Calendar Feb. 9

Editor's Note: At press time, the following events and meetings were known to be still scheduled. Organizers or appropriate officials are encouraged to contact Sandra Hope at [email protected] or use our newsroom email [email protected] to make additions or changes.

Friday, Feb. 9

SEARK plans ribbon cutting

Southeast Arkansas College will conduct a ribbon cutting ceremony for the Reef Student Housing complex, 6811 S. Hazel St., at 11 a.m. Feb. 9. A reception will follow the ceremony. "Join us as we reveal the SEARK College's student housing construction and renovation project," according to a flyer. Details: Barbara Dunn at [email protected] or

Alphas host Valentine's fundraising gala

Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., in conjunction with the Southeast Arkansas Jewel Foundation, will celebrate its annual All Black Fair, the Valentine's Scholarship Fundraiser, at 7:06 p.m. Feb. 9, at the Pine Bluff Convention Center. Tickets are $40 per person. Tables are $400 each. Three individuals will be honored as Jewels of the Community and scholarships will be awarded. The Jewels of the Community are Lee Jewel Randle, a local businessman; Barbara Dunn, director development at Southeast Arkansas College; and Marshall Kelly, owner of Brown Funeral Home. The gala also has sponsorship opportunities available at the following levels: Jewel Sponsor - $4,999 and above; Yellow Rose Sponsor - $2,500 to $4,998; Old Gold Sponsor - $1,000 to $2,499; and Black Level Sponsor - $400 to $999. Checks or money orders should be made payable to the Southeast Arkansas Jewel Foundation and mailed by Feb. 1 to Southeast Arkansas Jewel Foundation, P.O. Box 3159, Pine Bluff, AR 71611. Details: Arzo Knox at (501) 351-7336 or [email protected].

Saturday, Feb. 10

St. John to give away food

St. John AME Church, 1117 W. Pullen St., will give away food boxes to those in need Saturday from 9 a.m. until all food has been distributed. State ID's are required to receive one box per family. Pickup will be in front of the church on Cherry Street. For safety reasons, recipients are asked to stay in their vehicles and open their trunks, according to a news release.

Raven's Nest pantry to open

Raven's Nest Food Pantry at Pilgrim Missionary Baptist Church, 2507 Hill St., will open Feb. 10 from 8 to 9:30 a.m. or until all the food has been given away. Food will be given away on a first come, first-served basis. Participants must bring a picture identification. The pantry is a U.S. Department of Agriculture site, according to a news release.

ASC FunDay hosts Faux Stained Glass

Patrons can make unique artwork during Second Saturday Family FunDay: Faux Stained Glass, from 1-3 p.m. Feb. 10 at the Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas. Visitors will create a beautiful piece using plastic, aluminum, and cardboard to create a stained glass color effect. This event is free and open to the public. For details, contact Shakeelah Rahmaan at [email protected] or call (870) 536-3375.

WH police plan ball

The White Hall Police Officer's Association will present Hollywood Nights, the 2024 Policemen's Ball. The gala will be held at 6 p.m. Feb. 10 at the White Hall Community Center. The event will be catered by Fowl Smokin' Swine and the entertainment will be provided by Aces Wild Band, according to the flier on the White Hall Chamber of Commerce Facebook Page. For details, tickets or to reserve a table, call (870) 247-1414.

Sunday, Feb. 11

Kings Highway sets Women's Day

Kings Highway Missionary Baptist Church, 2312 Fluker Ave., will celebrate its annual Women's Day Program on Sunday beginning with Sunday School at 9:30 a.m. At 10:45 a.m., the speaker will be Vernice Meadows, member of Kings Highway. At 3 p.m., the guest speaker will be Mae Anderson Oputa of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas, Texas. The theme is Women of Christian Faith Persevering in Times Like These. The Rev. Anthony J. Howard is Kings Highway's pastor.

Amos Chapel observes Black History

Amos Chapel Missionary Baptist Church, 1307 W. 16th Ave., will host Dr. Martha A. Flowers presenting a moment in Black History during the 11 a.m. worship service. The general public is welcome to attend all services at the church, beginning with 10 a.m. Sunday School on Sundays. The Rev. Robert Willis Jr., is pastor at Amos Chapel.

