Lyon College's big plan
Maumelle City Council report, Planning Commission meets tonight, All-Star games start this Friday at UCA plus headlines
Note to subscribers: An annual or monthly subscription is billed to your debit or credit card as ARKANSAS.SUBSTACK.COM and if you have questions, please email email@example.com. Thanks for reading and subscribing!
Death toll ticks down
The weekly death toll from the ongoing pandemic slowly ticked down as the total number of dead Arkansans was at 24.
The previous week it was at 17 and the week before that it was 23.
The total number of dead Arkansans is now at 11,552
As for the national trends, the forecast numbers from the Centers for Disease Control are below and through July 16.
As the weekly death toll has stayed relatively steady, the forecasts are calling for more as all show an increase over the next four weeks with numbers exceeding 12,000 total deaths.
If you don’t want to get sick and die, there’s some things you can do: Get vaccinated Get boosted Wear a mask Avoid crowds
Upcoming meetings: The North Little Rock School Board will have a special meeting tonight, while the North Little Rock City Council will meet Monday night.
SHINE-ola to be July 14: The Inaugural SHINE-ola will be held on Thursday, July 14 at South on Main. The show will start at 6 p.m. and is scheduled to run for four hours. The address for South on Main is 1304 Main St., in Little Rock. Tickets are $7 and can be purchased by calling 501-244-9660 or at the door the day of the show.
There’s now a one-stop shop to learn about vaccination sites and other Covid related information. Click here to learn more.
The Arkansas High School Coaches Association All Star games return to live competition this Friday for the first time since 2019. The games in 2020 and 2021 were all cancelled due to the ongoing pandemic. For more, click All Star Games back at UCA this Friday
Travs on the road
The Arkansas Travelers are at home this week and facing Frisco. There’s a game tonight and game through Sunday at North Little Rock’s Dickey-Stephens Park.
Today ... 6:35 p.m. ... vs. Frisco; Promotions: $3 Thirsty Thursday
Friday ... June 24 ... 7:05 p.m. ... vs. Frisco; Promotions: Fireworks and Noche De Diamantes
Saturday ... June 25 ... 7:05 p.m. ... vs. Frisco; Promotions: 501 Hat Giveaway and Kids Run The Bases
Sunday ... June 26 … 1:35 p.m. ... vs. Frisco; Promotions: Operation: Military Appreciation and Family Sunday
Tuesday ... June 28 ... 7:05 p.m. ... at Tulsa
Wednesday ... June 29 ... 7:05 p.m. ... at Tulsa
Thursday ... June 30 ... 7:05 p.m. ... at Tulsa
Friday ... July 1 ... 7:05 p.m. ... at Tulsa
Saturday ... July 2 ... 7:05 p.m. ... at Tulsa
Sunday ... July 3 ... 6:05 p.m. ... at Tulsa
Maumelle Planning Commission to meet
The Maumelle Planning Commission will have its regular monthly meeting at 6:30 p.m. tonight at City Hall.
The agenda, a light one, can be viewed by clicking here.
Maumelle: City Council Report
This week’s agenda was light, but we started off the meeting reviewing May’s financials. Through five months of the year, the city’s finances continue in a strong position. Revenue has exceeded budget for the year and expenses are below budget through May.
The council approved the sale of a 2010 model police car that is no longer used and the cost to repair is more than it’s worth.
The second agenda item was a budget resolution to purchase cloud-based software that the city will use for Human Resources and Payroll functions. Maumelle currently uses paper for many of these payroll and HR functions and it’s important that we modernize how we do business. This transition to cloud-based software will offer tremendous time-savings as well since payroll is currently prepared manually by multiple city staff and department heads. This resolution passed unanimously.
The last agenda item was a resolution to change the issuance and fee structure for boring, excavations, and/or cuts in city rights-of-way. Our existing permit process was a simple $25 fee no matter how large or small the project. Due to all the broadband work currently going on in Maumelle, city staff has had to spend a large amount of time following up on permits and it’s clear our current fee structure isn’t covering the city’s costs. The new fee schedule more accurately reflects the cost for city staff to review and follow-up on permits. This was approved unanimously.
During council member comments, there was another lengthy discussion regarding the city’s relationship with Maumelle Friends of the Animals (MFOA).
Mayor Caleb Norris explained how the city immediately began an investigation once they learned of the accusations of funds being stolen from this local non-profit in late 2021. He said the city also has safeguards in place to make sure we are not collecting donations for MFOA so that there’s no confusion among city residents who think they might be donating to Maumelle Animal Services. Council Member Steve Mosley made a motion that we sever all ties with MFOA for a period of at least 6 months. This generated a lot of discussion among all the council members.
Personally, I felt that punishing MFOA would be placing the blame on volunteers who had nothing to do with the alleged crimes. Numerous Maumelle residents support our animal shelter and other animal organizations. They have a heart to serve the animals in our community and many of those volunteers attended the meeting this week. They did nothing wrong and want to continue helping with our animal shelter. The individuals accused of stealing money from MFOA will have their day in court, but I don’t think it’s necessary to punish the other volunteers who want to continue serving. Severing ties with MFOA would only make it more difficult for the city to take care of our animals and find adoptive homes for them. Most of the other council members made similar comments.
Ultimately, Council Member Mosley’s motion to sever ties with MFOA failed by a 2-6 vote.
