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November 23, 2022 at 5:18 a.m.

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 to make additions or changes.


Pine Bluff Commercial sets church news deadline

Church news is printed in The Commercial on Friday. The deadline to submit church announcements is noon Wednesday. Pastors, ministers or others interested in writing for the Devotional Page may also submit columns for consideration. Column writers should have connections to Southeast Arkansas. Articles should be submitted by email to Details: (870) 534-3400, ext. 5.

Beginning today

Agencies set Thanksgiving closings

Several local offices announced their closing schedules in observance of Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 24. Jefferson County Courthouse and related offices will be closed Wednesday through Friday. Pine Bluff City Hall and related offices will be closed Wednesday through Friday. The Area Agency on Aging of Southeast Arkansas office and senior centers will be closed Thursday and Friday. The Southeast Arkansas Transportation (SEAT) will continue to take dialysis and cancer patients to their appointments. The state Capitol Offices and all state buildings will be closed Thursday and Friday.


Pine Bluff police host toy drive

The Pine Bluff Police Officers' 4th annual Toy Drive began Nov. 18. The Toy Drive Committee is asking for the community's support in helping the officers provide new toys. They will also accept monetary donations to purchase toys, according to the City of Pine Bluff Facebook post. The toy drive event will be held Dec. 17 and the location will be announced at a later date. Donations can be made to: Pine Bluff Police Officers Toy Drive, 200 E. Eighth Ave., Pine Bluff, AR, 71601. For more details or for donations to be picked up, call (870) 413-6756 or (870) 489-6006.

Salvation Army Angels need adopting

The Salvation Army Angel Tree Program at Pine Bluff is underway until Dec. 12 to help children in need. There are names to be adopted and drop-off Angel Tree locations at the Donald W. Reynolds Community Services Center, 211 W. Third Ave.; Simmons Bank, 501 S. Main St.; Hibbett Sports, 1650 E. Harding Ave.; and Walmart Supercenter, 5501 S. Olive St., which is offering in-store and online options. Just select a name from the tree, buy the gift and drop it into the Salvation Army's Angel Tree box, which is usually located near the store's exit. Details: TheSalvationArmyofPineBluff/ on Facebook.

Sunday, Nov. 27

Spiritualettes present musical

Mt. Carmel Missionary Baptist Church, 900 S. Grant St., will host the Spiritualettes gospel singers in the We Give Thanks Musical honoring the Rev. Anthony L. Craig Sr., Mt. Carmel's pastor. The concert will be held at 6 p.m. Nov. 27 and will include several singers including Courtney Wright and Triuphant, Devin Pruitt and Spiritually Driven, Sons of Glory, Set Apart, and the Williams Singers. The worship leader will be Dee Clay.

Beginning Sunday, Nov. 27

Mistletoe Magic community holiday events set

Go Forward Pine Bluff announced the events for "Mistletoe Magic: Believe in Miracles," family-friendly events designed to kick off the holiday season. Events include: NOV. 27 -- The downtown festivities will begin with Christmas in the Pines from 4-6 p.m. at 200 E. Eighth Ave. The event will include a petting zoo, hayrides, pictures with Santa, retail vendors, and food trucks. Following Christmas in the Pines, the annual Tree Lighting Ceremony will begin at 6 p.m. DEC. 1 -- The Christmas parade will be held at 5:30 p.m. Dec. 1 in downtown Pine Bluff. The parade will start at 10th Avenue and Main Street and go north to Second Avenue and Main Street. DEC. 8 -- Pine Bluff Downtown Development will host the Shop, Sip, Dine, and Repeat from 5:30-8:30 p.m. in downtown Pine Bluff on Main Street between Barraque Street and Second Avenue. Sponsors include GFPB, city of Pine Bluff, Pine Bluff Parks and Recreation, Pine Bluff Downtown Development, and the Pine Bluff Festival Association. Details: or (870) 939-6900, or

Monday, Nov. 28

Federal retirees to meet

Chapter 287 of NARFE (National Association of Retired Federal Employees) will meet at 11:30 a.m. Nov. 28 at the Donald W. Reynolds Community Services Center, 211 W. Third Ave. There will be a speaker who will present information on lower back pain, according to a news release. Waymond Meins is the Chapter 287 president.

