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RIVER VALLEY NOTEBOOK: Road piece named for former sheriff | Utility spokesman earns promotion | UCA to host racial equity conference

by Jeannie Roberts | October 17, 2021 at 2:37 a.m.

Road piece named for former sheriff

County Judge Ben Cross announced recently that a portion of Arkansas 7 in Pope County will be designated as the "Sheriff Jay B. Winters Memorial Highway."

A dedication ceremony will be at 10 a.m. Monday in the vicinity of Bakers Creek and the Russellville Country Club. Parking will be available on the east side of the highway.

Winters, who died in June at age 67, was sheriff of Pope County for 19 years before taking the helm as director of the Arkansas Crime Information Center.

Winters was one of only three agency directors from former Gov. Mike Beebe's tenure that Gov. Asa Hutchinson asked to stay on in his administration.

The designation is the collaborative efforts between Cross, Russellville Mayor Richard Harris, state Sen. Breanne Davis, Arkansas Department of Transportation Director Lorie Tudor, the Arkansas Highway Commission, and Transportation Department District 8 engineer Jason Hughey and his personnel.

Utility spokesman earns promotion

Jeff Matthews was recently promoted from public relations/production specialist to manager of video production and local programming for electric utility company Conway Corp.

In his new role, Matthews will supervise Conway Corp.'s production department and oversee programming for the company's local origination channel.

"Jeff has been a part of the Conway Corp. family for many years. He understands our mission in the community and will do a great job managing our video production and local programming efforts," Chief Marketing Officer Crystal Kemp said. "I'm excited about the future of our video production under his leadership."

Matthews began his career at Conway Corp. in 2015 as public relations coordinator and was promoted to public relations/production specialist in February 2019.

UCA to host racial equity conference

The University of Central Arkansas Center for Community and Economic Development will host the second annual 2021 Arkansas Racial Equity Summit on Oct. 26 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in McCastlain Ballroom on the UCA campus.

Speakers are Andre Douglas Pond Cummings of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law, Adena White of Blackbelt Voices, Kara Wilkins of the Arkansas Black Philanthropy Collaborative and Martie North Hamilton of System Critical LLC.

The conference will feature topics such as the history of racial injustice in Arkansas, elevating Black voices and best practices for diversity, equity and inclusion in organizations and communities.

Grant recipients from the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame Foundation -- Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub in Little Rock, Southeast Arkansas College in Pine Bluff and OneCommunity in Springdale -- will also present the work they are doing and its impact across the state.

"Our hope is that the 2021 summit will build off of the conversations we facilitated in 2020 and that it will spark conversations and action at the local level," Center for Community and Economic Development director Shelby Fiegal said. "We view the summit as a place where we can grow individually and pinpoint ways we can develop communities and organizations that are diverse, equitable and inclusive."

Admission to the event is free, thanks to a grant from the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame Foundation and event sponsors ARcare and the Conway Area of Commerce.

For more information including the agenda and registration, visit https://uca.edu/cced/arkansas-racial-equity-summit/ or contact Dylan Edgell at dedgell1@uca.edu.

Attendees will be required to adhere to UCA's covid-19 guidelines on masking and social distancing during the event.

City asks people to weigh in on art

Conway kicked off an online survey Wednesday to gather residents' input for the development of the Conway Public Art Master Plan.

The survey -- which can be found at https://surveymonkey.com/r/XG8MGWZ -- asks questions such as: What is unique about Conway? What one word comes to mind when thinking of public art? How can public art serve Conway in the future?

Conway is known for its many murals, statues and art installations throughout the city.

UCA's ed college gets national nod

The University of Central Arkansas College of Education recently was awarded the 2021 Frank Murray Leadership Recognition for Continuous Improvement from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation.

UCA is one of 26 institutions from 17 states and the United Arab Emirates to be recognized for their leadership and commitment to continuous improvement.

The recipients of the 2021 Frank Murray Leadership Recognition for Continuous Improvement provided evidence and data trends to achieve accreditation with no stipulations or areas for improvement.

"This recognition speaks to our efforts to identify strengths and work on areas where improvement is needed. No organization is perfect, but the pursuit of excellence makes us stronger," Victoria Groves-Scott, dean of the College of Education, said. "Our leadership, faculty, staff and students are deeply committed to improving educational outcomes for all children. We share an insatiable hunger to make a positive difference in the world, and we are willing to do the hard work to make that difference."

The Frank Murray Leadership Recognition for Continuous Improvement is named after the founding president of the Teacher Education Accreditation Council. The Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) was created by the consolidation of the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education and the Teacher Education Accreditation Council.

"This third class to receive the Murray Recognition represents the diversity and innovation that comes with CAEP accreditation" for small, large, public, private, faith-based and historically minority-serving schools, CAEP President Chris Koch said. "These recipients reflect the creativity that CAEP affords in achieving excellence, by meeting the standards in a variety of ways, for the diverse populations they serve."

Tech's ed college earns recognition

The Arkansas Tech University College of Education is one of 26 teacher preparation providers from the United States and abroad recognized recently with the 2021 Frank Murray Leadership Recognition for Continuous Improvement from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).

According to CAEP, the honor is reserved for teacher preparation programs that exhibit "evidence and data trends to achieve accreditation with no stipulations or areas for improvement."

Arkansas Tech earned CAEP national accreditation for its educator preparation programs last fall.

"To be one of 26 in the nation, one of two in Arkansas to receive this recognition validates the hard work of our faculty, school partners, students and university," said Linda Bean, dean of Arkansas Tech's College of Education. "I am very proud of our teacher preparation programs and the support provided to both students and faculty. The strong legacy of over 90 years of preparing teachers at Arkansas Tech University will proceed as we continue to improve our programs and prepare our students."

Sign-ups sought for Cops & Coats

The deadline for signing up for the Conway Police Department Cops & Coats program is at 4 p.m. Nov. 1.

The program provides coats to children and teens of low-income families during the winter.

Parents whose children are in need of coats, should fill out a separate form -- at https://forms.gle/Mvq7BYxrcssSS52n7 -- for each child. A representative from the Conway Police Department will contact the parents to schedule a time to pick up the coats.

The coats will be distributed while supplies last.

Print Headline: Road piece named for former sheriff

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