One final note from the meeting I’ll share is that the All-Inclusive Playground Committee will be hosting a meeting on Thursday, June 30 from 6-7:30 p.m. at the Jess Odom Community Center. This meeting will be held to solicit feedback on proposed designs for the all-inclusive playground as well as receive input on what residents want to see included in this new park. I’ve enjoyed being a part of the splash pad and all-inclusive playground project and look forward to seeing this completed soon. Please come to the meeting next week if you’d like to see the proposed design and offer input.
Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns. Chad, 501-529-1336, firstname.lastname@example.org
Meeting on All-Inclusive playground set
The city of Maumelle will have a public meeting on the proposed All-Inclusive playground on Thursday, June 30.
The meeting will be held at the Jess Odom Community Center and is scheduled to start at 6 p.m.
City Clerk Tina Timmons said in an email that, “the purpose of the meeting is to identify potential inclusive playground needs and priorities. Following the identification process, city officials will select those priorities to be submitted to the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism for an Outdoor Recreation Matching Grant application. Ethnic minorities, persons with disabilities, senior citizens, and special interest groups are encouraged to attend and participate.”
Comments can also be emailed to the city’s Park & Recreation Department at Phillip@maumelleparksandrec.com.
EDUCATION: Lyon College names spring 2022 Dean's List
Lyon College in Batesville recently released its Dean’s list for the spring 2022 semester with 128 students
Student’s must earn a 3.75 or higher GPA and take a minimum of 12 credit hours that semester to appear on the list.
North of the River students include:
Alexander W. Holzwarth, Maumelle
Hannah L. Walz, Maumelle
Elizabeth Atkinson, North Little Rock
Alabama names Dean’s President’s lists
A total of 11,224 students enrolled during Spring Semester 2022 at The University of Alabama were named to the dean's list with an academic record of 3.5 (or above) or the president's list with an academic record of 4.0 (all A's).
The UA dean's and president's lists recognize full-time undergraduate students. The lists do not apply to graduate students or undergraduate students who take less than a full course load.
North of the River students listed include:
Kaitlin Arnold of Maumelle
Zane Carson of Maumelle
Missouri State names spring 2022 dean's list
Each semester, students at Missouri State University who attain academic excellence are named to the dean's list.
For undergraduate students, criteria include enrollment in at least 12 credit hours during the spring semester and at least a 3.50 grade point average (on a 4.00 scale).
More than 4,700 students were named to the spring 2022 dean's list.
North of the River students who made the list include:
Rebecca Forrest of Maumelle
Sarah Huey of Maumelle
Abigail Smith of Maumelle
Wildwood seeks child actors for Oliver
The Wildwood Park for the Arts is putting on Oliver this fall and they’re looking for actors.
Specifically child actors to play the Artful Dodger, Oliver, as well as a child ensemble.
The Artful Dodger needs to be between 13 to 17 who is also a strong singer with some dance experience. The part can be played by a boy or girl.
Oliver would be a boy between the ages of 9 and 13 who is a strong singer with an unchanged voice, who also has some dance experience.
The ensemble members need to be between 8 to 13 who have treble voices and also have some dance experience. These parts can be played by any gender.
Auditions are this Saturday at the Cabe Theater at Wildwood in rural west Little Rock. It will start at 10 a.m. and continue until 6 p.m.
To schedule an audition, email Zachary Rhodes at email@example.com, who can also provide instructions on what to bring.
Rehearsals for Oliver will start on Sunday, Aug. 16 with the first performance being held on Oct. 14. It will be directed by Bevan Keating and choreographed by Moriah Patterson. Supporting and main roles are paid positions. Ensemble and children’s roles will receive honorariums.
Adult auditions will be held later this summer.
Lyon College plans will reshape downtown Little Rock
As the sound of bagpipes greeted visitors, Lyon College laid out ambitious plans for its new campus in downtown Little Rock.
The Batesville-based liberal arts college announced in April of this year they’d be starting an Institute of Health Sciences that would include dental and veterinary schools in Little Rock.
Then came the news in May that Lyon had entered into an agreement to purchase the Heifer International campus that sits adjacent to the Clinton Presidential Library. The Heifer campus has multiple buildings with a total of 94,000 square feet, mostly in a four-story building that was completed in 2006.
Now it is June and Lyon’s plans are coming into a sharper focus as school president, Dr. Melissa Taverner, was in town last Saturday to have a meet and greet with alumni and stakeholders to discuss both those upcoming plans as well as the school’s sesquicentennial celebration that will be held this fall.
Taverner, who replaced Dr. Joey King earlier this school year, has moved quickly to make her mark at Lyon and what’s planned will reshape downtown Little Rock.
The dental and veterinary schools will each have incoming freshman classes of 150 students with a projected start in the fall of 2024, roughly two years away.
Both programs will be four-year schools, but Taverner said, the last two years, or final three semesters will be held off-site as students enter into clinical rotations.
That would mean by year three, with faculty and staff, the campus head count would be roughly 800, or about the same number of people in Batesville, and doubling the college’s total enrollment.
Taverner, cup of coffee in hand, said Heifer Village, the one-story structure by the main building and currently home to event space and a gift shop would become the new school’s student center, while the Lyon would occupy the first two floors of the main building with plans to eventually take over the third floor as well. The fourth floor would remain as office space for Heifer and the Clinton Foundation.
The number of students would mean a need for walkable housing as well as nearby places to eat that would serve the campus community.
The addition of the dental and veterinary schools fill a dramatic need for both in Arkansas. The state currently ranks 51st in dental health and 49th in the country in vet-to-population ratio.
>> First in an ongoing series