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Maumelle Behavioral Hospital turns 20
PCSSD makes free summer meals available, 15 in the running to be North Little Rock's next football coach, live coverage of this week's state tournaments plus news and sports headlines
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As the high school state tournaments start this week, we’ll be posting daily roundups of the action and the links below are dynamic. So if you click them in the morning, they’ll show the games and matches being played that day and the bracket. But if you click the link in the evening, it will be a roundup of that day’s action. This live coverage is only for subscribers and will be posted Thursday, Friday and Saturday. So consider a subscription if interested.
BASEBALL ON BROADWAY is the new weekly newsletter that spotlights the Arkansas Travelers. It is published on Monday and click the link to give it a read.
Neal Moore is taking the week off.
Free weekly meal boxes will be made available to children and teenagers in Pulaski County through a federal program the Pulaski County Special School District has partnered with, their spokeswoman said on Wednesday morning.
The weekly meal boxes will include five breakfasts and five lunches and will be available for pickup at seven different school campuses in the district.
“We know summertime can sometimes be hard for families with no school,” said Regena English, the Student Nutrition Director for PCSSD. “We want to ensure that each student is provided with meals to help where we can. We encourage all families to come out to one of our summer locations and grab free meals for your student.”
The program will start on Monday, June 7 and continue through the summer. Families, even if their children aren’t enrolled in a PCSSD school, can receive a weekly meal box. Pickup times every Monday will be from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Pickup locations are:
Pine Forest Elementary: 400 Pine Forest Drive, Maumelle
Oak Grove Elementary: 5703 Oak Grove Road, North Little Rock
Harris Elementary: 4424 Highway 161 N, North Little Rock
Cato Elementary: 9906 Jacksonville-Cato Road, Sherwood
College Station Elementary: 4710 Frazier Pike, Little Rock
Landmark Elementary: 16712 Arch Street Pike, Little Rock
William Jefferson Clinton Elementary: 142 Hollywood Ave., Sherwood
Meals will be similar to those made available to students when schools pivoted to virtual, so a five day box would include:
Five heat-and-serve prepared home meals
Five cups of vegetables
Five cups of different fruit
10 ounces of grain items
10 cartons of milk
Five prepared breakfast entrees
Five cartons of juice
A typical breakfast would then be a sausage biscuit, half cup fruit, 4 ounces of juice and 8 ounces of milk,” she said for breakfast, while lunch might be chicken alfredo, green beans, orange glazed carrots, whole grain roll, half cup of fruit and 8 ounces of milk.
The Seamless Summer Feeding Program, district spokeswoman Jessica Duff explained, “allows school districts to provide free summer meals in low income areas during the traditional summer vacation periods” and “it is an extension of the National School Lunch Program, which is administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.”
The North Little Rock School District is hoping the third time's the charm as 15 have applied for the open head football coaching job at the high school.
The job became open last December when J.R. Eldridge unexpectedly left North Little Rock after just six months at the school to take the coaching job at Farmington High School in northwest Arkansas. Eldridge replaced Jamie Mitchell, who was at North Little Rock for five years.
In those six years, North Little Rock played for the 7A title five consecutive times, winning once.
The deadline to apply was Tuesday after the job was posted last Friday and this is the third time the district has sought applications and of the 15 current applicants, 13 have previously applied.
The newcomers are Joshua Jones and Richard Strickland. Jones is currently the head coach at Lamar High School and Strickland is a high school coach in Texas.
There’s three current North Little Rock assistant coaches who have again applied for the job and they are: Clint Reed, Blake Pizan and Randy Sandefur.
Pizan currently serves as offensive coordinator, while Sandefur coaches the defensive line and also serves as head baseball coach.
Pizan was briefly the head coach at Little Rock Central only to return to his previous school in a matter of weeks and has also served as interim head coach.
Maurice Moody and Steven Hampton both dropped out of the running and both had significant head coaching experience.
Moody is currently the head coach at Jacksonville High School and was previously coach at Little Rock McClellan, where he led the Lions to multiple state title game appearances and Hampton is at Nettleton High School and is a former assistant coach at the University of Central Arkansas. Tyrell Johnson and Bruce Munden were also both applicants in the second round and have dropped out.
The next School Board meeting is scheduled for May 20.
List of applicants
Josh Baldwin, Nevada School District
Evan Gay, Covenant Christian, Texas
Joshua Jones, Lamar High School
Brian Maupin, Joe T. Robinson
Blake Pizan, North Little Rock School District
William Pryor, Oklahoma Marietta H.S., Oklahoma
Eric Redmon, Little Rock School District
Clint Reed, North Little Rock School District
Jeffery Ridgle, North Little Rock School District
Randy Sandefur, North Little Rock School District
Todd Scott, Dumas School District
Charles Smithey, Calallen ISD, Texas
Richard Strickland, Paul Pewitt H.S., Omaha, Texas
Jamie Washington, Little Rock School District
Ron Young, Vilonia School District
Bold indicates new applicant
Monday was a big day for Maumelle’s Methodist Behavioral. The healthcare facility turned 20.
“Monday, that’s when we were founded and had our articles of incorporation approved,” said the hospital’s director of communications Kelli Reep of May 10, 2001. “So that is what we are using as our official anniversary, and then in September of that year, we did our official opening with a ribbon cutting.”