Barraque Street honors pastor

Barraque Street Missionary Baptist Church, 1800 W. Pullen St., will celebrate the fourth anniversary of the pastor, the Rev. Sidney D. Milton Sr., at 11 a.m. Feb. 11. The guest speaker will be the Rev. Tegitra Thomas, pastor of First Missionary Church of Monroe, La. Music will be provided by the Barraque Street Church choir.

Pizza and Prayer set

Prayer and Pizza for children will be held from 2-3 p.m. Feb. 11 at New Community Church. The speaker will be Anita Robinson, intervention coordinator with Ambassadors for Christ Youth Ministries. Organizers will serve pizza, sponsored by area businesses, and intercessors will pray and encourage the youth. These monthly sessions will continue at various churches. "Please join the movement through prayer for our children," said Dee Clay, the coordinator. The event is free and open to the general public. Pastors and youth leaders are urged to participate.


Election-related dates set

In preparation for the Primary Election on March 5, the Jefferson County Clerk's Office announced election-related dates. Feb. 14- Sample ballots will be available on the Voter View website with the Secretary of State's Office. Feb. 20-Early voting starts for the Primary Election. Early voting is set from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. (including Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.) Feb. 27-This is the deadline to submit absentee applications. March 4-Last day of early voting is from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. March 5-Primary election day; voting is held at polling sites from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30p.m. March 5-This is the last day to submit absentee ballots by 7:30 p.m. March 26-April 1-Early voting starts (if needed, for a primary runoff.) April 2-Primary runoff election (if needed.) Feb. 1-May 1 - Independent candidates (for the November General Election) can circulate petitions. Petitions must be filed by noon May 1. Details: Jefferson County Clerk's Office, (870) 541-2125.

Monday, Feb. 12

PB school board to meet

Pine Bluff School Board will hold a special called board meeting at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 12 in the boardroom of the Jordan-Chanay building, 1215 W. Pullen St., according to a news release.

Tuesday, Feb. 13

Valentine's concert features Block Collective

The Rodney Block Collective, with special guest Tyrone Block, will perform at the Southeast Arkansas Concert Association's Valentine's Dinner/Dance. The event will be held at 7 p.m. Feb. 13 at the University of Arkansas at Monticello Gibson Center Green Room. Tickets are $40. Renowned jazz trumpeter Rodney Block, an alum of Dumas High School and UAM, is returning for the Valentine's treat. For tickets or details, call (870) 460-1888 or visit

TOPPS to give away food

TOPPS, 1000 Townsend Drive, will hold its monthly food distribution at 10 a.m. Feb. 13. Only one box per household will be issued until all boxes are given away. Participants must be present and show proof of address to receive a food box, according to a news release. Targeting Our People's Priorities with Service (TOPPS) is a non-profit community-based organization. Details: TOPPS, (870) 850-6011. Annette Dove is the founder and director.

Beginning Tuesday, Feb. 13

Ivy Center announces events

Ivy Center for Education announces upcoming events, according to a news release. On Feb. 13 -- The Ivy Center will host a Future Aviation Engineers Workshop from 6-7 p.m. at the Generator, 435 S. Main St. The workshop topic is: "Data Science, AI and Rockets." The presenters will be Sederick Rice, associate professor of biology at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, and Karl Walker, graduate coordinator of Computer Science & Technology at UAPB. For 7th-12th graders and parents who can't attend the live events, they may attend virtually using Zoom ID: 856 8296 4187; Passcode: 351061. For details, email Ivy Center President Mattie Collins at [email protected] or follow the center on social media or its website

Through Tuesday, Feb. 13

ARDOT needs input on rail plan

The Arkansas Department of Transportation seeks public input on the development of a state rail plan. The purpose of the plan is to provide a guide for future investments in freight and passenger rail infrastructure and services in Arkansas and to position the state for competitive railroad funding opportunities. While ARDOT does not finance, own, operate, or maintain any rail infrastructure or services, the Highways and Transportation Act of 1977 requires ARDOT to develop a state rail plan, according to a news release. The public is invited to review an online presentation regarding freight and passenger rail in Arkansas and to complete a survey. The survey will be available Sunday through Feb. 13. The online presentation is available at this link starting Sunday Details: ARDOT Planning Division, (501) 569-2201 or [email protected].

