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PAPER TRAILS: Arkansan to appear on 'Good Morning America'; state cheerleaders excel at championship

by Linda Haymes | February 19, 2017 at 4:30 a.m. | Updated February 20, 2017 at 4:30 a.m.

COMMAND PERFORMANCE: ABC's Good Morning America really, really wants Arkansas native and Little Rock resident Raye Montague to appear on the show Monday -- so much so that when the 82-year-old's son David told the show's producers that Montague's health prevents her from flying, they offered to send a chauffeured limo to pick her up and return her home.

Why does the show want Montague so badly? Her story, earlier told in 2012 in this paper's High Profile section, is incredible and inspiring.

After seeing a German "midget" submarine in an exhibit that visited Arkansas when she was a girl, Montague fell in love with ships and aspired to become a machine engineer who builds them. But Montague, reared in a still-segregated Pine Bluff, faced barriers because she was black and female.

Despite the obstacles, she spent her career as a civilian in the U.S. Navy around Washington, D.C., where she learned how to operate early computers by watching others use them. She learned and installed a computer-aided ship design and construction program around 1970. And then Montague became the first to create a program that generated a rough draft of specifications for a ship design in less than 19 hours -- something that previously took two years. In 1972, the Navy awarded her its Meritorious Civilian Service Award. She retired in 1990 and moved to Little Rock in 2006.

It was a feature on her by KTHV-TV, Channel 11, anchorman Craig O'Neill that put her back in the spotlight. Add in the timeliness of Black History Month and of Hidden Figures, the film of the true story of three black women who helped engineer the nation's space program in the 1960s, and cue the chauffeured limo. She was set to depart Saturday and arrive in New York today.

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WAY TO REPRESENT! Arkansas was well-represented during the recent 2017 Universal Cheerleaders Association High School National Championship competition in Orlando, Fla. In the non-tumbling competitions, Bryant High landed first place in the super varsity category. Meanwhile, in the Division I competitions, Springdale's Har-Ber High placed second in the super varsity category, and North Little Rock High West placed ninth in the large category. In Division II, Russellville High placed ninth in the super varsity category, while Lake Hamilton High placed ninth in the large category.

WHATEVER HAPPENED TO: Traditional knife and gunsmith Daniel Casey of Romance, whose business Casey Arms was featured on the History Channel's short-lived Iron & Fire? He's in an episode of CarbonTV's new original Web-series Heartlandia. Visit http://bit.ly/DanielCaseyHeartlandia to watch as Casey (still bearded but sporting a much shorter hairstyle) crafts a knife.

MY WRONG TURN: In last Sunday's item on a Little Rock business owner's new high-performance Allied Alfa bike gracing the cover of the March 2017 Bicycling magazine, I misspelled HIA Velo founder Tony Karklins' last name.

Contact Linda S. Haymes at (501) 399-3636 or lhaymes@arkansasonline.com

SundayMonday on 02/19/2017

Print Headline: Arkansan gets big car treatment

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