High school graduations are here
Tonight: Business After Hours at Park on the River and CAC Fest; Light Teacher of the Year in PCSSD and Herring honored; CAC to play for soccer title plus sports and headlines
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Pandemic death count up one
The state’s Department of Health, on its Covid dashboard, showed that in past two weeks, there’s been one death due to the ongoing pandemic.
The total number of reported dead Arkansans is at 13,116.
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 School Board meets at 5:30 p.m. tonight. Click here for the agenda. The North Little Rock City Council meets next Monday night.
ICYMI: Been caught stealing
Events: Tonight, the Maumelle Area Chamber of Commerce will be hosting a Business After Hours at Park on the River to showcase the city’s new all-inclusive playground. The event will be held from 4:30-6:30 p.m. with a presentation around 5:30 p.m. Anyone is welcome to attend this event and get a preview of the new playground that will begin construction later this year. Sponsorship opportunities are available for businesses and individuals if they would like to help with the final fundraising push to add additional amenities to the playground. — CHAD GARDNER
Also tonight, CAC Fest is at Mustang Mountain and doors open at 5:30 p.m. Admission is free but dinner of fried fish or a hamburger bar is $15 for adults and $10 for children 5 to 10. Those 4 and under are free. Simmons Bank is the Presenting Sponsor with some familiar names like Dr. Adam Sandlin also serving as one of the additional sponsors.
Fair, Schluterman named to Maumelle city boards
At Monday night's Maumelle City Council two local residents were appointed to city boards.
The first was Toby Fair, who was named to the city's Tree Board and the other was Cheryl Schluterman, who was named to the Maumelle Facilities Board.
In other business, the Council also approved an ordinance allowing retired employees to participate in the city healthcare plan if they pay all the premium.
The next meeting of the Maumelle City Council will be Monday, June 5.
High school graduations are here
Maumelle Charter High School will have its graduation this Friday at the school’s gym.
On Saturday, Pulaski County Special School District will have its graduation day at the Jack Stephens Center on the UALR campus.
Maumelle High School will have the second ceremony of the day starting at 11 a.m. and it is scheduled to last 90 minutes.
First on the schedule is Mills and it will be at 9 a.m. After Maumelle is Joe T. Robinson at 1:30 p.m. and the last graduation of the day will be Sylvan Hills High School at 3:30 p.m.
North Little Rock High School’s graduation will also be held at the Stephens Center and it is scheduled to start at 6 p.m. on Thursday, June 1.
Central Arkansas Christian has already held its graduation.
PCSSD honors Herring with Inspiration in Education award
Former Maumelle High School teacher Kristin Herring received the Inspiration in Education Award from the Pulaski County Special School District at the school board meeting last week.
The award was for the fourth quarter and the final one of the school year.
Herring, above, has been with the district for 24 years and previously taught at Sylvan Hills Junior High and Middle schools, Robinson High School and Maumelle Middle. She’s now the lead career academy coach for the District.
In that role, she serves as the career academy coach for PCSSD as part of the Academies of Central Arkansas. She’s been in that position for the last two years as the district has built up the academies program.
“I have witnessed all the tremendous work she has done since accepting her [new] position,” said Yvone West, principal at Sylvan Hills Junior High. “She has been the drum major in the development of the academies across the District. From the countless hours she has spent meeting and talking to community leaders to the numerous school and classroom visits, she has been persistent and relentless in establishing a solid foundation to ensure that this major undertaking goes off without a hitch.”
Maumelle’s Laura Turner, a counselor at Pine Forest Elementary described Herring as”the biggest cheerleader of all her students. And now she provides the same type of commitment to success for ALL PCSSD students. Herring is the model for what all of us should look to achieve as an educator.”
PCSSD names Light as Teacher of the Year
At an awards breakfast on Wednesday, Ben Light was named the Pulaski County Special School District Teacher of the Year.
Light, above, is the band director at Robinson High School and has been with the district since 2014.
It was noted that when Light took over the band program, student involvement went from under 20 to more than 250 in grades Sixth through Senior.
Light was out of 27 other school-level winners in the district and will now represent PCSSD in the 2024 Arkansas Teacher of the Year.
