Calendar Nov. 26


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 or use our newsroom email pbcnews@pbcommercial.com to make additions or changes.

Beginning Sunday, Nov. 26

Downtown to host holiday events

The community is invited to attend a Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony and Christmas Parade. he Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony will be held 4-6 p.m. Nov. 26 at the Civic Center Plaza, 200 E. Eighth Ave. The tree will be lit at 6 p.m. The lighting event will be fun for the whole family and includes games, music, caroling, food trucks, laser tag, Nerf wars, a rock wall, and appearance by Santa Claus, according to Pine Bluff Downtown Development. The Children's Advocacy Center of Southeast Arkansas representatives will be present to accept new toys for children in need. Details: Leigh Cockrum, (870) 939-6900. The Christmas Parade, featuring Santa, will be held in downtown Pine Bluff at 5:30 p.m. Nov. 30. Details: Mary Liddell, (870) 643-2383. Both the tree lighting and parade are part of Mistletoe Magic holiday events, presented by Go Forward Pine Bluff.

Through Sunday, Nov. 26

Commercial hosts Readers' Choice Awards

Readers are invited to vote for their favorites in the 2023 Pine Bluff Commercial Readers' Choice Awards. "Whether it's your go-to healthcare heroes, the must-visit spots to grab a bite, or the stores you can't resist, this is your chance to show some love to the best in Jefferson County that mean the world to you," according to as spokesman. To participate, readers are urged to get online to pick their winners across dozens of categories. Remember, each person can vote once per category. "Want a shot at winning $250? Be sure to vote in at least 25 categories by midnight on Sunday, Nov. 26. Each person who registers is allowed one vote per category," the spokesman said. Details: https://www.arkansasonline.com/pbreaderschoice2023/#//.

Underway

NAACP seeks students for academic contests

The Pine Bluff Branch of the NAACP ACT-SO Committee is accepting applications for the 2023-24 program year. ACT-SO, which stands for Afro-Academics, Cultural, Technological, & Scientific Olympics, is a youth initiative of the NAACP. The program, created in 1978 by noted journalist Vernon Jarrett, is dedicated to achieving academic excellence for African American high school students, according to a news release. The committee will accept applications from students enrolled in Watson Chapel, White Hall, and Pine Bluff high schools. First place winners may attend the national contests in Las Vegas in July. Students interested in participating can call Maryann Lee at (870) 718-5330 or Michael McCray at (870) 543-0024 or email Lee at mizmaryann@gmail.com. The deadline for returning the application is Jan. 8, 2024. Competitions will begin in March 2024.

UAPB extension hosts sock drive

The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff 1890 Cooperative Extension Program is hosting a sock drive for seniors in the community. People are asked to donate large socks by Dec. 12. Socks can be dropped off at the S.J. Parker 1890 Extension Complex or the Adair-Greenhouse Human Sciences Hall at UAPB, according to a news release. Details: Rachel M. Will at willr@uapb.edu.

Monday, Nov. 27

Election panel to meet

Michael Adam, chairman of the Jefferson County Election Commission, is calling a commission meeting for 6 p.m. Monday at the election office, 123 N. Main St. The agenda includes an update on the election commission building, and public comments on new business (two minutes per speaker). New business includes a hearing for anyone who appears in response to a letter notifying them that their ballot was not counted for the Pine Bluff Sales tax elections or the Watson Chapel School Millage election, final determinations on all provisional ballots based on the clerk's findings, process all approved ballots and certify the election.

NARFE to meet

The Chapter 287 National Association of Retired Federal Employees will be held at 11:30 a.m. Nov. 27 at the Donald W. Reynolds Community Services Center, 211 W. Third Ave. Janine Stafford, a financial representative with Thrivent, a financial services organization, will be the guest speaker, according to a news release. Waymond Meins is the Chapter 287 president.

McGehee School Board to meet

McGehee School Board will meet at 5 p.m. Nov. 27 at the high school library. The agenda includes Recognition of Students of the Month, award presentation, facilities master plan public hearing, invoices and financial statement, according to a news release.

