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

Early voting underway at courthouse

Early voting hours at the Jefferson County Courthouse are from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays through Friday, Nov. 2, and from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Nov. 5. Saturday early voting hours are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 27 and Nov. 3. On Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 6, voters must report to their polling stations between 7:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. Several area races will be decided and voters will be asked to make decisions on constitutional amendments. Joni Alexander, the Democratic nominee will face Republican Jesse Turner for Pine Bluff alderman Ward 1, Position 2. In a race for Jefferson County Quorum Court, Alfred Carroll Sr., who won the Democratic Party primary, will be challenged by Libertarian James Michael Hood. Incumbent District 15 State Rep. Ken Bragg, a Republican, is being challenged by Libertarian Wayne Willems. Incumbent District 17 State Rep. Vivian Flowers, a Democrat, is opposed by Libertarian Gregory Maxwell. Three constitutional amendments will appear on the ballot: Issue 2 deals with voters presenting certain valid photographic identification when casting a ballot in person or absentee; Issue 4 is an amendment to require four licenses to be issued for casino gaming at casinos, one each in Crittenden (to Southland Racing Corporation), Garland (to Oaklawn Jockey Club, Inc.), Pope and Jefferson counties; and Issue 5 asks voters to raise the Arkansas minimum wage.

Beginning Monday, Nov. 5

James Matthews school begins book fair

James Matthews Elementary School in the Dollarway School District will host the annual book fair Monday through Friday, Nov. 5-9. All James Matthews parents are encouraged to see the set-up and available books. Students may also purchase books and accessories, according to a news release. Details: Event coordinator, Alexia Williams, library/media specialist, 870-534-0726.

Tuesday, Nov. 6

Election Day

Polls will be open Nov. 6, election day, from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Several area races will be decided and voters will be asked to make decisions on constitutional amendments. Joni Alexander, the Democratic nominee will face Republican Jesse Turner for Pine Bluff alderman Ward 1, Position 2. In a race for Jefferson County Quorum Court, Alfred Carroll Sr., who won the Democratic Party primary, will be challenged by Libertarian James Michael Hood. Incumbent District 15 State Rep. Ken Bragg, a Republican, is being challenged by Libertarian Wayne Willems. Incumbent District 17 State Rep. Vivian Flowers, a Democrat, is opposed by Libertarian Gregory Maxwell. Three constitutional amendments will appear on the ballot: Issue 2 deals with voters presenting certain valid photographic identification when casting a ballot in person or absentee; Issue 4 is an amendment to require four licenses to be issued for casino gaming at casinos, one each in Crittenden (to Southland Racing Corporation), Garland (to Oaklawn Jockey Club, Inc.), Pope and Jefferson counties; and Issue 5 asks voters to raise the Arkansas minimum wage.

UAM Concert, Chamber Choirs set fall performance

The University of Arkansas at Monticello’s Concert and Chamber Choirs will present their 2018 fall concert at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 6. Held at St. Mark’s Catholic Church at Monticello, the concert is free and open to the public, according to a news release. The concert will feature new UAM faculty member baritone, Scott Bearden, who will sing, “Libera me,” from Faure’s Requiem along with, “My Shepherd will Supply My Need,” by Mack Wilberg. The performance will include works by Giovanni Palestrina, Randall Thompson, Franz Joseph Haydn, Knut Nystedt, and William Dawson.Also, the Chamber Choir will be joined by the Sheridan High School Choir in a performance of choruses from G.F. Handel’s Messiah. Details: UAM Division of Music, 870-460-1060.

IP/Evergreen retirees to meet

The International Paper/Evergreen Packaging Retirees will meet from 2-3 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 6, in the auditorium of the Arkansas River Education Service Cooperative, 912 W. Sixth Ave. All mill retirees are invited to attend. There will be a guest speaker. Details: 870-534-7094.

Ivy Center Club Scrub students to meet

The Ivy Center for Education will meet in the sanctuary at Faith Presbyterian Church, 913 University Drive, Tuesday, Nov. 6. Club Scrub Future Medical Professionals will meet with Renisha Ward from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. Details: mattie1908@gmail.com or koolaidpat1@aol.com.

