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, Jan. 11

JRMC Auxiliary plans open house for potential volunteers

The Jefferson Regional Medical Center Auxiliary will host a meet and greet for prospective volunteers. The event will be held from 2–4 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 11, in the JRMC front lobby. The auxiliary will answer questions and share information about being a JRMC volunteer. They will also take applications for the program. Refreshments and door prizes will be available. Details: Debbie Tole, 870-541-7269.

Southeast Arkansas Preparatory sets meeting

Southeast Arkansas Preparatory High School, a new charter school, will hold a public information meeting at 6 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 11, at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Business Support Incubator, 615 S. Main St. Information will be provided and questions will be answered. To RSVP or for details, call 501-777-5617, visit Facebook or the school’s website.

UAM to host Starting a Business seminar

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/

New store opens

Family Dollar Stores Inc. will open a new store at 1169 W. 16th Ave. Thursday, Jan. 11. A grand opening celebration will be held Saturday, Jan. 13, starting with a ribbon cutting at 8 a.m. and other festivities will begin at 11 a.m. The grand opening will include prizes, gift baskets and a gift card raffle, according to a news release. Family Dollar stores are open seven days a week.

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.

Friday, Jan. 12

Kingfest concert set

Pine Bluff Interested Citizens for Voter Registration Inc. will host a Youth/Adult Gospel Extravaganza Friday, Jan. 12, at 6:30 p.m. The concert will be presented at Mt. Nebo Missionary Baptist Church, 3201 W. Second Ave.

Friday through Monday, Jan. 12-15

Zeta Phi Beta observes 98th anniversary

The Epsilon Zeta Zeta and Beta Beta Chapters of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc. will observe their 98th Founders’ Day activities beginning Friday, Jan. 12, at 7 p.m. with Sisterly Bonding and Painting. Other events will include: Saturday, Jan. 13, “Sisters Connecting with the Elderly” at Whispering Knoll Assisted Living, 6812 S. Hazel St.; Sunday, Jan. 14, 11 a.m. worship service at Cherry Street AME Zion Church, 800 S. Cherry St.; Monday, Jan. 15, 2 p.m. participating in the Kingfest Parade/Marade on Main Street in downtown Pine Bluff.

Saturday, Jan. 13

Eastside “PRIDE” Clean-Up set

The Pine Bluff Eastside “PRIDE” Clean-Up Committee will sponsor its third Eastside Clean-Up Day. Participants will meet at noon Saturday, Jan. 13, at Grace Temple Missionary Baptist Church, 909 S. Wisconsin St. The Broadmoor community and other areas on the eastside of Pine Bluff will be targeted for clean up. The public is invited to participate and volunteers are needed. Details: The Rev. Milton H. Jenkins, 870-872-3106.

Melvin Williams to highlight Mega Kingfest event at Dermott

The King Holiday Legends Concert will feature Melvin Williams, a world renowned, gospel artist, at 5 p.m. Saturday, Jan, 13, at Dermott High School at Dermott. Admission is free to the concert which is among Mega King Fest events sponsored by the Arkansas Martin Luther King Jr. Commission Jan. 8-15. Details: http://www.arkansas.gov/mlk or DuShun Scarbrough at 888-290-KING.

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.

Arts & Science Center slates events

The Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas, 701 S. Main St. plans several events Jan. 13. From 1-3 p.m., Creative Construction Zone, a new tinkering studio will be held. Participants will build-play with Imagination Playground Big Blue Blocks. The Creative Construction Zone also includes interactive construction-influenced playsets to add to the simulation experience. From 1-3:30 p.m., the free film screening of “I Am Not Your Negro” will be held. The Academy Award-Nominated documentary’s screening is sponsored by AETN/PBS and is free to the public. The work began as a letter in 1979 by author James Baldwin outlining a biography of slain civil rights leaders Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. Following the film screening, a panel discussion will be held. Teachers may receive professional development hours for attending. From 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., the center will host the Science and Engineering Institute @Pine Bluff for 6th-10th graders. Sessions include the Spectre of Spectra, in which students will learn how to use a spectroscope, interpret the results, and make a portable spectroscope to take home.

Sunday, Jan. 14

Historical Society to host U.S. Court of Appeals judge

Judge Morris S. “Buzz” Arnold of the United States Court of Appeals will be the guest speaker for the winter meeting of the Jefferson County Historical Society. The meeting will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 14, at the Pine Bluff-Jefferson County Historical Museum, West 4th Avenue and State Street. Arnold will present “Colonial Arkansas Women: French and Indian.” The public is invited to attend.

Kingfest Justice Sunday set

Pine Bluff Interested Citizens for Voter Registration Inc. will host the Justice Sunday Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemoration Program. The Kingfest event will be held at 6 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 14, at First Missionary Baptist Church, 4500 Faucett Road. The keynote speaker will be Fitzgerald Hill, executive director of the Arkansas Baptist College Foundation and The Scott Ford Center for Leadership and Community Development. Music provided by The Men in Black.

