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The view from here
Chad Gardner's Maumelle City Council report, a busy weekend ahead and the Hornets aim to stay perfect with White Hall in town plus headlines
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Save the Date
A Maumelle candidate forum sponsored by ArkansasNewsroom.com will be held Tuesday, Oct. 18 in Maumelle.
The candidates scheduled to appear are:
Maumelle Mayor: Incumbent Caleb Norris vs. Jodie Mahony
Maumelle City Council- Ward 1 - Position 1: David Cole vs. Christine Gronwald
State Representative, District 71: Republican Brandon Achor, Democrat John J. Pack and Libertarian Aaron Raatz
Pulaski County Sheriff: Incumbent Democrat Eric Higgins and Republican Paul “Blue” Keller
More details to come but paid subscribers to the site will be able to submit questions in advance for consideration to be asked at the forum.
Death toll drops
The weekly death toll from the ongoing pandemic dropped as the total number of dead Arkansans was at 26.
The previous week it was at 41 and the week before that it was 36.
The total number of dead Arkansans is now at 11,944.
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: Get vaccinated Get boosted Wear a mask Avoid crowds
The scene from here
SAN DIEGO – It is easy to forget how much a miracle modern-day travel is.
One can wake up in the morning and be anywhere in the United States that evening.
All it takes is time, money and an airline schedule lining out.
Such was the case this week when one wakes up "here" and is "there" that evening and the "there" happens to be a smoldering hot San Diego.
And by hot, I mean stupid hot. Well over 90 degrees every day so far. So hotter than Arkansas. Hotter than most places in the south.
On the other hand, the sandy beaches of the Pacific and the ocean breezes make up for the heat.
So, trade offs.
San Diego is just the first leg of this journey, as the long awaited and long-delayed, quest to visit all 50 states will be complete when a flight from here, Lord willing and Hurricane stays away, takes us from Southern California to Salt Lake City, and Utah, then a drive to Idaho with Yellowstone National Park as the destination.
Yellowstone has been a bucket list place to visit for as long as I can remember and, hopefully, the weather will hold up
Thinking about Yellowstone makes me remember Mike Watson though.
Watson, the former Maumelle mayor, had also long dreamed of a trip to Yellowstone and while serving as Mayor, he had arranged an anniversary trip there.
So, then the news broke that the Republicans in Congress had, in a feud over spending, shutdown the federal government. And knowing that he was there, I thought it was worth a call to see what he thought and if it interrupted his plans,
First, he was surprised he had cell phone service. Second, he knew the park was shut down because I reached him just as he and his wife rolled up to a locked gate and he could see the park but couldn't go in.
I've thought about that moment a lot over the years.
To be so close and still not being able to pull it off.
It seemed particularly acute the last two and going on three years of the still ongoing pandemic.
This is a very long way of saying that news coverage is a little skimpy this week and will be more of the same next week but, for now, Chad Gardner has an excellent summary from Tuesday night’s City Council meeting and there’s plenty of sports and news to go around.
Maumelle: City Council report
New Roundabout coming soon for White Oak Crossing, Pedestrian Crosswalk System for Odom, and Pickleball Courts!
To start off this week’s meeting, Mayor Caleb Norris gave a department report on projects his office is overseeing. There are a number of projects in the city at the moment, so I’ll go through the list and recap the items he mentioned.
The new roundabout for White Oak Crossing and Country Club Parkway has completed all engineering and design work. Currently the city is in the process of right of way acquisition and construction will hopefully begin by the end of the year.
The All-Inclusive Playground (to be located next to the splash pad) has had $300,000 in funding approved by the council. The city has applied for a $250,000 grant from the state which will allow us to fully fund and build the new playground. We should hear this Fall on whether the city was awarded the grant.
Construction on Crystal Hill Road is largely complete from Counts Massie westward to Maumelle Boulevard. Additionally, the council approved widening the sidewalk on a portion of this roadway from 8 feet to 12 feet to accommodate the Central Arkansas Greenway that will run along this roadway as it enters Maumelle.
The city is currently doing a study and design work on a redeveloped Club Manor corridor which would take the current 4 lanes down to 2 while adding a dedicated pedestrian pathway through downtown. This area would also become a part of the Central Arkansas Greenway. A new sidewalk would also join Club Manor to Lake Willastein providing easier flow for pedestrian traffic.
Gateway Park, to be located at the site of the old fire station and courts facility, has been discussed with a steering committee involving residents and city staff. They will soon be gathering additional input from residents on what amenities we would like to see at this new park.
A master Bike / Pedestrian Plan is currently in development for the city of Maumelle. A focus group of 15 residents will be doing intense work on this plan during the week of October 17-21.
New pedestrian crossing systems have been ordered for all crosswalks along North and South Odom. These new crossings will make our trail system much safer since it will allow for safer crossing of a busy street.
