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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 shope@pbcommercial.com to make additions or changes.

Sunday, Feb. 21

St. John hosts virtual Friends and Family Pew Rally

St. John AME Church, at 1117 W. Pullen St., will host its 30th annual Friends and Family Pew Rally virtually at 11 a.m. Sunday, Feb. 21. The featured speaker will be the Rev. Phillip Pointer Sr., senior pastor of Saint Mark Baptist Church at Little Rock. Participants may connect to the virtual service at www.stjohnamepinebluff.org, FACEBOOK LIVE @ https://www.facebook.com/rev.cwilliams, ZOOM @ ID# 4322086226 and Password: 1117, AUDIO @ 1-312-626-6799 with Access Code: 1117#

SEARK closed through Sunday

Southeast Arkansas College will remain closed through Sunday due to inclement weather. All instruction will continue to occur virtually, according to the SEARK College website. Details: https://www.seark.edu/

Monday, Feb. 22

A&P finance panel to meet

The Pine Bluff Advertising and Promotion Commission Finance Committee will meet at noon Monday, Feb. 22, by a conference call. Members will discuss financial reports, according to the agenda. Details: Betty Brown, commission administrative assistant, bbrown@explorepinebluff.com or (870) 534-2121.

Synergy grant applications available

Applications are now available for the 2021 Synergy Forum Inc. Grants. Registered nonprofit organizations: IRS 501(c)(3) public charities, public schools, government agencies and the hospital in Jefferson County are eligible to apply, according to a news release. Grants generally range from $500 to $1,500. Applications are due April 1. Applications will be accepted only by email. Details: synergyforumgrants@gmail.com.

Wednesday, Feb. 24

Jefferson Regional to give 2nd vaccine dose

Jefferson Regional Medical Center's second dose Covid vaccine clinic will be held Wednesday, Feb. 24, at First Baptist Church, 6501 S. Hazel St. All scheduled patients will come at their originally scheduled time. The clinic was rescheduled from Feb. 17 because of inclement weather, according to a news release.

Pine Bluff Commercial sets church news deadline

Church news is printed in The Commercial on Friday. The deadine to submit church announcements is noon Wednesday. Announcements can be for in-person services or online services as well as other ministry events. Articles may be submitted by email to shope@adgnewsroom.com. Pastors, ministers or other writers interested in writing a religion column may submit articles for consideration by email. Please include your phone number, the name and location of your ministry or city where you reside, and your photo. Photos may also accompany church news by email.

Thursday, Feb. 25

Chamber to host drive-thru annual dinner

The Pine Bluff Regional Chamber of Commerce will host its annual dinner as a drive-thru event from 4-6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 25, at the Pine Bluff Country Club. Tickets are $50 each, according to the Chamber newsletter. The event will feature two pasta dinner options, Chamber swag bags and the chance to briefly meet new Chamber staff members. Sponsorship opportunities are also available. Details: Jennifer Kline, events and marketing manager at the Chamber, (870) 535-0110.

Russ NAACP branch sets virtual Black History event

The Carnell Russ branch of the NAACP of Star City will host its first virtual Black History Program at 7 p.m. Feb. 25. The keynote speaker will be Tamika Silverman Edwards, a lawyer. The theme will be "Continuing the Journey to Justice for All," according to a news release. To attend, interested participants should email leeleaglenns@sbcglobal.net to receive zoom link.

Friday, Feb. 26

City hosts clinic for 2nd doses of vaccine

The city of Pine Bluff will host a covid-19 vaccination clinic from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Feb. 26 at the Pine Bluff Convention Center. This clinic is only for people who received the first dose of the vaccine at the clinic Jan. 29, according to a news release. The clinic was organized by Doctor's Orders Pharmacy, the Arkansas Department of Health and the city of Pine Bluff. The event was rescheduled from Feb. 19 because of the inclement weather.

Saturday, Feb. 27

Black heritage celebration set

Author Jason Irby, a Jefferson County native, will present the sixth annual Arkansas Heritage Celebration of Black History Month on Feb. 27. Due to the coronavirus and protocols of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the program isn't open to the public. Interviews will be conducted with honorees and broadcast later, according to the Stuff in the Bluff website. Two individuals will be honored with a Legend Among Us award: Otis Kirkland, a well known photographer and philanthropist and native of Jefferson County, and Crystal Young-Haskins, the first African American female in the Little Rock Police Department to hold the rank of assistant chief of police, according to the release.