BAKER ELEMENTARY: Natalie Casavechia
CATO ELEMENTARY: Katie Shuptrine
CHENAL ELEMENTARY: LaCynthia Virden
COLLEGE STATION ELEMENTARY: Courtney Thomas
CRYSTAL HILL ELEMENTARY: LaTonya Gillmore
DAISY BATES ELEMENTARY: Darice Nesmith
HARRIS ELEMENTARY: Kenya Brown
LANDMARK ELEMENTARY: Latasha Kimbrough-Tate
LAWSON ELEMENTARY: Ashley Davis
OAK GROVE ELEMENTARY: Jarred White
OAKBROOKE ELEMENTARY: DeAnn White
PINE FOREST ELEMENTARY: Laura Sergeant
ROBINSON ELEMENTARY: LaCresha Davie
SHERWOOD ELEMENTARY: Whitney Bohannon
SYLVAN HILLS ELEMENTARY: Courtney Pigg
WILLIAM JEFFERSON CLINTON ELEMENTARY: Maija Jones
MAUMELLE MIDDLE: Diego Lozano
MILLS MIDDLE: Charde Wilson
ROBINSON MIDDLE: Wendy Kohler
SYLVAN HILLS MIDDLE: Carli Cooper
SYLVAN HILLS JUNIOR HIGH: Hunter Plante
MAUMELLE HIGH: Vernetta Sanders
MILLS UNIVERSITY STUDIES HIGH: LaKesha Foote
ROBINSON HIGH: Ben Light (District winner)
SYLVAN HILLS HIGH: Melissa Duncan
CENTER OF INNOVATION: Terisa Liberty
DRIVEN VIRTUAL ACADEMY: Lisa Romero
After the storm: North Little Rock storm debris removal to end week of May 29
The city of North Little Rock announced this week that the final phase of debris is set to begin the week of May 29.
That Monday is the last day residents can take debris to the Hospitality House in Burns Park and debris can also be placed within 25 feet of the curb for removal by Crowder Gulf Disaster Recovery. Crowder will begin its final week of debris removal that Monday as well.
City spokeswoman Shara Booth Brazear said if residents need help moving debris for curb pickup to call 501-906-5014.
The EF3 tornado on March 31 ripped through North Little Rock’s Burns Park and moved into the city’s Amboy neighborhood causing massive destruction before heading on into Sherwood.
Free rebuilding tips
Those rebuilding and repairing homes after the March 31 tornado can visit Stanley Hardware in North Little Rock to speak with FEMA Hazard Mitigation Outreach Specialists about damage and discuss repairs.
Most of the information provided is geared toward do-it-yourself work and general contractors. FEMA staff will be available now through May 27 at:
Stanley Hardware, 4308 MacArthur Blvd., North Little Rock; Monday – Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m and Saturday, 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Specialists will also be available through Saturday at the Cantrell Ace Hardware store in Little Rock, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
If you cannot visit in person, call 833-336-2487 to speak to a specialist, Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
FEMA public information officer Thomas G. Kempton provided the following Q&A to help those in need of assistance. It has been lightly edited and formatted for publication.
Question: Is FEMA assistance available if I’m being asked to leave my storm-damaged home?
Arkansas renters who have been asked to leave or vacate their storm-damaged home or apartment complex, whether their unit had damage or not, may be eligible for disaster assistance from FEMA.
Question: My landlord has told me I have to leave / I am being forced to leave my rental property. Is there anything FEMA can do to help me?
Arkansas renters who have been asked to leave or vacate their storm-damaged home may be eligible for disaster assistance from FEMA. To find out what assistance may be available, survivors are encouraged to apply for FEMA assistance at disasterassistance.gov.
Question: What if I already applied with FEMA and was later told I needed to leave my rental property?
Survivors who have already applied for FEMA assistance but were later asked to leave or vacate their property due to damage to other parts of their home should call FEMA at 800-621-3362 or visit a FEMA Disaster Recovery Center (DRC). Displaced survivors can reach out even if they were previously determined ineligible for FEMA assistance. Check the FEMA app or visit www.FEMA.gov/DRC to find the locations and hours of operation of the DRCs.
Question: Where can I apply for FEMA Assistance?
