Welcome to the dog pound
City Council hears, rejects changes regarding banned breeds, Blessing of the Animals is Oct. 2, A full night of football this week, State now has 12,000 dead Arkansans from Covid plus headlines
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Save the Date
A Maumelle candidate forum sponsored by ArkansasNewsroom.com will be held Tuesday, Oct. 18 at the First Baptist Church of 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
An email to paid subscribers to submit questions was sent out Thursday morning. Please click the button at the bottom of that email and it will take you to a Google form where you can submit questions.
Oct. 10: Last day to register to vote. Click here for more.
Oct. 18: Maumelle Candidate Forum
Oct. 24: Early voting begins
Nov. 8: Election Day
Death toll makes big jump
I have forgotten what it was like to be sick.
The Dayquil in the morning, Nyquil at night routine that once seemed to be an annual thing, had gone missing for the last two years but like a dutiful person, I got booster No. 5 (!) and flu shot last Saturday at a trip to Costco and Sunday was fine but flu-like symptoms — low-grade fever, sore throat and voice that sounds like two packs and a fifth a day — emerged on Monday and have been around ever since.
But those are personal problems and pale in comparison to the news that Arkansas passed the 12,000 dead mark from the still ongoing pandemic.
I know President Joe Biden declared the pandemic to be over and while that garnered some rightful criticism, a more generous read would imply he meant Covid-19 had gone from pandemic to endemic, and that’s just something the survivors, such as they are, will have to live with.
The easiest ways to do that, are, of course, get vaccinated. Not quite 60 percent of the state, 5 and up, has but the booster, and the other booster and the other booster, lag dramatically behind at under 30 percent.
The best thing to do, would be to get a booster and a flu shot at the same time. Which is what I did.
Back to the state, the weekly death toll from the ongoing pandemic made a huge jump as the total number of dead Arkansans was at 58.
The previous week it was also at 26 and the week before that it was also 26.
The total number of dead Arkansans is now at 12,028.
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
Upcoming meetings: The North Little Rock City Council will meet next Monday night.
Upcoming events: Blessing of the Animals will be held Oct. 2. More details below
Maumelle: City Council report
This week’s headlines: Council approves zoning change for property along Murphy Drive; Reviews zoning and land use change for property along Hwy 365; Council rejects ordinance to ban certain breeds of dogs or those looking like certain breeds of dogs; Council approves issuance of Industrial Revenue Bonds for Tractor Supply.
This week’s meeting started off with a financial update for the city from Finance Director Liz Mathis. The city continues to be in a good financial position through eight months of the year. Revenues continue to exceed our budgeted forecast for 2022 and expenses are also below budget through the end of August. I would expect these trends to continue through the remainder of the year.
The first item of old business was a request to change the zoning and land use of a small parcel of property that’s located between Murphy Drive to the east and Commercial Park Drive to the west. The portion of the property facing Murphy will remain Industrial and the other half will move to Commercial zoning so that it can be merged into a larger piece of property to the west that’s zoned Commercial. This passed by a 5-4 vote of the council with Mayor Caleb Norris casting a deciding vote to pass the change. Note, only two council members voted “no” on this change. Two additional council members were not present for this vote which resulted in their votes being recorded as a “no.”
The second item of old business was a request to change the zoning for a parcel of land the city annexed into Maumelle last year along Hwy 365. The property owner annexed into Maumelle and was zoned R1 (single-family residences) at the suggestion of the city. Now a project has been proposed to build a mixture of single-family residences, and townhomes. This would require a different zoning. Additionally, this project would have extensive green space and trails for residents to use along with a proposed mountain bike trail in an old quarry on the property. This zoning request will be voted on at the first meeting in October.
Under new business, was an ordinance sponsored by Council Member Steve Mosley to ban certain breeds of dogs or any dog that conformed or substantially conformed in appearance to certain breeds of dogs.
As you may recall, the council voted (5-3) in 2021 to lift Maumelle’s ban on dog breeds. Last year we spent over two months discussing and debating this issue before deciding to lift the ban on breeds. The council had little appetite to make any changes to this law at our meeting.
Mosley made a motion to suspend the rules and have all three readings on this ordinance at one meeting which would have resulted in us voting on the issue immediately. This motion failed due to no other council members supporting the motion.
