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What a pickle!
Night of Hope is tonight, Groundbreaking at Maumelle High School is Friday, Chad Gardner with the Maumelle City Council report and the Candidate Forum will be Oct. 18 plus football and headlines.
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Forum to be held Oct. 18
ArkansasNewsroom.com will sponsor a municipal race candidate forum on Tuesday, Oct. 18 at the First Baptist Church in Maumelle.
The forum is scheduled to start at 6:30 p.m. and will be moderated by Neal Moore, a public relations consultant and columnist for the site and Jeremy Peppas, who is the site's editor.
The forum will feature four races of interest to Maumelle and Pulaski County. The candidates who have accepted the invitation to speak 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: Brandon Achor (R), John J. Pack (D) and Aaron Raatz (L)
Pulaski County Sheriff: Incumbent Eric Higgins (D) and Republican Paul “Blue” Keller (R).
Those attending are asked to not bring candidate signs, literature or imprinted clothing.
An email to paid subscribers to submit questions was previously sent out. Please click the button at the bottom of that email and it will take you to a Google form where you can submit questions.
Monday, 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 keeps climbing
It was another “Holy s**t” moment this when checking the latest Covid numbers from the Arkansas Department of Health.
For the last two and counting years, I’ve set aside a portion of my work day to look at the Dashboard with the latest numbers on Cvoid cases and deaths.
And, until recently, the numbers had been staying fairly stable with July and August sticking in the 20s and 30s.
As an aside, Covid has so normalized death that thinking just 34 people dead this week when if it was a tornado that had killed that many people, it would have been an unthinkable tragedy with #ArkansasStrong t-shirts for sale as a fundraiser and local TV broadcasting live. Instead you get dirty looks for wearing a mask to the grocery store.
It makes you want to scream.
Back to the more recent horror. The total number of dead Arkansans was 104. It was 103 last week. Last week was the single increase since March 24. This week it was one more.
The real horror is when you dive into the numbers. The total number of dead Arkansans is now at 12,235 but of that, 10,876 are 55 and over.
For those 65 and over, it is 9,052 people or roughly two percent of the state’s older population.
That is an awful lot of grandparents and great grandparents who have died. And an incalculable loss that will have generational impact. Covid has already changed how we live now but it has also changed how we’ll live decades from now.
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 Tax Man (woman in this case) Cometh: The Pulaski County Property Tax deadline has been extended to Monday, Oct. 17 and paying has been made easier.
ICYMI: 50 by 50-ish
Upcoming meetings: The North Little Rock School Board will meet tonight and the North Little Rock City Council will meet next Monday night.
Upcoming events: A Night of Hope is tonight and a groundbreaking this Friday at Maumelle High School. More details below. Not happening this weekend is Litfest in Little Rock as the shoddily planned event was cancelled because, well, for lots of reasons. To read more about why, check out Matt Campbell’s Blue Hog Report. What is happening this weekend is the Turkish Food Festival, It starts at 11 a.m. on Saturday and will be held at the Arkansas Culture and Dialog Center, 1501 Market St, Little Rock.
Something to read: Former Washington Post writer Radley Balko dropped a two-year investigation into a 1990s murder conviction in Fordyce. Check it out by clicking below…
Maumelle High School to have groundbreaking this Friday
As part of its $11 million expansion, Maumelle High School will have a groundbreaking at 5 p.m. this 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 District 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 by November 2023.
Following the event, Maumelle will host county rival Joe T. Robinson in football with kickoff set for 7 p.m.
A Night of Hope is tonight
The Arkansas Single Parent Scholarship Fund will recognize the Central Arkansas community and single parents’ success this tonight at its annual fundraiser, A Night of Hope.
The event will begin at 6 p.m. tonight at the Junior League of Little Rock, 401 Scott St. Emcees are Ansley Watson of KATV and Rusty Hart of Immanuel Baptist Church.
Dinner is from The Root Cafe and the night will also include music by Don Nichols and online auction, among others.
To bid in the auction, click here.
A Night of Hope will also honor six people and organizations for their work.
School of the Year: Baptist Health College Little Rock. BHCLR has helped so many of ASPSF’s single parents graduate and be prepared for professional employment.