Sunday, Feb. 28

Kings Highway celebrates Black History

Kings Highway Missionary Baptist Church, 2312 Fluker St., will host the Black History program at 10:45 a.m. Sunday, Feb. 28. The youth of the church will present "Chucks and Pearls," according to a news release.

Through Sunday, Feb. 28

UAPB accepts entries to Snack Recipe Contest

Pine Bluff youth, ages 5-18, are invited to submit original snack recipes for the 2021 Snack Recipe Contest. The event is sponsored by the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Extension Family and Consumer Sciences and 4-H Programs. The first-place prize is a $100 gift card, the second-place prize is a $75 gift card, and the third-place prize is a $50 gift card. The entry deadline is Feb. 28, according to a news release. Each participant must fill out an entry form and submit the original recipe and a photo by email to Teresa Henson at hensont@uapb.edu or to Teki Hunt at huntjimenezt@uapb.edu.

Museum sets free virtual tours at site honoring Ebony founder

Friends of John H. Johnson Museum will offer free virtual tours of the historic John H. Johnson Museum and Educational Center at Arkansas City in observance of Black History Month. Johnson is the late founder of Johnson Publishing Co. which publications included Ebony and Jet magazines. During February, the virtual tours will guide visitors through the museum named for the Arkansas City native, according to a news release. For details on the tour, visitors can send an email to info@johnhjohnsonmuseum.org and they will provide a direct link. Details: www.johnhjohnsonmuseum.org.

Friday, March 5

The Generator sets deadline for business sessions

The Generator, an innovation hub powered by Go Forward Pine Bluff, is hosting Gentrepreneurship: Creating a Business Program. The deadline to apply is March 5 at 11:59 p.m. The series will be held for 12 weeks and is gearded toward those seriously considering starting a business or those who have already started a business but are searching for clarity and a fuller understanding of running a successful business after 1-3 years, according to a news release. Details: visit https://goforwardpinebluff.org/the-generator/ or email Mildred Franco, executive director, at francomildred@goforwardpb.org.

Beginning Tuesday, March 9

Workshops to address doing business with government

The Generator will host two workshops about doing business with the government. The presenter will be Liz Russell, procurement counselor with the Arkansas Procurement Technical Center. Due to covid-19, seats will be limited, according to a news release. March 9 -- from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Introduction to Government Contracting will be held. March 30 – 6-7 p.m. Marketing to the Government will be held. Interested participants may register at https://goforwardpinebluff.org/the-generator/#doingbizwgovt. Details: Mildred Franco, executive director, at francomildred@goforwardpb.org.

Through Monday, March 15

Foundation accepting scholarship applications

Pine Bluff and Jefferson County students can apply for scholarships from the Pine Bluff Area Community Foundation. The deadline to apply is March 15. Each scholarship has its own eligibility criteria. In general, the community foundation scholarships are for area students pursuing higher education at two- or four-year colleges or universities, vocational schools or technical training programs, according to a news release. Students can begin their application by visiting www.arcf.org/apply/scholarships/

Wednesday, March 17

Deadline set for SBA loan forms from spring storms

The deadline to apply for loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration for assistance after the storms in the spring of 2020 is March 17. In Jefferson County, applicants may apply for SBA federal disaster loans for economic injury caused by severe storms and straight-line winds that occurred April 12, 2020. Applicants may apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information and download applications at https://disasterloanassistance.sba.gov/ or call SBA's Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.

Through Monday, March 22

AKA, First Sisters seek scholarship applicants

Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., Delta Omega Omega Chapter, and First Sisters Outreach Inc. are accepting scholarship applications from graduating female high school seniors who will be attending the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. Applications must be received by 11:59 p.m. March 22, according to a news release. Applications and eligibility requirements are available online at akadeltaomegaomega.com/scholarship.html or by emailing Ka'Lisa Stanfield at akadooscholar@gmail.com.

