Community Briefs


UAPB graduate named finance chief

Ricky Johnson has been hired as director of finance for the Arkansas Farm Bureau Federation.

A graduate of the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, Johnson will manage the daily work of the finance department, including directing personnel involved in accounting, financial statements and overseeing the county records program, according to a news release.

Johnson, a Clarendon native, most recently worked as a corporate controller for Riceland Foods in Stuttgart. Prior to that, he worked as a tax auditor and tax audit supervisor for the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration.

Johnson became a certified public accountant in 2019. He is a member of the Arkansas Society of Certified Public Accountants and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

"I'm proud to join an organization with such a rich history in supporting agriculture and rural communities," Johnson said. "Having grown up around agriculture and worked in this industry for nearly a decade, I've developed a strong passion for serving our state's farmers and ranchers, and I look forward to playing a role in the value they bring to every household in our state."

Red Cross observes Fire Prevention Week

During Fire Prevention Week (Oct. 8-14) the American Red Cross of Greater Arkansas reminds everyone that cooking is the leading cause of home fires and issues safety steps to follow to help avoid one of these blazes.

Follow these 10 steps to help stay safe while cooking:

1. If you are frying, grilling, or broiling food, never leave it unattended -- stay in the kitchen. If you leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove.

2. Don't wear loose clothing or sleeves that dangle while cooking.

3. If you're simmering, baking, roasting, or broiling food, check it regularly.

4. Use a timer to remind yourself that the stove or oven is on.

5. Keep kids and pets away from the cooking area. Make them stay at least three feet away from the stove.

6. Keep anything that can catch fire -- potholders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, food packaging, towels, or curtains -- away from your stove, oven or any other appliance in the kitchen that generates heat.

7. Clean cooking surfaces on a regular basis to prevent grease buildup.

8. Consider purchasing a fire extinguisher to keep in your kitchen. Contact your local fire department to take training on the proper use of extinguishers.

9. Always check the kitchen before going to bed or leaving the home to make sure all stoves, ovens and small appliances are turned off.

10. Install a smoke alarm near your kitchen, on each level of your home, near sleeping areas and inside and outside bedrooms if you sleep with doors closed. Use the test button to check it each month. Replace all batteries at least once a year if your smoke alarm requires it.


The American Red Cross is installing free smoke alarms in homes across the country in October. Details: or

The Pine Bluff Fire and Emergency Services offers free smoke alarms and installations as well. Details: or (870) 730-2048.

PBSD stakeholders to meet

The Pine Bluff School District Unified Stakeholders will meet at 6 p.m. Oct. 12 at The Generator, 435 Main St. Wilma Kindle is the president, according to a news release.

Local graduates from Ole Miss

Molly Bohanan of Stuttgart graduated from the University of Mississippi in August. Bohanan, who majored in pharmaceutical sciences, received a Bachelor of Science degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences in the School of Pharmacy. She is among more than 900 students who graduated from Ole Miss, according to a news release.

PBHS roundup set

The Pine Bluff High School All Classes Roundup will be held Oct. 20 from 7 p.m. to midnight at the high school gym. Admission is $20. This is a PBHS inaugural event held during the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Homecoming, according to a spokesman.

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