Editor’s Note: To submit items to our calendar of events, email pbcnews@pbcommercial.com, fax 870-534-0113 or bring announcements to 300 S. Beech St., Pine Bluff. To view more calendar items, visit http://pbcommercial.com/news/local/calendar-events

Thursday, Dec. 28

Jenkins board meets

Jenkins Center Board of Directors will meet at 11:30 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 28, at the therapy training room at Jenkins Memorial Center, 2410 Rike Drive. Details: 534-2035.

Friday, Dec. 29

Audubon Society Christmas Bird Count set

The Three Rivers Audubon Society Christmas Bird Count will be held Friday, Dec. 29, under the direction of Rob Doster. Beginning birders are welcome and will be placed with experienced birders. The Christmas Bird Count is a census of birds in the Western Hemisphere. It is conducted in the Northern Hemisphere in the winter season and is overseen by the National Audubon Society, according to a news release. To volunteer, contact Rob Doster at calcarius@comcast.com or call Claire Holmes at 534-2083.

Deadline for community science fair set 

A community science fair will be held Saturday, Feb. 24, at Holmes Chapel Prebyterian Church at Monticello. The event is for students in K-12 grades and the deadline to register is Friday, Dec. 29. Cash prizes will also be awarded. The application for participating in the community science fair is available. Interested students may contact NAACP Act-So Chairperson Sheena Garrard at sheenagarrard@gmail.com or 870-723-1703.

Saturday, Dec. 30

Stewart Memorial to give away clothes

Stewart Memorial CME Church, 911 S. Maple St., will give away clothes from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Dec. 30, in the fellowship hall.

Remnant to give away clothes

The Remnant Outreach Ministry, 1210 S. Cherry St., Suite 17 and 19, will give away clothes, shoes, toiletries and other items from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 30. For details or to make donations, contact Sue Gray, host/apostle, at 870-209-2889.

Through Sunday, Dec. 31

Enchanted Land of Lights and Legends underway

Enchanted Land of Lights and Legends at Pine Bluff/Jefferson County Regional Park features the state’s largest drive through holiday light exhbit with nearly 300 displays. The attraction opened Nov. 21. It will be open from 6-9 p.m. through Dec. 31.

Beginning Monday, Jan. 8

Arsenal hosts Biggest Loser challenge

Pine Bluff Arsenal’s Recreation Services will sponsor a “Biggest Loser” Weight Loss Challenge Jan. 8 through March 30. The program is open to the public. Registration is currently open. The cost is $100 per participant and everyone must have a Family Morale, Welfare and Recreation card to participate. Details: Kathy Berry at 540-3621.

Tuesday, Jan. 9

UAPB/AM&N Alumni to meet

The Pine Bluff/Jefferson County UAPB/AM&N Alumni Chapter will hold its regular monthly meeting at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday Jan. 9, 2018. The meeting will be held at the Alumni House located at 27 Watson Blvd. The new officers for the next two years will be seated. The agenda items will be set by the new President. All members and potential members are invited to attend.

Beginning Thursday, Jan. 11

UAM McGehee slates nursing assistant class

The University of Arkansas at Monticello College of Technology at McGehee will host a 16-week nursing assistant course. The class will meet from 8 a.m. to noon Tuesdays and Thursdays beginning Thursday, Jan. 11. Details: Cortez Smith, director of UAM McGehee’s Career Pathways Initiative, 870-460-2102, or Justin Carbage, Career Pathways community outreach coordinator, 870-460-2129.

UAM to host Starting a Business seminary

MONTICELLO — Starting a business in Arkansas is the subject of a free seminar by the Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center at the University of Arkansas at Monticello. The seminar will be held Jan. 11 from 10 a.m. to 12 noon in the Relyance Community Room in Pine Bluff. The seminar will discuss essential steps to starting a business, legal business structures, regulations and licensing, key issues that affect business success and common pitfalls entrepreneurs face. To register, contact Lavonica Davis at (870) 460-1266 or register online at http://asbtdc.org/training/monticello-events/

Saturday, Jan. 13

Gillett Farmers Club to present 75th annual Coon Supper

The Gillett Farmers and Businessmen’s Club will host the 75th annual Coon Supper Saturday, Jan. 13, at the Gillett Elementary School Gymnasium. The meal will be served at 6 p.m. and the program begins at 6:30 p.m. The menu will include coon, baby-back ribs, brisket, rice, sweet potatoes, and cake, a spokesman said in a news release. The club uses all proceeds from the coon supper to fund scholarships and will award two more scholarships to seniors graduating in 2018. Tickets are $25. For ticket details, contact Larry Bauer, 870-548-2859 or 870-830-4002, or write to P.O. Box 577, Gillett, AR, 72055. For program information, contact Chad Philipp, 870-548-2228, 870-548-2554, or 870-509-0413.