The ribbon cutting was held Sept. 14, 2001, and attended by then-mayor Burch Johnson, Lt. Gov. Win Rockefeller and Arkansas United Methodist Bishop Janice Huie, among others.
For the church-related facility, the ribbon cutting had a dual purpose, as the event was also a service of consecration.
Huie was also notably the first female bishop to serve in Arkansas, and during her tenure merged what were two church conferences into one.
Andy Altom was president and chief executive officer of the hospital then and still serves in that role now.
The building on Murphy Drive had previously been Charter Hospital, which closed in 1999, and was vacant before the Behavioral Hospital moved in.
A 2001 article in the Maumelle Monitor described the hospital as a "psychiatric residential youth treatment facility" and the Maumelle City Board, as the City Council was known then, approved a conditional use permit at its July 2, 2001 meeting.
Reep said that the Behavioral Hospital has 60 beds and 85 employees in Maumelle.
“For the entire continuum of care, we run anywhere between 425 to 1,000,” Reep added of the employee count that varies based on patient need.
The Behavioral Hospital is part of the larger Methodist Family Health, a state-wide organization with facilities and outreach across Arkansas. In addition to the Behavioral Hospital, there’s the Methodist Children’s Home, Methodist Counseling Clinics and Arkansas Center for Addictions Research, Education and Services or Arkansas CARES.
Another facility in Little Rock is also in the works in the Mike Millar Spiritual Life Center at the Methodist Children’s Home campus just north of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. The center will replace the original Children’s Home chapel and is named after the late Mike Millar, a prominent attorney in Searcy who was a long-time supporter of Methodist Family Health.
The Maumelle location focuses on “what we call acute and subacute, which is short-term stabilization and a little bit longer stabilization,” Reep said.
The larger system, Reep said, has, “residential treatment centers, psychiatric residential treatment centers, therapeutic group homes. We also have school-based and outpatient counseling clinics, so everything from inpatient to outpatient, residential to not residential, we have.”
The Behavioral Hospital is the most intensive level of care in the system and is the only hospital in the country certified in the “Teaching-Family Model.”
Acute care, Reep said, is intensive, in-patient and usually seven days.
“If a child is a danger to himself or someone else or maybe both,” Reep said. “That child can come to us for an acute admission. And we work with them to stabilize their behavior so they can either go home or go to another program like our sub-acute care, or to a therapy group home … wherever is best, with our goal being to get them back to the community.”
Sub-acute care is longer-term inpatient programs designed for children from 4 to 11 who are “struggling with chronic issues,” said the Behavioral Hospital’s website.
“We are licensed for acute care from 3 to 17, “ Reep said, “and that's both boys and girls.”
“Acute care is short-term stabilization,” Reep said. “Where the child is saying things like they wish they weren’t here and is suicidal or if they're talking about hurting someone else.”
Reep noted that suicide attempts or suicidal thoughts have trended up over the last year.
“I can't say it is because, but the pandemic certainly hasn't helped with uncertainty,” Reep said. “If you’re a child and maybe they have some problems but they’re going to school and walking a fine line but they’re doing OK, then, all of a sudden there’s a complete change of routine … that could throw them off.”
The ongoing pandemic has dominated life for the last year, and “you can't get away from it, Reep said. “It's on TV, all the time. It's on social media and it's on whatever, or wherever kids are talking. So now it follows you everywhere. It feels like you're always marked and it would be like you are always in the pool, swimming, and you can’t get out.”
Click here to see a nifty online timeline of the history of Methodist Family Health made by the organization.
Board of Directors of Methodist Family Health
Chairperson Bill Mann, Little Rock
Ritter Arnold, Marked Tree
Scott Beardsley, Paron
Harry Clerget, Little Rock
Dr. Charles Clogston, Little Rock
Russ Hannah, Jonesboro
Betty L. Hanson, Little Rock
Rev. Nathan Kilbourne, Sherwood
Rev. Michael Mattox, Rogers
Rev. C.E. McAdoo, Little Rock
Judge Robert McCallum, Hot Springs
W.A. McCormick, Little Rock
Bishop Gary Mueller, Little Rock
Jamilyn Noble, North Little Rock
Rev. Jim Polk, Little Rock
Neill Sloan, Lake Village
Don Weaver, Conway
Board of Directors of Methodist Family Health Foundation
Chairperson Misty Baugh, Little Rock
Andy Altom, Heber Springs
Ritter Arnold, Marked Tree
Linda Barnes, Little Rock
Laura Borg, Little Rock
Ray Dillon, Little Rock
Jim Duckett, Little Rock
Pam Gadberry, Little Rock
Clay Gordon, Conway
Jan Green, Little Rock
Marci Hall, Little Rock
Karla Hilburn, Little Rock
Arita Jewart, Little Rock
Becky Kossover, Little Rock
Rev. Annie Lankford, Little Rock
Sherry Rowbotham, Clarksville
Max Sharp, Little Rock
Cody Simon, Little Rock
Neill Sloan, Lake Village
Bill Spivey, Little Rock
Clefton Vaughan, Little Rock, emeritus
Don Weaver, Conway