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Chad Gardner with the Maumelle City Council report, Remembering Pearl Harbor in North Little Rock, Horse racing starts back up Friday at Oaklawn, Boosting the booster plus news and sports headlines
Your community matters
What a year it has been.
ArkansasNewsroom.com launched on Nov. 30, 2020 and looking back at last 12 months has been something.
In the last 52 weeks, the site has published 85 newsletters and a total of 814 local news and sports stories about Maumelle, North Little Rock and Arkansas.
Along the way, we’ve picked up thousands of readers who are deeply interested in all that local news as the site has racked up hundreds of thousands of page views in the last 12 months.
The support has been overwhelming and deeply appreciated. It also answers an important question: Will people support paid reporting on local news? The answer is yes. Yes they will.
So a special thanks to all who have invested in paid subscriptions and everyone who reads the site. We also appreciate the social media likes and shares and the newsletter forwards.
Your community matters, and it should have a local news source that reports community news, sports and opinion.
The reality is that state-wide news outlets have no interest or desire to report on community news. Yet, based on the numbers, the readers are there, and you’re willing to support local reporting by reading and subscribing.
So thank you again for supporting this experiment in local newsgathering.
Like everything else, changes are coming and as the Covid uncertainty lifts, there’s plans in the works for an even better 2022.
So stay tuned and thanks for reading.
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A public meeting has been scheduled for 6 p.m. for Thursday, Dec. 16 for the facilities master plan for the Pulaski County Special School District. Read more by clicking Public hearing set for PCSSD facilities plan
NORTH LITTLE ROCK: Another trip to the state championship game wasn’t in the cards for North Little Rock, as the ‘Cats lost, 28-13, to Bryant last Friday in the Class 7A semifinals.Read more by clicking North Little Rock loses to Bryant
MAUMELLE CHARTER: Maumelle Charter will get the opportunity to dribble off some Thanksgiving turkey this week as the school is playing in the CAC Classic at Central Arkansas Christian. Read more by clicking Maumelle Charter makes short trip for CAC Classic
Neal Moore is taking the week off.
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This was the council’s first time to meet in four weeks since our previous meeting on Nov. 15 was unable to meet due to lack of a quorum present. We reviewed the city’s financials through October of 2021 and the good news is that the city’s revenue exceeds our expenses by $1.8 million through ten months of the year. The city receives some of our larger revenues during November, so I would expect the city’s positive financial position to continue through the end of the year. By Chad Gardner and to read more click Maumelle: City Council report
Oaklawn has never had races in December before.
That changes Friday as the Hot Springs landmark will have thoroughbred horse racing between now and until the end of racing season on May 8.
The move puts Oaklawn more in line with its peer tracks around the country, said Jennifer Hoyt who is Director of Racing at Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort.
“We are opening roughly around the same time as Fair Grounds and Gulfstream Park’s Champion Meet. Santa Anita will open Dec. 26.
Those tracks are in, respectively, New Orleans, Florida and southern California and the climate there isn’t like Arkansas’s.
“December has traditionally been a mild month,” Hoyt said. “We are hopeful we won’t get the same severe weather as last year, but there is not much we can do about Mother Nature.”
The track will have races Friday, Saturday and Sunday, with, “no racing Dec. 24-26 and April 17 (Easter),” Hoyt said. The one exception to that schedule, Hoyt said, is Oaklawn, “will race Monday, Feb. 21 for Presidents’ Day.”
Hoyt added that the expansion of the calendar was well received and 17 new trainers were offered stalls and “we expect a full barn area.”
Friday will start with the $150,000 Advent Stakes with the $1 million Rebel on Feb. 26 and the $1.25 million Arkansas Derby on April 2. The last two are Kentucky Derby qualifiers as are The Smarty Jones on Jan. 1 and the Southwest on Jan. 29.
The move to an earlier start should be a positive one for a battered tourism industry in Arkansas that has been severely curtailed during the ongoing pandemic.
“The extended race meet should be a win-win for Oaklawn and the city of Hot Springs,” Hoyt said. She also noted that the expansion of Oaklawn and the addition of a casino there factored into the decision.