Neighborhood Watch Groups meet

Several Pine Bluff Neighborhood Watch Groups will meet, according to a news release from the Pine Bluff Police Department. Meetings include: East Harding and Belmont/Broadmoor will meet Nov. 28 at 6 p.m. at Mt. Harmony Baptist Church, 812 E. Harding Ave.

Tuesday, Nov. 29

ARDOT to break ground on I-69 Corridor

The Arkansas Department of Transportation (ARDOT) will host a ground-breaking ceremony on the next phase of construction for the Interstate 69 Corridor. Members of the Arkansas Highway Commission, ARDOT staff and local leadership will attend the event at 11 a.m. Nov. 29 at ARDOT's District 2 Maintenance Headquarters, 9054 U.S. 65 North at McGehee.

Thursday, Dec. 1

911, MECA boards to meet

On Dec. 1, three board meetings will be held at the Jefferson Quorum Courtroom at the courthouse, according to a news release from the Jefferson County Office of Emergency Management. At 9:15 a.m., a 911 Administrative Board Meeting will be held to discuss the 2023 Metropolitan Emergency Communication Association (MECA) Budget. At 9:30 a.m., the MECA Board Meeting will be held. At 10 a.m., the Intergovernmental Council Meeting will be held to discuss ACT 833 Distributions. Details: Jefferson County Office of Emergency Management, (870) 541-5470.

Through Thursday, Dec. 1

Leadership PB nominations open

The Pine Bluff Regional Chamber of Commerce is accepting nominations for the Leadership Pine Bluff Class of 2023. Leadership Pine Bluff is a formal program to identify, inform and motivate emerging leaders, according to the Chamber newsletter. The group meets one day each month from January through September. During the sessions, participants network, develop, and learn more about industries and non-profits in the region. The cost of the program is $575 plus a $35 non-refundable application fee. Completed applications must be returned to the Chamber by Dec. 1. To nominate a candidate from one's business or organization, visit . Details: Jennifer Kline at or call the Chamber at (870) 535-0110.

Friday, Dec. 2

Salvation Army auxiliary sets fundraiser

The Salvation Army Women's Auxiliary at Pine Bluff will host a Christmas Sip & Shop fundraiser for the Salvation Army. It will be held Dec. 2 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church, 200 W. Sixth Ave. Refreshments such as finger foods, sandwiches, cookies and punch will be served and guests are welcome to nibble while shopping for items such as jewelry, home and holiday decor, and much more, said Jestean Thomas, a volunteer for the Salvation Army Women's Auxiliary. Christmas Sip & Shop tickets are $10 and can be purchased from any auxiliary member or at the Salvation Army. Contributions can also be dropped off or mailed to Salvation Army, 501 E. 12th Ave., Pine Bluff, Ark., 71601.

White Hall sets Christmas event

The annual White Hall Community Christmas will be held from 6-8 p.m. Dec. 2 at the White Hall Community Center, 9801 Dollarway Road. Santa will be there for a meet-and-greet along with kids' activities, hot chocolate, popcorn, and Christmas cookies for everyone. The public is invited to attend, according to a spokesman. Participants are asked to bring nonperishable food items and/or unwrapped children's toys to the event. These will be donated to the White Hall Food Bank, which will distribute the items. This event is sponsored by the White Hall Chamber of Commerce. For groups or organizations wishing to participate in the White Hall Christmas festivities, the deadline to register for a booth is Nov. 25. Groups will be allowed to begin decorating their booths at noon Dec. 2. Details: (870) 247-6964.

Saturday, Dec. 3

Church sets active shooter response event

Bethany Chapel Missionary Baptist Church, 1923 S. Olive St., will host the Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events at 10 a.m. Dec. 3. An FBI presentation, the session will provide strategies, guidance, and a proven plan for surviving an active shooter event, according to a flyer. Individuals and groups are invited to attend. Seating is limited. To register a church, civic or youth group, call Kathy Richards, (870) 329-8491, or Mary Davis, (870) 592-2183.

