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

Tuesday, Feb. 6

SEARK president to address Coffee with Chiefs

Pine Bluff Interested Citizens for Voter Registration, Inc. will present its Coffee with the Chiefs from 9-10 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 6, at St. Luke United Methodist Church, 32 School St. The scheduled speaker is Steven Bloomberg, president of Southeast Arkansas College.

Urban Renewal Agency to meet

The Pine Bluff Urban Renewal Agency will have a called meeting at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 6, at the Baim Law Firm, 300 E. Fifth Ave.

Pine Bluff School District slates STEAM Fair

The Pine Bluff School District will present the 2018 STEAM Fair at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 6, at the Pine Bluff Convention Center. Projects will reflect topics and interests of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics.) More than 500 students from schools across the district will complete projects and display them at the STEAM Fair. Prizes will be awarded. Anthony Long Jr., a certified surgical assistant at Jefferson Regional Medical Center, will be the keynote speaker. The High Voltage Dance Team of Little Rock and the Pine Bluff High School Band will perform.

Tuesday and Wednesday, Feb. 6-7

ACT Prep and College Readiness Workshops set

The Ivy Center for Education ACT Prep and College Readiness Workshops will be held from 5-6:30 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, Feb. 6-7, at the Donald W. Reynolds Community Services Center, 211 W. Third Ave. The sessions are free and students will eat a healthy snack from 4-4:50 p.m. each day. Tuesday, Feb. 6, from 4:30-5 p.m., the UAPB LIONS Program officials will share information on how graduating seniors may become a part of their summer enrichment program. Wednesday, Feb. 7, from 4:30-5 p.m. the UAPB Office of Recruitment representatives will talk to students about scholarships and how they may apply for them. The next ACT Test will be administered nationwide Saturday, Feb. 10. Details: Mattie Collins at mattie1908@gmail.com or Patricia Berry - koolaidpat1@aol.com by Friday, Feb. 2.

Wednesday, Feb. 7

Education department slates PB meeting

The Arkansas Department of Education will host a Family and Community Engagement Stakeholder Meeting at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 7, at the Arkansas River Education Service Cooperative, 912 W. Sixth Ave. Participants will provide feedback on family and community engagement in Arkansas. Some state Board of Education members may attend, according to a news release.

Kiwanis to present programs

The Kiwanis Club of Pine Bluff meets at noon Wednesdays at the Pine Bluff Country Club. Upcoming programs include Feb. 7: Monieca West with the Arkansas Department of Higher Education; Feb. 21: Delores Stamps, Kiwanis district chairwoman, Aktion Clubs; and Feb. 28: Bill Reid and Stewart Marshall, Kiwanis Mid-Winter Conference Report.

Commercial’s Church News deadline set

The Commercial is printing church news on Fridays. The deadline to submit church announcements is noon on Wednesdays. Announcements can be emailed to pbcnews@pbcommercial.com, faxed to 870-534-0113, hand-delivered or mailed to the office at 300 S. Beech St., Pine Bluff, AR, 71611. The Devotional Column, which features a brief sermon, should also be emailed and include a contact phone number and the name and location of the ministry. Details: 870-534-3400, ext. 1202.

Thursday, Feb. 8

NAACP meeting set

The Pine Bluff Branch of the NAACP will meet at Bethany Chapel Missionary Baptist Church, 1923 South Olive St., Thursday, Feb. 8. The executive committee will meet at 6 p.m. followed by the regular meeting at 7 p.m.

Pine Bluff School Board sets called meeting

The Pine Bluff School Board will hold a called meeting at 5 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 8, in the boardroom of the school district’s administrative center, 512 S. Pine St.

Jefferson County farmers’ meeting set

The Jefferson County crop production meeting will be held from 2-6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 8, at the Waterfront Building in Regional Park. The production meeting is free to attend and a meal will be provided. Extension agronomists and other experts with the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture will provide the latest findings on research into corn, soybeans and rice during the meeting. Attendees should RSVP by calling the Jefferson County Cooperative Extension Service at 870-534-1033.

