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Enter the Dragon (Boats)
Annual festival this weekend; Farr, Hodge to take over Maumelle High, Oak Grove Elementary; Kimberly-Clark awards scholarships plus Education News and notes, headlines and sports
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Pandemic death count at ‘zero’
The state Department of Health, on its Covid dashboard, showed that in the past week, there’s been a total of “0” deaths reported. The numbers were updated Tuesday, June 6.
The total number of reported dead Arkansans remains at 13,158 or the state’s 32nd largest city.
There’s now a one-stop shop to learn about vaccination sites and other Covid related information. Click here to learn more.
If you don’t want to get sick and die, there’s some things you can do:
Wear a mask
Upcoming meetings: The North Little Rock City Council will meet next Monday night. To view the agenda for the meeting, click here.
Events: As part of the Dragon Boat Festival, Maumelle Animal Services is having a Pet PAW-TY from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday. The event is hosted by Anthony Otwell-State Farm Agent and will be for pet adoption with vendors on hand. It will be held at 4001 Club Manor Drive.
ICYMI: Summer camps are still available for those in North Little Rock and Maumelle. Click here for more.
Fireworks watch party fundraiser set
The Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum in North Little will be hosting its annual Pops on the River fireworks fundraiser watch party on July 4,. Tickets are $15 per person and parking passes are $10 (per vehicle - to park inside the sea wall).
Tickets can be purchased online at https://tinyurl.com/p6r3ff5v (make an account before selecting the number of tickets) or in person during business hours. The museum is located at 120 Riverfront Park Drive in North Little Rock.
Gates will open at 7 p.m. and the fireworks are scheduled to start around 9:30 p.m. The museum will be selling a limited selection of food and drinks and no outside food and beverages will be allowed.
For more information, call 501-371-8320.
Enter the Dragon: Festival starts this Friday at Lake Willastein
The annual River Cities Dragon Boat Festival returns to Maumelle’s Lake Willastein this Friday and Saturday.
On Friday night, the event will start at 6 p.m. and conclude with a 9 p.m. fireworks show. On Saturday, the dragon boat races will begin at 9 a.m. Admission is free.
A complete schedule for the festival is:
Noon: Athlete’s Village team set up begins
4:45 p.m.: Athlete’s Village closes to all vehicles
5 p.m.: Team check-in begins, Team practices on the water, Food Trucks open, Yard Games open
6 p.m.: Children’s Area Opens
7 p.m.: Music, fun from the stage
8:30 p.m.: Practices finish
9:10 p.m.: Fireworks Show
7:30 a.m.: Athlete’s Village opens, all paddlers arrive, sign waivers receive wrist bands
9 a.m.: Opening Ceremony & Drummer’s Parade
9:15 a.m.: Marshalling & Races Begin
11:30 a.m : Dragon Cup Race
1 p.m.: Championship Round
2:45 p.m.: Awards Ceremony
Proceeds from the festival benefit the Children’s Protection Center and last year, the event raised more than $150,000, according to organizers.
The event will also feature food trucks in addition to games and watching the 46-foot-long dragon
There’s a total of 40 teams scheduled to race. They are:
Team Name … Company
Motor Boaters … 10 Fitness
ACDI … ACDI
Boats & Joes … National Guard Association of Arkansas
HEARTbeat of the Lake … Arkansas Foundation for Medical Care (AFMC)
ACAA Flying Dragon … Arkansas Chinese American Association
Hard Hat Legion #1 … Baldwin & Shell Construction #1
Hard Hat Legion #2 … Baldwin & Shell Construction #2
Blazing Paddles … Baptist Rehab-NLR / Horton’s Orthotics & Prosthetics
Purple Hearted Dragon Slayers … CareSource PASSE
SurvivOARS I … Centers for Youth and Families
SurvivOARS II Centers for Youth and Families
Central AR Water … Central AR Water
Ruh Row … City of Maumelle
Boats & Rows … Community Team
Juice Box Heroes … Community Team
Row A Rita Ville … Community Team
THRYV … Community Team
Drop It Like It’s Yacht … Conway Behavioral Health
D1Fitness … D1Fitness
Toner Pirates … DataMax
On the Beat … Division of Children and Family Services of DHS
Rowed Warriors … Families, Inc.
Teal Titans … First Security Bank
Assets Afloat … Forvis
Gforce … Garver
InSync Oar Swim … InSync Counseling
Jacksonville Community Team … Jacksonville Community Team
Keller Williams … Keller Williams
Krewe Grit … Kimbel Mechanical Systems
Kimberly Clark Corporation … Kimberly Clark Corporation
Little Creek/Mill Creek/Piney Ridge Behavioral Health … Little Creek/Mill Creek/Piney Ridge Behavioral Health
The Team Formerly Known as Molex … Phillips Medisize
Pinnacle Pirates … Pinnacle Pointe Behavioral Health
The Red Watch …The Red Watch
United Rentals … United Rentals
Team Ka Ching! #1 … US Bank 1
Team Ka Ching! #2 … US Bank 2
Meadows Muscles … Woodmen of the World
North Little Rock: Sandefur to lead Parks & Rec
Randy Sandefur, after 40 years coaching in the North Little Rock School District, has hung up his whistle to be the new director of Parks and Recreation for the city of North Little Rock.
