The Spirit of Giving
Covid hits new heights as optimism wanes, All school districts have high rates of infections, Chad Gardner with the Maumelle City Council report, Lowery drops out plus news and sports headlines
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My bloody Valentine
It is hard to be optimistic these days.
The ongoing pandemic goes on and with no end in sight.
It feels like living in a horror movie where a sizable chunk of the population isn’t aware, or doesn’t care, that the zombies are knocking on the door.
The current numbers and the forecast projections are hard to wrap your head around.
Take this from the Centers for Disease Control and the report they issued today, Wednesday:
“This week’s national ensemble predicts that the number of newly reported COVID-19 deaths will likely increase over the next 4 weeks, with 9,800 to 35,700 new deaths likely reported in the week ending Feb. 12.”
Just in time for Valentine’s Day!
That’s actually optimistic from the CDC, the top-end forecast for weekly deaths, not the four-week total but weekly deaths is also roughly 35,000. That is clearly worst of the worse-case scenarios but is illustrated below:
The modeling and forecasting for Arkansas is bad. Really, really bad. As in break the chart, as the top-end models exceed the graphic, as seen below.
Weekly top-end numbers over 700 dead and four-week totals, well north of 12,000 and approaching the total number of Arkansans killed in war.
The Encyclopedia of Arkansas called the Civil War, “one of the greatest disasters in Arkansas history. More than 10,000 Arkansans — black and white, Union and Confederate — lost their lives.”
The state could be there next week.
In World War II, 3,814 Arkansans died with 409 dead in Korea and 397 killed in Vietnam. There’s memorials here and there to those 4,620 dead.
As of Tuesday afternoon, 9,452 Arkansas have died. The state has 1,487 currently hospitalized and of those people, 171 are on ventilators.
And while the total active cases have dropped to 88,938, there’s been a little more than 120,000 additional people in Arkansas who have gotten sick from Covid as the total cases now stands 687,989 as of Tuesday. On Jan. 2, that number was 567,824.
So what to do?
Wear a mask
Every school district has high rates of Covid-19 Infections
In a Thursday afternoon press release, the Arkansas Center for Health Improvement, said that for the first time, all of Arkansas’s 234 contiguous public school districts have Covid-19 infection rates of 50 or more new known infections per 10,000 district residents over a 14-day period, up from 226 ― the previous record high from last week ― as the ACHI cited its analysis of Arkansas Department of Health data current as of Monday.
Beginning last week, ACHI added a new color, pink, to the maps on its Covid-19 dashboard, available at achi.net/covid19, to signify an infection rate of 200 or more new known infections per 10,000 district residents over the past 14 days, or at least 2% of the district’s population. A district with 100 to 199 new known infections per 10,000 residents is shaded purple, and a district with 50 to 99 new known infections per 10,000 residents is shaded red.
The map released Thursday includes seven districts in red, 57 in purple, and 170, or 73% of districts, in pink. Last week, ACHI reported that 48 districts were in red, 120 were in purple, and 58 were in pink.
“Every school district being in red, purple, or pink on our map means that COVID-19 is spreading uncontrolled in all our communities.” said ACHI President and CEO Dr. Joe Thompson. “In nearly three-fourths of the districts, at least 2% of the local population is infected. In four districts, more than 5% of the population, or one out of every 20 people, is newly infected.”
To read more, click Every school district has high rates of Covid-19 Infections
5 things you should know about ‘Free’ at-home Covid tests
Need a Covid test?
Click here to order a free one.
MAUMELLE FOOTBALL: Kirk Horton had been pulling double duty at Maumelle High School as head football coach and athletics director. To read more, click Horton gives up football at Maumelle
CAC: Central Arkansas Christian will play host to two 3A-6 conference showdowns at Mustang Mountain on Friday night.. By Donna Lampkin Stephens and to read more click CAC looks ahead to Episcopal
This week's basketball games: The basketball schedule for Maumelle Charter, Maumelle, North Little Rock and Central Arkansas Christian.
