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WASHINGTON -- A recipe created by a Little Rock 11-year-old will get her a seat at the White House in July.

Aspen Smith will be recognized for creating a recipe for Arkansas baked almond catfish for the Healthy Lunchtime Challenge, a nationwide recipe challenge for kids.

Aspen is to join winners from all U.S. states, four territories and the District of Columbia at a kids' "State Dinner" at the White House on July 10. The 55 children and a parent or guardian will eat a lunch featuring a selection of the winning recipes with first lady Michelle Obama, followed by a visit to the White House kitchen garden.

Aspen, a student at Episcopal Collegiate School in Little Rock, is the daughter of Lee and Veronica Smith of Little Rock.

Her recipe includes baking catfish dredged in a mixture of almonds and bread crumbs.

"My family loves catfish, especially fried, but my dad and other family members have heart problems," Aspen said in her submission. "I wanted something that was healthier for all of us to enjoy."

GOLDEN FLEECE

U.S. Rep. French Hill, R-Ark., announced Wednesday that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is the recipient of his "Golden Fleece" award for excessive, unnecessary or costly government projects.

The award is specifically for solar panels installed at the Little Rock Veterans Affairs hospital over a year ago that were taken down to make way for a new parking deck that was approved at the same time as the solar panels.

About 7,300 panels were installed in the parking lot of John L. McClellan Memorial Veterans Hospital in 2013 at a cost of around $8 million. VA officials said the panels were never activated because they do not meet the requirements to go on line in Entergy's electrical system.

In May, Hill announced that he would begin handing out the awards, saying he was inspired to do it after learning about the solar panels. The award will revive a 13-year project begun by former U.S. Sen. William Proxmire, D-Wis., who announced 168 monthly winners of the Golden Fleece award between 1975 and 1988.

ON THE HILL

U.S. Rep. Steve Womack, R-Ark., visited with Fort Smith Mayor Sandy Sanders; his wife, Sandi Sanders; and their granddaughter Isabel on Wednesday. Womack's office said that when the Fort Smith couple's grandchildren turn 13, the Sanderses take the children to visit Washington, D.C.

U.S. Rep. Bruce Westerman, R-Ark., met Tuesday with Families & Friends of Care Facility residents Jan Fortney and Alan Fortney of Maumelle. He gave tours of the Capitol on Wednesday to Hempstead Republican Committee Chairman Sara Darling; Jennifer, Syndey and Rusty Orr of Hope; and Josh, Rebecca, Gideon, and Hope Drake of Hot Springs.

On Saturday, he was to speak at the Pink Tomato Festival in Warren.

On Wednesday, U.S. Rep. Rick Crawford, R-Ark., spoke at the Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus.

Hill met Mannco Environmental Services CEO Bradley Mannis of Conway on Tuesday and with Brian Cia with United Cerebral Palsy of Arkansas on Wednesday.

U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., met Tuesday with Coco Dorsey and Kathy Hall with Arkansas Livestrong Foundation; and Joe Molinaro of North Little Rock, Len Pitcock of Hot Springs and Mike Wilson of Little Rock all with the Arkansas Cable Telecommunications Association. On Thursday, Cotton visited with Landon Sullivan of Valley Springs of the U.S. Cattlemen's Association.

U.S. Sen. John Boozman, R-Ark., sat down with Shane Speights, vice president of medical affairs at St. Bernards Medical Center in Jonesboro on Monday. On Wednesday, he met with Arkansas Food Bank President Rhonda Sanders and Arkansas students with 4-H and the Close Up Foundation.

On Thursday. he visited with Rosemary Allen of Palestine in Washington with the National Patient Advocate Foundation and Dakota Pouncey of Hendrix College in Conway, visiting on behalf of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

FELLOWSHIPS

Four University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service graduates will work with Washington, D.C.-based organizations that work on women's issues internationally as part of a fellowship created by the family of former President Bill Clinton's first chief of staff.

Donna and Thomas F. "Mack" McLarty, along with their family, established The McLarty Global Fellows program at Vital Voices Global Partnership and the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security.

Michelle Perez and Jennifer Guzman will work at Vital Voices. Anna Applebaum and Mara D'Amico, both of whom were fellows in 2014, will work with the Georgetown Institute.

Planning to visit the nation's capital? Know something happening in Washington, D.C.? Contact us at (202) 662-7690 or swire@arkansasonline.com.

SundayMonday on 06/14/2015

Print Headline: Fish recipe gets girl seat at table

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