There are several ways to apply for disaster assistance:
Online at disasterassistance.gov
Call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362
Visit a DRC open in affected areas. Check the FEMA App or visit the www.FEMA.gov/DRC to find the locations and hours of operation.
Question: What other types of help are available for displaced survivors?
Renters may be eligible for grants from FEMA to help with disaster-related expenses, such as:
Renting a home when the renter’s previous one is unsafe to live in due to the disaster or their apartment complex or home is under repair due to the disaster.
Disaster-related medical and dental expenses.
Moving and storage fees
Replacement or repair of necessary personal property lost or damaged in the disaster, such as appliances and furniture, textbooks and computers used by students, and work equipment or tools used by independent contractors
Repair or replacement of vehicles damaged by the disaster
Disaster-related funeral and burial expenses
Question: Do I have to pay FEMA back this money?
The grants are not loans and do not have to be repaid. They are not taxable income and won’t affect eligibility for Social Security, Medicaid, welfare assistance, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits and several other programs.
Question: I was receiving rental assistance from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and was displaced due to the March 31 severe storms and tornadoes. Do I qualify for FEMA disaster assistance?
FEMA cannot duplicate any types of assistance received from another federal agency. However, if you were forced to leave your HUD-assisted housing because of damage caused by the severe storms and tornadoes, you may be eligible for help from FEMA. This includes displaced families or residents who were:
Living in HUD-assisted public housing
Living in a privately-owned apartment that provides rental assistance from HUD
Living in a private home using a Housing Choice Voucher (formerly known as Section 8 voucher) issued by a public housing authority or other authorized agency
Question: What type of help is available for HUD-assisted renters?
If you received HUD rental assistance, you may be eligible for temporary rental assistance to pay for a place to live until:
You relocate back to public housing
You relocate back to the private housing that provides HUD assistance
You sign a lease with a private property owner using a Housing Choice Voucher
Assistance may also include help with replacing essential contents, such as clothing and essential household items, and reimbursement to you for serious disaster-related expenses not covered by insurance. FEMA cannot duplicate any types of assistance received from another federal agencies.
Question: Where can I find information on renter’s rights and guidance related to evictions?
The State of Arkansas Attorney General offers general information for Arkansas renters on their website at arkansasag.gov/consumer-protection/home/landlord-and-tenant-rights/
By the numbers
1 fatality in North Little Rock
37 homes destroyed in North Little Rock
600 plus homes in North Little Rock sustained damage
1,500 loads and counting of debris hauled away by Crowder Gulf
100 structures were destroyed in Little Rock
538 structures had extreme damage
Source: FEMA and the American Red Cross
Tornado relief number for North Little Rock residents, 501-906-5014
Crimes of the Heart ends this week
The Judy Kohn Tenenbaum Argenta Community Theater will stage a production of Beth Henley’s Crimes of the Heart this week at ACT II: The Sharon Heflin Performing Arts Education Center.
The show’s run will end Saturday
Shows will begin at 7:30 p.m.
Crimes of the Heart stars Angela Collier, Finley Daniel, Laura Landfair, Jessica Mylonas, Austin Rodgers and Thomas Williams. It is directed by long time ACT associate Laura Grimes.
For tickets, please go to www.argentacommunitytheater.org/tickets or call John Broadwater at 501-353-1443.
CAC heads to soccer finals
Central Arkansas Christian is hoping the third time's the charm as the Lady Mustangs face Episcopal Collegiate for the 3A state soccer championship at 2 p.m. this Friday at the University of Central Arkansas.
The game, the third time the conference rivals have played this season, will be on the stripes at Estes Stadium, UCA’s football home.
CAC enters the match 10-3-1 with two of those losses to Episcopal (16-1) and the WIldcats lost the first match of the season back in March but have since reeled off 16 consecutive wins.
CAC is tied with Pulaski Academy for most state championships won with nine. And, as a matter of fact, Lady Mustangs cover the state record book as CAC’s Haley Hatcher is the state’s all-time leading goal scorer with 185 while sister Larkin Hatcher is first, naturally, in assists with 128. Both records were set from 2009 to 2012.
The game will be streamed on NFHS Network and tickets can be purchased by clicking here.
