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Community Briefs

June 13, 2021 at 3:27 a.m.

Merrill reunion to begin Thursday

The Merrill School All-School Reunion will be held Thursday through Saturday. The theme is "Remembering the Past for a New Beginning," according to a news release.

The reunion begins with registration at 4 p.m. Thursday at the Pine Bluff Convention Center. The meet and greet will follow from 7-10 p.m.

On Friday, a street dedication will be held from 10:30 a.m. to noon at the corner of Pullen and Linden streets near Merrill Auditorium in honor of Massathau D. Jordan and Raye Jean Montague.

In July 2020, the Pine Bluff City Council passed a resolution authorizing the placement of a street topper in honor of Jordan and Montague to commemorate their contributions.

Reunion chairman Rosie Pettigrew from the class of 1967 will place the topper for Jordan-Montague Way. The public is invited to attend.

Alumni take a city tour after the dedication. The celebration banquet will be held from 6:30-10:30 p.m. at the convention center.

Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., the reunion picnic, business meeting and Merrill Museum update will be held at the convention center.

For information on the history of Merrill School, read the June blog articles at Details: Rosie Pettigrew, (404) 245-5436.

Area Agency on Aging sets fan drive

Area Agency on Aging of Southeast Arkansas will host its Beat the Heat Annual Fan Drive Monday through July 30.

The fan drive will be held in the counties the agency serves: Arkansas, Ashley, Bradley, Chicot, Cleveland, Desha, Drew, Grant, Lincoln and Jefferson, according to a news release.

People interested in donating fans or air conditioners should call Area Agency.

People who need fans must be disabled or 60 years old or older and contact the agency. Their names will be placed on a waiting list. The applicants will be told when the fans may be picked up. Social distancing will be observed, masks must be worn and applicants must present an ID at the distribution.

Applicants who received fans last year may not be eligible this year. Fans will be distributed in July.

Applicants must have a written doctor's statement with a diagnosis to obtain the air conditioner. Details: Carolyn Ferguson or Pauline Jones at Area Agency, (870) 543-6300 or (800) 264-3260.

Business ForwARd to hold free event

A free virtual Business ForwARd East Arkansas Small Business Expo event will be held from 10-11 a.m. June 27.

East Arkansas Crossroads Coalition is partnering with the Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center (ASBTDC) to host the session.

Topics include workforce recruitment and assistance, CARES Act and stimulus; business recovery resources, programs and other assistance; PPP loans and forgiveness and access to business capital.

The event is free, but registration is required at or by email at


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