The mayor proposed a potential new trailhead park for the Central Arkansas Greenway to be located at city-owned, vacant property in front of Maumelle Center on the Lake on Club Manor. This site would serve as an entry-point to our trail system as well as provide overflow parking for Center on the Lake. More to come on this as the idea is further developed and presented to the council.
Pickleball Courts! The city is currently looking at different options for building new pickleball courts. The preferred idea at this point is to locate them on the south side of the Community Center next to Maumelle Charter Elementary.
Moving on to our regular council agenda, the first item of business was the approval of Phase 1 and 2 for Cypress Bend at Maumelle Crossing. This project had already been approved for phase 1, but they came back and asked for the full project to be approved so they could continue development. This passed 5-3.
The council heard the second reading of an ordinance that would change the land use and zoning of a property in our city. This small parcel is currently zoned Industrial and they are asking for it to be changed to Commercial so it can be merged with a larger neighboring commercial parcel.
In new business, the council approved using money from our street fund to pay for right-of-way acquisition in order to build the new roundabout at White Oak Crossing and CC Pkwy. This was approved by a 7-1 vote.
Also in new business, the council heard a proposal to change the zoning and land use of a parcel of property on the north side of town that was annexed into the city last year along Hwy 365. When the property owner annexed into the city last year, they requested it be zoned as R-1 (Residential) based on advice provided by city staff. Since then, a residential development project has been proposed that would require a different zoning and land use since they want to build a mixture of single-family housing to include a mixture of townhomes. This project is currently working its way through the planning commission so more details will be finalized later this month. The development would leave extensive green space of almost one third of the entire property. The developer is also planning an extensive pedestrian trail system to include a mountain bike course in an old rock quarry on the property.
The next item on the agenda was an ordinance that would tweak our planning regulations to require site plan review for Commercial projects in our city. Currently, site plan review is required in pretty much all other zoning districts, so this simply adds Commercial to the review process.
As I mentioned earlier from the Mayor’s department report, the council approved using $12,000 from our street fund to change the design for Crystal Hill Road improvements and widen the sidewalk from 8 to 12 feet in an area between Park on the River and Maumelle Boulevard. This change was necessitated by the Central Arkansas Greenway coming through Maumelle and we wanted to have a pathway that would be wider and allow for easier pedestrian traffic flow. This was approved by a 7-1 vote.
The last item on the agenda was a resolution allowing the mayor to enter into an agreement with a national cooperative procurement organization. These types of agreements are common in cities so we can utilize these procurement groups to provide us with better pricing on goods and services. This was approved 7-1.
That’s all for the council agenda this week. The planning commission will be discussing several new projects in our city at their regular meeting this month and many of those will find their way to the council agenda in October. The planning commission will meet Thursday, Sept. 22 at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall.
If you have any questions or concerns, please let me know! Thanks, Chad 501-529-1336, firstname.lastname@example.org
ASBTDC's Horvath wins national recognition
SAN DIEGO – Brandon Horvath, below, is one of the Top 40 Under 40 Young Professionals in the America’s Small Business Development Centers national network.
America’s SBDC launched the 40 Under 40 award this year to recognize outstanding young SBDC staff from across the nation who demonstrate innovation, leadership, and commitment to the SBDC mission.
The inaugural 40 Under 40 class was announced in conjunction with the 43rd Annual America’s SBDC Conference taking place this week in San Diego.
Click All Winners to see a complete list of the winners.
Horvath is the consulting manager at the Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.
KAISER HEALTH NEWS — KHN senior correspondent Samantha Young appeared on CBS News to discuss her exclusive coverage of the death of Lori McClintock, the wife of Northern California congressman Tom McClintock.
When Lori McClintock died in December 2021, what caused her death wasn’t clear. The original death certificate, dated Dec. 20, 2021, listed the cause of death as “pending.”
Upcoming meetings: The North Little Rock School Board will meet tonight while the North Little Rock City Council will meet next Monday night
Upcoming events: The Firefighter Challenge is this weekend in North Little Rock and the Great Arkansas River Cleanup is this Saturday. More details below.
Auditions set for White Christmas and The Producers: The Argenta Community Theater will be having auditions in September for its upcoming productions of White Christmas and The Producers. They’ll be held this weekend with Saturday starting at 1 p.m. and Sunday starting at 2 p.m. Both auditions are scheduled to last three hours. They’ll be held at 405 Main St., in downtown North Little Rock. To schedule an audition time, please email: casting@ArgentaCommunityTheater.org. Walk-ins will be accommodated on a first come first serve basis.
Travs still in Texas
The season is nearly complete with the Travs playing in Amarillo this week and a return to North Little Rock’s Dickey-Stephens Park for the last series of the year next week when Corpus Christi comes to town.