UCA does have a clear bag policy and check the graphic below to see what is allowed if you’re planning to go.
As for the forecast, as of Thursday morning, there’s a 75 percent of thunderstorms on Friday and, as is the case with soccer globally, teams can play in the rain, but not with lightning in the area. So some matches might be delayed due to the weather.
Friday is day two of the “Weekend of Champions” as a total of 20 state championships will be decided over a three-day stretch.
CAC is the only North of the River team to be playing for a title. But Maumelle baseball and CAC boys soccer both made it to the semifinals.
Baseball and softball championships will be televised live on Arkansas PBS.
Taylor beat Mount Ida, 9-3, in the first game of the day to be crowned the 1A state baseball champ.
State championships schedule
1A Baseball state champion: Taylor 9, Mount Ida 3
1 p.m.: 6A Baseball - Har-Ber vs. Bentonville
4 p.m.: 6A Softball - Bryant vs. Cabot
7 p.m.: 1A Softball - Taylor vs. Bradley
10 a.m.: 4A Girls Soccer - Robinson vs. Harding Academy
10 a.m.: 4A Baseball - Lonoke vs. . Ashdown
Noon: 6A Boys Soccer - Conway vs. Springdale
1 p.m.: 2A Softball - Mansfield vs. Riverside
2 p.m.: 3A Girls Soccer - Episcopal vs. Central Arkansas Christian
4 p.m.: 4A Softball - Gravette vs. Pea Ridge
4 p.m.: 5A Boys Soccer - Hot Springs Lakeside vs. Russellville
7 p.m.: 2A Baseball - Woodlawn vs. Palestine-Wheatley
10 a.m.: 4A Boys Soccer - Dardanelle vs. De Queen
10 a.m.: 3A Softball - Atkins vs. Booneville
Noon: 5A Girls Soccer - Pulaski Academy vs. Harrison
1 p.m.: 5A Softball - Greene County Tech vs. Benton
2 p.m.: 3A Boys Soccer - Green Forest vs. Haas Hall Bentonville
4 p.m.: 3A Baseball - Harding Academy vs. Rivercrest
4 p.m.: 6A Girls Soccer - Fayetteville vs. Bentonville
7 p.m.: 5A Baseball - Little Rock Christian vs. Valley View
Live stats for the softball and baseball championships can be found at aaa.statbroadcast.com
Date ... Opponent ... Result ... W-L
March 3: Greenbrier, 0-0
March 7: North Little Rock L 0-1
April 4: Episcopal, L 0-4
April 6: Maumelle Charter, W 2-0
April 14: Hermitage, W 7-0
Apr 17: Baptist Prep, W 8-0
Apr 18: Hermitage, W 8-0
Apr 25: Episcopal, L 3-4
Apr 28: Maumelle Charter, W 3-0
May 2: Lakeside, W 13-0
May 04: Baptist Prep, W 6-0
May 11: Decatur, W 4-0
May 12: Cossatot River, W 7-0
May 13: Green Forest, W 6-0 ...
Friday: Episcopal 2 p.m.
No. ... Player
2 … Carleigh Petlak
5 … Jordan Bales
6 ... Katherine Tuxhorn
10 ... Israel Hovater
11 ... Jordan Dodd
12 ... Livian Burton
14 ... Ally Koone
15 ... Piper Clements
16 ... Macy Wall
17 ... Abby Twitty
18 ... Adison Barham
20 ... Addyson Moseley
21 ... Hannah Lowe
24 ... Elise Hankins
25 ... Yasmine Hekmatpour
Coaches: Riley Sullivan, Head Coach and Brittany Axford, Assistant
No baseball at Dickey-Stephens this week
Road Trip: Now through Sunday, May 21 at Wichita
Six-game home stand against Frisco
Tuesday, May 23, 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, May 24, 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, May 25, 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, May 26, 7:05 p.m.
Fireworks: Presented By Tyson Foods
Saturday, May 27, 7:05 p.m.
Salute to Seattle & Jersey Auction
Kids Run the Bases: Presented By Museum of Discovery
Sunday, May 28, 6:35 p.m.
Memorial Day Fireworks
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.