Tuesday, Jan. 16

Watson Chapel School Board meets

Watson Chapel School Board will hold its regular meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 16, at the district office, 4100 Camden Road.

Thursday, Jan. 25

Annual Chamber dinner to feature Rex Nelson

The Pine Bluff Regional Chamber of Commerce will feature Rex Nelson as the keynote speaker for the Chamber’s 2018 annual meeting. The annual dinner will be held from 6-8 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 25, at the Pine Bluff Country Club. Nelson is senior editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. Tickets for the Chamber’s annual dinner are $60 per person. Tables are $600 and seats eight. Seating is limited, so participants are urged to make plans early. Planning is underway and limited sponsorships are available. Details: Nancy McNew, Chamber director, 870-535-0110.

Thursday through Saturday, Feb. 22-24

Arts center to host Crossroad Festival

The Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas received a major grant from the Arkansas Humanities Council to host the inaugural Crossroad Festival: Exploring Jefferson County’s Cultural Heritage in February. The festival, which is free and open to the public, will be held from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday, Feb. 22-23, and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 24. The Crossroad Festival will explore the region’s French, Quapaw Indian, and African American cultural heritage from its historic roots to contemporary iterations through the interpretive lens of film, music, dance, and living history, according to a press release. Details: www.asc701.org or 870-536-3375.

Through Friday, March 30, 2018

Hunger Relief Alliance offers after-school feeding grants

The Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance is accepting grant applications for after-school feeding programs. Sponsors must participate in a U.S. Department of Agriculture reimbursed meal program through the Child and Adult Care Feeding Program or through the National School Lunch Program. Applications submitted by Aug. 20 will be reviewed and awarded by Sept. 8. Applications submitted between Aug. 21 and Nov. 1 will be reviewed and awarded by Nov. 24. The online application will remain open through March 30, 2018. For details, contact SiKia Brown, Out of School Programs Director for the Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance, at Sbrown@arhungeralliance.org or call 501-399-9999 or fax 501-399-9996. For technical support, send an email to grantshelpdesk@strength.org.

Through Sunday April 1, 2018

Agency accepts respite grant applications

Area Agency on Aging of Southeast Arkansas announces the availability of a new grant for respite care. The grant will allow respite care to be provided to a caregiver providing 24 hour service to their loved one with special needs. The deadline is April 1, 2018, or until the monies run out, a spokesman said in a news release. The grant is for any age group, however individuals with the greatest need will be considered first. The mini-grant project is funded through the Arkansas Lifespan Respite Coalition and the Administration on Community Living and made possible by the Department of Human Services, according to the release. To apply, contact the case manager at Area Agency offices at Arkansas, Ashley, Bradley, Chicot, Cleveland, Desha, Drew, Grant, Jefferson or Lincoln counties. Details: 870-543-6300 or 1-800-264-3260.

Through Tuesday, May 29

Gould Youth Ministries food, after school programs underway

Gould Youth Ministries is offering free meals for children 5-18 years old in its at-risk feeding program. The feeding program began Sept. 18 and will continue through May 29, 2018. The at-risk after school program is also underway with free activities for youth, according to a press release.

Monday through Friday

Turning Point to present mentoring for girls

Turning Point Youth Center Inc., 508 S. Mulberry St., is sponsoring an after-school mentoring program for girls ages 5-18. Sessions will be held from 2-6 p.m. Monday through Friday. The program is entitled RUBIES (Reaching Un-Measurable Bounds in Etiquette and Standard.) Details: Yolanda Pitts, executive director of Turning Point, 870-643-6540.

Mondays

Star Steppers plan square dance lessons

Star Steppers Square Dance Club of Pine Bluff is offering three free square dance lessons. After completing the free lessons, the cost is $3 per week per person. The club meets every Monday from 7-9 p.m. at Central Presbyterian Church, 6300 Trinity Drive. Men, women, teens, singles and couples are invited and participants don’t need special clothing or shoes. Details: 540-6773.