Educator of the Year: Christa Jones. Jones is the Director of Nursing Programs at the University of Arkansas-Pulaski Technical College. She is a dedicated instructor who wouldn’t let recipient Lashawn B. give up on her academic dreams.
Employer of the Year: Leah Redmon. Redmon is the Chief District Court Clerk at Saline County, and she has been a mentor for recipient Kiara C. for five years as Kiara studies and prepares for a career in criminal justice.
Bonnie Nickol Volunteer of the Year: Bridget R. Bridget is a nurse at two Little Rock hospitals and tutors single parent students studying nursing by helping them not only gain technical knowledge but also test-taking confidence.
Alum of the Year: Racheal Williams. Williams is a fall 2021 Arkansas State University graduate who teaches third grade at LISA Academy in North Little Rock. She is also studying for her master’s degree in teaching and has maintained a 4.0 GPA in her graduate studies.
Student of the Year: Raquelle Roulette. Roulette graduated this spring from Pulaski Tech with a 4.0 GPA and is also an entrepreneur, author, and online student at the University of Arkansas working on her bachelor’s in business.
More information about A Night of Hope can be found on www.aspsf.org/anoh
Maumelle: City Council report
Council approves zoning, land use, and preliminary development plan for new Stone Canyon Development on Hwy 365; Council reviews proposed changes to fees and fines for pet owners; Council approves purchase of property for new roundabout at White Oak Crossing; Mayor Caleb Norris gives proposal for Pickleball Courts.
This week’s council meeting started off with multiple ordinances to change the zoning and land use of property along Hwy 365 to allow for a development called Stone Canyon.
Last year, this property was annexed into Maumelle, but it came in with zoning and land use that would have only allowed for single-family housing. Since the annexation took place, a development opportunity has been proposed that will contain a mixture of single-family and multi-family townhomes. By a 6-2 vote, the council approved these changes so that the project can move forward.
In the coming months, we anticipate additional parcels of land to be annexed into Maumelle so that this development can come to fruition. This development will feature extensive use of green space to allow for trails as well as an abandoned quarry that will be turned into a mountain bike trail for public use.
During discussion on this project, several council members (myself included) expressed a desire to have more types of housing options available for current and future residents. Our city is predominately single-family housing, which takes up a lot of space. In the past year, we’ve seen more interest in townhome and multi-family style developments and there are several of these projects now underway. I expect these will be very successful in our community since there are many people who don’t want to live in a typical stand-alone home which comes with more home and yard maintenance. As a city, I believe it’s important we provide multiple styles of housing options for our current and future residents. With house prices increasing dramatically over the last few years, diversifying our housing options is even more important as we move forward so that people aren’t priced out of Maumelle and have to look elsewhere to live.
In new business, the council heard a proposal from Council Member Jessie Holt to adjust the fee and fine schedule for pet owners in the city. His original proposal raised the registration fee for an intact pet (one that’s not spayed or neutered) to $250 annually. This was discussed for an extensive period and was later amended to $75 annually. Spayed and neutered pets would continue to be $5 annually if they’re microchipped and $25 if they’re not microchipped. The reason for the higher registration fee for intact pets is because these are the ones the city has most difficulty with. Intact pets are typically the ones that escape their yards or homes and cause issues with other pets and homeowners. Also, this ordinance would update the fines associated with dogs/cats that are at-large in the city. Our fine schedule has not been updated in many years, so this is a needed change to encourage pet owners to be responsible with their animals. A new category of fine was also proposed that would add penalties for dog/cat at-large that cause injury as well as another category for injuries that require professional treatment (urgent care, ER, hospital, etc.).
This ordinance will be discussed at the next two meetings before being voted on at the Nov. 7 council meeting. I’d welcome any feedback regarding the proposed changes.
Next in new business, the council approved (by a 7-1 vote) a resolution to acquire property in the area where the new White Oak Crossing / Country Club Parkway roundabout will be built. The purchase price for this property was $13,880.
The council heard the first readings of a couple of ordinances which clarify language in our city code for processes used in our Planning and Zoning Department. These changes to code bring the language up to date with the processes our Planning Commission uses for rezoning applications as well as hearing and filing procedures. An additional ordinance related to planning was an update to our city’s Master Street Plan for the route of a future road extending east from the White Oak Crossing Interchange to Hwy 365.
