Monday’s With The Mayor Tidbits

 

Saturday, February 25

8:30 a.m.

    • Mayor’s Youth Leadership Program First Meeting, City Hall
  • 12:00 p.m.
    • South Main Street Mardi Gras Parade and Festivities, SoMa
  • 6:00 p.m.
    • University of Arkansas at Little Rock Men’s Basketball v. Georgia State, Jack Stephens Center

Sunday, February 26

  • 1:00 p.m.
    • Barkus on Main – a Mardi Gras Parade of Pet Proportions (go to www.barkusonmain.com to sign up!), 300 Block of Main Street

Broadway Bridge Soft Opening

INFORMATION RELEASE

Office of the Director

ARKANSAS STATE HIGHWAY AND TRANSPORTATION DEPARTMENT

  1. O. Box 2261 – Little Rock, Arkansas ArkansasHighways.com

Telephone (501) 569-2227                                                       Twitter: @AHTD

Contact:                                                                                                                       NR 17-047

Danny Straessle                                                                                      February 22, 2017

 U.S. HIGHWAY 70 (BROADWAY) BRIDGE OPENING IMMINENT

AHTD TO CELEBRATE FIRST DRIVE ACROSS NEW STRUCTURE

 PULASKI COUNTY (2-22) – The new U.S. Highway 70 (Broadway) Bridge crossing the Arkansas River is anticipated to open sometime next week and plans are in the works for a ceremonial first crossing of the new structure, according to Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department (AHTD) officials.

The project contractor Massman Construction Co. has alerted AHTD that it anticipates opening the bridge to traffic at a time yet to be determined next week. Work on the structure has progressed so well throughout the unseasonably warm winter months that the opening will occur almost a full month ahead of the 180-day schedule Massman included in its $98.4 million bid to replace the river crossing.

Although an exact time of the opening is unknown at this time, the AHTD has scheduled a ceremonial first crossing media event that will take place on Monday, February 27 at 3:30 p.m. Among the dignitaries included in the procession of vehicles are members of the Arkansas Highway Commission, AHTD Director of Highways and Transportation Scott Bennett, Pulaski County Judge Barry Hyde, North Little Rock Mayor Joe Smith, and Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola.

Since the site is still very much an active construction work zone, the event will be closed to the general public. Only credentialed media will be allowed on the bridge to witness the occasion. Participating media will enter from the Little Rock side beginning at 3:15 p.m. and will be routed to a staging area where hard hats and safety vests will be distributed. Once properly outfitted, media will be escorted to an area on the bridge where AHTD Director Scott Bennett will say a few words before the first crossing. Please note the event begins at 3:30. After this time, late-arriving media will not be  accommodated.

When the bridge opens to traffic next week, only north-south vehicular connectivity across the Arkansas River will be available. Massman Construction Co. will spend the following weeks completing the tie-in of the southbound off-ramp that will carry traffic to westbound State Highway 10. Additionally, the 16-foot shared-use path will not open for several weeks as Massman works to tie-in ramps on both sides of the river to the Arkansas River Trail. Announcements will be made as these features become available.

Motorists can expect occasional lane closures on the bridge once it opens to traffic as the contractor works to complete miscellaneous items. The lane closures will occur during off-peak times (outside of commute hours and on weekends).

A ribbon-cutting and commissioning of the new bridge will be held in the west parking lot across from Dickey-Stephens Park on Thursday, April 6 at 4:00 p.m. The public is invited to participate in this celebration. More information will be forthcoming as plans are finalized.

The U.S. Highway 70 (Broadway) Bridge was closed on Wednesday, September 28, 2016 (see our video recap of the event here: https://vimeo.com/ahtd/BroadwayDecommission) as Kansas City-based Massman Construction Co. prepared for a 180-day period in which the existing structure would be completely dismantled and a new structure would be constructed and opened to traffic.

The 180-day closure period was included in Massman’s $98.4 million bid to replace the Broadway Bridge. The construction contract includes an incentive / disincentive clause of $80,000 per day. If Massman opens the new bridge to traffic before the 180 days expires, the company will earn an incentive of $80,000 per day up to a maximum of 50 days. If the 180 days is exceeded, Massman will be charged $80,000 per day with no limit on the number of days that amount can be assessed.