Wednesday, Feb. 14

Pine Bluff Commercial sets church news deadline

Church news is printed in The Commercial on Friday. The deadline to submit church announcements is noon Wednesday. Pastors, ministers or others interested in writing for the Devotional Page may also submit columns for consideration. Column writers should have connections to Southeast Arkansas. Articles should be submitted by email to Sandra Hope at [email protected] or [email protected]. Details: (870) 534-3400, ext. 5.

Thursday, Feb. 15

Women's Connection sets luncheon

The Christian Women's Connection invites the community to its luncheon from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Feb. 15 at the Pine Bluff Country Club. The speaker will be Mary Alice Estes of Bella Vista. Her topic will be "The Path of Faith and Trust." A presentation will also be made by Laura Golden of Carpe Diem fashions of White Hall, according to a news release. The luncheon cost is $21, which includes the meal, drink, dessert, tax, and gratuity. For reservations or cancellations, call Jennifer Keahey at (870) 540-9302. All reservations must be made three days in advance. Participants will be charged for reservations that aren't kept.

Retired teachers group to meet

The Jefferson County Retired Teachers Association will meet at 11:30 a.m. Feb. 15 in the Donald W. Reynolds Community Services Center, 211 W. Third Ave. The guest speaker will be Brian Rodgers, adult education specialist at the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center in Little Rock. Member reservations are required for the luncheon to be provided by Rice First Class Catering at $12 per person. Details: (870) 543-0127.

ASC sets farewell reception for director

The public is invited to a reception honoring Rachel Miller, executive director of the Arts & Science Center and the ARTx3 Campus. The reception is 5-7 p.m. Feb. 15 at ASC, 701 S. Main St. The evening will feature light hors d'oeuvres and drinks. Miller, who has led ASC since 2014, has accepted the position of executive director of the Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History in California. The event is also an opportunity for the public to visit with Lindsey Collins, ARTx3's interim director and theater programs manager.

Ring-Making Workshop set

The Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas will host a beginner-friendly ring-making workshop from 6-8 p.m. Feb. 15 at The ARTSpace on Main, 623 S. Main St. Jeweler Mary Pat Tate will teach the craftsmanship of herringbone weave. In this two-hour class, students create two rings to take home and gain the skills to make the Herringbone weave pattern and glass beads. The cost is $20 for ARTx3 members and $25 for nonmembers. Participants must be 16 years or older. To register, visit or call (870) 536-3375. Fordetails, contact Bethany Gere at [email protected].

Divine 9 slates candidate forums

The Divine 9 (Greek letter organizations and local agencies) and community partners will host candidate forums Feb. 15 at 6 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. at the Pine Bluff Convention Center. Court of Appeals Judge Waymond Brown will the moderator, according to a news release. At 6 p.m., invited candidates for the March 5 election include State Rep. District 65, State District Court Judge Division 2, Justice of the Peace and City Council candidates. At 7 p.m., invited participants include candidates for Pine Bluff Mayor, Pine Bluff City Clerk, and Pine Bluff Treasurer. Details: Commeka Goodloe, (870) 267-3476, or James Word, (870) 329-4738.

Friday, Feb. 16

Malcom X's daughter to speak at UAPB

Professor Ilyasah Shabazz, daughter of Malcolm X and an award-winning author, educator, and producer, will be the keynote speaker for the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Black History Month celebration. The event will be held at 10 a.m. Feb. 16 in the UAPB STEM Conference Center. The UAPB community and the public are invited to attend this program, where Shabazz will deliver an address highlighting the importance of understanding and honoring the contributions of African Americans throughout history, according to a news release.

Golden Hour: 'Couples Cooking' set

The Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas will host a free cooking workshop, Golden Hour: Couples Cooking from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Feb. 16. This culinary experience, led by Khaadimah Rahmaan, offers an opportunity for ages 50 and older. Couples are invited to spend time together to learn delicious signature treats from Rahmaan. For more information or to register for the workshop, visit or contact Bethany Gere at [email protected].

Saturday, Feb. 17

YBL plans event

The Youth Basketball League will host a Charity All Star game at 1 p.m. Feb. 17 at the Pine Bluff High School gym. The event will feature YBL All Stars and honorees. Special recognition will be given to Jacqueline Robinson, aka "Momma Jackie," for the vision to help start the league seven years ago, according to a news release. Organizers are celebrating everyone who played a major part in helping with the Youth Basketball League. It's the last charity game they will have. The event will feature games, a poem by John Proctor, song by Jonte Augustine, and featuring DJ Joe. The speaker will be Lucas Armstrong, league owner.