Cattleman’s Assocation to meet

The Jefferson County Cattleman’s Association will meet at 6 p.m. Thursday Feb. 8 at the Extension Office off the Martha Mitchell Expressway. Guest and members welcome, with a focus on recruiting new members. Veterinary Jason Cater of Monticello will field questions on the different issues affecting Arkansas Cattlemen. A meal will be provided.

UAM Build Website Class Set

How to build a website quickly and economically is the subject of a free seminar Feb. 8 from 1-3 p.m. at the Star City Civic Center. The seminar is being presented by the Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center at the University of Arkansas at Monticello. The register, contact Lavonica Davis at (870) 460-1266 or register online at http://asbtdc.org/training/monticello-events/

West Pine Bluff Rotary meetings set

West Pine Bluff Rotary Club meets at noon Thursdays at the Pine Bluff Country Club. Programs include Feb. 8: Harold Clark, Pine Bluff Fire and Emergency Services Department; and Feb. 15: Maj. Lafayette Woods Jr., Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office.

Friday, Feb. 9

New Community pantry opens

New Community Church, 321 N. Birch St., will open its food pantry from 10 a.m. to noon Friday, Feb. 9. Participants must bring proof of residence and their own bags for the food.

Through Friday, Feb. 9

A Quest for Success Professionalism Week set

Quest Middle School of Pine Bluff, 308 S. Blake St., will host “A Quest for Success” Professionalism Week through Friday, Feb. 9. A college fair for students will be held at 1:15 p.m. Friday Feb. 9. Participating institutions will include the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, Southeast Arkansas College, Henderson State University at Arkadelphia and Arkansas State University at Jonesboro. Motivational speakers will include Pine Bluff Police Sgt. Cassandra Briggs-McAfee, 4th Ward Alderman Steven Mays, and Christian Westbrook, a candidate for Jefferson County coroner. Details: Michael Bowie, mbowie@responsiveed.com.

Pink Tomato T-shirt design contest deadline set

The Bradley County Pink Tomato Festival Executive Committee is accepting submissions for the 2018 Bradley County Pink Tomato Festival T-shirt design contest. The entry deadline is Friday, Feb. 9. The winner’s original artwork remains the property of the festival. Incorporation of elements representing the rich heritage of the festival are encouraged, according to a news release. The winning artist will receive $300 and the first T-shirt of the 2018 festival. To download the contest guidelines, agreement and entry form, visit http://www.pinktomatofestival.com/contest-rules/

Friday and Saturday, Feb. 9-10

Master Gardeners slate Home & Garden Show

Jefferson County Master Gardeners will present the 30th annual Home & Garden Show, “Growing New Gardeners,” at the Pine Bluff Convention Center. The show will be held 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, Feb. 9, and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 10. Admission is free. The event will feature garden seminars, daily workshops, how-to demonstrations, and more than 100 exhibitor booths. Booth space is $100. The application and payment must be received by Monday, Jan 15, to be included in the H&G Show brochures and advertising. Call Linda Soffer for information and reservation at 573-253-9774 or call the Jefferson County Extension Service at 870-534-1033.

Saturday, Feb. 10

Sulphur Springs women slate Valentine’s dinner

The women of Sulphur Springs United Methodist Church, 9238 Sulphur Springs Road, will present Club Valentine entertainment and dinner. The sit down dinner event will be held from 5-7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 10, in the church’s fellowship hall. Locals will provide entertainment. The menu will include chicken, creamed potatoes, green beans, rolls, salad and desserts. The dinners are $12 each and participants can pay at the door.

Delta Sigma Theta to present Black History, arts session

The Arts & Letters Committee of the Pine Bluff Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. will host “An Afternoon of Black History and Arts” at 2 pm. Saturday, Feb. 10. The event will be held at Watson Chapel High School Auditorium, 4000 Camden Road. The theme is “Life is Legacy: Celebrating Our Journey.” The event will consist of dance, live music, and poetry. Participants from all over the city and surrounding areas will be performing.