Following this, I made a motion to table the motion indefinitely, meaning this ordinance can not be brought up again unless five or more council members vote to bring it back from the table. There were a few minutes of back-and-forth debate on this, but the majority opinion of the council was that there was no need to revisit this issue when it comes to banning certain dog breeds. My motion to table the ordinance passed 5-3.
I will add that there was good discussion on reviewing our city’s code as it relates to fencing of properties and enforcing our current laws relating to keeping pets confined and on a leash when out in public. We can always review our current laws and make changes where we think it would help make the community safer by holding pet owners more responsible for securing their pets.
The majority of issues we have with pets in our community are due to them not being confined properly due to improper or damaged fencing and/or residents who let their pets go off leash when out for a walk. The breed of the dog has not been shown to be a causal factor in dog bites. When I initially looked at this issue back in 2019, Labrador Retrievers were one of the top breeds that were an issue in the city. However, we’d be laughed at as a city if we decided to ban Labs since they’re so popular and great family pets. Ultimately in my mind, breed has no bearing on whether a dog might bite someone, so banning certain breeds in the name of public safety just doesn’t add up.
Next in new business was an ordinance authorizing Industrial Revenue Bonds to be issued for the Tractor Supply Distribution Center that is currently being built in Maumelle. This ordinance authorizes the company to issue up to $190 million in bonds to pay for construction of their facility here in Maumelle. We routinely pass these for other large industrial projects in our city (Kimberly-Clark being one example), so the council heard all three readings of this ordinance and it passed by a 7-1 vote of the council.
That was the extent of the council’s agenda for this week. Please let me know if you ever have any questions. Thanks, Chad 501-529-1336, firstname.lastname@example.org
When dogs attack
Both North Little Rock and Maumelle have similar approaches to handling dog attacks.
North Little Rock Animal Services said, regardless of breed, the city’s policy was that a bite report would need to be filed before an investigation would commence.
Then investigators would speak to both the victim and the owner of the dog and the city emphasized that euthanization was not automatic for two reasons, first vaccinations and shot records for rabies would need to be recorded and then the dog would need to be observed for a minimum of 10 days as a check on diseases like rabies.
Maumelle’s process, through its Animal Services office, is virtually identical but since Pit Bull breeds aren’t banned there, the dog could be returned to its owner with some strict requirements on muzzling, housing and additional insurance, post-investigation if it had been determined that the dog was considered vicious or dangerous. Those requirements would also kick in if the dog was considered potentially dangerous.
In the recent dog attack case in Maumelle, where two Pit Bull breeds were there, one was euthanized as it was identified as the dog that had bit the victim, while the other was returned to its owner after it was determined it hadn’t bit the victim.
Blessing of the Animals to be Oct. 2
St. Nicholas Episcopal Church in Maumelle is having its annual Blessing of the Animals on Sunday, Oct. 2 at Lake Willastein.
This is a free event. Maumelle Friends of the Animals will be there as well.
This event is open to all animals from dogs to cats to birds and lizards. Even spiders (OK, spiders aren't animals, but you get the idea) and their humans.
Maumelle students recognized by College Board
Seven students from the Pulaski County Special School District, four who attend Maumelle High School, have been recognized by the College Board National Recognition Program.
These national recognition programs grant underrepresented students with academic honors that can be included on college and scholarship applications and connect students with universities across the country, helping them meaningfully connect to colleges and stand out during the admissions process.
The following students received an award:
William Crews, Maumelle High School, National Hispanic Recognition Award
"I am extremely thankful to have received this recognition,” Crews said. “I'm blessed to have an amazing support network that has helped me throughout my life, both in school and out."
Caroline Culpepper, Maumelle High School, National Rural and Small Town Recognition Award
"I am so happy to receive this award,” Culpepper said. “It feels good knowing that all the hard work I put into AP classes is resulting in something cool like this!"
William Hoffman, Maumelle High School, National Rural and Small Town Recognition Award
"I am honored to represent Maumelle on a national scale and would like to thank the teachers and staff who helped me receive this honor,” Hoffman said.
Andrew Pittman, Maumelle High School, National Rural and Small Town Recognition Award
"I am very honored to have received this award. I hope that this opens up more opportunities for my college choice."