4-H volunteer training set

The Jefferson County 4-H Youth Development Program will present a training session for all current, pending, and potential adult volunteer leaders. The training will be held from 9-11:30 a.m. Feb. 17 at the Jefferson County Cooperative Extension Service, 500 S. Idaho St. Topics include: 4-H club basics, club and volunteer requirements, use of the 4-H emblem and name, 4-H ZSuite enrollment, 4-H overview and opportunities, and the 2024 Jefferson County 4-H calendar of events, according to a news release. To register for the training or for details, contact Pia Woods or agent Timothy Wallace at (870) 534-1033 or [email protected] or [email protected].

Yoga in the Loft: Couples Yoga set

People may exercise and relax with certified yoga instructor FloEssence from 1:30-3 p.m. Feb. 17 at Yoga in the Loft. FloEssence will lead participants through an hour of yoga, followed by a guided meditation. New and experienced practitioners are welcome. Participants must be 13 years old or older. Participants are encouraged to bring their partners or close friends to learn collaborative yoga poses during Couples Yoga. Yoga takes place in the Loft Gallery at The ARTSpace on Main, 623 S. Main St., every third Saturday of the month. Advanced registration and payment are required. Sign up at or call (870) 536-3375. This class is part of ASC's Flex Pay program, with $15 the recommended price.

Beginning Saturday, Feb. 17

'Matilda' prep workshop, auditions set

The Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas will host an audition prep workshop for the production "Roald Dahl's Matilda: The Musical" from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Feb. 17. Participants must be 18 or younger and register for this event separately from the auditions. Participation in this workshop is not a requirement to audition but it is highly encouraged. Auditions are from 6-9 p.m. Feb. 23, and 2:30-7 p.m. Feb. 25. Auditions are open to ages 8 and older. The workshop and auditions will take place in the Catherine M. Bellamy Theater at the Arts & Science Center. Performances are set for 7:30 p.m. July 19-20 and July 26-27, and 2 p.m. July 21 and July 28, in the Bellamy Theater. Cast members must be available for all performances. Register for an audition slot or the workshop at For questions, contact Lindsey Collins at [email protected] or (870)-536-3375.

Sunday, Feb. 18

Union Hopewell honors pastor, wife

Union Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church, 1121 S. Persimmon St., will celebrate the 10th anniversary of the pastor and wife, the Rev. Antonio Gayden Sr. and Loretta Gayden, at 2 p.m. Feb. 18. The guest speaker will be the Rev. Clifton A. Conley, pastor of Mt. Sinai Missionary Baptist Church at Little Rock.

Tuesday, Feb. 20

DAR to meet

The Pine Bluff-John McAlmont Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution will meet at 1:30 p.m. Feb. 20 at the Lakeside United Methodist Church Center, 1500 S. Laurel St. The program will be "The Saracen Nation in Arkansas," according to a news release.

Thursday, Feb. 22

District 65 candidates to meet, greet

The Pine Bluff Regional Chamber of Commerce will host a meet and greet for state Representative District 65 candidates, the Rev. Glenn Barnes Sr. and Kanisher Caldwell. The event will be held at 5:30 p.m. Feb. 22 at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Business Support Incubator, 615 S. Main St. The Chamber invites residents to attend, ask questions and learn about the candidates' local and national positions on issues that impact the community, according to the Chamber newsletter.

GOP meeting to host Thurston

The Jefferson County Republican Committee will meet at 6 p.m. Feb. 22 at Larry's Pizza in White Hall. The guest speaker will be Arkansas Secretary of State John Thurston, candidate for state treasurer, according to a news release.