 

 

 

 

Support For Philander Smith College

Dear Friends and Supporters of Philander Smith College:

 

Please see the attached flyer and draft letter to be shared with local clergy and others reference the proposed ARFutures Grant (HB1426).

 

Members of the Arkansas Legislative Black Caucus and the Presidents of the three private HBCUs (Arkansas Baptist College, Philander Smith College and Shorter College) are united in our efforts to convince Governor Hutchinson to amend HB1426 to include our institutions.  Anything less is discriminatory.

 

The message in simple, we are requesting that our supporters call the Governor at 501.682.2345 or e-mail him at asa.hutchinson@governor.arkansas.gov  and ask him to include HBCU’s in ARFutures.

 

***As Proposed, ARFutures is a combination of the old WIN and GO need-based scholarships upon which our students have historically depended.

 

Spread the word today – we only have 72 hours before HB1426 is reconsidered by the Senate Education Committee on Wednesday.

Thanks in advance for your support.

Roderick Smothers

Roderick L. Smothers, Ph.D

President

Philander Smith College

900 Daisy Bates Drive

Little Rock, AR  72202

501.370.5275 (0)

501.370.5277 (F)

__._,_.___

1 of 1 Photo(s)

Amend HB1426 Flyer V1.jpg

2 of 2 File(s)

Amend HB1426 Flyer V1.pdf

DraftLettertoGovernorHutchinson1.docx

Keeping Us Safe: A Conversation on Crime in our Community

Your participation is requested during our community-wide conversation on crime in our neighborhood.  Officials from the city and county have been invited to participate in this discussion.

The event will be held on Monday, February 27 at 9 am at the Willie L. Hinton Neighborhood Resource Center, 3805 West 12th Street, Little Rock, AR 72204.
You may call me on 501-247-2291 or more information.
Sincerely,
Darrell L. Montgomery
Community Activist

Arkansas Ballot News

Feb. 14, 2017
Join Our Mailing List
Voter ID, “Tort Reform” Among 31 Ballot Proposals Filed
Arkansas legislators filed 31 proposed constitutional amendments for the 2018 ballot. Limited by law to a maximum of three measures, legislators will quickly whittle the list down in committee meetings in coming weeks.
Based on the number of co-sponsors, there are a few proposals most likely to make it through the committee process legislators told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. The proposals include:
The number of bills is less than the 40 filed for the 2016 ballot. Several of the proposals are shell bills, in that there is only a title. Shell bills are typically fleshed out at a later time. Some of the bills are similar, dealing with access to education, changes to the ballot issue process, and the method for selecting Supreme Court justices.
A full list of the 31 proposals can be found below. In an interview with the newspaper, legislators from both houses said they wanted committees to review the bills this week and narrow them down for a full vote. The House and the Senate expect to refer one proposal each. A third proposal might be agreed to at a later date this session.
The 91st General Assembly is expected to wrap up by April 7, according to a resolution filed Monday, with the official last day of the session being May 5.
 
Did you know?
 
The Arkansas Attorney General’s Office launched a new website this month at arkansasag.gov. The website is where you can find the titles of ballot measures proposed by citizens. The attorney general reviews each ballot title and must approve it and the full text of the proposal before supporters can gather voter signatures. Click here to read recent AG ballot issue-related opinions.
Source: Arkansas State Legislature
LegislatureThe 2017 Legislative Session & Proposed Ballot Issues

Arkansas legislators submitted 31 proposed constitutional amendments by the Feb. 8 deadline.
Legislators are able to refer up to three constitutional amendments to the voters every general election. The following are bills that were filed in the current legislative session:
SenateFrom the Senate:
SJR1 – A constitutional amendment to reduce the number of days the General Assembly is in session; and repealing the fiscal session of the General Session.
 
Read SJR1
_________________________________________________________________
 
SJR3 – The Public Education Partnership Amendment of 2018. 
Read SJR3
_____________________________________________________________________________________             
SJR4 – An amendment to the Arkansas Constitution concerning the appointment of justices of the Supreme Court by the governor, subject to confirmation by the Senate. 
Read SJR4
_____________________________________________________________________________________

SJR5 – An amendment to the Arkansas Constitution providing that the General Assembly shall be the sole and exclusive evaluator of whether the system of free public schools satisfies the Arkansas Constitution. 
Read SJR5
Sponsor: Sen. Alan Clark
_____________________________________________________________________________________             