Monday, Jan. 15

Kingfest Parade/Marade set

Pine Bluff Interested Citizens for Voter Registration Inc. will host the 34th Original Kingfest Parade/Marade Monday, Jan. 15, at 2 p.m., on Main Street in downtown Pine Bluff. Chancellor Laurence B. Alexander of the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff will be the grand marshal. Participants will line up at the Jefferson County Courthouse at 1 p.m. The route will proceed south on Main Street to Eighth Avenue and end at the Convention Center. The deadline for parade applications is Thursday, Jan. 11. Applications are available at PBICVR at the Donald W. Reynolds Community Services Center, 211 W. Third Ave., Suite 109, or by calling Mary Liddell at 870-643-2383, Pelida Norris 870-692-8579 or by email at pbicvr@aol.com. The event will also include the third annual MLK/Lorenzo Smith Battle of the Bands. The Pine Bluff Police Department will provide refreshments for youth at the Convention Center after the Parade/Marade.

House of Bread to open pantry; all must register for 2018

House of Bread Deliverance Church, 500 S. Main St., will open its food pantry Monday, Jan. 15, from 3-4:30 p.m. or until the 100 food boxes are given away. Only one food box per household will be given away on a first come, first served basis. Everyone must register again for the year of 2018. All participants must bring proof of address (utility bills) and driver’s licenses.

Caregivers/Alzheimer’s Supporters to meet

The Area Agency on Aging of Southeast Arkansas, 709 E. Eighth Ave., will host the Caregivers/Alzheimer’s Support Meeting from 11 a.m. to noon Monday, Jan. 15. Linda Bateman, volunteer coordinator at Arkansas Hospice at Pine Bluff, will discuss “Hospice Home Care: Truth/Fallacy.” Details: Carolyn Ferguson at Area Agency, 870-543-6300 or 1-800-264-3260.

Ivy Center members join Kingfest Parade/Marade

Monday, Jan. 15, at 2 p.m., Ivy Center for Educattion members will walk in the 34th annual Original Kingfest Parade/Marade on Main Street in downtown Pine Bluff. Participants will meet at the Jefferson County Courthouse at 1 p.m.

Home & Garden Show booth space deadline set

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

Priority deadline set for UAM scholarships

Students who want to apply for institutional scholarships to the University of Arkansas at Monticello should do so by Monday, Jan. 15, for priority consideration, according to Tawana Jones-Greene, executive director of enrollment management. The final deadline to apply for institutional and private scholarships is Thursday, March 1. Students must be admitted to UAM to be considered for scholarships. To apply for institutional scholarships, students must submit an admissions application, official transcripts and test scores to the Office of Admissions. To apply for private scholarships, complete an online application at https://uamont.academicworks.com/. For scholarship details, contact Brandi Childs, scholarship coordinator, at 870-460-1533 or childs@uamont.edu. For admission details, contact the Office of Admissions at 870-460-1026 or 800-844-1826.

Tuesday, Jan. 16

Requests begin for heating bill help 

The Pine Bluff/Jefferson County Economic Opportunities Commission will begin the regular winter Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program at 8 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 16. (State officials changed the date from Jan. 8, according to a news release.) In Jefferson County, applications are taken at EOC, 1201 W. Pullen St. This winter portion of LIHEAP will be for gas and electric bills. The week of Jan. 16, the agency will accept applications from from 8 a.m. to noon and 1-4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. Then EOC will resume the normal schedule of 8 a.m. to noon Monday through Wednesday. Details: EOC, 536-0046.

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.

Ivy Center to meet

Tuesday, Jan. 16, from 5-6 p.m., the Ivy Center for Education will meet at Faith Presbyterian Church, 913 University Drive, to talk with parents of students signed up to go on the 2018 College Tour.

Urban Renewal Agency meets

The Pine Bluff Urban Renewal Agency will meet at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 16. Due to scheduling conflicts with the city council on that date, the meeting will be held at Pine Bluff Title Co, 728 S Main St., according to a news release.

Wednesday, Jan. 17

Workforce Development Board meets

The Southeast Arkansas Workforce Development Board will meet Wednesday, Jan. 17, at the Southeast Arkansas Economic Development District Inc., 721 Walnut St. Committees meet at 10:30 a.m. followed by lunch then the board meeting at 12:30 p.m. Details: 536-1971.

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.

Through Wednesday, Jan. 17

Deadline set to pre-register for free child care provider class 

Wednesday, Jan. 17, is the deadline to pre-register for the free Best Care Child Care Provider Training. University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Family and Consumer Sciences agents will offer 10 hours of training. The session will be held at the Parish Hall of St. Joseph Catholic Church, 412 W. Sixth Ave., Tuesday, Jan. 20, beginning with registration at 7:30 a.m. Training starts at 8 a.m. Participants are asked to bring their own lunch. Healthy snacks will be provided. To pre-register, contact Mary Ann Kizer, Jefferson County Family and Consumer Sciences agent, at 534-1033 or mkizer@uaex.edu .