Beginning Tuesday, Nov. 6

Rotary Club holds programs

The Downtown Pine Bluff Rotary Club meets at noon Tuesdays at the Pine Bluff Country Club. Programs include — Nov. 6: Pam Gibson, Rotary District 6170’s Rotary Foundation, discussing various programs of the Rotary Foundation; Nov. 13: Armed Forces Day, Lee Walker, veteran and member of the Pine Bluff Rotary Club; Nov. 20: Maurice Taggart, executive director of the Urban Renewal Agency; and Nov. 27: Lindsey Patrick and Vanessa Socia, Arkansas Division of Children & Family.

Wednesday, Nov. 7

Olive Branch church plans fall festival

Olive Branch Baptist Church, 5130 Bobo Road, will host a community fall festival at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 7. The community is invited to attend the free event. Activities will include hay rides with Bible characters, bounce houses for the children, a live petting zoo, a bake walk, face painting, live music presented by children and adults from the church, zorb balls and various other activities. The pastor, Roger Stewart, will present a devotional. A meal will be provided, as well as popcorn, cotton candy and funnel cakes, according to the release.

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, Nov. 8

34th Avenue Neighborhood Watch meets

The 34th Avenue Neighborhood Watch Group will meet at 6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 8, at 34th Avenue School, 34th Avenue and Missouri Street. Details: 870-534-8324.

Pine Bluff Branch NAACP sets election

The Pine Bluff Branch of the NAACP will hold its election of officers and at-large members of the executive committee Thursday, Nov. 8, at Bethany Chapel Missionary Baptist Church, 1923 S. Olive St. The polls will be open from 4-8 p.m. In order to vote in a branch election, a participant must be a member in good standing of the branch 30 days prior to the election, according to a news release. The NAACP Executive Committee meeting will be held at 6 p.m. and the regular meeting will be at 7 p.m. Details: NAACP President Ivan Whitfield, 870-643-7252.

Workshop addresses Ideas for Small Business Saturday

The Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center (ASBTDC) at the University of Arkansas at Monticello will host 20 Ideas for Small Business Saturday. This free event will be held from 10 a.m. to noon Thursday, Nov. 8, at the Star City Civic Center at Star City. The registration deadline is 3 p.m. Nov. 7. Details: Lavonica Davis at UAM, 870-460-1266.

Beginning Thursday, Nov. 8

50th Anniversary Potpourri Exhibition

The Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas, 701 S. Main St., invites the community to help celebrate the center’s 50th anniversary through a preview exhibition of the artwork to be featured during the Potpourri 2018 silent art auction. The display will be open Thursday, Nov. 8, through Saturday, Dec. 8. The exhibition will include works by Tim Jacobs, Norwood Creech, Justin Bryant, Sofia Gonzalez, Dustyn Bork, Katherine Strause. A full exhibition of feature artist John Kushmaul will be on display in the Kennedy Gallery. All proceeds from artwork auctioned during Potpourri 2018 funds free community art programs.

Friday, Nov. 9

Holiday Foods Show set

Jefferson County Extension Homemakers Council’s Holiday Foods Show will be held at 10 a.m. Friday, Nov. 9, at Gallagher Hall of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church. EHC members collect recipes for the project. Tickets are only available in advance and cost $15. The price includes a booklet, tasting and door prizes, according to a news release. For ticekts, call 870-718-1846, 247-4050, or 543-9784. Details: Jefferson County Cooperative Extension Office, 870-534-1033.

L.L. Owen school to honor veterans

L.L. Owen Elementary School in the Watson Chapel School District will host a pre-Veteran’s Day Program in the gym at 9 a.m. Friday, Nov. 9. The school will honor students’ parents and grandparents who have served in the military. The Rev. David Smith, who is a U.S. Navy veteran, will be the speaker, according to a news release.

Through Friday, Nov. 9

Deadline set for Historic Preservation grant letters of intent

The Arkansas Historic Preservation Program will accept Letters of Intent until Friday, Nov. 9, for the County Courthouse Restoration or Historic Preservation Restoration grant programs. An applicant will receive feedback or technical assistance and project development with AHPP staff, according to a news release. A link to the grant application and Letter of Intent portal can be found at http://www.arkansaspreservation.com/Programs/Funding/grants-programs.