Today... 6:05 p.m. ... at Amarillo
Friday ... Sept. 9 ... 7:05 p.m. ... at Amarillo
Saturday ... Sept. 10 ... 7:05 p.m. ... at Amarillo
Sunday ... Sept. 11 … 1:05 p.m. ... at Amarillo
Tuesday ... Sept. 13 ... 6:35 p.m. ... vs. Corpus Christi; Promotions: Bald Is Beautiful Night and Mug Club
Wednesday ... Sept. 14... 6:35 p.m. ... vs. Corpus Christi; Promotions: Dog Days Of Summer
Thursday ... Sept. 15... 6:35 p.m. ... vs. Corpus Christi; Promotions: $3 Thirsty Thursday
Friday ... Sept. 16 ... 7:05 p.m. ... vs. Corpus Christi; Promotions: Fireworks and Oktoberfest Weekend
Saturday ... Sept. 17 ... 7:05 p.m. ... vs. Corpus Christi; Promotions: Oktoberfest Weekend and Beer Mug Giveaway
Sunday ... Sept. 18 … 1:35 p.m. ... vs. Corpus Christi; Promotions: Oktoberfest Weekend and Operation: Military Appreciation
Football: Maupin has Hornets buzzing
Maumelle coach Brian Maupin is in only his first year as a head coach but he has the Hornets of to a 2-0 start after walloping Batesville last week.
Central Arkansas Christian travels to Bauxite this week, while North Little Rock has the week off.
Both teams are 0-2 to start the year.
White Hall at Maumelle
Records: Maumelle (2-0), White Hall (1-1)
Streamer: Natural State Sports
Hootens.com Rankings: Maumelle No. 10 in 5A, while White Hall is No. 18.
Last week: Maumelle beat Batesville 35-0 last week as in overtime last Friday night as quarterback Weston Pierce threw for 190 yards and two touchdowns in the win. Pierce has now thrown for 420 yards and four touchdowns this season. This is the conference opener for Maumelle this week as the league has nine teams.
For highlights click here.
Aug. 26: Maumelle 28, Sylvan Hills 27 (OT)
Sept. 1: Maumelle 35, Batesville 0
Friday: White Hall at Maumelle ... 7 p.m. ... Conference
Sept. 23: Pine Bluff at Maumelle ... 7 p.m. ... Conference
Sept. 30: At Mills ... 7 p.m. ... Conference
Oct. 7: Robinson at Maumelle... 7 p.m. ... Conference
Oct. 14: At Morrilton ... 7 p.m. ... Conference
Oct. 21: Watson Chapel at Maumelle ... 7 p.m. ... Conference
Oct. 28: At Vilonia ... 7 p.m. ... Conference
Nov. 4: At Beebe ... 7 p.m. ... Conference
For the roster, click here.
CAC at Bauxite
Records: CAC (0-2), Bauxite (1-1)
Hootens.com Rankings: CAC is No. 32 in 4A, while Bauxite is No. 22.
Last week: CAC last to Perryville, 35-31, last week, as quarterback Grayson WIlson passed for 219 yards and four touchdowns in the loss. To watch Wilson’s highlights, click here. The Mustangs open conference play with a trip to Bauxite this week.
Aug. 26: Lonoke 41, CAC 13
Sept. 2: Perryville 35, CAC 31
Sept. 9: At Bauxite ... 7 p.m. ... Conference
Sept. 16: Harmony Grove at CAC ... 7 p.m. ... Conference
Sept. 23: At Little Rock Hall... 7 p.m. ... Non-conference
Sept. 30: Mayflower at CAC ... 7 p.m. ... Conference
Oct. 7: Pottsville at CAC ... 7 p.m. ... Conference
Oct. 14: At Clinton ... 7 p.m. ... Conference
Oct. 21: Dover at CAC ... 7 p.m. ... Conference
Nov. 4: At Lamar ... 7 p.m. ... Conference
For the roster, click here
North Little Rock has the week off
Record: North Little Rock (0-2)
Hootens.com Rankings: North Little Rock is No. 8 in Class 7A.
Last week: North Little Rock lost at Fayetteville, 28-10
For stats, click here.
Aug. 26: Little Rock Catholic 23, North Little Rock 6
Sept. 2: Fayetteville 28, North Little Rock 10
Sept. 16: Little Rock Parkview at North Little Rock ... 7 p.m. ... Non-conference
Sept. 23: At Little Rock Central ... 7 p.m. ... Conference
Sept. 30: At Conway ... 7 p.m. ... Conference
Oct. 7: Little Rock Southwest at North Little Rock ... 7 p.m. ... Conference
Oct. 14: At Jonesboro ... 7 p.m. ... Conference
Oct. 21: At Fort Smith Northside... 7 p.m. ... Conference
Oct. 28: Bryant at North Little Rock ... 7 p.m. ... Conference
Nov. 4: Cabot at North Little Rock ... 7 p.m. ... Conference
For the roster, click here.