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

Saturday, Jan. 12

Mt. Zion at Altheimer to open pantry

Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church at Altheimer will open its food pantry from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Jan. 12. Participants must be at least 18 years old and present a valid ID. Food boxes will be distributed to only one person per household, according to a news release.

Indigo Blue to host Patrick Oliver, author, educational consultant

Indigo Blue Coffeehouse, 212 W. Barraque St., will host Patrick Oliver, a nationally known literary and education consultant, during “Coffee and Conversation.” The event will be held from 2-4 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 12, and it’s free and open to the public. “Coffee and Conversation” is the first of a series the coffeehouse will host, Mary Ann Lee, owner of Indigo Blue, said in a news release.

Merrill All-School Reunion meeting set

The Merrill All-School Reunion Committee will meet at RJ’s Sports Grill, 128 Main St., at 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 12.

Gillett Coon Supper, Berry scholarship reception set

Plans are underway for a reception benefiting the Marion and Carolyn Berry Scholarship and the 76th annual Gillett Coon Supper, according to a news release. On Saturday, Jan. 12, the eighth annual “Berry Pre-Coon Supper Reception” will be held at 3:30 p.m. at the Berry Farm Shop in Gillett followed at 6:30 p.m. by the Gillett Coon Supper at the Gillett School Gymnasium. Tickets are $30 each for the pre-supper reception at the Berry farm shop. Reception ticket details: https://www.facebook.com/events/2542720322412626/ Tickets to the coon supper may be purchased by contacting Larry Bauer at 870-830-4002.Tickets will be available for purchase at the door.

Beginning Saturday, Jan. 12

St. John offers free meals

St. John AME Church at the corner of Cherry and Pullen streets will offer free lunches from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday and Sunday breakfast beginning at 9 a.m. The effort is part of the church’s “Soul Food Feeding Program for the Mind, Body and Spirit.”

Monday, Jan. 14

Parents as Teachers set group meeting

Parents as Teachers will hold its group meeting from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 14, at the Arkansas River Education Service Cooperative, 912 W. Sixth Ave. The topic will be “Celebrate with a Great Book,” according to a news release. Parents as Teachers is a free early childhood parenting education and family support program that provides parents with information and activities for children up to three years old. Activities encourage language, intellectual, motor and social-emotional growth. PAT accepts volunteers and donations of baby items such as diapers, formula and car seats to assist families. Details: ARESC/PAT, 870-730-2939.

Edgewood area neighbors meet

The Jefferson Heights, French Village, Robin Hood, Edgewood Neighborhood Watch Group will meet at 6 p.m. Monday, Jan. 14, at Edgewood School, 4101 W. 32nd Ave. Details: 870-879-3776.

War Ridge neighbors meet

The War Ridge Association Group will meet at 6 p.m. Monday, Jan. 14, at Bradshaw Senior Center, 2008 Ridgway Road. Details: 870-329-5468.

Sunday, Jan. 13

Trinity Lutheran plans 41st blood drive

Trinity Lutheran Church, 4200 Old Warren Road, will sponsor its 41st blood drive from noon to 3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 13. The Arkansas Blood Institute blood donation center will be located in the church fellowship hall. Interested donors are asked to bring their blood donor card or a picture ID. Participants may register online at arkbi.org or attend the blood drive Jan. 13. Refreshments will be served to all donors. Details: Trinity Lutheran Church, 870-534-4316.

Beginning Monday, Jan. 14

DHS begins summer food program application period Jan. 14

Applications for the 2019 Arkansas Summer Food Service Program (ASFSP) will be processed in two phases, beginning in January, according to the Arkansas Department of Human Services (DHS). The first period, only for schools and government sponsors, will open Monday, Jan. 14. All other provider applications will be accepted beginning Friday, Feb. 15. The deadline for all applications is April 30, 2019, according to a news release. Funded by the United States Department of Agriculture, the Summer Food Service Program operates through DHS to provide healthy snacks and meals to children who receive free or reduced price lunches during the school year. To submit an ASFSP application or receive program technical assistance, visit https://dhs.arkansas.gov/dccece/snp/SummerInfoM.aspx or call 501-682-8869.

Tuesday, Jan. 15

Pine Bluff Quilters Guild to meet

The Pine Bluff Quilter’s Guild will meet at Trinity Lutheran Church, Tuesday, Jan. 15. The meeting starts at 9:30 a.m. The Pine Bluff Quilter’s Guild has an annual membership fee of $20. Anyone interested in learning the art of quilt making is welcome to come, visit and become a member, according to a club spokesman. Membership is open to all who are interested in quilting, no prior experience is needed.

Faucett Road Association Group meets

The Faucett Road Association Group will meet at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Jan 15, at First Missionary Baptist Church, 4500 Faucett Road. Details: 323-708-2903.