Saturday, Nov. 10

Shannon Road church plans harvest festival

The children’s ministry at Shannon Road Baptist Church, 6817 Shannon Road, will host a harvest festival. The event will be held from 1-4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 10. All ages are welcome to the festival which will include games, fellowship and food, according to a news release.

Through Saturday, Nov. 10

Business challenge set for Walk Across Arkansas

The Jefferson County Cooperative Extension Service is asking local businesses to participate in a Countywide Business Challenge for Walk Across Arkansas - Fall 2018. The Walk Across Arkansas 5k Run/Walk began Sunday, Sept. 16, and ends Saturday, Nov. 10. For registration and record forms on the Walk Across Arkansas, visit https://walk.uaex.edu/ Details: Mary Ann Kizer, Jefferson County Family and Consumer Science agent, mkizer@uaex.edu or 870-534-1033. The Jefferson County Cooperative Extension Service is part of the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture.

Sunday, Nov. 11

White Hall Veteran’s Day motorcycle processional set

Local motorcycle riders will participate in a processional ride at 1:45 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 11, from the Bank of Star City on Dollarway Road to the White Hall Museum where the Veterans Day Ceremony will be held at 2 p.m., according to a news release. All riders are encouraged to participate. If the weather creates safety concerns, the processional will be canceled. Riders will meet at 1:15 p.m. at bank’s parking lot. Details: Pat Freeman, 247-2522.

Tuesday, Nov. 13

Highland to give away food

Highland Baptist Church, 1320 S. Peach St., will give away food Tuesday, Nov. 13. The Helping Hands Food Ministry will hand out food from 6-7:30 p.m. Participants must have a picture ID and utility bill to pick up food. There are no exceptions to this rule, according to a news release.

Highland church registers for Toys for Tots

Highland Missionary Baptist Church, 1320 S. Peach St., will hold a registration for Toys for Tots, a program of the Marine Corps Reserve. People interested in signing up for toys must register on Tuesday, Nov. 13, from 6-7:30 p.m. The following documents will be required (with no exceptions): Valid government issued photo ID, birth certificate/proof of birth for children for 6 months to 14 years old (only parents listed on the birth certificate will be allowed to register; others must show documented proof of legal guardianship); and proof of address within the last 30 days of registration (utility bill, mortgage statement, current lease, city, state or federal government documentation showing parent or legal guardian name and current address.)

Thursday, Nov. 15

Mayor’s Unity Breakfast to be held

The Mayor’s Unity Breakfast will be held from 6:45-8 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 15, at the Pine Bluff Convention Center. The community is invited to join in the food and fellowship as residents come together to make the city One Pine Bluff, according to the news release from Mayor Shirley Washington. Tickets are $15 each or 2 for $25 and can be obtained at the mayor’s office. Details: 870-730-2004.

White Hall Legion Post sets shotgun raffle

The American Legion White Hall Post 232 is holding its fourth annual raffle for a Benelli shotgun. The raffle has become a major fundraiser for the post of military veterans, according to a news release. The 12-gauge pump shotgun will be given away Thursday, Nov. 15, at Hunter’s Refuge in White Hall. Participants don’t have to be present to win, only have the winning ticket. Tickets are $5 for one, $10 for three or $20 for eight chances to win. Proceeds will be used to fund the various activities the veterans will do in the community, according to the release. For tickets, see any member of the post or call Post Commander Glen Minor at 870-247-4413.

Through Friday, Nov. 16

Arts Council announces Living Treasure award applications available

The Arkansas Arts Council is accepting nominations for the 2019 Arkansas Living Treasure Award. Nominations will be accepted until Friday, Nov. 16, according to a news release. The Living Treasure program recognizes an Arkansas artist who excels in the creation of a traditional craft and who preserves and advances their craft through community outreach and by teaching others. A list of Living Treasure Award criteria is available at arkansasarts.org. Details: Robin McClea, robin.mcclea@arkansas.gov or 501-324-9348.

Beginning Wednesday, Nov. 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: Nov. 21 Executive Committee; and Dec. 12 Full Board.

Civic Auditorium Complex meets

The Civic Auditorium Complex Commission meeting will be held at noon Tuesday, Nov. 27, at the Pine Bluff Convention Center’s Sadler Room. The meeting set for Oct. 23 was canceled. Details: Pine Bluff Convention Center, 536-7600.