Sunday, Feb. 11

NAUW presents International Day/Black History Program

The Pine Bluff Branch of the National Association of University Women will celebrate its annual International Day/Black History Program at 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 11. The event will be held in the STEM Conference Center at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, 1530 L. A. “Prexy” Davis Drive. The public is invited to attend. NAUW will honor veterans and active members in the military. All military guests are asked to dress in their uniforms if possible. The international focus will be the continent of Africa. Everyone is asked to dress in their favorite African attire.

Trinity Lutheran conducts 39th blood drive

Trinity Lutheran Church, 4200 Old Warren Road, will sponsor its 39th blood drive from noon to 3:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 11. The American Blood Institute blood donation center will be located in the church’s fellowship hall. ABI is collecting blood in central Arkansas that was formerly collected by Red Cross and donor information about blood type and number of units previously donated to Red Cross were transferred to the institute, according to a news release. Interested donors are asked to register online at arkbi.or or attend the blood drive at Trinity Lutheran. Participants should bring their blood donor card or photo ID. Refreshments will be served to all donors. Details: Trinity Lutheran, 534-4316.

Through Sunday, Feb. 11

Tickets available for Distinguished Gentlemen Banquet

The Pine Bluff Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. will present its 31st annual Delta Distinguished Gentlemen Banquet at 6 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 24, at the Pine Bluff Convention Center. Tickets for the event are $40 and can be purchased through Sunday, Feb. 11. For details or to purchase banquet tickets, contact Nicolette Laurent at 870-413-6074. The keynote speaker will be the Rev. Chris Mack of Pine Bluff, a former Distinguished Gentleman.

Beginning Monday, Feb. 12

NAACP youth meetings set

The Pine Bluff Branch of the NAACP Youth and College Division is encouraging young people to join. Any youth between 12 and 18 years old are invited to join the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. The cost is $10 annually. Interested participants are invited to attend meetings at the fellowship hall of Bethany Chapel Missionary Baptist Church, 1923 S. Olive St. Meetings begin at 6 p.m. on the following dates: Monday, Feb. 12; Monday, March 12; Monday, April 9; andMonday, May 14. Details: Advisors Kymara Seals, 501-940-3467 or Marcie Johnson, 870-329-1970.

Tuesday, Feb. 13

Landlord Association meets

The Jefferson County Landlord Association will meet at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 13, at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Business Incubator, 615 S. Main St. The guest speakers will be Evelyn Horton, chief housing inspector for the city of Pine Bluff’s Code Enforcement Department, and a spokesman with the sheriff’s departments.

Wednesday, Feb. 14

Blanket drive ends

The Area Agency on Aging of Southeast Arkansas’ Share the Warmth Blankets Drive will be held through Wednesday, Feb. 14. The purpose is to be able to donate a blanket to elderly or disabled people to keep them warm this winter, according to a news release. Details: Carolyn Ferguson, Area Agency, 870-543-6300.

Thursday, Feb. 15

Reception to honor SEARK president

Southeast Arkansas College Board of Trustees and Foundation Board members will host a reception for the new SEARK President Steven Bloomberg. The event will be held from 5-7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 15, at the Pine Bluff Country Club.

Through Thursday, Feb. 15

Deadline set for grant applications for youth projects

The Pine Bluff Area Community Foundation’s Youth Advisory Council announces the availability of grants to support services for youth in the Pine Bluff area. The deadline to submit applications is Thursday, Feb. 15. YAC is accepting proposals for programs/projects that support recreation, education, crime prevention, safety and health or community service for youth (6-18 years old) in the Pine Bluff area. Grants will typically range from $200 to $500. Any IRS 501(c)(3) public charity or governmental agency in Jefferson County is eligible to apply. Applications should be submitted online at arcf.org.