Women Empowering Women set

The Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center will host Women Empowering Women: Building Black Businesses from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Feb. 22 at The ARTSpace on Main, 623 S Main St. The workshop is free and open to everyone. The registration deadline is 5 p.m. Feb. 22. Participants can learn how to start a business the right way, according to a news release. Topics include Business Start-up/Preplanning and Women-owned Businesses. Panelists will be Adriene F. Brown of the U.S. Small Business Administration Arkansas District; Katie Branch, Chick-fil-a of Pine Bluff; and LaTisha Brunson, Pine Bluff City Council member. Details: Bri Clark (501) 804-5421 or 800-862-2040 or

Friday, Feb. 23

Reception set for 'Dialogues with Mother Earth'

The ARTx3 Campus will host an opening reception for "Dialogues with Mother Earth: Drawing to Save the Planet," an exhibition by artist Erica Daborn, from 5-7 p.m. Feb. 23. This exhibition will be in the William H. Kennedy Jr. and International Paper galleries at the Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas. The exhibition will be on view through Aug 16. For more information, visit

Delta Upcycle Challenge deadline set

The Delta Upcycle Challenge is a new regional initiative by the Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas (part of the ARTx3 Campus) to bring awareness to the impact that humans have on the environment, tactics to minimize that impact, and share through artistic expression how communities can collaborate to create a beautiful tomorrow. The D.U.C. Project has two competitions: The upcycled mini-sculpture contest for high school students and the upcycled fashion show for students enrolled in a college, university, or trade school. The top 20 entries in both competitions will be showcased, judged, and awarded in person at the ARTx3 Campus on April 13. The deadline to register is 5 p.m. Feb. 23. The submission deadline is 5 p.m. March 29. Learn more and register at For details, contact J. Tyler Lewis at [email protected] or (870) 536-3375.

Saturday, Feb. 24

Jefferson Foundation sets gala

Jefferson Regional Foundation will host the Winter Wonderland Ball 2024 at the White Hall Community Center on Feb. 24. The cocktail hour will begin at 6 p.m. Dinner will be served at 7 p.m. followed by entertainment, according to a news release. Details: Laura Beth Shaner, (870) 541-7210.

Beginning Saturday, Feb. 24

In Stitches: Beginners Sewing set

The Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas (part of the ARTx3 Campus) will host "In Stitches," a five-week beginners sewing class with Lorraine Hatcher from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays, Feb. 24, March 2, 9, 16, and 23. Participants will learn a new project each week. The class fee includes a new sewing machine and supplies. The cost is $300 for members and $350 for nonmembers. Participants must be 12 years or older. To register, visit or call (870) 536-3375. For details, contact Bethany Gere at [email protected].

Sunday, Feb. 25

Kingdom Builders set at New Community

New Community Church, 321 N. Birch St., will host its Kingdom Builders program at 6 p.m. Feb. 25. The featured speaker will be Karen Wine, a member of New Community. Everyone is invited to attend. The program director is Samuel Gibson, a deacon at New Community. The pastor/apostle is Patrick Lockett Sr.

Through Tuesday, Feb. 27

Absentee ballot forms available

In preparation for the March 5 Primary Election, the Jefferson County Clerk's Office has absentee ballot applications available to the public weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Voters may also visit the website at to download an application. The completed form can be hand delivered or mailed to the Jefferson County Clerk's Office, 101 W. Barraque St., Ste. 101, Pine Bluff, AR., 71601, or faxed or emailed to the office. All voters who want an absentee ballot must contact the county clerk's office. Feb. 27 is the deadline to submit absentee applications to the clerk's office. Election day, March 5, is the last day to submit absentee ballots by 7:30 p.m. Details: Jefferson County Clerk's Office, (870) 541-2125.

Through Friday, March 1

AKA scholarships available

Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., Delta Omega Omega Chapter, in collaboration with First Sisters Outreach Inc., is accepting scholarship applications to be awarded to deserving young women planning to attend the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff during the 2024-2025 school year. Interested high school senior females should carefully review the 2024 scholarship guidelines to ensure eligibility. The 2024 online scholarship application is available at The deadline for submission is March 1, according to a news release.

USDA/1890 scholars deadline set

The application deadline for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)/1890 National Scholars Program is March 1, said Belinda Demmings, USDA liaison for the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. The program awards scholarships to students attending one of 19 historically black land-grant universities. High school seniors entering their freshman year of college and rising college sophomores and juniors are eligible to apply, according to a news release. USDA/1890 National Scholars receive full tuition towards a bachelor's degree. Applicants must apply using the e-application form at this web address:

Through Saturday, March 2

Zeta Phi Beta offers scholarship

The deadline is March 2 to apply for the scholarships offered by the Epsilon Zeta Zeta Chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc. The sorority will provide a $1,000 scholarship to a young woman enrolled at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff and a $500 scholarship to a young woman enrolled at Southeast Arkansas College. Applicants must have a 3.0 grade point average. The application, an official transcript, and letters of recommendation on the letter writer's official letterhead may be emailed to [email protected] and/or mailed to P.O. Box 1161, Pine Bluff, AR, 71613 by March 2. Details: Mary Liddell at [email protected] or (870) 643-2383.