He replaces Steve Shields, who resigned after nearly three years on the job. Shields was also a coach, and had previously been the head coach men’s basketball coach at UALR.
Sandefur, a graduate of Northeast, played college football at Arkansas-Monticello, and those four years were the only time outside the city as he’s a North Little Rock lifer.
He started coaching at Northeast in 1983 and was there until Ole Main and Northeast high schools merged in 1990 and the Chargers and Wildcats became the Charging Wildcats.
In addition to coaching football, Sandefur also coached the baseball program and for the past two seasons he was the head football coach. He won a combined four state championships at the school.
“Randy is North Little Rock all the way,” said North Little Rock Mayor Terry Hartwick. “He has the leadership, passion and energy we need and will be an asset to our whole city.”
Sandefur started in the new role on June 1.
“I am excited and honored to be appointed by Mayor Hartwick to work with everyone to rebuild our park, update our recreation centers and local parks,” he said.
It is going to be a tough task as Burns Park took the brunt of the damage from the March 31 EF3 tornado that ripped through North Little Rock and Little Rock.
Sandefur is married to the former Leslie Ballard and the couple has two sons and four grandchildren, and another on the way later this year.
Farr, Hodge to take over Maumelle High, Oak Grove Elementary
The Pulaski County Special School District has hired Nick Farr as the new principal at Maumelle High School and Staisey Hodge as the new principal at Oak Grove Elementary.
Farr, who has a doctorate, was previously the principal at Marianna, where he spent two years. Before that he was an assistant principal in the Jacksonville school district.
He’s also worked for the Little Rock and Pulaski County school districts in roles ranging from coaching football and girls athletics to choir and orchestra.
If the name seems familiar to some, it might be because Farr, above, is also a working performer and actor who starred as TJ in the Wildwood Center for the Arts production of Sister Act last year.
Hodge, above, will start her 34 year at PCSSD this August as the Oak Grove principal.
Most recently she was the assistant principal at William Jefferson Clinton Elementary in Sherwood and before that as the assistant principal at Chenal Elementary.
She’s also been a special education teacher, among many other roles over her long career.
We look forward to an exciting new school year with these administrators leading schools for the 2023-2024 year. School resumes on August 14, 2023.
In other leadership changes, Teresa Moka will serve as principal at Mills High School after having previously served there as assistant principal.
Neely Claassen was promoted from vice principal at Chenal Elementary to be the new principal at DRIVEN Virtual Academy, where she led the kindergarten through fifth grade classes.
Three other interim principals were promoted for the coming school year as well.
College Station Elementary - Anjelica Evans
Harris Elementary - Erikka Johnson
Sylvan Hills Elementary - Britney Hickman
School starts back on Aug. 14.
Kimberly-Clark awards three scholarships
Kimberly-Clark recently announced the recipients of its 2023 Bright Futures Scholarships. In Maumelle, where Kimberly-Clark has a manufacturing facility, college scholarships were awarded to:
Ella Boudrie, above, a senior at Conway High School and the daughter of Chris and Laura Boudrie, who plans to attend the University of Florida.
Isani Patel, above, a senior at Conway High School and the daughter of Hitesh and Bhavana Patel, who plans to attend the University of Arkansas.
Nevaeh McFelson, above, a senior at North Little Rock High School and the daughter of Antranette McFelson, who plans to attend Columbia University.
The Bright Futures program provides scholarship grants worth up to $20,000, or $5,000 per school year, to children of Kimberly-Clark employees in North America. Recipients are selected based on academic achievement, community service, work experience, and extracurricular activities.
This year, Kimberly-Clark awarded Bright Futures scholarships totaling $1,240,000 to 62 students in the U.S. and Canada. Since its inception, the program has granted more than $46 million in scholarships to more than 2,300 students for full-time study at accredited colleges and universities.
“We are proud to present these outstanding students with Bright Futures college scholarships in recognition of their academic accomplishments and commitment to excellence,” said Jenny Lewis, Vice President of the Kimberly-Clark Foundation. “We are thrilled to support their higher education goals and look forward to seeing how their pursuits help build a brighter future for us all.”
Kimberly-Clark has had a plant in Maumelle for more than three decades and employs around 300 people in a facility well over 400,000 square feet. The plant primarily makes Huggies brand baby wipes.
Maumelle’s Knoedl named to President's List at Mississippi College
Ava Knoedl of Maumelle was named to the Spring 2023 President's List at Mississippi College.