Tuesday, Nov. 28

Ivy Center slates session

The Ivy Center for Education will present Girl/Guy Talk for seventh-12th graders at the Generator, 435 S. Main St., from 6-7:30 p.m. Nov. 28. The presenters will be the women from Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., the Alpha Rho Chapter, at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, and the men of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., the Delta Sigma Lambda Graduate Chapter. Discussions are aimed to help better prepare youth for college and for a successful life, according to a news release. Prizes will be available. Students and parents who cannot attend in person may join on Zoom with ID: 856 8296 4187 and Passcode: 351061. Details: Mattie Collins at mattie1908@gmail.com or follow the center on social media.

Blood drive set at Arsenal

The Pine Bluff Arsenal will hold a blood drive with Our Blood Institute from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nov. 28 outside Plainview Gate in the Creasy Complex parking lot. Participants should look for the Bloodmobile. Walk-ins are welcome. The drive is open to all Arsenal personnel as well as the community. To make an appointment, call (877) 340-8777 or visit obi.org. Donors will receive a long-sleeve holiday T-shirt, according to a news release.

Beginning Tuesday, Nov. 28

Work to impact Lock and Dam 4

Boaters should expect to experience intermittent delays at Emmett Sanders Lock (No. 4) Nov. 28-30, between the hours of 7 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. The intermittent delays are required to facilitate underwater dive operations near the Lock chamber, according to a news release. Questions or requests for additional information should be directed to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Little Rock District Office, at (501) 324-5096, or by email to CESWL-OP-OM@usace.army.mil.

Wednesday, Nov. 29

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 Sandra Hope at shope@adgnewsroom.com or shope@pbcommercial.com. Details: (870) 534-3400, ext. 5.

Beginning Wednesday, Nov. 29

Ivy Center sets ACT Boot Camps

The Ivy Center will present four ACT Boot Camps for 7th-12th graders on Zoom only. The facilitators are Charity Smith-Allen and team from Fetterman & Associates. Students may ask questions to get a better understanding of each subject covered on the ACT exam. The following sessions will be held: English -- 6-7:30 p.m. Nov. 29; Math -- 6-8 p.m. Nov. 30; Science -- 6-7:30 p.m. Dec. 6; Reading -- 6-7:30 p.m. Dec. 7. The Zoom ID is 856 8296 4187 and Passcode: 351061. Details: Ivy Center President Mattie Collins at mattie1908@gmail.com or follow the center on social media.

Thursday, Nov. 30

Online ministry holds Bible Study

The Abundant Life Ministry, an online ministry of White Hall, invites the community to its Bible Study at 7 p.m. Thursdays via Zoom. The leaders are Aaron and Kae Spencer. The Let's Talk About It session is described as a safe space; the no judgment zone, where people talk about faith, finance, family, and life, while equipping people to go out, and spread the Gospel of Jesus, according to Stuff in The Bluff.com. Questions are discussed anonymously unless the sender reveals themselves during the Zoom. The ministry is multicultural. The Zoom link is https://us02web.zoom.us/ with Meeting ID: 852 2368 7824 and Passcode: 824192 or call +1 309 205 3325 US. Details: kaesspencer@gmail.com or text (703) 231-1127.

Through Friday, Dec. 1

Chamber seeks Leadership applicants

The Pine Bluff Regional Chamber of Commerce is accepting nominations and applications for the 2024 Leadership Pine Bluff program. Leadership Pine Bluff is a formal program to identify, inform, and motivate emerging leaders for Pine Bluff and Jefferson County, according to the Chamber newsletter. The program is held January through September. The group meets one day each month to 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. Applications are due Dec. 1. For details, contact Chamber Director Jennifer Kline at jennifer@jeffersoncountyalliance.com or (870) 535-0110. The applications are available at https://files.constantcontact.com/91329166001/7e75eb8b-39dc-403d-9b72-61bb25a85ef8.pdf?rdr=true.