SJR6 – An amendment to the Arkansas Constitution concerning voter identification when casting a ballot in person.
Read SJR6
Sponsor: Sen. Bryan King

_____________________________________________________________________________________             

SJR8 – A constitutional amendment limiting contingency fees and awards of punitive and non-economic damages; and changing the powers of the General Assembly and the Supreme Court regarding rules of pleading, practice, and procedure.
Read SJR8

_____________________________________________________________________________________             

SJR10 – Amending the Arkansas Constitution to revise the process for the General Assembly to submit propopsed amendments to the Arkansas Constitution to the electors of the state at a General Election. 
Read SJR10
_____________________________________________________________________________________
 
SJR11 – A proposed constitutional amendment creating the Board of Pardons for the purpose of granting pardons after convictions; and providing that a person may apply for a pardon from either the governor or the Board of Pardons.
Read SJR11
_____________________________________________________________________________________
SJR12 – An amendment to the Arkansas Constitution concerning court decisions pertaining to initiatives and referendums under Arkansas Constitution Article 5, § 1.
Read SJR12
_____________________________________________________________________________________
SJR13 – An amendment to the Arkansas Constitution concerning awards in civil actions.
Read SJR13
_____________________________________________________________________________________
 
SJR14 – An amendment to the Arkansas Constitution concerning retirement salary and pension funds for municipal police officers and municipal firefighters. 
Read SJR14

From the House:

HJR1002 – A proposed amendment to the Arkansas Constitution to provide for the appointment of emergency interim successors to certain constitutional offices upon the occurrence of a catastrophic event.

Read HJR1002
_____________________________________________________________________________________
HJR1003 – An amendment to the Arkansas Constitution to amend the process for placing proposed measures and constitutional amendments on the ballot for consideration by voters at an election.
Read HJR1003
_____________________________________________________________________________________

HJR1004 – An amendment to Arkansas Constitution, Article 5, Section 1, concerning the filing of initiative petitions and the process for challenging the sufficiency of a petition.
Read HJR1004
_____________________________________________________________________________________

HJR1005 – The Public Education Partnership Amendment of 2018.
Read HJR1005
_____________________________________________________________________________________
HJR1006 – An amendment to the Arkansas Constitution repealing the fiscal session of the General Assembly and providing that an appropriation by the General Assembly not be for a longer period than two (2) years.
Read HJR1006
_____________________________________________________________________________________

HJR1007 – A proposed amendment to the Arkansas Constitution to require that constitutional amendments proposed by the General Assembly contain a ballot title that is subject to the same standard of review applied to constitutional amendments initiated by the people of this state.
Read HJR1007
_____________________________________________________________________________________

HJR1008 – An amendment to the Arkansas Constitution to provide that the State Highway Commission shall be governed in the same manner as all other state agencies. 
Read HJR1008
_____________________________________________________________________________________
 
HJR1009 – An amendment to the Arkansas Constitution concerning legislative oversight of institutions of higher education and higher education offerings in the state of Arkansas. 
Read HJR1009
_____________________________________________________________________________________
HJR1010 – An amendment to the Arkansas Constitution concerning the funding of public education offered to the citizens of the state of Arkansas. 
Read HJR1010
_____________________________________________________________________________________
HJR1011 – An amendment to the Arkansas Constitution concerning the applicability of Arkansas Constitution, Amendment 33, to institutions of higher learning. 
Read HJR1011
_____________________________________________________________________________________
HJR1012 – An amendment to the Arkansas Constitution to revise the method of selection of justices of the Supreme Court.
Read HJR1012
____________________________________________________________________________________
HJR1013 – An amendment to the Arkansas Constitution revising the process for submitting proposed measures and constitutional amendments to voters for approval or rejection.
Read HJR1013
____________________________________________________________________________________
 
HJR1014 – A proposed amendment to the Arkansas Constitution to provide that the rates for sales and use taxes shall be increased only upon voter approval or a two-thirds (2/3) vote of each house of the General Assembly.
Read HJR1014
____________________________________________________________________________________
HJR1015 – An amendment to the Arkansas Constitution providing that amendments to the Arkansas Constitution shall not specifically bestow powers, privileges, or authority to specific individuals or private business entities identified by name.
Read HJR1015
____________________________________________________________________________________
HJR1016 – A constitutional amendment adding as a qualification to vote that a voter present certain valid photographic identification when casting a ballot in person or casting an absentee ballot.
____________________________________________________________________________________