Friday, Feb. 16

Foundation, Alpha Phi Alpha to present gala

An All Black Affair with a Touch of Gold will honor outstanding community members at 7:06 p.m. Friday, Feb. 16, at the Pine Bluff Convention Center. The gala is presented by the Southeast Arkansas Jewel Foundation in conjunction with Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., Delta Sigma Lamda Chapter, according to a news release. Honorees include Booker Clemons, Mattie Collins, Viriginia Hymes, Bill Jones, Marian Evans Lothery, Tommy May and Archie Sanders. Tickets are $25 or $250 for a table of 10 people. Sponsorship levels are Jewel $500; Old Gold $499-$250; and Black $249-$100. Rice First Class will cater the event. Details: Gregory Murray, 870-550-4281.

Saturday, Feb. 17

Pink Tomato Trap Shoot set

The 2018 Pink Tomato Trap Shoot is scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 17, at the Warren Shooting Complex. According to a news release, registration is $80 per (two-man) team and will include two rounds of trap. Teams may bring shells or buy at the range (12 and 20) for $8.50 per box. Food will be available for purchase on site at noon. The teams will be divided into two divisions, 16 years and older and 15 years and under. First place winners in the 16 and older division will receive $500 and a trophy. The second place team will receive $120 and $80 will go to the third place team. In the 15 and under division, the winning team will receive $100 and a trophy with $80 going to second place team and $60 going to the third place team. In the event of a tie, a shoot-off will be held. To register or for details, contact Bradley County Chamber, 870-226-5225, or Seth Jolley, 870-820-0410. The Bradley County Pink Tomato Festival begins in June. Details: http://www.pinktomatofestival.com/contest-rules/

Beginning Saturday, Feb. 17

Arts center to begin Yoga for Kids

The Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas, 701 S. Main St., will present Yoga for Kids beginning Saturday, Feb. 17. The free sessions will be held Saturdays from 10:15 to 11 a.m. for ages 7 and up. (Adult chaperones can join in too.) Participants should dress comfortably. The arts center yoga classes use Yoga for Kids, a 4-H Healthy Living Program developed by University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service.

Beginning Wednesday, Feb. 21

Arts & Science Center plans board meetings

The Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas, 701 S. Main St., announces the dates for the 2018 board of trustees and committee meetings. All meetings begin at 4:30 p.m. on the third Wednesday of each month, except in December when the event is held the second Wednesday, according to a news release. Dates include: Feb. 21 Full Board; March 21 Executive Committee; April 18 Full Board; May 16 Executive Committee; June 20 Full Board; July 18 Executive Committee; Aug. 15 Full Board; Sept. 19 Executive Committee; Oct. 17 Full Board; Nov. 21 Executive Committee; and Dec. 12 Full Board.

Thursday, Feb. 22

AARP Driver Safety Class set

The AARP Driver Safety Class will be offered from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 22, at the Donald W. Reynolds Community Services Center, 211 W. Third Ave.The multimedia course will be taught by Phil McBee, a certified instructor. The course is for people 50 and older. Each participant who finishes the driver’s course will receive a certificate that will enable drivers 50 and older to receive a discount on their automobile insurance.The discount is valid for three years under Arkansas state law. The cost of the course is $15 for AARP members and $20 for non-AARP members. Checks should be payable to AARP. Participants should bring a valid driver’s license and their AARP card if they are members.For details or to register, call 870-692-7926.

Pine Bluff district sets Freedom School spelling bee

The Pine Bluff School District’s Freedom School will host a spelling bee at 5 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 22. The event will be held at the cafeteria of First Ward School, 1300 E. Fifth Ave. Freedom School scholars grades K-12 will compete with peers and winners will receive prizes.

Pine Bluff district plans Knowledge Bowl

Pine Bluff School District’s Annual Knowledge Bowl will be held from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 22, at the Arkansas River Education Service Cooperative, 912 W. Sixth Ave. The event involves parents and students answering questions in a Jeopardy style format about local, state and national leaders. Details: Freddie Jolivette, Parent Center coordinator, 850-2008 or 850-2009.