Beginning Saturday, Dec. 2

Blues concert series set

The "Blues By Budweiser" concert series will be back for a second season. In collaboration with MK Distributors and RJ's Grill & Bar, Port City Blues Society will again host live blues concerts the first Saturday of the month at RJ's 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 free. It's a $5 cover charge for non-members. The 2023-2024 concerts include: Dec. 2 -- Johnie B and Queen Iretta Sanders Blues Review; Jan. 6, 2024 -- Charlotte Taylor and Gypsy Rain; and Feb. 3 -- Chad Marshall Band. Details: pc-blues.com or facebook.com/PCBluesSociety.

Sunday, Dec. 3

Moscow church honors pastor, wife

New Hope Missionary Baptist Church at Moscow will celebrate the 25th anniversary of the pastor and wife, the Rev. Stanley R. Blair Sr. and Tina Blair, at 2 p.m. Dec. 3. The guest speaker will be the Rev. Anthony Howard, pastor of Kings Highway Missionary Baptist Church of Pine Bluff. Guests will also include the Rev. Leon Hicks, pastor of Crossroad Missionary Baptist Church at Deberry, Texas. Everyone is invited to attend.

Sherrill church observes anniversary

Antioch Missionary Baptist Church, 500 N. McKinney Road, in Sherrill, will celebrate its 155th anniversary at 2:30 p.m. Dec. 3. The guest speaker will be the Rev. James Rice Jr., pastor of Greater Battle Chapel Church in Pine Bluff. The Rev. David Holmes is pastor at Antioch.

Through Friday, Dec. 8

ASC hosts 'Voices and Votes: Democracy in America'

The Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas is hosting the national traveling exhibition "Voices and Votes: Democracy in America" through Dec. 8. This multimedia and educational exhibition features historical and contemporary photos, video, interactive games, information; and historical objects like campaign souvenirs, voter memorabilia, and protest materials. The display is part of the Museum on Main Street, a collaboration between the Smithsonian Institution and State Humanities Councils nationwide. The exhibition is made possible by the Arkansas Humanities Council and National Endowment for the Humanities.

Be Pro Be Proud registration open

Registration is open for employers interested in the Be Pro Be Proud program. The program will host eight events throughout the state as part of its 2024 Draft Day Series, including local sessions. The two-day event matches employers with qualified graduating students based on student interest and employer needs. At Pine Bluff, a Draft Day for the Arkansas Delta will take place March 12-13 at the Pine Bluff Convention Center, presented by Central Moloney, according to a Be Pro Proud news release. At Stuttgart, the Draft Day Arkansas Grand Prairie event will be held April 3-4. This session will be presented by Riceland Foods. Draft Day 2024 registration ends Dec. 8. For details on Be Pro Be Proud's Draft Day events or to register a company, visit https://beprobeproudar.org/draft-day-2024.

Saturday, Dec. 9

UAPB holds fall graduation

The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff will host its 168th commencement ceremony at 10 a.m. Dec. 9 at the Pine Bluff Convention Center. The processional begins at 9:45 a.m. UAPB will livestream the ceremony via YouTube. Congresswoman Alma S. Adams, Ph.D., of North Carolina, will serve as commencement speaker for UAPB, which is celebrating its year-long sesquicentennial. For details on commencement exercises, contact Registrar Aretha Lacefield at registrar@uapb.edu.

First Missionary honors retiring pastor

First Missionary Baptist Church, 4500 Faucett Road, will present a retirement celebration for the pastor, the Rev. Charles S. Boyd Sr., at 6 p.m. Dec. 9. Special guests include the Rev. Derrick Easter, pastor of New St. Hurricane Missionary Baptist Church and New St. Hurricane's mass, choir along with other pastors in the community.

Sunday, Dec. 10

Compassionate Friends set lighting event

The Desha County Chapter of the Compassionate Friends invites the community to join with them in the 27th annual Worldwide Candle Lighting Remembrance at 6 p.m Dec. 10 at the Dumas Community Center in Dumas. The event honors the memories of children who died. A short program will include greetings, readings, poems, music and a candle-lighting ceremony. At 7 p.m., everyone will light candles in memory of children, according to the news release. A reception will follow the ceremony. The event is free to attend. Those who would like to have their child's name placed on the memorial roll, or picture placed on the memorial display may contact Compassionate Friends. Those planning to attend should RSVP by Dec. 4. For details, text or call (870) 866-6985, (972) 365-1930, or (870) 377-4299. Brenda Norman is the event planner.

