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Glorious Fall Color
Covid cases spike at Maumelle Charter Elementary, Funeral arrangements set for North Little Rock firefighter who died from Covid-19 complications, plus news and sports headlines
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After a one-week lull, the Covid case count has spiked back up. The Academics Plus System, which includes the Maumelle Charter and Scott Charter elementary schools as well as Maumelle Charter High School, reported that Maumelle Charter Elementary now has seven cases at its campus in Maumelle. Read more by clicking Covid cases increase at Maumelle Charter Elementary
MAUMELLE: Beating a good team on the road is hard. Betting a good team and the officials on the road is practically impossible as Maumelle found out last Thursday night at Shreveport Byrd as the Hornets lost, 24-21. Read more by clicking After bitter loss, Hornets travel to Little Rock Christian
NORTH LITTLE ROCK: North Little Rock made it look easy against West Memphis last Friday as the undefeated ‘Cats rolled to a 41-0 win at the 6A school. Up next for North Little Rock is the start of 7A-Central conference action with a trip to winless Little Rock Central. Read more by clicking 'Cats stay perfect, Central next
CAC: Central Arkansas Christian enters 2-4A conference play against Clinton on Friday 2-1 after a wild 35-34 win against Mayflower. Kickoff at Mustang Mountain is set for 7 p.m. By Donna Lampkin Stephens and read more by clicking Mustangs on two-game winning streak, host Clinton this Friday
Golf: Jackson T. Stephens Cup set for October and volunteers are being sought to help out at the event. If interested, click here, or the above photo of The Alotian to learn more and sign up. Attendance will be limited due to the ongoing pandemic, so volunteering is your best bet to get it.
No joy in Mudville
The Arkansas Travelers won 64 games during the regular season and that wasn’t enough to surpass the 64 wins by the Northwest Arkansas Naturals or the Frisco RoughRiders to make the postseason that started this week. Confused? Click this week’s BASEBALL ON BROADWAY to learn more. Baseball on Broadway is the weekly newsletter that spotlights the Arkansas Travelers.
Neal Moore is taking the week off.
Flags across North Little Rock are flying at half-staff after the death of North Little Rock Fire Department Lt. Scott Chassells.
Chassells, above, died on Saturday from Covid-19 complications.
The family issued a statement on Monday that was released through the city.
“On behalf of the entire Chassells family we would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude for the outpouring of love and support that we have received after the loss of our hero,” it read.
It noted Chassells, 48, was a veteran of the Iraq War.
“He performed his duties with honor, bravery and without exception to anyone in need,” the statement continued. “Through his military service and subsequent service in the fire department he was always there for his fellow brothers and sisters and those who needed his help in their darkest hours.”
“North Little Rock has lost a hero and we have lost the glue that held our family together. We respectfully ask for the space to grieve and lay him to rest with the dignity and honor that he earned. The world is a little darker today but we have faith that those who he mentored and served with will carry on his legacy.”
He is survived by his wife, Jodi Smith Chassells along with other extended family members. He was preceded in death by his son, Gunnar Scott Chassells, who died in 2017 after playing Russian Roulette.
The family started a Foundation to educate others on those dangers.
Visitation will be Monday, Sept. 27 at First NLR Church, 4501 Burrow Drive, North Little Rock, from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., with the service to follow from 11;30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Burial will be at 1 p.m. at the Arkansas State Veterans Cemetery in Sherwood.
Pallbearers include: Chad Frey, Steve Fortson, Mike Holley, Heath Hoops, David Matchett, Mike Mitsunaga, Adam Moreno, and Gerald Tucker.
Obituary: Aaron "Scott" Chassells
Jan. 8, 1973 - Sept. 18, 2021
Aaron “Scott” Chassells, 48, of North Little Rock passed away Sept. 18, 2021. He was born Jan. 8, 1973 in Ft. Walton Beach, Florida. He was a paramedic and firefighter for the North Little Rock Fire Department. He will be missed by all who knew and loved him.