Friday, Nov. 30

50th Anniversary Potpourri at Arts & Science Center

The Biennial Potpourri 2018 fundraiser will be celebrated at the Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas, 701 S. Main St., from 7-10 p.m. Friday, Nov. 30, and Saturday, Dec. 1. Friday’s “Beers & Cheers” event is a casual affair with live music, craft beer, and a chance to win a kayak full of craft beer. The gala Saturday features silent and live auctions, a seated dinner, and entertainment. For information, contributions, or tickets to the event go to asc701.org/potpourri-2018. Proceeds support ASC’s free cultural arts and STEAM education programs and “The ARTSpace,” the new community arts-integrated engagement endeavor. Event sponsors are Simmons Bank, Relyance Bank, Jefferson Regional Medical Center, MK Distributors, Sissy’s Log Cabin, Moon Distributors and Little Brown Jug.

Kingsland Elementary to receive Blue Ribbon honor

A Blue Ribbon recognition assembly will honor Kingsland Elementary School at Kingsland for being one of only 349 schools in the nation named a 2018 Blue Ribbon school. The assembly will be held at 9 a.m. Friday, Nov. 30, in the school auditorium. Johnny Key, commissioner of education for the Arkansas Department of Education, will make a presentation, according to a news release. Details: 870-348-5335.

Beginning Saturday, Dec. 1

Merrill All-School Reunion meetings set

The Merrill All-School Reunion Committee meeting will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 1, at RJ’s Sports Grill, 128 Main St. Details: 404-245-5436. The reunion committee will host the Merrill Holiday Bash beginning at 6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 14, at RJ’s. Refreshments will be served. The cost is $10. The reunion has been scheduled for July 16-19, 2020, according to a news release. Volunteers are needed for various committees.

Beginning Thursday, Dec. 6

Christmas parade, holiday events set

The City of Pine Bluff and Go Forward Pine Bluff will host holiday events. “Mistletoe Magic: Believe in Miracles” will begin on Thursday, Dec. 6, with the annual Christmas parade on Main Street followed by the Christmas festival at Saracen Landing from 7-9 p.m.. The festival will include ice skating, holiday decorations, Christmas-themed bounce houses, photo booths, food trucks and a performance by the Jenkins Choir. There will also be a Christmas retail market showcasing small business offerings from Pine Bluff and Southeast Arkansas. The market and all attractions will be open from 4-9 p.m. Friday, Dec. 7; from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8; and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 9.

How to Write a Business Plan topic at seminar

The Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center (ASBTDC) at the University of Arkansas at Monticello will host How to Write a Business Plan. This free event will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 6, at conference room 110 of the Bradley County Economic Development Corp. at Warren. The registration deadline is 3 p.m. Dec. 5. Details: Lavonica Davis at UAM, 870-460-1266.

Friday, Dec. 7

Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary Christmas Luncheon set

The Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary Christmas Luncheon will be held Friday, Dec. 7, at the Great Hall of First United Methodist Church, 200 W. Sixth Ave. The silent auction will be held from 10:30-11:15 a.m. and the luncheon is from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., according to the news release. Tickets are $20 (non refundable) and can be purchased at the Salvation Army office by calling 534-0504; Linda Eifling at 540-7448; or from auxiliary members.

Through Friday, Dec. 7

Medicare Open Enrollment continues

Medicare Open Enrollment began Monday, Oct. 15, and runs through Friday, Dec. 7. For further information, Arkansans can visit the Arkansas Insurance Department’s Senior Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP) at https://insurance.arkansas.gov/pages/consumer-services/senior-health/ or call 800-224-6330.

Beginning Friday, Dec. 7

UAPB Small Farm Program to offer Borrower Training

The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Small Farm Program will provide Borrower Training, a business education course required for many new or beginning Farm Service Agency (FSA) borrowers or farmers receiving a second year loan or other FSA loans. The first course will be held from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Dec. 7-8, at the UAPB S.J. Parker Agricultural Research Center Conference Room. The cost is $300 per person, payable only by a cashier’s check or money order to UAPB Small Farm Program. Details: 870-575-7226 or 7246.