Through Thursday, March 25

AgDiscovery teen program applications set at UAPB

Applications are being accepted for AgDiscovery, a residential career and science exploration program for teens. March 25 is the application deadline, said Willie Columbus, University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff educational outreach coordinator and AgDiscovery program director. UAPB will host AgDiscovery June 12-25 on campus. UAPB is among 21 institutions to host the event. A complete list of host universities, brochures, information and application forms and instructions are available online at www.aphis.usda.gov/agdiscovery. Details: Willie Columbus at UAPB at (870) 575-7145 or columbusw@uapb.edu or the UAPB AgDiscovery Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/uapbagdiscovery/.

Through Friday, March 26

Homegrown By Heroes Scholarship forms available

The Arkansas Department of Agriculture and Farm Credit Associations of Arkansas are partnering to provide two $1,000 Homegrown by Heroes academic scholarships to military veterans and active military personnel, their spouses, and children who are pursuing degrees in agriculture. Funding for the scholarships is provided by Farm Credit. Applications are due March 26 and are available at agriculture.arkansas.gov/arkansas-department-of-agriculture-programs/. Details: arkansasgrown.org/homegrown-by-heroes/.

Thursday, April 1

Deadline set for Korean War vet stories in yearbook

April 1 is the deadline to submit entries for the 2021 Arkansas Korean War Veterans Yearbook. The Arkansas Department of Veterans Affairs is participating in the project honoring Arkansas veterans. To be included, a veteran must have served in Korea or its territorial waters between June 25, 1950, and July 27, 1953. Veterans or relatives may submit photographs and biographies, which will be accepted on a first-come, first-accepted basis. The submission form is available at https://forms.gle/DfzvkGyN3TNAFrsC9. Submissions also may be sent by email with the veteran's first, middle, and last name in the subject line to Koreayearbook2021@gmail.com.

Through Saturday, April 10

ASC slates new exhibits

The Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas announces two new exhibits. "New Territory: Paintings by Michelle Fair" will be open at ASC through April 3. The display conceptualizes figures interacting with their environment autonomously, giving the subjects of the paintings a home, yet allows the subjects and spaces to disconnect, reflecting a new stage in Fair's life, according to a news release. The exhibition, "Feeling Through: Examine Emotion in the Midst of Unrest," by photographer Catherine Elizabeth Patton will be open through April 10. The display is a self-reflection of the artist's emotions and her attempt to examine and understand them during covid-19 and the Black Lives Matter movement. Details: asc701.org.

Through Friday, April 30

First Electric accepting scholarship applications

First Electric Cooperative is accepting scholarship applications. High school seniors whose parents or guardians are First Electric members may apply for one of nine $2,000 scholarships available each year, according to a news release. Applicants must have a minimum 3.0 grade-point average and after graduation, they must attend an accredit­ed institute of higher learning in Arkansas on a full-time basis. The deadline to apply is April 30. For an application and details, visit online at www.firstelectric.coop/scholarship or contact any First Electric office.

Monday, May 31

Century Farm applications due

The Arkansas Department of Agriculture is accepting applications for the 2021 Arkansas Century Farm program. This program recognizes Arkansas families who have owned and farmed the same land for at least 100 years. To apply, the same family must have owned the farm for 100 years by Dec. 31, 2021. The line of ownership from the original settler or buyer may be through children, grandchildren, siblings, nephews or nieces, including through marriage and adoption. The farm must be at least 10 acres of the original land acquisition and make a financial contribution to the overall farm income. There is no cost to apply. Online applications are available at: www.agriculture.arkansas.gov/arkansas-department-of-agriculture-services/arkansas-century-farm-program/. Details: Beth Moore, (501) 539-4027 or beth.moore@agriculture.arkansas.gov.

Through May 31

TOPPS hosts food program

TOPPS Inc., 1000 Townsend Drive, is participating in the At Risk Grab and Go and Parent Pick Up Food Program. Meals will be provided free to children ages 18 and under. TOPPS doesn't discriminate, according to the news release. Meals will be provided at TOPPS Teen Center, 1000 Townsend Drive, through May 2021. The Grab and Go and Parent Pick Up meals will be available Monday through Thursday, 1-4:30 p.m. Details: TOPPS, (870) 850-6011.