Through Friday, March 8

Nominations open for Women's Hall of Fame

The Arkansas Women's Hall of Fame is seeking nominations for the 2024 Induction Class. The AWHOF was created to honor women whose contributions have influenced the direction of Arkansas in their community or the state. Nominations must be submitted by March 8. Criteria and nomination forms can be found on the website at

Thurgood Marshall scholarship open

The Thurgood Marshall College Fund has opened the first wave of its 2024-2025 scholarship cycle, according to a news release from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. Webinars and virtual office hours started Jan. 23 and the application process closes on March 8. The TMCF Scholarships Team will also host a webinar series Feb. 24 at 5:30 p.m. The webinars are designed to assist students in putting their best brand forward when completing the TMCF Scholarship Application. Registration is required. For details, visit Current undergraduate and graduate students may visit the scholarship portal to apply at

Saturday, March 9

UAPB sets community festival at Saracen Landing

The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff will cap its year-long celebration of its sesquicentennial at its Spring Fling community festival from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. March 9 at Saracen Landing, 200 Lake Saracen Drive. (The original location of this event has been changed.) The public is invited to attend this free, family-oriented event. Mayor Shirley Washington, County Judge Gerald Robinson, and Chancellor Laurence B. Alexander will give opening remarks, according to a news release. The event will highlight the "Mission, Milestones, and Memories" that were cultivated at UAPB during the more than 150 years of its existence. Attendees will experience interactive activities, such as robotics, art, and in anticipation of the upcoming solar eclipse, glasses will be available to take home. Performances by UAPB's Marching Musical Machine of the Mid-South and the Vesper Choir will help kick off the event. Light refreshments will be served and there will also be a prize drawing every half-hour.

Tuesday, March 13

City announces healthcare career fair

A healthcare career fair will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. March 13 at the Pine Bluff Convention Center. This career fair is for those interested in pursuing a career within the healthcare industry. The event is free and open to the public, according to a news release. The Economic and Community Development Department of the city of Pine Bluff is hosting the event. There's no registration fee to attend. Healthcare employers and training providers may register by contacting Cynthia Anderson at [email protected] by Feb. 16.

Friday, March 15

UAPB plans Rural Life Conference

The 65th annual Rural Life Conference will be held from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. March 15 at the HPER complex at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. (The location was changed.) The UAPB School of Agriculture, Fisheries and Human Sciences is sponsoring the conference. The event will feature more than 20 workshops and more than 70 exhibits, posters, and vendor booths. A poster session highlights research projects and exhibits by governmental and community agencies. Breakfast and lunch will be provided, according to a news release. Some workshops will also be available via Zoom. Registration is free to producers, students, veterans, homemakers and retirees and for details, contact Cassandra Byrd, (870) 575-8123, or [email protected]. For professionals and agency personnel, registration rates are available by contacting Karen Lee at (870) 575-7225 or [email protected]. Also, a pre-conference film screening will be held at 4:45 p.m. March 14 at the S.J. Parker 1890 Extension Complex at UAPB. The film, Gaining Ground: The Fight for Black Land documents the causes, effects and solutions to the dwindling ownership of farmland by black, according to the release.

Through Friday, March 15

Community foundation offers scholarships

Pine Bluff Area Community Foundation will accept scholarship applications from Pine Bluff and Jefferson County students Feb. 1 through March 15. These scholarships are for area students pursuing higher education at two- or four-year colleges or universities, vocational schools or technical training programs. For the full list of scholarships, to begin the application process or for details, visit or contact Lawrence Fikes at [email protected], or (870) 850-7934.