He is survived by his wife Jodi Smith Chassells; father, Gary Lee Chassells; siblings: Brian (Karen) Chassells, Jeff Chassells and Christina Black; mother-in-law Debby Smith; sister-in-law Jayme (Dustin) Gentry; brother-in-law, Jeff Smith; several nieces, nephews and extended family members.
He was preceded in death by his mother, Nancy Paulsen and her husband James; and his only son, Gunnar Scott Chassells.
Pallbearers include: Chad Frey, Steve Fortson, Mike Holley, Heath Hoops, David Matchett, Mike Mitsunaga, Adam Moreno, and Gerald Tucker. Masks are required for attendance at any of these services.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Camp Sunshine, Little Rock, or the Arkansas Fallen Firefighters Memorial, Little Rock.
Guestbook at www.SmithFamilyCares.com
To send flowers to Aaron "Scott" Chassells' family, please visit the funeral home’s floral store.
The first day of Autumn was Wednesday, Sept. 22, and the signs of Fall are already here.
For one, Pumpkin Spice, whatever that is, has returned to coffee shops across the land.
And while it was a crisp 92 degrees on Monday, temperatures have veered down this week, and that’s always a reassuring sign.
More importantly, the leaves are starting to change from green to glorious color.
David Angotti, the founder at SmokyMountains.com, said his site has a “predictive fall map” that allows users to gaugewhen and where leaves will be at peak fall color.
“In order to accurately predict fall, our model ingests a multitude of data sources including historical precipitation, NOAA precipitation forecasts, elevation, actual temperatures, temperature forecasts, and average daylight exposure to develop a baseline fall date for each county in the continental United States,” he wrote in an email. “Next, the model consumes hundreds-of-thousands of additional data points from a variety of government and non-government sources and layers this data over our own historical data from past years. Finally, with a high degree of accuracy, the algorithm produces nearly 50,000 date outputs indicating the progression of fall for every county in a graphical presentation that is easy to digest.
The map, seen below, can be viewed by clicking here.
On the map, northwest Arkansas is already starting to see minimal color. You can change the date and you can see that central Arkansas will start seeing more color by Oct. 4.
Arkansas is blessed with 19 million acres of forest, or about 56 percent of the state, according to the Arkansas Farm Bureau.
That survey said Arkansas has roughly 11.8 billion trees, and of those, 42 percent are oak or hickory, and the leaves of deciduous trees are where the color comes in. Hickory goes yellow, while oak can be a bright red, with some some copper or yellow.
What Arkansas doesn’t have are many maple trees and the brilliant bright red leaves they produce.
Angotti notes that his map is a prediction, and, like the weather, it doesn’t always work out exactly.
“Similar to any meteorological forecast, leaf predictions will never be 100 percent accurate,” he said. “However, after publishing our predictive fall foliage map for nearly a decade, we are quite confident in our data sources, process, and algorithm. Our experience combined with a scheduled mid-season update has us especially confident about this year’s predictions. Our goal is that this data-based, interactive tool will increase the number of people that are able to enjoy peak fall in 2021.
It is also national, so if one were to travel to, say, Niagara Falls this week, you could use the map to “easily determine the best time to view foliage anywhere” in western New York or, for that matter, in the country.
He also noted that using the map is fun and “it's kind of addictive,” which the fact checkers here rate as very true.
To help improve the map and its predictions, Angotti said, a mid-season update would be released later this month.
"Due to the complexity of applying a humongous, multi-faceted dataset, we have historically published our map annually without mid-season updates,” he said. “However, for the first time ever, we plan to release a mid-season update in late September. By applying the mid-season update, we believe the accuracy and usefulness of the tool will be increased.”
The site also produced what it called the “Ultimate Leaf Peeping Guide” and where the best place is in all 50 states to see fall foliage.
The list can be viewed by clicking the top places to view fall foliage and includes three places in Arkansas:
Devil’s Den State Park, near Winslow
Mount Magazine State Park, south of Paris
Talimena National Scenic Byway, near Mena
All three locations are easy enough drives from central Arkansas. Closer to home, and while they didn’t make the cut, personal experience says Pinnacle Mountain State Park in west Little Rock can be glorious.