Beginning Sunday, Dec. 10

Back to School Prayer and Pizza set

Back to School Prayer and Pizza for children will continue at area churches from 2-3 p.m. on scheduled dates. Sessions will continue Dec. 10 at East End Church of God and Christ. Intercessors will pray at each event. "Please join the movement through prayer for our children," said Dee Clay, spokesman. The event is free and open to the general public. Organizers ask that pastors and youth leaders participate.

Tuesday, Dec. 12

Chamber plans blood drive

The Pine Bluff Regional Chamber of Commerce will hold a blood drive from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 12 in the Chamber conference room, 510 Main St. Donors will receive a long-sleeve T-shirt while supplies last. Photo ID will be required, according to the Chamber newsletter. For details or to make an appointment, contact Our Blood Institute at obi.org or 877-340-8777.

Through Tuesday, Dec. 12

UAPB extension hosts sock drive

The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff 1890 Cooperative Extension Program is hosting a sock drive for seniors in the community. People are asked to donate large socks by Dec. 12. Socks can be dropped off at the S.J. Parker 1890 Extension Complex or the Adair-Greenhouse Human Sciences Hall at UAPB, according to a news release. Details: Rachel M. Will at willr@uapb.edu.

Saturday, Dec. 16

AKA Cotillion Ball set

The 55th Debutante Cotillion Ball, sponsored by Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc.® Delta Omega Omega Chapter, The Cotillion Ball will be held on Dec. 16 at the Pine Bluff Convention Center. This year's Debutante Cotillion chairmen are Laurel Hall, Jennifer Johnson, and Dr. Jacqueline Pryor. Details: Yaminah Roberts, president of the Delta Omega Omega chapter, deltaomegamomegapresident@gmail.com.

Through Monday, Jan. 8, 2024

NAACP seeks students for academic contests

The Pine Bluff Branch of the NAACP ACT-SO Committee is accepting applications for the 2023-24 program year. ACT-SO, which stands for Afro-Academics, Cultural, Technological, & Scientific Olympics, is a youth initiative of the NAACP. The program, created in 1978 by noted journalist Vernon Jarrett, is dedicated to achieving academic excellence for African American high school students, according to a news release. The committee will accept applications from students enrolled in Watson Chapel, White Hall, and Pine Bluff high schools. First place winners may attend the national contests in Las Vegas in July. Students interested in participating can call Maryann Lee at (870) 718-5330 or Michael McCray at (870) 543-0024 or email Lee at mizmaryann@gmail.com. The deadline for returning the application is Jan. 8, 2024. Competitions will begin in March 2024.

Beginning Friday, Jan. 12

Artist INC LIVE free seminars set

The Arkansas Arts Council will sponsor Artist INC LIVE, an eight-week professional development session for Pine Bluff, in partnership with Mid-America Arts Alliance. People are urged to join local creatives Jan. 12-14 in virtual, three-day workshops to learn what it takes to succeed in a creative field. Registration and participation is free. The sessions address the specific professional challenges creatives in all disciplines face. The organizer waves the $150 participation fee. Registration deadline is 5 p.m. Jan. 11. To register for the free professional development sessions or for details, visit https://www.maaa.org/event/artist-inc-express-arkansas-statewide-virtual-2/

Through Saturday, Jan. 13

USDA extends deadline for discrimination form

The U.S. Department of Agriculture extended the deadline for the Discrimination Financial Assistance Program from Oct. 31, 2023 to Jan. 13, 2024. The new deadline will give eligible farmers, ranchers and forest landowners more time to apply for assistance, according to a news release. This program delivers on Section 22007 of the Inflation Reduction Act, which provides financial assistance for farmers, ranchers and forest landowners who experienced discrimination in USDA farm lending programs prior to January 2021.

Underway

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 healthy.arkansas.gov/programs-services/topics/covid-19-vaccination-plan or contact area medical professionals, according to spokesmen.

Tuesdays

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