglect. Breed prejudice as policy doesn't create desired safety outcomes. I oppose BSL because it is ineffective and based on faulty science.​ Please repeal BSL in Maumelle!

You can check out their information at www.repealbsl.org. Their site doesn’t really say who they are or where they are located, but it is obvious they are a national organization. I’m not convinced we really need them to help us decide, although there is a lot of information supporting their position.  If you want to research the other side of the issue, you might check out www.dogsbite.org. 

Interestingly, until yesterday, the sponsor of the ordinance, Chad Gardner, has been silent on the issue since he introduced it several weeks ago. He posted his summary of the meeting Wednesday. And Council Member R.J. Mazzoni, who usually posts a report and who amended the original ordinance, has also been silent. Gardner claims that his emails have “overwhelmingly” supported lifting the ban. Even if they do, there is nothing scientific about using that as his impetus to lift the ban. Let the voters decide. 

The big question I keep asking and will keep asking is, “Why?” Will lifting the ban make Maumelle better? Will it make Maumelle safer? I want to express my opinion at the ballot box. 

What you can do

Regardless of your position on the issue, I would encourage you to email, text or call your City Council member. This seems to be how they are measuring what the people want, with some even calling emails and auto-generated emails “proof” of the voter’s wishes.  Let us vote, Council Members!  Through a series of missteps and a lot of confusion, you haven’t gotten the job done. 

Here is the Maumelle City Council and their contact information. Let them know how you feel. 

  • Chad Gardner 501-529-1336 - chad4maumelle@gmail.com

  • Jess Holt 501-681-9705 - jessieholt@sbcglobal.net

  • R.J. Mazzoni 501-912-4553 - rjmazzoni@outlook.com

  • Steve Mosley 501-240-6700 - mosleyaldermanward1@aol.com

  • Ken Saunders 501-425-5839 - ken4ward1@msn.com

  • Doug Shinn 501-680-8357 - dougshinn4maumelle@gmail.com

  • Michael Tierney 501-851-1918 - tierneymichael@sbcglobal.net

  • Terry Williams 501-920-8684 - twilliamsward3@gmail.com

I include the mayor because he can vote in case of a tie. He should abstain if there is a tie. That would indicate that the people need to have their voices heard. 

  • Caleb Norris 501-851-2500 - mayor@maumelle.org

Hopefully, the real leadership will step up and the Council can move back to more pressing issues like the Royal Family. 

Police to lay eggs for Easter 

The Maumelle Fraternal Order of Police is sponsoring “Egg My Yard” just in time for Easter.  The FOP will lay 25 eggs or $30 or 50 eggs for $50. They will be hiding eggs on April 2 and 3. Check their Facebook page for complete information and to reserve your egg time. See www.facebook.com/MaumelleFOP48. 

Community Center eases restrictions 

The Jess Odom Community announced that it is easing some restrictions. The childcare room is open again, from 8 a.m.  to noon and from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. In addition, the basketball courts are now open to members, their guests and to paying customers. 

The center will “slowly” add weight equipment that was previously removed. Masks are still required at all times in the Community Center except while actively exercising.  

Foodie news

McClard’s returns for another three days at Brandon Moving & Storage,10505 Maumelle Boulevard., on March 10-13, starting at 11 a.m.  until they run out or 3 p.m. - whichever happens first.  

I heard an interesting rumor this week about the IHOP location on the Boulevard. There is work going on there and someone hinted it is to be a Joe’s Crab Shack. Doesn’t seem likely but we’ll see. Let me know if you know. 

I did a quick survey of several restaurants in the area and only one, the Overtime Lounge, said it is returning to full capacity. I think the mask policy stays in force until the end of this month. 

"I hope everyone's realized by now these masks make a difference. The last thing we need is Neanderthal thinking that in the meantime everything's fine, take off your mask - forget it. It still matters." -- President Joe Biden

Keep on keeping on. It’s far from over. Wear your mask. Get your shot when you can. 

See you on the Boulevard. 

Neal Moore is a public relations consultant and resident of Maumelle. Send your Maumelle news or comments to neal.moore@sbcglobal.net. Thanks, PJ.

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Covid-19 and 366 days later

Jeremy Peppas

Other Covid-19 stories

Arkansas has established a number to assist with those who have had struggles scheduling a vaccine appointment online. The number is 800-985-6030 and the call center will be staffed daily from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

What a difference a year makes.

Since Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s encouragement on March 9, 2020 to “enjoy a beautiful spring” to now, one year, and one day later, an average of one American a minute has died from Covid-19.

The latest numbers show 527,352 deaths across the country and a total of 29,189,180 Covid-19 nationally.

In Arkansas, there’s been 5,357 deaths, an average of not quite 15 daily, and 325,383 cases in the past year.

In Pulaski County, the deaths stand at 579 and 37,685 cases.

Drilling down even further, to the Zip Code level, it shows 2,144 known cases in the 72113, which is primarily Maumelle, according to the Arkansas Center for Health Improvement. That organization doesn’t track deaths by Zip Code.

The good news is that three different vaccines for Covid-19 have been developed and Arkansas compares well to national numbers in terms of those who have been vaccinated.

In the state, 9.3 percent of the population has received both vaccine shows, while 17 percent of Arkansans have received at least one dose. Nationally, the numbers are slightly better with 9.7 percent fully vaccinated and 18 percent of the country having gotten at least one dose.

Arkansas has administered 757,051 vaccine doses and Gov. Asa Hutchinson expanded the 1B tier to include:

  • Essential government workers

  • Those with intellectual and developmental disabilities

  • Department of Corrections employees

  • Grocery store and meal delivery employees

  • Pastors

  • Those who work in manufacturing, postal and package delivery and public transportation

Others already eligible include those 65 or older, educators and “some segments of the food and agriculture industry.”

“Thanks to doctors, nurses, and pharmacies around the state, our vaccination program is running strong,” Hutchinson said at a press conference announcing the changes. “We are seeing an encouraging drop in the number of new cases, active cases, and hospitalizations.”

The goal, Hutchinson said, was, “we can now allow everyone who falls in the 1-B category who wants a vaccine to have one.”

An expectation of Hutchinson’s was that 1C tier would open in April.

A mandate to wear masks while in public would continue through the end of March had been previously announced but other restrictions had been lifted.

The state also established a number to assist with those who have had struggles scheduling a vaccine appointment online. 

The number is 800-985-6030 and the call center will be staffed daily from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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