Monday night line dance class

The Monday night line dance class will be held from 6-8 p.m. every Monday at First United Methodist Church, 200 W. Sixth Ave. Interested participants are urged to come out and have fun, spokeswoman Juanita Tompkins said.

Tuesdays, Thursdays; 2nd and 4th Saturdays

PBSD community computer lab open

The Pine Bluff School District’s Title I Parent & Family Resource Center has opened the community computer lab in the Jordan-Chanay Administrative Center, 1215 W. Pullen St. The lab will be open from 4:30-6:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays and from 9 a.m. to noon the second and fourth Saturday of the month (except holidays.) The lab has 30 state-of-the art computers and can be used by parents, teachers, students and the community. Details: For 850-2008 or 850-2009.

Wednesdays and Fridays

Unity slates girls program

Unity Christian Fellowship Church, 2712 S. Bay St., will host a program for girls ages 12 to 17 at 5 p.m. Wednesdays and Fridays. The program is called SAFETY (Saving Adolescent Females Empowering Today’s Youth.) Topics will include self-respect, dating, dressing properly, self-esteem, avoiding dangerous situations, future planning, preventing adolescent pregnancy, physical fitness, health and character. After each meeting, the program will feature sessions on hair, make-up and nail painting. Details: 870-592-9136 or 870-209-2644.

Tuesdays, Thursdays, 2nd, 4th Saturdays

PBSD community computer lab available

The Pine Bluff School District’s Title I Parent & Family Resource Center has a community computer lab available in the Jordan-Chanay Administrative Center, 1215 W. Pullen St. The lab opens Sept. 5 will be available from 4:30-6:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays and from 9 a.m. to noon the second and fourth Saturday of the month (except holidays.) The lab can be used by parents, teachers, students and the community. Details: For 850-2008 or 850-2009.

Free financial seminars

Free small business financial planning and management classes are held at 7 p.m. every Tuesday at Unity Christian Fellowship Church, 2712 S. Bay St., at Pine Bluff. Anthony Armstrong, the pastor and regular instructor of the class, is a business analyst for the Arkansas Economic Development Commission’s Small and Minority Business Division. Details: www.unitychristianfellowshipchurch.com

Toastmaster Club

Simmons First Pine Bluff Toastmaster Club meets at 12:15 p.m. each Tuesday on the ground floor of the city hall next to the chambers. All those who are interested in better communication and leadership skills are invited. Details: Barbara Rhinehart, 534-3625.

Friday and Saturdays

Movie and Activity Nights set

The Family Community Development Corporation is having Movie and Activity Nights each Friday and Saturday Night from 6 to 9:30 p.m. at 1001 N. Palm St. This project serves children 5-12 years old with movies, art, chess, Black History, drama, music and physical activities scheduled. Nutritious Snacks are served, and health issues highlighted. A spokeswoman said the location is the old Anna’s Store. Call 870 850-7094 for additional information.

On-going Hurricane Harvey relief efforts

Salvation Army

For those interested in supporting victims of Hurricane Harvey, financial donations are the best way to assist the Salvation Army’s disaster relief program, according to a news release. People may donate online at www.helpsalvationarmy.org or by mail: The Salvation Army, P.O. BOX 1959, Atlanta, GA., 30301. People should designate “Hurricane Harvey” on all checks. Contributions may also be made by calling 1-800-SAL-ARMY (1-800-725-2769); or texting STORM to 51555 to receive a donation link for mobile giving.

Red Cross

The American Red Cross is accepting donations for Hurricane Harvey relief. Donors may mail checks payable to the American Red Cross, 401 S. Monroe St., Little Rock, AR 72205. People may donate by phone via credit card or debit card or by visiting the Red Cross office at 211 W. Third Ave. in Pine Bluff. from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. from Monday to Friday. Specify “Hurricane Harvey” relief on checks. People may call 870-534-7312 for questions on donations.

White Hall Food pantry

The White Hall Community Food Pantry has been asked by the American Red Cross to be a distribution center for victims of Hurricane Harvey. They will accept donations of non-perishable food items and hygiene products. The pantry will also accept large donations from businesses. Bee Bee Fenters, director of the pantry, asks people to call her at 870-489-1281 to arrange donations at Family Church at White Hall. All cash donations should be made to the American Red Cross.