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.

Saturday, Feb. 24

Delta Distinguished Gentlemen Banquet set

The Pine Bluff Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. will present its 31st annual Delta Distinguished Gentlemen Banquet at 6 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 24, at the Pine Bluff Convention Center. The keynote speaker will be the Rev. Chris Mack of Pine Bluff, a former Distinguished Gentleman. Details: Nicolette Laurent, 870-413-6074.

Merrill All-School Reunion committee to meet

The Merrill All-School Reunion Planning Committee will meet from 11 a.m. to noon Saturday, Feb. 24, at RJ’s Sports Grill, 128 Main St. The purpose is to close out the 2017 reunion action items, according to a news release.

Beginning Saturday, Feb. 24

UAPB to host workshop for farmers

The first of three sessions of the Developing Marketing Plans and Strategies Workshop gets underway at the 1890 Extension Complex at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Saturday, Feb. 24, and Saturday, March 17. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. and events are scheduled from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The meetings are aimed primarily at limited-resource producers of specialty crops and livestock. Enrollment is limited. Pre-registration is required to participate. Lunch will be provided. Contact Stephan Walker at 870-575-7237 or walkers@uapb.edu to pre-register or to request assistance with special needs.

Through Monday, Feb. 26

Grand Prairie Creative Writing deadline set

The Grand Prairie Festival of the Arts invites the community to submit entries for the Creative Writing Competition. The event is open to youth and adults and the entry deadline is Monday, Feb. 26. The contest is open to all poets and writers, regardless of experience. Categories are: Poetry – Adults and students in grades 3-4, 5-6, 7-9, 10-12; Short Story – fiction — Adults and students in grades 3-4, 5-6, 7-9, 10-12; non-fiction — Adults. Entry fees: Adults — $5 per entry (multiple entries will be accepted) and students – no fee (entries are limited to 3 per category.) Submit entries by Monday, Feb. 26, to Creative Writing Competition, Grand Prairie Festival of Arts, P.O. Box 65, Stuttgart, AR, 72160.

Tuesday, Feb. 27

Free Multi-County Forestry Workshop set

Residents may learn the skills they need to get into timber marketing at the Multi-County Forestry Workshop at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 27, at Thornton. The workshop will be held at the Chambersville Volunteer Fire Department at Thornton. A meal will be served. The event is free, but attendees are asked to register by Feb. 23 so organizers can get a head count for the meal. RSVP at 870-352-3505 or kgresham@uaex.edu .

Beginning Tuesday, Feb. 27

Pesticide application workshops

Free pesticide application workshops are scheduled to prep farmers for the 2018 growing season. In Southeast Arkansas sessions will be held Feb. 27 at Men’s Center in McGehee and Feb. 28 at Rice Research and Extension Center in Stuttgart. Registration opens at 8:30 a.m. and programs start at 9 a.m. The workshops will be led by Jason Davis, extension application technologist for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture. The sessions are free and three hours of CCA credit will be available. The workshop will conclude with lunch. For details on other sites, contact Jason Davis, 501-749-2077,at jdavis@uaex.edu or visit a county extension office or www.uaex.edu.

Through Wednesday, Feb. 28

Zeta Phi Beta accepts scholarship applications

The Epsilon Zeta Zeta Chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc. will provide a $1,000 scholarship to a young woman enrolled at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff and a $500 scholarship to a young woman enrolled at Southeast Arkansas College. Applicants must have 3.0 grade point averages. Applications, along with official transcripts, must be submitted by Wednesday, Feb. 28, to the address on the application, according to a news release. Anyone who wants more information about the scholarship or needs an application may email LaTosha Simmons at latosharsimmons@yahoo.com.