The Mississippi College Office of Academic Affairs releases the president's list after the close of fall and spring semesters each academic year. To be eligible for the President's List, a student must maintain a 4.0 grade point average, based on a 4.0 system. The student must take a full course load of at least 12 semester hours of undergraduate credit with all academic courses impacting their grade point average.
Knoedl, above, played basketball at the school and averaged 7.2 points per game as a freshman.
Mississippi College is in Clinton, Miss.
Maumelle’s Ricaurte named to SEMO’s Spring 2023 President's List
Camilla Ricaurte of Maumelle has been named to the Southeast Missouri State University President's List for academic achievement during the spring 2023 semester.
Students named to the list earned at least a 4.0 grade point average and completed at least 12 hours of standard graded credit in a semester.
Maumelle’s Nazar earns degree from Clark University
Sarah Nazar, of Maumele, received a degree from Clark University during the University's 119th Commencement exercises on Sunday, May 21. Nazar graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. Nazar is a member of the Gryphon & Pleiades and Fiat Lux honor societies.
The University awarded 1,300 degrees (590 bachelor's degrees, 681 master's degrees, and 29 doctoral degrees) to the Class of 2023 and conferred three honorary degrees in ceremonies that heralded the graduates for their accomplishments, their resilience, and their ambition.
Clark University is in Worcester, Mass.
UALR honors students
North of the River students at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock were recently honored by their school. The students are listed by the department they were honored by.
Electrical and Computer Engineering
The University of Arkansas at Little Rock has honored its top electrical and computer engineering students for the 2022-23 academic year.
Jack Seabaugh of North Little Rock
Andrew Manasco of Sherwood
The University of Arkansas at Little Rock Department of Computer Science has honored its top students for the 2022-23 academic year.
Mohamed Albeik, of North Little Rock, received the Top Junior Award.
Physics and Astronomy
The University of Arkansas at Little Rock Department of Physics and Astronomy has honored its top students for the 2022-23 academic year.
Taylor Lackey, of Sherwood, received the Paul Engle Endowed Scholarship, worth $1,000..
The University of Arkansas at Little Rock Department of Earth Sciences has honored its top students for the 2022-23 academic year.
Students who were honored include:
Katherine Hartter of North Little Rock, received the Field Camp Award, a $100 award granted to a student with a 3.0 GPA who is planning to attend the field geology II course.
Timothy Mcintire of North Little Rock, received the Service Award, which is given to students that helped provide service to the Geology department over the last year.
Shannon Bione of Sherwood received the Outstanding Graduate Student Award, which is given to a graduate student that shows overall excellence in teaching, research, and service to the department. She was also awarded the SGE W.A. Tarr Award.
The University of Arkansas at Little Rock Department of Biology has honored its top students for the 2022-23 academic year.
Erin Ray, of Sherwood, received the Thomas Hogue Memorial Award.
Donaghey College of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics
The University of Arkansas at Little Rock Donaghey College of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics has honored its top students for the 2022-23 academic year.
Mohamed Albeik, of North Little Rock, received first place in the Mainstream Expo Award for the project, Bee Tracker.
No baseball at Dickey-Stephens this week
Road trip: Now through Sunday at Tulsa
Home stand against Corpus Christi
Tuesday, 6:35 p.m.
Two for Tuesdays: Get two General Admission tickets for the price of one and only available at the Box Office.
Mug Club: Membership costs $30 and includes your first beer plus $3 select draft beer every Tuesday night Travs home game
Sponsorship: Treasure Hunt Tuesday: Presented By Arkansas Auditor of State
Wednesday, 6:35 p.m.
Dog Days of Summer: Human fans can get $3 Berm tickets by bringing their dog to the game and only available at the Box Office. NOTE: Dogs are only allowed in the Berm areas | Presented By Moix RV Supercenter
Thursday, June 15, 6:35 p.m.
$3 Thursday: Enjoy $3 Beer Garden Tickets and Concessions deals, including Hot Dogs, Soft Drinks, Red Bull, Cotton Candy, and a Select Canned Beer & Seltzer! | Presented By Red Bull
Friday, June 16, 7:05 p.m.
Fireworks: Presented By Baptist Health
Saturday, June 17, 7:05 p.m.
Kids Run the Bases: Presented By Museum of Discovery
Sunday, June 18, 1:35 p.m.
Pre-Game Brunch Buffet: Get a special Brunch ticket that comes with a Field Reserved seat! Buffet will include select breakfast foods, juice, coffee, and soft drinks. (Alcohol will be available for purchase separately.) Food will be served from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. | Presented By Picnic Brunch
Kids Run the Bases: Presented By Museum of Discovery
Operation: Military Appreciation: Service Members get $3 off General Admission and Field Reserved tickets by presenting a Military ID (only available at DSP Box Office) | Presented By Mid-South Ford Dealers
Family Sunday: Get $2 General Admission tickets by presenting a physical or digital church bulletin and only available at the Box Office.
Road trip: June 20 - 25 at Wichita