Ivy Center MLK Quiz Bowl set

The Ivy Center for Education will host their annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Quiz Bowl Competition. The event will be held from 6-7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 15, at Faith Presbyterian Church, 911 University Drive. Winners will receive prizes, according to a news release. Details: Mattie Collins, mattie1908@gmail.com, or Patricia Berry, koolaidpat1@aol.com

Growing Healthy Community Coalition to meet

The Jefferson County Growing Healthy Community Coalition will meet at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 15, at the Pine Bluff Parks and Recreation Department office at Saracen Landing, 200 Lake Saracen Drive. Coalition members and persons interested in health and wellness of Jefferson County are encouraged to attend, according to a news release. Quranner “Q”Cotledge and Trudy Redus are co-chairs.

Rotary Club meets

The Downtown Pine Bluff Rotary Club meets at noon Tuesdays at the Pine Bluff Country Club. Programs include — Jan. 15: MLK Day Kickoff featuring Robin White, National Park Services superintendent of the Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site; Jan. 22: Farmers’ Appreciation Day featuring Bill Bridgforth; Jan. 29: Meet the Newest Rotarians with Tongia Gaston, Camille Neeman and Erin Foster.

Beginning Tuesday, Jan. 15

Original KingFest celebrated

The 35th annual Original KingFest Celebration will begin with a kick off at noon Tuesday, Jan. 15, at the Pine Bluff Country Club with both the Downtown Pine Bluff and West Pine Bluff Rotary Clubs. The speaker will be National Parks Service Superintendent Robin White of the Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site. The meeting is open to the public. KingFest activities are scheduled for Jan. 15-21. At 6 p.m. Friday, Jan. 18 — the Youth/Young Adult Gospel Extravaganza will be held at the Barraque Street Missionary Baptist Church, 1800 W. Pullen Ave. Saturday, Jan. 19 – Original KingFest Celebration Community Service Day will be held in partnership with the city of Pine Bluff. At 6 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 20 — Willie Roaf, Pine Bluff native and National Football League Hall of Fame member, will speak at Justice Sunday at Family Church’s Pine Bluff campus, 2309 S. Poplar St. At 2 p.m. Monday, Jan. 21 — Roaf will also lead the Original KingFest Parade/Marade beginning at the Jefferson County Courthouse with the lineup at 1 p.m. A brief youth-led educational program for children will be held at the Pine Bluff Convention Center after the OKFC Parade/Marade. The deadline for parade applications is Thursday, Jan. 17. Applications are available at the PBICVR office, 211 W. Third Ave., Suite 109 at the Donald W. Reynolds Community Services Center, or by calling Mary Liddell at 870-643-2383, Pelida Norris 870-692-8579 or by email to pbicvr@aol.com. To volunteer or for details call 870-730-1131 or visit www.pbicvrpenorpencil.com .

Thursday, Jan. 17

Women’s Connection luncheon set

Pine Bluff Christian Women’s Connection of Stonecroft Ministries will host their luncheon at 11:30 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 17, at the Pine Bluff Country Club. The feature will be Matt Soto of White Hall, an entertainer, who is also a producer with First Arkansas Insurance. The guest speaker will be Arkansas author Karen Jordan of Hot Springs Village. The luncheon is $13.50 and reservations should be made to Jennifer Keahey at 870-540-9302.

EOC board plans meeting

The board of directors of the Pine Bluff/Jefferson County Economic Opportunities Commission will meet at 11 a.m. Thursday, Jan., 17. The meeting will be held in the EOC administration building, 1203 W. Pullen St., and it’s open to the public, according to a news release.

Calvary Association Group meets

Calvary Association Group will meet at 6 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 17, at St. Stephens Church of God in Christ, 4805 W. 14th Ave. Details: 870-879-9023.

Sheraton Park neighbors meet

The Sheraton Park Neighborhood Watch Group will meet at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 17, at Grace Episcopal Church, 4101 Hazel St. Details: 870-535-0303.

Motivational Night 2019 set

Burt’s Food Court & Events LLC, 209 S. Main St., will host Motivational Night 2019 from 6-7:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 17. Presented by Marina Amdream, the program will feature the following speakers and topcics: Wil Jenkins — 2019 Could be Your Year; Bill Brumett — Looking Beyond Where You Are; and Amdream — New Year, New Meaningful Life, according to a news release. The sponsors are EMRO Videos, Burt’s and Bill Brumett & Associates. Details: Maryna Ross, emrovideos@gmail.com .