HJR1017 – An amendment to the Arkansas Constitution to provide additional rights for crime victims and a mechanism for the enforcement of those rights.
Read HJR1017
____________________________________________________________________________________
HJR1018 – An amendment to the Arkansas Constitution concerning civil actions and court procedures.
Read HJR1018
____________________________________________________________________________________
HJR1019 – An amendment to the Arkansas Constitution concerning awards in civil actions.
Read HJR1019
____________________________________________________________________________________
HJR1020 – An amendment to the Arkansas Constitution to repeal the fiscal session of the General Assembly and to provide for annual regular sessions of the General Assembly.
Read HJR1020
____________________________________________________________________________________
HJR1021 – An amendment to the Arkansas Constitution providing that a monument or statue shall not be placed upon the state Capitol grounds unless at least two hundred thousand (200,000) qualified electors of the state sign a petition in favor of the placement.
Read HJR1021
AGLooking Forward – Potential 2018 Ballot Issues from Citizens
 
Attorney General Opinions
 
The Attorney General is responsible for reviewing the language and titles of potential ballot issues submitted to voters by the public. Ballot issue groups can circulate petitions only after the Attorney General verifies that the ballot title and popular name honestly, intelligibly and fairly describe the purpose of a proposed constitutional amendment or act. The following are recent Attorney General opinions regarding potential ballot issues:
Ballot proposals rejected
 
Jan. 19, 2017 – An amendment to the Arkansas Constitution legalizing gambling with the sales and service of open alcoholic beverages as a local ballot measure – A proposal to allow a company to initiate a local election to allow a casino was rejected because of ambiguities in the ballot title and the description of how the amendment would go into effect if approved by voters, according to  Opinion No. 2017-001

Arkansas Venture Center News

Between launching our spring Pre-Accelerator cohort, hiring a new director of marketing & communications, interviewing candidates for our 2017 VC FinTech – Empowered by FIS cohort and preparing to move down the street, we’ve been a tad busy (but we haven’t forgotten about you!). We can’t wait to tell you more—but for now—here’s a quick update.

Happenings at The VC

Lift the Rock
Tuesdays at 9:00 a.m.
2/20: featuring JobShare
about Lift The Rock
Java User Meet-up
February 21 • 6 p.m.
w/ Sean Townsend of Elyxor
learn more

JOLT: Hackathon
February 24-26
Register before it’s too late!
about JOLT

from the newsroom:

2016 VC FinTech Accelerator Portfolio Company Receives Major Endorsement from ABA

The American Bankers Association – through its subsidiary the Corporation for American Banking – has endorsed the digital lending solution provided by Akouba, which provides community and regional banks with an origination and underwriting platform for small business loans. ABA members will receive preferred pricing.

Read on »

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Arkansas Venture Center

417 Main St

Little Rock, AR 72201

SB25 is now Act 159

New post on Arkansans for Fair Landlord-Tenant Laws

SB25 is now Act 159

by Crittenden

We take back our thanks to the governor for now! After being held in the governor’s office for a week, SB25 became Act 159 on Valentine’s Day. There is conflicting information as to whether the governor signed and we will update this post when we know. We would also include a link to the Act but it is not yet posted on the official General Assembly website, one week later after enactment.

We agree that Arkansas landlords need a quick, inexpensive eviction procedure. But it also needs to be fair. Act 150 is neither fair nor responsive to landlords’ needs. Let’s consider the act.

First, in a civil eviction proceeding, the judge issues an order evicting the tenant, and a writ of possession to law enforcement that authorizes it to physically remove a tenant and her belongings. Act 159 does not authorize a judge to issue an order of eviction, and the judge of a criminal proceeding doesn’t have any authority to evict anyone anyway. Act 150 does not authorize a judge to issue a writ of possession. Act 159 does not authorize a judge to permit the landlord to change the locks. Any  eviction of a tenant ordered by a judge under this act will be an illegal eviction.