Friday, March 2

PB attorney among Agriculture Hall of Fame honorees

The Arkansas Agriculture Hall of Fame will induct six individuals in its 31st class. The group will be honored with an induction luncheon at 11:30 a.m. Friday, March 2, at Little Rock’s Embassy Suites Hotel. The newest class includes attorney Bill Bridgforth of Pine Bluff, weed scientist Ford Baldwin of Austin (Lonoke County), retired agriculture educator Lew Brinkley of Jonesboro, fruit breeder John Clark of Fayetteville, timber executive Peggy Clark of Arkadelphia and the late Adam McClung of Vilonia, according to a news release. Tickets for the March 2 luncheon are $35 each. Tickets and tables of 10 are available by calling 501-228-1609 or emailing aghalloffame@arfb.org.

Tuesday, March 6

SEA agencies among honorees at Food Hall of Fame event

The Department of Arkansas Heritage named finalists for the 2018 class of the Arkansas Food Hall of Fame, including several in Southeast Arkansas. Winners will be announced at Ron Robinson Theater at Little Rock Tuesday, March 6, starting with a business casual reception at 5:30 p.m. and the induction ceremony at 6:15 p.m. Categories and finalists include: Food-Themed Events: Bradley County Pink Tomato Festival (Bradley County); Gillett Coon Supper (Arkansas County); World Championship Duck Gumbo Cook Off (Arkansas County); Gone But Not Forgotten: Klappenbach Bakery of Fordyce (Dallas County). The public is invited to attend event. Tickets are available for purchase, but space is limited. Tickets are $20 and can be reserved by emailing Shelby Brewer at shelby.brewer@arkansas.gov or calling 501-324-9349. Tickets must be reserved by Feb. 26. Payment will be accepted by cash or check at the March 6 event. Details: Arkansas Food Hall of Fame, ArkFoodHOF.com.

Friday, March 9

UAPB slates Rural Life Conference

The 62nd Rural Life Conference will be Friday, March 9, at the Pine Bluff Convention Center. The event is sponsored by the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff School of Agriculture, Fisheries and Human Sciences. The free conference begins with registration at 7:30 a.m. and the opening session at 8:45 a.m. Registration is requested of everyone even though the conference is free to producers, homemakers and retirees. Early-bird registration for professionals and agency personnel is $50; $75 after Feb. 23. Details: Margaret L. Taylor, 870-575-7144/8535 or taylorml@uapb.edu.

Through Saturday, March 10

Eloquent Ladies book award applications available

NACWC’s Eloquent Ladies Civic and Social Club of Pine Bluff is accepting applications for a $500 book award. Applicants must plan to attend the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. The applicant must be a 2018 graduate of an accredited high school with a grade point average of 2.5 or higher. The completed application package must be word processed and accompanied by two letters of recommendation, an official high school transcript, and a photograph. Applications may be obtained by writing the Eloquent Ladies Civic and Social Club, 47 Lexington Circle, White Hall, AR 71602. Completed applications should be returned to the same address by March 10. Details: Contact Marva Thomas at 870-540-9987 or Shirley Shelley, president of the Eloquent Ladies, 870-718-0653.

Through Thursday, March 15

Blue & You Foundation begins taking mini-grant applications

Applications are being accepted through Thursday, March 15 for $1,000 mini-grants through the Blue & You Foundation for a Healthier Arkansas. Any 501(c)(3) public charity, public school, church, government agency or nonprofit hospital in Arkansas is eligible to apply for the mini-grants. Funding can be used to support an existing health improvement program or a new start-up project. The foundation also awards regular grants of $5,000 to $150,000, with an application deadline of July 16. Mini-grant applications are due March 15. Applications are available at www.BlueAndYouFoundationArkansas.org.

Through Friday, March 16

Community Foundation offers scholarships

Pine Bluff Area Community Foundation will accept applications for scholarships through Friday, March 16. High school seniors from Pine Bluff and Jefferson County are eligible to apply for the scholarships established for students in the general areas of sports, history, library sciences, English, education, healthcare and/or hospital administration. The scholarships aren’t limited to those areas, according to a news release. Students should visit www.arcf.org/scholarships to apply for the scholarships.