ASC hosts Potpourri 2022

Potpourri 2022: Roaring for the Arts will take place at The ARTSpace on Main, 623 S. Main St., and honor the memory of Anne S. Robinson, a longtime supporter and volunteer of the Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas. Potpourri, set for 6-11 p.m. Dec. 3, is the ASC's longest-running fundraiser, which sustains the museum's free gallery admission and high-caliber programming, according to a news release. The gala will feature dinner by Chef Jamie McAfee of the Pine Bluff Country Club, drinks sponsored by MK Distributors, a silent art auction, a silent spirits auction, live music by Dave Sadler, and a live auction with Master of Ceremonies Matt Soto. The fundraiser will feature complimentary valet parking to accommodate the new venue, The ARTSpace. Tickets are $200 for members and $250 for nonmembers. They may be purchased online at, by calling ASC at (870) 536-3375, or in person at ASC. Details:

Concert association plans session

The Southeast Arkansas Concert Association will present Sing, Dance, Rejoice: A Christmas gift to Southeast Arkansas! The performance will be at 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. Dec. 3 at the fine arts center of the University of Arkansas at Monticello. The community is invite to attend the event featuring talent from the Southeast Arkansas area, according to a news release. Reserved seating tickets are $20 for adults, $18 for veterans, and $15 for children 12 and younger, according to the website. Details: or (870) 460-1888.

Beginning Saturday, Dec. 3

Blues concerts on tap for downtown

The Port City Blues Society will host "Blues By Budweiser," live blues concerts on the first Saturday of each month through February 2023 at RJ's Sports Grill & Bar, 128 S. Main St. The doors open at 7 p.m. and music begins at 8 p.m. Port City Blues Society members are admitted for free. There's a $5 cover charge for nonmembers, according to a news release. Performers include Dec. 3 -- Charlotte Taylor and Gypsy Rain; Jan. 7, 2023 -- Sean Bad Apple; and Feb. 4, 2023 -- Arkaholics. Details: or

Sunday, Dec. 4

New Hope honors pastor, wife

New Hope Missionary Baptist Church at Moscow will observe the 24th anniversary of the pastor and wife, the Rev. Stanley R. Blair Sr. and Tina Blair, at noon Dec. 4. The guest speaker will be the Rev. A. Leon Hicks, pastor of Crossroads Missionary Baptist Church at Deberry, Texas. The worship leader will be the Rev. Jay Brothers of St. Luke Missionary Baptist Church at Sherrill.

Tuesday, Dec. 6

Pine Bluff Community Band hosts concerts

The Pine Bluff Community Band announced its upcoming concerts. Performances include: Dec. 6 at 6 p.m. at the Arkansas Convalescent Center, 6301 S. Hazel St.; Dec. 15 at 6 p.m. at The Villages of General Baptist East, 6811 S. Hazel St.; and their major Christmas concert on Dec. 13 at 6 p.m. at the First Baptist Church at White Hall, 8708 Dollarway Road. Concerts are free and open to the general public.

Thursday, Dec. 8

JRMC auxiliary to light Christmas tree

The Jefferson Regional Medical Center Auxiliary is selling lights for their 2022 Community Christmas Tree. The tree lighting will take place at 5 p.m. Dec. 8 in the hospital's main lobby, according to a news release. Lights can be purchased for $5 each in honor or in memory of someone. The auxiliary will send a card to the recipient or their family about the gift. All proceeds will be used by the auxiliary for special hospital projects. The tree lighting ceremony is free to attend. There will be refreshments and entertainment by the Jenkins Center Choir, according to the release. To receive an order form to buy a light, contact Laura Beth Shaner, Jefferson Regional volunteer director, at (870) 541-7210 or

Monday, Dec. 12

Angel Tree deadline set

The Salvation Army Angel Tree Program at Pine Bluff is underway until Dec. 12 to help children in need. There are names to be adopted and drop-off Angel Tree locations at the Donald W. Reynolds Community Services Center, 211 W. Third Ave.; Simmons Bank, 501 S. Main St.; Hibbett Sports, 1650 E. Harding Ave.; and Walmart Supercenter, 5501 S. Olive St., which is offering in-store and online options. Just select a name from the tree, buy the gift and drop it into the Salvation Army's Angel Tree box, which is usually located near the store's exit. Details: TheSalvationArmyofPineBluff/ on Facebook.

Thursday, Dec. 15

Parole Board meeting set

The Arkansas Parole Board will hold its monthly board meeting at 9 a.m. Dec. 15 in the Richard Lee Richardson Auditorium of the board office at North Little Rock, according to a news release. The full calendar of hearings and meetings slated for and by the parole board can be found on the website at under Meeting Information and Hearings & Board Schedule. Details: (501) 682-3850.