UAPB holds spring registration

Registration for the spring 2018 semester at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff can be done in person or online through Wednesday, Jan. 17. Prospective students may be admitted to UAPB as a freshman, transfer student, special student, or early admission student. All applicants must submit a formal application for admission and other required academic credentials, which include transcripts and ACT or SAT scores. Details: www.uapb.edu/spring or 870-575-8487.

Thursday, Jan. 18

Women’s Connection slates luncheon

The Pine Bluff Christian Women’s Connection will hold its luncheon at 11:30 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 18, at the Pine Bluff Country Club. Suzi Vermillion of Bella Vista will present “Got Contentment?” The luncheon is $13.50 each, which includes the meal, tax and gratuity. The menu is fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans and cheesecake with cherries. Contact Jennifer Keahey at 870-540-9302 for reservations or cancellations, which are to be made by Monday, Jan. 15.

Arts center hosts #GildTheDelta Exhibition 

The Arts & Science Center will host #GildTheDelta Exhibition opening reception from 5-7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 18. #GildTheDelta: Recent Works By Norwood Creech will feature artist remarks at 5:30 p.m. “Through paint and pastel, Norwood captures the Delta agricultural landscape and elevates the miles of crops into gilded works of art,” according to a news release.

Beginning Thursday, Jan. 18

JRMC sets free 6-week diabetes class

Registration is underway for a free six-week class in diabetes education at Jefferson Regional Medical Center. DEEP (Diabetes Empowerment Education Program) sessions will begin Thursday, Jan. 18, from 1–2:30 p.m. and will continue to meet each Thursday for six weeks. Registration is required. Details: Lisa Duke, JRMC Health Educator, at 870-541-7195.

Friday, Jan. 19

Parents’ Choice support group opens

All Called To Serve Outreach Ministry recently launched its Parents’ Choice support group. Parents’ Choice welcomes parents to the next meeting from 6-8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 19, at 510 S. Mulberry St. Details: Glenda Johnson, 870-671-4927.

Saturday, Jan. 20

Girl Scouts Cookie sales begin

Girl Scouts - Diamonds will begin the Girl Scout Cookie sales Saturday, Jan. 20, with the Cookie Palooza, one of the annual signature events to kick off cookie sales at Girl Scouts - Diamonds of Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas. Girls come and participate in various activities. Details: Girl Scouts - Diamonds, 800-632-6894 or girlscoutsdiamonds.org­ .

Tuesday, Jan. 23

Ivy Center slates MLK Quiz Bowl

Tuesday, Jan. 23, from 6-7 p.m., the Ivy Center for Education—Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Quiz Bowl Competition will be held at Faith Presbyterian Church, 913 University Drive.

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.

Saturday, Jan. 27

Watson Chapel Key Club slates pancake breakfast

The Watson Chapel Key Club will hold a pancake breakfast from 6 a.m. to noon Saturday, Jan. 27, at Watson Chapel High School, 4000 S. Camden Road. Tickets are $7 for adults and $3 for those under 12. Proceeds from the breakfast will benefit Key Club projects, according to the Kiwanis Club of Pine Bluff Bulletin.

Special Olympics sets race, Polar Plunge

The Area IX Special Olympics will host the Polar Plunge and the Polar Bear Walk and Run Saturday, Jan. 27, in Regional Park at the waterfront amphitheater. Registration for the walk/run will begin at 9 a.m. with the race beginning at 9:30 a.m. Early race packets may be picked up at the Jefferson Regional Medical Center Wellness Center in Pine Bluff on Jan. 24 from 5-6:30 p.m. and at the White Hall JRMC Wellness Center on Jan. 25 at 8 a.m. The fee for all participants is $25. Registration for all plungers will be at 1 p.m. at the waterfront amphitheater. The plunge fee is $50 for each participant. The plunge will begin at 2 p.m. Awards will be given to those raising the most money for Special Olympics. Anyone interested in either of the events should call Travis Chisom at 870-489-3881.

Wild Turkey Federation banquet set at Star City

The Cane Creek Longbeards Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation-Star City will present their 21st annual banquet and auction at the Star City Civic Center Saturday, Jan. 27. The doors will open at 6 p.m. for viewing merchandise and games. Dinner will begin at 7 p.m. and Wood’s Catering will prepare catfish, chicken and pork. Sponsor memberships are $275, couples are $65, single tickets are $50 and for children (17 and under) tickets are $15. The cost includes a membership and meal. Attendees must have tickets to attend. Corporate tables are $585. For details or tickets, contact Drew or Ashley Steed at 870-628-5370; Audrey Bush at 870-370-8484 or Ratterree’s Pawn and Surplus at 870-628-4767.

Friday, Feb. 2

UAPB & ASC: Five Decades of Collaboration

The Arts & Science Center and the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff will present Five Decades of Collaboration from 4-5 p.m. Friday, Feb. 2, at the center. A reception will be followed by remarks at 4:30 p.m. This exhibition features artwork from the center’s Permanent Collection by UAPB faculty and students. At 5 p.m., Live@5 will feature the UAPB Jazz Ensemble. Admission is free in appreciation to the community during the center’s 50th anniversary.

Thursday, Feb. 8

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.

Through Friday, Feb. 9

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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