LITTLE ROCK NOTEBOOK: City spokesman resigns | Maggie Haberman event cancelled | ‘Food for Fines’ returns

Official takes job at education group

A Little Rock communications official has left his city job to join an education policy group.

Spencer Watson will serve as communications director for the Reform Alliance, according to a news release issued Thursday.

Before joining the city, Watson worked for the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences as well as the EAST Initiative, according to the news release.

In a statement included with the release, Reform Alliance Managing Director Emmy Henley said, "We are excited to have Spencer join us to help tell the stories of students and parents who prioritize the value of education. He will help ensure the voice of The Reform Alliance is part of a conversation that begins and ends with how education impacts our kids."

"I'm thrilled to once again be working in education and helping to secure a better future for Arkansas students, one in which equity is of the highest priority," Watson said. "As a product of Arkansas schools myself, I want to see today's students guaranteed all the opportunities a solid education can provide, and I look forward to working with parents, students and educators to ensure they are."

Trump book author cancels LR event

A Jan. 11 event featuring New York Times political reporter Maggie Haberman at the Central Arkansas Library System's Ron Robinson Theater has been canceled, according to a news release the library system issued Thursday.

"Due to unforeseen circumstances, Haberman is cancelling all of her spring commitments. There is a possibility that this event will be offered in a virtual format at a later date," the release said. "All registered attendees have been notified of this change via email."

Haberman's book "Confidence Man: The Making of Donald Trump and the Breaking of America" was published in October.

Library sets return of Food for Fines

The Food for Fines program of the library system will run Dec. 11-17, according to a recent news release.

Each nonperishable food item donated at any library branch will offset a patron's fines by $1. Individuals can donate items to reduce their fines by up to $25.

"CALS encourages patrons to donate to the food drive even if they don't have any fines and will apply additional 'funds' to randomly selected accounts," a news release said. "Fines accrued for billed items or replacement fees are not eligible under the program."

Donations will be used to stock the library system's "Little Free Pantries."

Residents are encouraged to contribute pre-packaged food such as canned fruits and vegetables, mashed potato mix, pasta and pop-top soups, but library officials will not accept glass or homemade items.