Saturday, March 24

Center invites public to musical-in-development reading

The Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas, 701 S. Main St., invites the community to a public reading of the musical-in-development, “Helaine and the Little War,” at 1 p.m. Saturday, March 24. The event is free and open to the public. The event isn’t a performance, but an audience-participation reading helping to refine a script for the musical play by Arkansas singer-song writers, Charley Sandage and Charlie Crow, and playwright, David Eshelman of Arkansas Tech University.

Tuesday, March 27

Jefferson County GOP announces annual dinner

Gov. Asa Hutchinson will be the keynote speaker for the Jefferson County Republican Committee’s 2018 Lincoln-Reagan Dinner. The event will be on Tuesday, March 27, at the Pine Bluff Country Club. A by-ticket-only reception with elected officials and candidates will be from 6-7 p.m., and seating for the prime rib dinner begins at 7 p.m. Fourth District Congressman Bruch Westerman, Attorney General Leslie Rutledge and Land Commissioner John Thurston are among elected officials to attend. Gatehouse Media Pine Bluff Commercial Publisher Teresa “Tee” Hicks will serve as moderator for a “Meet the Constitutional Office Candidates” session. Tables for eight (reception and dinner) are $725. Individual reception/dinner tickets are $110 and dinner only tickets $49. Contact Stu Soffer at 247-1177 to purchase a table.

Through Friday, March 30

Arsenal hosts Biggest Loser challenge

Pine Bluff Arsenal’s Recreation Services will sponsor a “Biggest Loser” Weight Loss Challenge 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.

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.

Saturday, March 31

My Sister’s Keyper Inc. will present a 5-K a Race for Life 5-K Run/Walk at 8 a.m. Saturday, March 31, at Lake Saracen. Registration is $25 and participants should register at eventbrite.com. The purpose is to raise awareness and funds for the social service side of cancer, according to a news release. A free community health and family fun expo will also be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Martin Luther King Jr. Park.

Through Saturday, March 31

Arsenal plans controlled burns

Officials are conducting controlled burns at the Pine Bluff Arsenal and the community shouldn’t be alarmed if they see large plumes of smoke coming from the area through March 31. Environmental and controlled burns will be conducted by the Arkansas Forestry Commission and the Arsenal’s Fire and Emergency Services on approximately 400 acres of woodland and grassland, according to a news release.

Through Sunday April 1

‘Preserve Our Past’ art, essay contest deadline set

Arkansas students in fifth through eighth grade are invited to participate in the 27th annual “Preserve Our Past” art and essay invitational sponsored by the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program, a division of the Department of Arkansas Heritage. All entries must be postmarked by April 1. Details: AHPP Art and Essay Invitational, 1100 North St., Little Rock, AR ,72201, call 501-324-9786; amy.milliken@arkansas.gov or download the form at http://www.arkansaspreservation.com/Learn-More/preserve-our-past-contest.

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.

Thursday, May 3

Chamber presents 2018 Business Expo

The Pine Bluff Regional Chamber of Commerce is planning the 2018 Business Expo. The event will be held Thursday, May 3, beginning with the Business Expo Breakfast from 7:30 -9 a.m. at the Pine Bluff Convention Center Banquet Hall. Business Expo continues at the convention center with a session for VIP (exhibitors and invited guests) from 9-10 a.m. The event will be open for the general public from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Admission is $5. Details: Mandy Owens, mowens@pinebluffchamber.com or 870-535-0110.

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.


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:

Winter LIHEAP applications taken

The Pine Bluff/Jefferson County Economic Opportunities Commission began the regular winter Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program at 8 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 16. In Jefferson County, applications are taken at EOC, 1201 W. Pullen St. This winter portion of LIHEAP will be for gas and electric bills. Applications are taken 8 a.m. to noon Monday through Wednesday. Details: EOC, 536-0046.

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.

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