Second, prosecutors and judges may still refuse to hear these cases. According to research carried out in 2012, 30% of Arkansas district courts did not hear failure to vacate cases. We will be surprised if those courts change what they are doing. If we were the judge and political pressure were brought to bear on us to enforce the law (because district court judges are elected), we would simply follow the letter of the statute–exactly what it says–and fine the tenant $1 per day. That adds up to a rent of $30 or $31 per month–not a bad deal! The statute calls for a fine of between $1 and $25 per day for every day the tenant remains on the premises. That is the only penalty allowed by the statute. Again, under this statute the judge has no authority to order the locks changed, the tenant to move out or a writ of possession to be served.

Third, in our opinion the law, declared unconstitutional in 2015 by three courts, is still unconstitutional even with the changes. Supporters of this bill argued (and the bill declares) that two courts declared it to be constitutional. Let’s look a little more closely at these two cases. The first one, Munson v. Gilliam, a 1976 federal Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals decision, ruled not on the constitutionality of the failure to vacate statute, but on whether an injunction could be justified. The question the court was answering was whether Little Rock could continue to prosecute failure to vacate cases while the statute was being litigated, or whether an injunction ordering the city to hold off would be enforced. The test in such a case was whether the tenants were likely to succeed, and whether failure to affirm the injunction would cause them irreparable harm. The court stated in what is called “dictum” its opinion that the statute was valid. But, and this is important, the prosecutor testified that landlords were “questioned extensively, under oath,” before a criminal information was prepared. That doesn’t happen in most courts today. The prosecutor or city attorney simply rubber-stamps what the landlord says. The court also said that tenants were allowed to raise civil defenses. That usually doesn’t happen either and even if it does, this law doesn’t allow it! The Munson court read words into the statute that aren’t there to reach its conclusion.

The later case, Duhon v. State, an Arkansas Supreme Court case, came right out and said that the Munson court did not declare the statute to be constitutional. Duhon repeats the same reason from Munson that a tenant can raise a civil defense and a court will hear it. Again, the statute doesn’t say that. Arkansas judges have been observed asking tenants only these two questions: are you still living there? And, have you paid the rent? The statute doesn’t allow the tenant to raise any other issues. A kind judge might allow this, but the statute does not. The law isn’t supposed to depend on kind judges to work.

The Arkansas Supreme Court has said that this law is in the public’s interest. Perhaps that was true thirty or forty or one hundred years ago, but it is not now. It is not in the public’s interest for landlords to be subsidized by taxpayers while tenants may end up victims of the criminal justice system for breaching a contract.

Despite the fact that one of this bill’s sponsors stated that this bill was not the best solution, and that a civil procedure would be better, none of the landlords’ groups has taken the time to draft one. However, a quick, inexpensive, fair civil procedure is in the works!  When we have more information we’ll post it.

Downtown Little Rock Update

 

Gettin’ around downtown is getting easier! New signage (right) is being installed by Little Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau (the old will come out next) to better guide visitors throughout Little Rock. A new Ambassadors Program was announced this week by the Downtown Little Rock Partnership to better serve residents and visitors alike. See Downtown Notes.

Main Street Creative Corridor
February 17-26 Sister Act, Arkansas Repertory TheatreRaise your voice with The Holy Order of the Little Sisters of Our Mother of Perpetual Faith in this rapturous new musical based on the 1992 hit movie starring Whoopi Goldberg! Learn more.

February 26: Barkus on Main–Come on out for Barkus on Main, a Mardi Gras-themed dog parade in the Main Street Creative Corridor, presented by Hounds Lounge Pet Resort and Spa. There will be prizes for 8 different categories, food and beverages for sale, along with live entertainment by the Big John Miller Band! For more information or to register link here, or call Downtown Little Rock Partnership at 501-375-0121.

River Market District
February 18: Star Wars Science, Museum of Discovery, 500 President Clinton Avenue, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Build lightsabers, LEGO spaceships, Reys Salvage Yard, Jedi challenge, laser bounce and more! Learn more.
February 20: Presidents’ Day FREE Admission to the Clinton Presidential Center 9 a.m.-5 p.m.and a special performance by the US Air Force Band of Mid-America’s Midwest Winds at 11 a.m.
February 21: The Iran Wars–Spy Games, Bank Battles, Secret Deals and What Comes Now, Clinton School of Public Service, Sturgis Hall, 6 p.m. Wall Street Journal reporter Jay Solomon. Book signing following. Free. Reservations by email or calling 683-5239.
February 22: ADA Lawsuits Bring Wesites Under Fire Webinar presented by Cross Gunter Witherspoon & Galchus, (500 President Clinton Avenue, Suite 200), 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. How to take appropriate preventative measure to mitigate the risk of a costly ADA lawsuit with CGWG Attorney Abtin Mehdizadegan. Cost $65. Learn more.
February 23: 2016 Oscars Nominated Live Action Short Films, Ron Robinson Theater, 6 p.m. $5. Learn more.
February 24: 2016 Oscars Nominated Animation Short Films, Ron Robinson Theater, 6 p.m. $5. Learn more.
March 3: World Day of Prayer, Christ Episcopal Church, 504 Scott Street. Celebrated by Church Women United Central Arkansas South. Registration, 9:30 a.m.; program, 10 a.m. Open to the community.