Liberty Baptist accepts hurricane relief donations

Liberty Baptist Church, 8454 U.S. 79 S, is assisting Hurricane Harvey relief efforts and is accepting donations, according to the pastor, Shawn Cuthbertson. Donated items may be taken to the Clothesline Consignment in White Hall, DeJa Vu Consignment in Chapel Village, Money Mart Pawn Shop on East Harding Avenue and Liberty Baptist. They will take items to Texas ever 10 days. For details or to make online donations, visit libertypinebluff.com .

Ongoing events:

Robey seeking mentors

Jack Robey Junior High School is seeking volunteer mentors for its “Mentoring Matters” Program. The program’s aim is to assist students who are academically, behaviorally, or emotionally challenged, according to a news release. All interested groups and individuals will be required to register through the Volunteers in Public Schools office. Details: LaKesha Foote, 7th Grade English/Language Arts Teacher and Parent Facilitator at Jack Robey, lakesha.foote@pinebluffschools.org or 501-386-1106.

Monday through Friday

Turning Point to present mentoring for girls

Turning Point Youth Center Inc., 508 S. Mulberry St., is sponsoring an after-school mentoring program for girls ages 5-18. Sessions will be held from 2-6 p.m. Monday through Friday. The program is entitled RUBIES (Reaching Un-Measurable Bounds in Etiquette and Standard.) Details: Yolanda Pitts, executive director of Turning Point, 870-643-6540.

TOPPS hosts fall programs

TOPPS began all fall programs Tuesday, Sept. 5. TOPPS (Targeting Our People’s Priorities with Service) Inc. has programs for students in first through 12th grades. Applications are available at the TOPPS office, 1000 Townsend Drive. The programs include after-school tutoring, mentoring, graphic design-job training, volunteerism, the feeding program and DREAMS (Dreams Require Educating and Motivating Students.) DREAMS, a pre-college program, has limited slots, according to a news release. Details: Aurora Smith 870-850-6011.

Historical Society seeks items for Supreme Court exhibit 

Citizens of Arkansas are asked to donate materials that may be relevant for a new Arkansas Supreme Court exhibit at the Old State House. The Arkansas Supreme Court Historical Society is on the lookout for artifacts related to the Arkansas judiciary. The display would explain the Arkansas Supreme Court and its residence at the Old State House from the earliest times until 1915 when state government moved into the State Capitol, according to a news release. Details: Rod Miller of the Arkansas Supreme Court Library at 501- 682-2147.

Summer LIHEAP available

The Pine Bluff-Jefferson County Economic Opportunities Commission began taking applications for the summer regular and crisis portions of LIHEAP (Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program) Monday, July 10. EOC will open the program in Jefferson, Grant, Cleveland, Arkansas and Lincoln counties. Applications will be taken from 8 a.m. to noon Monday through Wednesday. Summer LIHEAP is for electric bills only, according to a news release. Applicants for LIHEAP must meet income guidelines. For a household of one person, the monthly countable income is $1,533. For each additional person in the household, add $471.

Downtown Development accepts grant forms

Pine Bluff Downtown Development Inc. is accepting applications from businesses seeking a grant to improve the outside facade of a building or for outdoor signage. Downtown Development received a $1,000 business improvement grant June 28 from Main Street Arkansas through the Arkansas Historic Preservation program. The funding will allow Downtown Development to give the $1,000 toward a viable exterior project if the grantee provides $250 towards the project. Grant funding forms and guidelines are available at the office of Pine Bluff Downtown Development, 110 N. Pine St. or by calling 870-536-8742.

Conservation District accepts grant applications

The Jefferson County Conservation District began taking applications for an ANRC Grants to District funded water metering program Saturday, July 1. This grant will assist landowners in the purchase of water meters on water wells and surface water pumping facilities. Approval for funding is on a first come, first served basis and limited to available funding, said Henry English, director of the Small Farm Program at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff and member of the Jefferson County District Conservation Board. Details: Kathryn Owen, district secretary with the Jefferson County Conservation District, 870-727-6125.