Through Monday, Dec. 19

DRA seeks applicants for medical missions

The Delta Regional Authority released a Request for Proposals seeking an organization within the DRA region to partner with local community agencies and the U.S. Department of Defense to deliver two Innovative Readiness Training Medical Missions in summer 2023. The deadline for submitting a proposal is 5 p.m. Dec. 19, according to a news release. Details on Innovative Readiness Trainings is available at and Details on submission requirements and scope of work is available at


NAACP recruits for academic contest

The Pine Bluff Branch NAACP is recruiting youth for its 2022-23 Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics (ACT-SO.) Contestants will compete for scholarships and monetary prizes, according to a news release. Students at Pine Bluff, Watson Chapel, Dollarway, and White Hall high schools are eligible to participate. Parents and teachers are urged to register their students as soon as possible to take advantage of scholarship opportunities offered by the National NAACP in essay writing, art, and engineering. Registration ends in December. To get an ACT-SO registration packet, to volunteer, or for more information, contact Maryann Lee at (870) 718-5330.

Saturday, Jan. 14, 2023

Berry reception, Gillett Coon Supper set

The 11th annual "Berry Pre-Coon Supper Reception" will be held at 3:30 p.m. Jan. 14 at the Berry Farm Shop at Gillett. The 79th Gillett Coon Supper will follow at the Gillett School Gymnasium at 6:30 p.m., according to a news release. Tickets to the Coon Supper may be purchased by contacting Larry Bauer at (870) 830-4002. Tickets for the reception are $40 each. All tickets will be available for purchase at the door. For reception sponsorship details, contact Becky Barnes Campbell at (501) 912-7560 or Gabe Holmstrom at (479) 409-3329.

Through Friday, Jan. 20

Downtown project seeks chefs, entrepreneurs

Go Forward Pine Bluff is seeking food trucks, chefs, entrepreneurs and start-ups for business opportunities supported by the Sixth & Main project. GFPB is transforming the Sixth and Main Street Plaza into a fully functioning space that will feature four restaurants, a roof top bar and several retail areas in Downtown Pine Bluff, according to a news release. The plaza will also feature an outdoor amphitheater, outdoor dining, a rainwater garden, and a fountain bridge. All interested vendors are encouraged to contact The Generator at (870) 663-0200. Space is limited. The deadline to apply is Jan. 20, 2023.

Through Saturday, Feb. 4

Midst: Artwork by Nick Hobbs set

The Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas is hosting the exhibit "Midst: Artwork by Nick Hobbs" through Feb. 4, 2023. "Hobbs' current practice is defined by small, highly detailed graphite drawings that interweave the everyday and the sublime in curated juxtapositions. He has been involved with amateur astronomy for over a decade, and it influences everything he does," according to a news release. Details:

Through Friday, Feb. 24

Taylor exhibit addresses racism, prophecy

An exhibition at the Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas showcases the work of noted Memphis-based artist Madai Taylor. "An Elegy to America in Black and White II: The Artwork of Madai Taylor" features 18 pieces. Taylor's exhibition addresses racism, and prophecy. The exhibition will be on view in the William H. Kennedy Jr. Gallery through Feb. 24.

Saturday, March 11

SEARK announces gala

Southeast Arkansas College will host the Sock Hop fundraising gala March 11 at Seabrook, 6808 S. Hazel St., a SEARK college and community recreation center. The VIP reception is from 6-7 p.m. and the gala from 7-11 p.m., according to the newsletter of the Pine Bluff Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Through Monday, May 15

SBA disaster loans available

Small nonfarm businesses in 75 Arkansas counties are now eligible to apply for low‑interest federal disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration. The deadline to apply is May 15, 2023, according to a news release. These loans offset economic losses because of reduced revenues caused by excessive heat and drought that began on May 30. Details: Applicants may also call SBA's Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email


Covid-19 vaccines, testing available

The Arkansas Department of Health, various pharmacies and healthcare providers offer the covid-19 vaccine, tests and other information about coronavirus. Details: Call the Arkansas Department of Health at (800) 985-6030, visit the website at or contact area medical professionals, according to spokesmen.


Unity Christian 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: or (870) 329-1182.

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