Through Friday, March 22

LIHEAP applications available

The Winter 2024 Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) funding is available to help households with their home energy costs. The Central Delta Community Action Agency began accepting applications Jan. 8. The Jefferson County office is located at 511 Commerce Road, Suite 3, in Pine Bluff. No short forms were mailed out this season, and all applicants will be required to complete a long form and submit all required documents, according to a news release. These documents include copies of driver's licenses and Social Security cards for all household members over the age of 18, proof of income for all household members over the age of 18, and copies of all utility bills. The program will be open for regular applications through March 22. Crisis applications will continue to be accepted beyond that until the program closes for the season. To apply, people may visit a Central Delta Community Action Agency office in Arkansas, Cleveland, Grant, Jefferson, and Lincoln counties or apply by email to [email protected]. Details: (870) 536-0046.

Sunday, March 31

Grant applications open for educators

Arkansas public-school personnel are encouraged to apply for the 2024 Arkansas Retired Teachers Association (ARTA) Grants Program. Applications must be submitted online and the deadline is March 31, according to a news release. The program funds grants in two categories. The Parsons-Burnett Grant is awarded to certified personnel to help further their education. The Mitchell-Fair Grant is awarded to classified personnel for the purpose of obtaining an Arkansas teaching license. Details:

Through Saturday, April 6

Unified scholarships available

Unified Christian Alliance Inc. is accepting applications for its 2024-2025 Academic Scholarship Program for high school seniors planning to attend the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. The deadline for submission is April 6. Scholarships will be granted based on submitted short essays, and applicants should meet UAPB grade point requirements, according to a news release. Interested students may obtain application forms and guidelines from their counselors' offices or visit the link at Applications and essays may also be mailed to Unified Christian Alliance Inc., 1709 E. Eighth Ave., Pine Bluff, Ark., 71601. Inquiries or email submissions can be directed to Jennifer Lee, Unified Christian Alliance president, at jenniferlee1321@sbcglobal or call (870) 692-0257 or Deborah Thomas, committee member, at [email protected].

Sunday, April 7

Chamber sets eclipse crawfish boil

The Pine Bluff Regional Chamber of Commerce will hold a "Shells & Shadows" Solar Crawfish Boil before the historic solar eclipse that will leave many parts of Arkansas in complete darkness. The crawfish boil will be held from 3-6 p.m. April 7 at the Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas/ARTx3, 701 S. Main St., in the alleyway and parking lot. Tickets are $50 per person. "While Pine Bluff will not be in complete darkness, we will be close at 98% totality, and we anticipate and influx of visitors to lodge and dine in our city," according to the Chamber newsletter. There will be crawfish, music and beverages. For tickets or details, call the Chamber at (870) 535-0110 or email Jennifer Kline at [email protected].

Thursday, May 2

Chamber sets Business Expo

The Pine Bluff Regional Chamber of Commerce will hold its Business Expo 2024 at the Pine Bluff Convention Center on May 2. The Business Expo Breakfast begins at 7:30 a.m. and the program starts at 8 a.m. The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission Director Austin Booth will be the Business Expo Breakfast keynote speaker. Booth will discuss outdoor recreation and its impact on Arkansas' economy. Breakfast tickets are $25 each and a table for eight is $300 each, according to a news release. Simmons Bank is the breakfast sponsor. The Business Expo trade show at the convention center will open with a VIP Hour from 9-10 a.m. and opens to public from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The booth fee is $250 for members and $360 non-members. "This year's theme, 'We're Wild About Pine Bluff,' celebrates the beautiful landscape of the delta region from the piney timbers to the winding water of Bayou Bartholomew, the world's longest bayou," according to the release. Details: Chamber Director Jennifer Kline at [email protected] or (870) 535-0110.


Covid-19 vaccines, testing available

The Arkansas Department of Health, various pharmacies and healthcare providers offer the covid-19 vaccine, tests and other information about coronavirus. Details: Call the Arkansas Department of Health at (800) 985-6030, visit the website at or contact area medical professionals, according to spokesmen.


Unity Christian offers free financial classes

Unity Christian Fellowship Church (UCFC), 2712 S. Bay St., invites the community to its free Small Business and Personal Financial Education classes at 7 p.m. Tuesdays. Recent subjects included "The Importance of Having a Financial Plan" and "Financial Literacy," according to Stuff in the Bluff website. "You cannot afford to miss out on these life-changing classes. We are practicing social distancing and will have hand sanitizer wipes available," according to the site. Anthony Armstrong is the senior pastor. Details: [email protected] or (870) 329-1182.

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