Beginning Friday, Jan. 18

Grand Prairie arts photography competition set

The 62nd Grand Prairie Festival of the Arts Photography Competition will be held at the Arts Center of the Grand Prairie at Stuttgart. The competition is open to adults and children. Contest entries will be received from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, Jan. 18, and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 19, according to a news release. The exhibit will be open Friday, Jan. 25, through Thursday, Feb. 21. An open house will be announced. Art entries can be pick up from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, Feb. 22, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 23. For an application and rules, visit www.grandprairiearts.com .

Monday, Jan. 21

Russ NAACP hosts MLK Day breakfast

The Carnell Russ Branch NAACP will host its first annual community MLK Day breakfast, “Preserving the Dream” on Monday, Jan. 21 beginning at 9 a.m. at the Star City Civic Center at 201 Liberty Ave., There will be speakers, choirs, dancers and more. Tickets will be $5 each. For more information contact Bonnie Shelton, 619-981-6100; Glenover Fitzpatrick, 870-550-7555 or Lea Glenns, 501-541-3732.

Thursday, Jan. 24

Chamber’s annual dinner meeting to feature Chris Masingill

The Pine Bluff Regional Chamber of Commerce’s 2019 annual dinner meeting will feature keynote speaker Chris Masingill, former co-chairman of the Delta Regional Authority. The formal dinner event will be held from 6-8 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 24, at the Pine Bluff Country Club. Tickets are $60 each or $600 for a table seating eight, according to a news release. Planning is underway and limited sponsorships are available for the Chamber’s annual dinner meeting. Seating will be limited, so participants are urged to make plans to attend. Details: Nancy McNew, 870-535-0110.

Thursday, Jan. 31

Omega Psi Phi Fraternity plans annual talent hunt

Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc. will sponsor their annual Talent Hunt competition for Pine Bluff area high school students grades nine through 12 at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 31, at Robert F. Morehead Middle School, 2602 Fluker St. Tickets for adults are $5 and may be purchased at the door. There is no charge for students. Contestants who are home schooled must present verification from their school district that they are enrolled as a high school student, according to a news release. Applications, as well as a parental release and consent form, may be obtained from members of the Tau Phi Graduate Chapter or Tau Sigma Undergraduate Chapter of Omega Psi Phi or contact James Horton at 870-692-1064. Students may also obtain applications by submitting the request to jlabor1@yahoo.com ATTN: J Horton, Talent Hunt Chairman. The deadline for submitting the application is Friday, Jan. 25, 2019.

AARP Driver Safety Class set

The AARP Driver Safety Class will be offered from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 31, at the Donald W. Reynolds Community Services Center, 211 W. Third Ave. Phil McBee, a certified instructor, will teach the multimedia course for people 50 and older. Participants who finish the 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, according to a news release. 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. AARP members should bring their AARP cards. To register, call 870-692-7926 and leave a name and phone number.

Tuesday, Feb. 5

IP/Evergreen retirees to meet

The International Paper/Evergreen Packaging Retirees will meet from 2-3 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 5, 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. The January meeting has been canceled, according to a news release. Details: 870-534-7094.

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.

Thursday, Feb. 28

Registration ends for Blue & You Fitness Challenge

Registering for the 2019 Blue & You Fitness Challenge is underway. The challenge is held annually March 1 to May 31, according to a news release from Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield. Individuals may register until Thursday, Feb. 28. Groups or individuals are asked to log their exercise activity and to compete for points, according to the release. Details: blueandyoufitnesschallenge-ark.com.

Through Sunday, March 31

Registration opens for poultry feeding operations

The annual registration for Poultry Feeding Operations (PFOs) begins Jan. 1, 2019, in accordance with the Arkansas Poultry Feeding Operations Registration Act (Act 1060 of 2003). The Arkansas Natural Resources Commission (ANRC) and the Jefferson County Conservation District issued a reminder for all owners of PFOs. Registration dates will run through March 31 and affect any PFO with 2,500 or more confined fowl, according to a news release. Each poultry producer will register their operation through the Jefferson County Conservation District. There will be an annual $10 registration fee per operation payable to the district. Details: Miccah Bowen, Arkansas Natural Resources Commission in Little Rock, 501-682-3968; Kathryn Hathcoat, district secretary, Jefferson County Conservation District, U.S. Federal Building, 100 E. Eighth Ave., Room 2114, Pine Bluff, 870-727-6125; or a local conservation district.

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.


On-going events

EOC taking winter utility bill applications

The Pine Bluff/Jefferson County Economic Opportunities Commission began accepting applications for the regular winter Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) Jan. 7, at EOC, 1201 W. Pullen St. The winter portion of LIHEAP funds will be for gas and electric bills, according to a news release. EOC will accept applications from 8 a.m. to noon Monday through Wednesday. EOC will open the program in Jefferson, Grant, Cleveland, Arkansas and Lincoln counties. Applicants for LIHEAP assistance must meet income guidelines. Details: EOC, 870-536-0046.

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.


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.