Tracy Harris still needs our help: A GoFundMe has been started for Little Rock golfer Tracy Harris, who received a liver and kidney transplant at UAMS on Dec. 31 and Jan. 1. Harris's need for a transplant was detailed by Donna Lampkin Stephens last year and can be read by clicking Tracy Harris needs our help. As of Sunday, the GoFundMe drive had raised $26,798 to pay home health care for Harris. To donate, click here.
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Maumelle City Council report
Monday night’s Maumelle City Council meeting had a brief agenda with several items being tabled until future meetings.
The first item discussed tonight was a resolution in support of a local business project that is looking to locate in Maumelle. This resolution showed Maumelle’s support for the project and will enable the business to participate in the state of Arkansas’ Tax Back Program for an investment in our community. We’ve done this previously when businesses look to make a large investment in our community. There will be more to come on this very soon once the all the details are finalized.
Next on the agenda was the first reading of a request to rezone a parcel of property to Commercial 2 (C2), for a Senior Living Center to be constructed. This project would be located due south of First Security Bank along Crystal Hill Road.
Next on the agenda was the first reading of an ordinance to redraw Maumelle’s ward boundaries. There was no discussion on this item and it will not be voted on until the last meeting in February. You can view the proposed map by visiting the city’s website. Comments or questions are certainly welcome.
The last item of discussion was a budget resolution that would allocate $10,000 for personnel recruiting to the city’s budget. These funds will specifically be used to hire a consultant to assist with the city’s search for a new Fire Chief.
On that note, everyone is invited to attend a reception in honor of outgoing fire chief Gerald Ezell. It will be held this Friday, Jan. 21, in the south room of the Community Center from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.. Come say farewell to Ezell as he leaves Maumelle to return home and take over as Fire Chief in Joplin, Missouri. He will certainly be missed, and I’ve personally enjoyed a great friendship with him. We wish him well in his new endeavor!
Watch the Council meeting
Chad Gardner, 501-529-1336, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Spirit of Giving
It was a good Christmas as Arkansans stepped up and took care of others through programs like the Methodist Family Health Angel Tree.
That, said Kelli Reep, allowed people to choose children, “who will be in our care on Christmas Day who don't yet have a Christmas angel to provide them gifts for the holiday.”
Reep is communications director for the organization and said this past year’s Tree was successful.
“For the kids’ Christmas, we provided 250 children presents on Christmas Day,” Reep said and noted that a total of $37,000 was donated between purchased gifts shipped through Amazon as well as cash contributions.
“Last year, we served about as many,” Reep said. ”Both years, our donors provided gifts in our Methodist Behavioral Hospital in Maumelle, both our psychiatric residential treatment centers in Bono and Little Rock, our three therapeutic group homes in Little Rock, Helena-West Helena and Magnolia, therapeutic day treatment in Little Rock, Arkansas CARES babies and children in Little Rock, kids in our outpatient counseling clinics in Alma, Batesville, Fayetteville, Heber Springs, Hot Springs, Jonesboro, Little Rock and Magnolia, school-based counseling clinics in Harrisburg, Hot Springs, Jonesboro, Nettleton, El Dorado and Vilonia, and our Kaleidoscope Grief Center clients. While our locations are in these areas, we serve children and families throughout the state so our donors provided gifts to those in our care throughout the state.”
To her, the Tree was, “a huge success” and, “so far, we have been able to provide gifts for every child in our care on Christmas Day every year we have asked donors to participate. That’s our goal each year – to make sure each child in our care that day will” receive Christmas presents.
“With everything that has gone on the past two years – pandemic, inflation, quarantine – the fact our state’s citizens see the value in helping a child and his or her family know they are loved and cared for speaks to our spirit. Our children, families and everyone who works at Methodist Family Health is profoundly appreciative for these donors’ generosity.”