Pine Bluff Transit begins Watson Chapel bus route

The Pine Bluff Transit Bus system recently announced a route for the Watson Chapel community. The Watson Chapel Express will run Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. starting at Second Avenue and Main Street at the bottom of the hour. The route will include 5th Avenue to 6th Avenue; 6th Avenue and Blake Street; Blake Street and 28th Avenue; 28th Avenue and Persimmon Street; 28th Avenue and Kenwood Road; 28th Avenue and Taft Street; Taft and Blake; Sulphur Springs Road; East Lake Drive; West Lake Drive; Union Street; Apple Street, etc. Details: Pine Bluff Transit, 870-543-5130.

Arsenal destroying munitions

For the next few months, the Pine Bluff Arsenal will conduct detonations of recovered munitions. The munitions were discovered during the final phase of a study that has been ongoing at the Arsenal since 2012. Residents living close to the Arsenal shouldn’t be alarmed if they hear small explosions coming from the installation for several months.

Voices for Children seeks volunteers

Voices for Children, advocates for abused or neglected children, is seeking volunteers to assist foster children in Jefferson and Lincoln counties. Details: Voices for Children, 536-5922, or vfc@pbreynoldscenter.org

Helping Our Future Kids announces food program

Helping Our Future Kids is participating in the After-school At Risk Program. Meals will be provided free to children up to 18 years old without discrimination. Meals will be served from 4-6 p.m. Monday through Friday at 305 Mississippi St. at Gould. Details: 870-374-0125.

Heritage Detectives exhibit open in 4 cities

Pine Bluff, Dumas, McGehee and Lake Village are partners on Heritage Detectives: Discovering Southeast Arkansas’ Hidden Heritage. The exhibition of original watercolors by area middle school students tells the cultural history of each town, according to a press release from the Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas. Heritage Detectives is an interdisciplinary project funded by a grant from the Arkansas Arts Council, part of the Department of Arkansas Heritage. Details: Arts & Science Center at Pine Bluff, 536-3375, info@ASC701.org or www.ASC701.org

Pen or Pencil seeks mentors

Interested Citizens for Voter Registration’s Pen or Pencil Program and Pine Bluff Cares are recruiting mentors for the upcoming school year. Mentors will be trained on using the Pen or Pencil Initiative in the Pine Bluff public schools. The aim is to reduce the number of youth who fail in school and who are at-risk of entering the juvenile justice system. Details: 870-413-6345, pbicvr@aol.com or www.penorpencilmovement.org - www.caresmentoring.org

Signature Arkansas Food Dish contest

Author Jason Irby, a Wabbaseka native, recently pledged the first $500 to establish a contest to create the Signature Arkansas Food Dish. Irby is the founding chairman of Jason Irby Innovation Foundation. Tiffaney Lewis, the secretary/treasurer of the foundation, also pledged a matching $500 in prize money. The grand finale and judging will be held at the Arkansas State Fairgrounds during the 2016 Arkansas State Fair. Details: www.jasonirby.wordpress.com or jasonirbyinnovationfoundation@gmail.com

FSA targets underserved people

The Jefferson County Farm Service Agency Ag-Credit has announced the availability of loan funding for underserved people who want to purchase or operate a family-size farm. This financing is for people who have been subjected to racial, ethnic, or gender inequality. Underserved members include women, African Americans, American Indians, Hispanics, Asians, Pacific Islanders and Alaskan Natives. The Jefferson County FSA Ag-Credit office is located at room 2603 of the federal building, 100 E. Eighth Ave. at Pine Bluff. Details: 534-3200, Ext. 2.

Civic center

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, travelers are urged to visit Arkansas properties listed on the National Register of Historic Places — including the Pine Bluff Civic Center. The Arkansas Historic Preservation Program, an agency of the Department of Arkansas Heritage, is sponsoring a passport program to encourage people to visit historic places. Details: http://www.arkansaspreservation.com/Learn-More/ahpp-passports

UAPB online healthcare program

The Division of Continuing Education and Graduate Studies at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff is offering e-learning healthcare courses online. The program is offered as the result of a partnership with Condensed Curriculum International. Students will have access to 24/7 instructor support and course mentors, labs, student exercises and course videos, textbooks, workbooks and student materials, a new secure student website including career resources and other training, and clinical hours. Details: Bonita Corbin, 575-8315, corbinb@uapb.edu or http://www.healthedtoday.com/UAPB