Other students honored include:
Faith Kelly, Sylvan Hills High School, National African American Recognition Award
Kennedy Lucas, Joe T. Robinson High School, National African American Recognition Award
Uvee Wiggins, Sylvan Hills High School, National African American Recognition Award
Students who may be eligible have a GPA of 3.5 or higher and have excelled on the PSAT/NMSQT or PSAT 10, or earned a score of 3 or higher on two or more AP Exams; and are African American or Black, Hispanic American or Latina, Indigenous, and/or attend school in a rural area or small town.
Maumelle High School to have groundbreaking on Oct. 7
As part of its $11 million expansion, Maumelle High School will have a groundbreaking at 5 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 7 for its new athletics facilities.
The expanded facilities will include a track, indoor practice facility and fields for baseball and softball.
Among the people on hand for the groundbreaking will be:
Dr. Charles McNulty, Pulaski County Special School Dsitrict Superintendent
Jason Young, Maumelle High School Principal
Kirk Horton, Maumelle Athletics Director
James Whitley, a Maumelle student and athlete
The timeline for construction is that facilities will be ready November 2023.
Following the event, Maumelle will host county rival Joe T. Robinson in football with kickoff set for 7 p.m.
Football: 'Cats win thriller
It was a thriller, thriller yeah, as North Little Rock moonwalked past Little Rock Parkview, 28-27, in a double overtime game.
The Patriots, coached by former North Little Rock coach Brad Bolding, had entered the game as the No. 1 team in Class 5A, while North Little Rock was winless, but, it was still the ‘Cats that came out on top.
While, alas, there’s no Billie Jean for North Little Rock, the ‘Cats do have Malachi Gober and Torrance Moore at quarterback and running back, respectively.
They were the keys to the win as Gober hit Moore for an eight-yard touchdown pass in the second overtime, then Moore ran in the two-point conversion to set the final margin in a walk-off win that set-off a wild celebration on the field.
Central Arkansas Christian lost to Harmony Grove last Friday but the Mustangs look to right the ship with a trip to Little Rock Hall this week. The Warriors, once one of the most-feared teams in the state, had previously dropped down to 8-man football and this is the first season back for 11-man at Hall, and has yet to win a game.
Speaking of once feared, and maybe still, teams, Pine Bluff will be at Maumelle this Friday as the Zebras are in town in a game that would have been literally impossible not that many years ago.
The other game and back to the once feared is Little Rock Central as the formerly mighty Tigers are at North Little Rock. Central is currently on a 14-game losing streak that stretches back to the 2020 playoffs.
Pine Bluff at Maumelle
Records: Maumelle (2-1), Pine Bluff (2-1)
Streamer: Natural State Sports
Hootens.com Rankings: Maumelle is No. 14 in 5A while Pine Bluff is No. 21
Last week: Maumelle had last week off, while the Zebras got the first loss of the season last week against Vilonia.
For highlights click here.
Aug. 26: Maumelle 28, Sylvan Hills 27 (OT)
Sept. 1: Maumelle 35, Batesville 0
Sept. 9: White Hall 44, Maumelle 24
Friday: 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 Little Rock Hall
Records: CAC (0-4), Hall (0-3)
Hootens.com Rankings: CAC is No. 33 in 4A, while Hall is No. 47, last in the classification.
Last week: CAC lost to Harmony Grove last week as quarterback Grayson WIlson passed for a touchdown.
Aug. 26: Lonoke 41, CAC 13
Sept. 2: Perryville 35, CAC 31
Sept. 9: Bauxite 37, CAC 14
Sept. 16 Harmony Grove 35, CAC 14
Friday: At Little Rock Hall... 7 p.m. ... 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
Little Rock Central at North Little Rock
Records: North Little Rock (1-2), Central (0-3)
Hootens.com Rankings: North Little Rock is No. 8 in Class 7A, while Central is No. 16.
Last week: QB Malachi Gober passed for 150 yards and a touchdown in North Little Rock’s win. Gober averaged 10 yards a completion and has been extremely effficient this season running the ‘Cats offense.
For stats, click here.
Aug. 26: Little Rock Catholic 23, North Little Rock 6
Sept. 2: Fayetteville 28, North Little Rock 10
Sept. 16: North Little Rock 28, Little Rock Parkview 27 (2 OT)
Friday: Little Rock Central at North Little Rock ... 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.