“Obviously, we hope to attract more race fans over a longer period of time to enjoy the hotel, spa and event center.”
For more information and to buy tickets online, click here. The $5 tickets will not be sold as walkups.
Corbin Pitts, a sophomore at North Little Rock High School and the son of Kyle and Christen Pitts, recently celebrated a landmark achievement.
His production company, Heroe Productions Entertainment, turned 4 in November as the company was started when Pitts was just 11.
Pitts, above, has been a working actor since 5 and played Mike Ardoin in the HBO television series, True Detective Season 3 that was set and filmed in northwest Arkansas and starred Mahershala Ali and Stephen Dorff.
His most recent film was Ghosts of the Ozarks, that was also shot in Arkansas and stars Tim Blake Nelson and David Arquette.
Acting runs in the Pitts family. Older sister Grace was in two films this year and her IMDb page lists a total of nine screen credits.
Kyle Pitts was in Oklahoma earlier this year as he’s in Killers of the Flower Moon, the Martin Scorsese film that stars Leonardo DiCaprio and is based on the best-selling book of the same name by David Grann.
Christen Pitts is a also a performer but better known as a drama teacher at North Little Rock High School and also teaches dance.
The family has also done local television commercials.
North Little Rock’s Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum will be having a ceremony remembering the 80th anniversary of Pearl Harbor next Tuesday, Dec. 7 and it will start at 1 p.m.
The event will be held at 120 Riverfront Park Drive and part of the ceremony will include a dedication of a piece of the hull of the USS Arizona, that was sunk that fateful day in Hawaii.
In 2016, The Times of North Little Rock published this account by Bill Burgin on his brother Hulin, who served in the U.S. Navy and was at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. Hulin Burgin survived the war and died in 1966. Read it by clicking Remembering Pearl Harbor
A plaque honoring the 53 Arkansans who died that day will also be dedicated and mounted in the Crew’s Mess of the Hoga tugboat, that is floating in the Arkansas River and is part of the museum.
In case of rain, the event will be held at the River House at 140 Riverfront Park Drive.
The museum and tugboat will be open for free tours until 2 p.m. that day.
For more, click here.
I probably should have called Maumelle’s Brandon Achor, it would have been easier and less frustrating.
But, I didn’t.
I needed to get the booster shot for Covid-19 and also a flu shot.
Getting a booster is remarkably easy, at least in theory.
To find a location giving the shot, the Centers for Disease Control set up a website, www.vaccines.gov/, that will give you dozens of pharmacies that are administering the shot depending on your zip code. Maumelle’s 72113 listed 49 within 25 miles of the city.
As the site said that once you “find a location near you, then call or visit their website to make an appointment.”
Having gotten the flu shot last year at Kroger, and with a grocery list in hand, it seemed that stopping at the pharmacy there would be easy enough.
As a person who doesn’t have a pharmacist, I don’t have any experience with Kroger’s site.
It wasn’t easy. After two unsuccessful tries booking an appointment online, I gave up and called only to have the voice answering system that I had to book online and was then disconnected.
Since I had to go to Kroger anyway, I thought I’d try a walkup but a friendly pharmacist said they weren’t taking walk ups and that I could book an appointment online. She also said that booking appointments had proved to be difficult to others as well and that anyone who used their phone was getting kicked out. Phones have a tendency to autofill information and the appointment site found that to be problematic.
I also had to go to Costco that day and as I went, signage at the front door said they were doing vaccination walk ups and went to the pharmacy where they said would be happy to do both the booster and flu shot, which, after filling out a couple of forms, I was able to get both done in about 10 minutes.
I didn’t feel great the next day. It was like having a hangover but not having had anything to drink.
On the other hand, I have the booster. I have my annual flu shot. And I have peace of mind.
The Christmas at Methodist Family Health Angel Tree is ongoing and donations are still being sought.
To look at the list of names, click here and follow these steps:
Choose a child’s list (all items on the list can be purchased for $150 or less) and purchase the items on that list
Pick and choose items to send (second choice on the site)
Contribute to the Methodist Family Health Foundation, which provides for the necessities of the children and families in our care throughout the year.
The deadline to purchase the items is Dec. 10 so you still have time to make a difference.