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The Big Split
Arkansas Legislature takes up Congressional redistricting, North Little Rock's Smith picks Arkansas basketball, School Covid numbers trending down plus news and sports headlines
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MAUMELLE: If it wasn’t for bad luck, Maumelle would have no luck at all. The Hornets, now 1-4 on the season, are finally back at home this Friday night when Maumelle hosts Beebe in a 5A-Central game. It will also be, fittingly enough, Homecoming at the high school. Read more by clicking Hornets home for Homecoming
NORTH LITTLE ROCK: North Little Rock’s defense allowed minus 6 yards rushing to Little Rock Central as the ‘Cats won, 35-6, to open up 7A-Central conference play. They will host Conway this Friday in a key matchup. Read more by clicking ‘Cats roll past Central, host Conway this Friday
CAC: Central Arkansas Christian’s football Mustangs will attempt to right their 2-4A ship Friday when they travel to Mills University Studies in Little Rock. Tommy Shoemaker’s team is 2-2 after opening conference play last week with a 50-20 loss to Clinton. By Donna Lampkin Stephens and read more by clicking CAC travels to undefeated Mills this Friday
Neal Moore is taking the week off.
North Little Rock’s Smith picks Hogs
North Little Rock guard Nick Smith Jr. made it official on Wednesday night and committed to play college basketball next season at the University of Arkansas.
Smith, the No. 6 prospect in the country, is a 6-foot-4, athletic guard and announced his intentions live to a television audience.
The announcement set off a wild celebration at the home of Arkansas basketball coach Eric Musselman.
Smith chose Arkansas over Auburn, Alabama and the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. He's the second North Little Rock senior to commit to play D-I basketball as 7-foot center Kel'el Ware picked Oregon earlier this year and probably won’t be the last either as the ‘Cats are loaded.
Smith's father, Nick Sr., also played D-I basketball at Jacksonville State in Alabama.
After a brief, mostly asymptomatic spike, the Covid case count at local schools is trending back down.
The Academics Plus System, which includes the Maumelle Charter and Scott Charter elementary schools as well as Maumelle Charter High School, reported the previous week that Maumelle Charter Elementary had seven cases but it and the other schools in the system are now below the threshold of 5 to report cases per campus.
Maumelle Charter High … N/A
Maumelle Charter Elementary … N/A
Scott Charter … N/A
The Pulaski County Special School District released numbers on Monday for the previous week and that report can be viewed by clicking here.
The five schools considered feeders for Maumelle are Crystal Hill, Oak Grove and Pine Forest elementaries as well as Maumelle Middle and High School.
That report shows a total of 21 students and staff in quarantine.
The school breakdown follows.
School ... Student Positive ... Staff Positive ... Student Quarantine ... Staff Quarantine ... Total Out
Crystal Hill Elementary ... 1 ... 0 ... 5 ... 0 ... 6
Oak Grove Elementary ... 0 ... 0 ... 0 ... 0 ... 0
Pine Forest Elementary ... 0 ... 0 ... 2 ... 0 ... 2
Maumelle Middle ... 0 ... 0 ... 0 ... 0 ... 0
Maumelle High ... 2 ... 0 ... 11 ... 0 ... 13
The Arkansas Department of Health report from Monday, Sept. 27, shows a total of 44 active cases across the Academics Plus system, Pulaski County Special and North Little Rock school districts.
District … Active Cases … Cumulative Faculty/Staff … Cumulative Student … Cumulative Total
Academics Plus … 5 … - …. - …. 53
PCSSD … 19 … 28 … 165 … 234
North Little Rock … 20 … 20 … 110 … 153
North Little Rock School District is doing a daily dashboard that was updated on Wednesday, Sept. 29 and it can be found be clicking here:
Total Number of Employees Testing Positive … 4
Total Number of Employees in Quarantine due to School Exposure … 0
Total Number of Employees in Quarantine due to Outside Exposure … 1
Total Number of Students Testing Positive … 15
Total Number of Students in Quarantine due to School Exposure … 33
Total Number of Students in Quarantine due to Outside Exposure … 30
While the Arkansas State Senate was busy on Wednesday carving North Little Rock and Maumelle into chunks, the Arkansas House was also working on its own bill.
State Rep. Nelda Sparks, a Republican of Mountain Home, is the lead sponsor of HB 1971 and has eight co-sponsors.
The proposed map, below, would send five voting precincts in Pulaski County to the 4th, but the remainder of the county would stay in the 2nd.
The five precincts, all in the southeast corner of the county, are:
130 - Wilma J. Walker Civic Center
131 - Mills Middle School
132 - New Haven United Methodist Church
133 - Wrightsville City Hall
135 - Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church
The counties making up the district are: Conway, Faulkner, Perry, Pulaski, Saline, Van Buren and White and mostly leaves the 2nd intact.
The state-wide map is seen below.
Redistricting is on the agenda for today’s hearings at the state capitol but the state senate is currently debating eliminating at-will employment in Arkansas in what has already been a chaotic morning.
>> This story will be updated as needed here
In other coverage
At the opening legislative hearing on Congressional redistricting in Arkansas on Tuesday afternoon, things got worse for North Little Rock and Maumelle instead of better. To read more click Proposed North Little Rock, Maumelle split widens and State Senator Jane English said the division was 'not acceptable'
At a Wednesday morning meeting of Metroplan, the organization voted for a Congressional redistricting map that would keep the Little Rock Metropolitan Statistical Area and the Northwest Arkansas MSA, along with Fort Smith, in two congressional districts, with the rest of the state being divided between the 1st and 4th districts. To read more click Metroplan votes to keep Pulaski County together as opposition emerges on plan to split state's largest county into three Congressional districts
When the Arkansas State Legislature returns for a special session this week, on the agenda is Congressional redistricting. Several maps have been proposed by various state legislators. As it stands now, North Little Rock and Maumelle are in the same congressional district but that wouldn’t be the case with maps proposed by Republicans Alan Clark and Bart Hester. To read more click here.