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

Wednesday, Jan. 16

Commercial sets church news deadline

Church news is printed in The Commercial on Friday and the deadline to submit church announcements is noon Wednesday. Articles may be submitted by email to pbcnews@pbcommercial.com, faxed to 870-534-0113, mailed to P.O. Box 6469, Pine Bluff, AR, 71611, or hand delivered to 300 S. Beech St. Area pastors or associate pastors may also submit columns for the Devotional Page by emailing the article and a photo. Photos may also accompany church news by email.

Thursday, Jan. 17

Study requires lane closure at McGehee

A temporary lane closure in McGehee will be required for a subsurface investigation in preparation for a new rail road overpass replacement on U.S. 278. From 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 17, weather permitting, crews will operate a single lane closure on the existing rail road overpass of the westbound lane of U.S. 278, according to the Arkansas Department of Transportation (ARDOT.) Traffic will be controlled with signage and flaggers. Drivers should exercise caution when traveling through all highway work zones. Details: IDriveArkansas.com or ARDOT.gov or Twitter @myARDOT.

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 .

Sunday, Jan. 20

Jefferson County Historical Society sets meeting

The Jefferson County Historical Society will hold its winter meeting at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 20, at the Pine Bluff-Jefferson County Historical Museum, Fourth Avenue and State Street. The speaker will be Timothy Nutt, director of the Historical Research Center at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences library, according to a news release. Nutt will discuss the 1918 flu epidemic in Arkansas. The public is invited to the meeting. Details: 541-5402.

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.

Saturday, Feb. 2

Merrill All-School Reunion panel to meet

The Merrill All-School Reunion Committee will meet at 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 2, at RJ’s Sports Grill, 128 Main St.

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.

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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.

Tuesdays

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.