Saturday, Dec. 8

Pine Bluff Branch NAUW plans scholarship brunch, fashion show

The National Association of University Women Pine Bluff Branch (NAUW) will host its Scholarship Brunch & Fashion Show from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8. The event will be held at the Pine Bluff Convention Center. Tickets are $30 each. A table for eight is $240 and a table for 10 is $300. The vendor cost is $25, according to a news release. Details: 870-489-1848 or 870-643-2383.

Through Friday, Dec. 14

Junior Leadership applications available

Applications for the 2019 Junior Leadership Pine Bluff class are available now at the Pine Bluff Regional Chamber of Commerce. The program gives high school sophomores an overview of Pine Bluff and Jefferson County, focusing on local government, education, economic development, quality of life and social skills, according to a news release. The application deadline is Friday, Dec. 14. The first session is Thursday, Jan. 17, 2019, at offices of the Chamber and Economic Development Alliance for Jefferson County, 510 Main St. Details: Mandy Owens, event coordinator at the Chamber, mowens@pinebluffchamber.com or 870-535-0110.

Friday, Feb. 15

Jewel Foundation, Alpha Phi Alpha to present All Black Affair

The Southeast Arkansas Jewel Foundation, in conjunction with Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., Delta Sigma Lamda Chapter, will present An All Black Affair with a Touch of Gold. The gala will be held at 7:06 p.m. Friday, Feb. 15, at the Pine Bluff Convention Center. The ceremony will honor outstanding community jewels: Dr. Stephen Broughton, Marguerite Flannigan, Lula Gray, Bessie Lancelin, George Makris, Chuck Morgan and Tom Reilley. Rice First Class will cater the event. Tickets are $25 each or $250 for a table of 10 people. Sponsorship levels are Jewel $500; Old Gold $499-$250; and Black $249-$100. Tickets are $25 or $250 for a table of 10 people. Sponsorship levels are Jewel $500; Old Gold $499-$250; and Black $249-$100. Details: Gregory Murray, 870-550-4281.

Tuesdays and Thursdays

Parent center’s community computer lab available

The Pine Bluff School District’s Title I Parent & Family Resource Center’s community computer lab is available for use by parents, teachers, students and the community, according to a news release. Located in the Jordan-Chanay Administrative Center at 1215 W. Pullen St., the lab will be open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4:30-6:30 p.m. and the second and fourth Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon (excluding holidays.) Details: Parent Center Coordinator Freddie Jolivette, 850-2008/2009.

Bloom Tennis Center to host free tennis lessons

The Pine Bluff Parks and Recreation Department will sponsor free tennis lessons for youth and adults at the Bloom Tennis Center in Central Park, 2101 S. Hickory St. Lessons will be held from 5:30-7 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. The program began Aug. 14. Classes will be instructed by a tennis coach. Participants may register on site. For details on the Bloom Tennis Center and programs contact the Parks and Recreation at 870-536-0920 or email saracenlanding@att.net.

Tuesdays and Saturdays

Saracen Landing Farmers Market open

The Saracen Landing Farmers Market at Pine Bluff is open Tuesdays from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Saturdays from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. The Pine Bluff Parks and Recreation Department has received a grant for the SNAP (food stamps) Double Buck Program at the Saracen Landing Farmers Market. Under the Double Buck program, for every dollar participants spend with their SNAP EBT Card, they will double their bucks, according to a news release. Details: 870-536-0920 or email saracenlanding@att.net.

On-going events

SBA disaster loans available; deadline May 6, 2019

Small nonfarm businesses in 11 Arkansas counties are eligible to apply for low‑interest federal disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration, according to a Sept. 10 news release. The deadline to apply for economic injury is May 6, 2019. These loans offset economic losses because of reduced revenues caused by hail and high winds that occurred July 20-21, 2018, in these primary counties: Arkansas and Monroe; and neighboring counties: Desha, Jefferson, Lee, Lincoln, Lonoke, Phillips, Prairie, St. Francis and Woodruff. By law, SBA makes Economic Injury Disaster Loans available when the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture designates an agricultural disaster. The secretary declared this disaster on Sept. 5, 2018. Applicants may apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information and download applications at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela. Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.

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.

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.

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.