SoMa
South Main Street area
Ongoing: Reflections–Images and Objects from African American Women, 1891-1987, Esse Purse Museum, 1510 Main Street, in collaboration with Mosaic Templars Cultural Center. Thru April 30.

February 25: 2017 South Main Mardi Gras Parade, 12 noon. Call for entries–floats, bands, costumes. Entry deadline February 23! For more information contact Hillis Schold 412-3768 or email. Forms available at The Green Corner Store, Moxy Mercantile, South Main Creative and Sweet Home Furnishings. Prizes! SoMa Mardi Gras Masquerade Ball, Rogers House, 400 W. 18th. 7-10 p.m., $50.

Argenta Arts District
In Downtown North Little Rock. For more information link here.
Ongoing: North Little Rock Restaurant Month. Learn more.
February 17: Third Friday Argenta Art Walk, downtown Argenta Arts District, 5-8 p.m. Walkable galleries include Barry Thomas Fine Art & Studio, Core Brewery, Thea Foundation, Argenta Branch of Laman Library, studioMain, Greg Thompson Fine Art, Claytime Pottery, Argenta Gallery including studioMAIN, Southern Women Artisan Guild, House of Art and Mugs Café.
February 17: Nature Inside and Out, Mugs Cafe, 515 Main Street, 5-8 p.m. Art work by Daniella Napolitano and Carmen Alexandriz.
February 17-March 5: The Secret Garden, Argenta Community Theater. Learn more.
February 17-March 25: Naked People with their Clothes On, The Joint’s cabaret theater and coffeehouse. 301 Main Street. Learn more.
February 18: Beer, Brats and Bots, The Innovation Hub, 201 E. Broadway, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Learn more.
February 20-23: Painting Workshop, Barry Thomas Art & Studio, 711 Main Street. For beginner and intermediate. Learn more.
March 1: Cregeen’s Wild Turkey 101 Whiskey Dinner, 6:30 p.m. Limited seating. Learn more.
March 3: Sandwiching in History Tour: Old NLR Fire Station, 506 Main. Presented by Arkansas Historic Preservation Program. Free. Learn more.

Verizon Arena
In Downtown North Little Rock,
1 Verizon Arena Way. For ticket information link here (Verizon Arena) or here (Ticketmaster).
February 20 Charlie Wilson
February 23 Toby Mac
March 3 Twenty One Pilots
March 8 Green Day, Revolution Radio Tour, with special guest Against Me!
March 10 Professional Bull Riders
March 19 Winter Jam
March 31 Blink-182 with special guest The Naked and Famous
April 21 Brantley Gilbert with special guests Tom Beathard, Luke Combs & Brian Davis
April 22 Red Hot Chili Peppers
April 23 tom Petty & The Heartbreakers with Joe Walsh
April 26 Boston: Hyper Space Tour
April 28-29 Monster Jam Triple Threat Series
May 4-7 Disney On Ice presents Worlds of Enchantment
August 3 Tim McGraw and Faith Hill
October 22 Bruno Mars

Downtown Update 
February 17, 2017
Sign up for our weekly email newsletter! All the latest Downtown Little Rock news, events and happenings sent to your inbox.  Email us herePlease share with a colleague or friend!

Downtown Notes                  
Downtown Little Rock Partnership introduced this week two new members of the Partnership team.  Meet Donovan James and Aaron Clark, our Ambassadors, the latest resource for Downtown

and for its residents and visitors.  Their job is to provide an additional, helpful presence in the area.  They will be equipped with smart phones and a dedicated app which will allow them to report maintenance issues and any interactions with the public.