The last item of new business we heard was a proposal by Mayor Caleb Norris to bring public Pickleball courts to Maumelle.
These courts would be located to the south and east of the Community Center where the city currently has available land (see above). The mayor proposed two different options for constructing these courts with the first being a phased approach where we initially build 3 courts and then follow along later with a second phase and add 4 more courts. The estimated cost for a two-phase approach is $616,000.
The other option was to build all 7 courts at once which would reduce the total cost for the city. The estimated cost if we built all 7 courts would be $600,000. The mayor suggested using funds that the city has set aside from the American Rescue Plan Act. The general feedback from the council was to move forward with engaging the public for feedback and begin talking with engineers about design work.
While nothing has been formally approved, the feedback was positive, and I look forward to seeing this project move further into the design phase. Public pickleball courts have been one of the most requested items to be added to our city’s Parks and Recreation Department. Additionally, this is an amenity that would require minimal financial support from the city going forward in terms of annual maintenance and repair expenses.
That’s all for the week, please let me know if you have any questions or concerns. Chad 501-529-1336, firstname.lastname@example.org
Maumelle’s Kristina Baggett graduates from Alabama
Kristina Baggett of Maumelle has received the following degree from The University of Alabama: Master of Arts.
Alabama awarded over 1,400 degrees during its summer commencement ceremonies on Aug. 6.
With a beautiful campus, dozens of challenging academic programs, expert faculty and numerous opportunities for service and growth, The University of Alabama is a place where legends are made.
The University of Alabama, part of The University of Alabama System, is the state's flagship university.
Football: Maumelle, CAC and North Little Rock all lose
Alas, Mills didn’t have turkey legs on the menu last Friday night as Maumelle was in town for a game.
The pulled pork was tasty though, even the game wasn’t much to write about.
Some puzzling time clock management and with star senior quarterback Weston Pierce out due to injury, the offense was held to -3 yards passing and 151 yards on the ground in a 30-0 loss to the undefeated Comets.
Things don’t get easier for Maumelle as Robinson is in town this Friday.
Central Arkansas Christian and North Little Rock are both at home this week against, respectively, Pottsville and Little Rock Southwest.
Both the Mustangs and the ‘Cats lost last week as wins have been hard to come by North of the River.
Robinson at Maumelle
Records: Maumelle (2-3), Robinson (4-1)
Streamer: Natural State Sports
Hootens.com Rankings: Maumelle is No. 22 in 5A while Mills is No. 2.
Last week: Maumelle’s offense sputtered against Mills last week as the Hornets were shutout, the second consecutive shutout at that. Weston Pierce being injured hasn’t helped as the quarterback had passed for 699 yards and five touchdowns before getting hurt. There’s also something to be said about the quality of the opposition as the three teams that have beaten Maumelle are a combined 12-4 and this Friday’s opponent — Robinson — is 4-1.
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
Sept. 23: Pine Bluff 26, Maumelle 0
Sept. 30: Mills 30, Maumelle 0
Friday: 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.
Pottsville at CAC
Records: CAC (1-5), Pottsville (2-4)
Hootens.com Rankings: CAC is No. 37 in 4A, while Pottsville is No. 26.
Last week: CAC couldn’t stop Mayflower’s rushing attack last week and struggled on offense as well. Pottsville makes its way to Mustang Mountain this week in the first football game between the two schools.
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
Sept. 23: CAC 21, Little Rock Hall 19
Sept. 30: Mayflower 33, CAC 14
Friday: 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 Southwest at North Little Rock
Records: North Little Rock (2-3), Southwest (1-4)
Hootens.com Rankings: North Little Rock is No. 8 in Class 7A, while Southwest is No. 14.
Last week: Conway ran past North Little Rock in a key 7A-Central game as the Wampus Cats stayed undefeated. Conway racked up 435 yards of total offense in the game that saw the fourth quarter played with a running clock. North Little Rock only managed 151 yards of total offense despite dominating time of possession with 29:12 to Conway’s 18:48.
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)
Sept. 23: North Little Rock 53, Little Rock Central 8
Sept. 30: At Conway 35, North Little Rock 0
Friday: 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.