Through Sunday, June 6

Arts center invites artists to enter Rosenzweig Exhibition

The Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas (ASC), 701 S. Main St., seeks submissions to its Irene Rosenzweig Biennial Juried Exhibition for 2021. The deadline to enter is 11:59 p.m. June 6. The exhibition runs July 22 through Oct. 6, according to a news release. The exhibition is open to artists 18 or older who live in Arkansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee or Texas. Details: asc701.org/rosenzweig or call (870) 536-3375.

Beginning Thursday, June 17

Merrill All School Reunion set

The Merrill High School All School Reunion will be held June 17-19, 2021. All events will be held at the Pine Bluff Convention Center, according to a news release. For a registration package or details, interested participants should email Rosie Pettigrew, committee chairwoman, at pettigrewrosie@bellsouth.net or call 404-245-5436.

Beginning Thursday, July 8

Medical mission set July 8-18 at Lake Village

The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) and Delta Regional Authority (DRA) will host a medical mission at Lake Village from July 8-18 offering free medical care, according to a news release. The Lake Village site will be located at Lakeside High School. Basic medical exams, eye exams, single lens prescriptions glasses and dental services are among the services provided during Innovative Readiness Training (IRT) missions. Details: IRT.defense.gov .

Underway

COVID VACCINES, TESTING

Covid-19 vaccines available

Coronavirus vaccinations are available through various sites including Doctor's Orders Pharmacy; call (870) 218-1718 or email dopcovidvaccine@gmail.com; and Jefferson Regional Medical Center, visit the website www.jrmc.org/covid-19-vaccination-waiting-list/. For more details, visit the Arkansas Department of Health website at https://www.healthy.arkansas.gov/programs-services/topics/covid-19-vaccination-plan.

Covid-19 testing sites available

Details for getting the covid-19 test are available at the Jefferson County Health Department -- 870-535-2142; and Arkansas Department of Health's website -- https://www.healthy.arkansas.gov/programs-services/topics/covid-19-guidance-for-getting-tested. Scroll down until you see the map and enlarge the map. Click on each star to see where each testing site is located.

Chamber announces Business Expo survey

The Pine Bluff Regional Chamber of Commerce is asking members and business owners for their thoughts on having the annual Business Expo, which was canceled last year due to the covid-19 pandemic. "While we are putting on our thinking caps to figure out a new way of serving you, we have one question: If the Pine Bluff Chamber were to host a business expo event this summer, would you, as a Chamber member or business owner, feel safe and commit to participate?" To complete the one question survey, visit www.surveymonkey.com/r/VLSHYWQ.

Arsenal to destroy old items, hold forestry burns

The Pine Bluff Arsenal announces plans to destroy old production items and hold controlled forestry burns. Residents living close to the Arsenal should not be alarmed if they hear small explosions or see smoke coming from the installation. On Monday, Jan. 25, personnel from the Little Rock Air Force Base Explosive Ordnance Detachment were scheduled to begin destroying obsolete production items, according to a news release. Also, beginning in January, the Arkansas Forestry Commission will conduct multiple prescribed and controlled burns at the Arsenal, depending on the weather.

Weekdays

Neighbor to Neighbor open 5 days a week

Neighbor to Neighbor, 1419 S. Pine St., has reopened five days a week. The agency will be open Monday through Friday from 9-11:30 a.m. and 1-2:30 p.m. For the sake of safety, Neighbor to Neighbor will continue serving to-go lunches at the door from noon to 1 p.m. and are available to anyone who is hungry. Masks are required to enter the building and hand sanitizer will be available at the door, according to a news release. New clients or those seeking assistance with bills or medications should call (870) 534-2883 for an appointment.

Tuesdays and Thursdays

Alphas prepare tax returns free for low to moderate income residents

The Delta Sigma Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. will prepare free tax returns for low to moderate income families from 5-8 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays at the academy building at Pine Bluff High School, 711 W. 11th Ave., according to a news release. For covid-19 safety measures, participants will be met at their cars and the tax preparer will call them when their return is ready. Participants must bring documents including picture ID, Social Security card and dates of birth for themselves and all family members they are claiming; W-2's for all jobs the person held in 2020 and any other tax related documents, bank routing number and account number if they are having the refund direct deposited. If the taxpayer is filing with their spouse, they should bring the spouse. Details: (501) 819-2048 or (501) 500-3918.

Tuesdays

Unity Christian Fellowship 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: unitychristianfellowship@live.com or (870) 329-1182.

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