     As they patrol the area between Markham and Ninth Streets and Broadway and Cumberland Streets, our ambassadors will take note of burned-out street lights, graffiti, trash, and the like. We will either report it to the city or, in some cases, fix the problems ourselves.
     Their other focus is to be where people are, provide a welcoming presence.  This will involve walking people to cars, hotels and restaurants or even just giving directions.  Donovan and Aaron will be wearing red, DLRP branded uniforms, so keep an eye out for them and say hello when you see them.  We want feedback, so please let us know how we are doing.
–Gabe Holmstrom, DLRP Executive Director
 

Rusty Mathis of Ben E. Keith Foods received the Business Executive of the Year Award at Thursday night’s 29th annual Arkansas Business of the Year Awards presented by Arkansas Business Publishing Group. Mathis said he’s proud of having built the North Little Rock location with 288 employees into “one of the most prominent brands in our distribution footprint.”

     Also receiving the Smart Corporate Giving Award for Small Business by the Arkansas Community Foundation was Stone’s Throw BrewingLearn more. (Arkansas Business)
 
Potbelly Sandwich Shop is opening its second location in the Lyon Building at 410 W. Capitol Avenue. Owner Ryan Hamra hopes to open in mid-June. Learn more.
Three Fold Noodles is moving from 215 Center Street to 613 Main in the Main Street Creative Corridor. Owner Lisa Zhang plans to move by August. Learn more.
According to Eric Harrison in Restaurant Transitions, Arkansas Online, Slick’s restaurant is celebrating its 30th anniversary in the Main Street Mall, 101 E. Capitol in the Main Street Creative Corridor and planning a new look that is scheduled for viewing on Monday.
Bray Gourmet Deli in the Tower Building, 323 Center Street, is also debuting a new look and menu soon. Watch for it.
Anderson Penix has joined the Downtown Little Rock Partnership staff as Communications Director. A Lyon College graduate, Penix has worked in local and state politics. Gabe Holmstrom, Executive Director, commented, “We are grateful to have Anderson and his enthusiasm join our team. I look forward to having his insight as someone who lives and breathes Downtown.”
Bryan Jones has joined Stone Ward as Director of Digital Strategy & Planning. Before joining Stone Ward, Jones owned his own consulting firm, Extra Awesome.
The Venture Center of Little Rock has announced that 295 entrepreneur and startup teams have applied for its 2017 FinTech Accelerator program scheduled to begin May 8. This is twice the number that applied for last year’s inaugural program. Learn more. (Arkansas Business)
 
Clinton National Airport announced that Chick-fil-A and Chili’s plan to open early next year, pending approval by the airport’s commission. Learn more. (Arkansas Business)
 

Around Downtown
Ongoing: Blue and You Fitness Challenge Signup (for March 1-May 3) sponsored by Arkansas Blue Cross Blue Shield and the Arkansas Department of Health. Learn more.
Ongoing: True Faith, True LightOld State House Museum.

The Devotional Art of Ed Stilley. On exhibit. Learn more.
Ongoing: The Arts @ Christ Church presents The Watercolor Series of Kuhl Brown. Thru March 31. Hillcrest landscape artist and award-winning watercolorist.
Ongoing: New Gallery I Exhibition Henri Linton, Sr. Opening Reception, Hearne Fine Art, 1001 Wright Avenue, 5:30 p.m. Recent works on paper & canvas. Exhibition thru March 11. 372-6822
Ongoing: World View showcasing Hannah Hinojosa’s art. Hinojosa is a UA Little Rock graduate and head of the art department at Joe T. Robinson High School. Thru March 1. Satirical Specs exhibit, a playful look at society’s short comings. Thru March 1. 801-0211
February 17-March 12: Titanic–The Musical Opening Night, The Weekend Theater, 1001 W. Seventh. Based on the Tony Award-winning musical. Learn more.
February 18: MLK Race to Stop the Violence 5K, Arkansas State Capitol, 8 a.m. Learn more.
February 18: Arts@Christ Church presents The Midwest Winds, woodwind quintet from the USAF Band of Mid-America, 7 p.m. Free and open to the public.
February 20: Little Rock Entrepreneurial Training Course. Mondays for 10 weeks, Willie Hinton Neighborhood Resource Center, 6-9 p.m. Learn more.
February 24-26: Arkansas Flower and Garden Show, Statehouse Convention Center. Learn more.
February 28: The First 100 Days and Beyond–Key Issues for Employers and HR in 2017, Wright Lindsey Jennings employment law seminar, 11:30 a.m. Free, complimentary lunch,  WLJ Conference Rooms (Floor 23) in Bank of America Building. Also available via webinar. Contact Roben Sullivant by email before February 24. Or call 371-0808.
March 2-12: The Elephant Man, The Studio Theatre, 320 W. 7th. Presented by the Community Theatre of Little Rock. Learn more.
March 4: The History Truck WIC Work/Shop, Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, 1 p.m. Historian and artist Erin Bernard, developer of the Philadelphia History Truck will speak. Learn more.
March 4-5: Community Theatre of Little Rock Open Auditions, The Studio Theatre, 320 W. 7th. For a late spring comedy Life is Short by Craig Pospisil. Directed by Trisha H. Spione. Roles for men and women over 18. Learn more.
March 4-5: Little Rock Marathon. Learn more!
Save the Dates:
April 8, 4th Annual Downtown Dash–10K/5K, Junior League of Little Rock event. Learn more.
Nearby:
February 23: UA Little Rock welcomes Grammy award-winning Parker Quartet, 2017 Artspree Concert Series, Stella Boyle Smith Concert Hall. Call 569-3294.
Ongoing: UA Little Rock, Ottenheimer Library, exhibit “War Comes Home–The Legacy” featuring letters between American soldiers and their loved ones, from Civil War era to World War II to more current combat in the Middle East. Thru March 10. Call 569-8018.

Little Rock (LRCVB) event listings also posted here.

MacArthur Park Historic District
Ongoing: Herman Maril, The Strong Forms of Our Experience opens at Arkansas Arts Center. Mid-Atlantic modernist from Maryland for his first solo exhibition in Arkansas. Thru April 16Learn more.
Ongoing: Ansel Adams: Early Works opens at Arkansas Arts Center. American landscape photographer, 41 original prints made from 1920s into 1950s. Thru April 16Learn more.
Ongoing: Mid-Southern Watercolorists–47th Annual Juried Exhibition

at Arkansas Arts Center. Thru April 16. Learn more.

Ongoing: #BetterWithBeerFreeMovieSeries, Stone’s Throw Brewing, 402 E. Ninth. Wednesdays: February 22The Birds. 244-9154
Ongoing: #ArkiePubTrivia, 

Stone’s Throw Brewing,

402 E. Ninth. Thursdays: February 23: hosted by Science after Dark at the Museum of Discovery.

February 17-19: The Laughable Legend of Fancybeard the Bully Pirate, Arkansas Arts Center Children’s Theatre. Learn more.
February 21:  Sheila Kennedy of Kennedy & Violich Architecture, Arkansas Arts Center Lecture Hall, 5:30 reception, 6 p.m. lecture. As a Principal of Kennedy & Violich Architecture Ltd. (KVA), over 15 years, Sheila Kennedy has established an internationally recognized design practice that explores architecture, digital technology and emerging public needs. Presented by Arkansas Design Network. Free, public invited.
February 28: Community Conversation with Studio Gang, Arkansas Arts Center, 501 E. Ninth, Lower Lobby Lecture Hall, 12 noon. Studio Gang, the design architect selected for the Arkansas Arts Center’s upcoming building project will discuss their firm’s approach to design. Patrons may ask question as well as participate in information-gathering for the upcoming design process. 372-4000.
March 9: Korto Momolu in special screening of AETN’s Men and Women of Distinction, Arkansas Arts Center. A wine reception at 5:30 p.m. will precede the screening at 6 p.m. followed by question and answer session and fashion show. The event is free and open to the public, but seating is limited, and reservations are required. Learn more or call 372-4000.

Robinson Center
For tickets, unless noted otherwise, link here.
February 18: Legends of Southern Hip Hop
March 4-5: Imagine, the Music of John Lennon with the

Arkansas Symphony Orchestra. Learn more.
March 8-19: Phantom of the Opera
March 28: Brain Candy Live
March 31: Ballet Arkansas’s Turning Pointe Gala, honoring Mayor Mark Stodola. Learn more.
April 3: Gladys Knight
April 10: The Price Is Right Live
Downtown Little Rock Partnership, 523 S. Louisiana Street, Suite 305, P.O. Box 1937, Little Rock, AR 72203