North Little Rock mayoral candidates forum set for Sept. 20

The Next Generation Young Professionals of the North Little Rock Chamber of Commerce will host a "North Little Rock Mayoral Candidates Forum" on Thursday, Sept. 20, 2012 at the North Little Rock Chamber of Commerce, Bank of the Ozarks Conference Center, Second Floor, at 100 Main St., North Little Rock. A reception will be held from 11:30 a.m. to noon followed by candidate introductions and questions from noon to 1 p.m.

The forum will include the contested mayoral candidates on the ballot in North Little Rock: North Little Rock City Director of Commerce and Government Affairs Joe Smith; State Representative Tracy Steele; businessman Mark Clinton; and John Parker, a former North Little Rock city alderman and planning commission member. The event will be open to the public and will be broadcast on NLRTV.

Next Generation Young Professionals is sponsored by the North Little Rock Chamber of Commerce and was formed to help engage young professionals in civic and networking opportunities that stimulate economic, community and workforce development in North Little Rock.

For more information about the event, contact the North Little Rock Chamber of Commerce at (501) 372-5959 or e-mail nlrchamber@nlrchamber.org.

Safety Before Skill Corp. to offer swim lessons

Safety Before Skill Corp., a leader in private swim instruction and water safety, has partnered with the new owners of the former Westside YMCA property, Arkansas Sports Medicine, to lease the indoor pool for its services.

Safety Before Skill specializes in private swim lessons that focus on safety and survival and is best known for offering infant and toddler swim instruction.

The company also offers programs in Conway on the UCA campus and Ricks Dive N’ Travel

Center 2323 North Poplar St., North Little Rock. Acquiring the lease at Arkansas Sports Medicine is part of an expansion plan to serve 200-300 swimmers per week in the lesson program and offer other activities.

The pool is located at 4701 Sam Peck in Little Rock, known as the former "Westside YMCA." Operations began on Sept. 4 with swim lessons and more. New services include lap swim and birthday parties. The pool will also be leased by Safety Before Skill to local swim teams, fitness instructors and therapy groups for private services.

North Little Rock Mayor Patrick Hays challenges residents to lose weight

North Little Rock Mayor Patrick Hays is challenging North Little Rock residents who want to lose weight to join him in losing 10 pounds in 10 weeks. The mayor calls this the "10 in 10" Challenge.

The "10 in 10" Challenge offers residents an opportunity to get fit for the holidays. The "10 in 10" Challenge started on Sept. 13 and continues through Nov. 22. Participants who successfully complete the challenge will receive a T-shirt and a North Little Rock Fit 2 Live goody bag.

People can register online on the Fit 2 Live website (http://nlrfit2live.org/10-in-10/). Once registered, participants can track their weight each week.

The Mayor’s "10 in 10" Challenge is a part of the City’s on-going Fit 2 Live wellness initiative which promotes healthy eating and active living opportunities for all residents.

Anyone interested in learning more about the "10 in 10" Challenge may contact Bernadette Gunn Rhodes, Fit 2 Live Coordinator, at brhodes@northlittlerock.ar.gov or 975-8777.

Scottish County Dance lessons to be offered in NLR through Nov. 26

The fall session of Scottish Country Dance lessons began on Sept. 10, and will end on Nov. 26. The cost for the 12-week session is $60 or $20 for students 18 and under. Beginners are encouraged to try the first class at no charge. Classes meet at 7 p.m. on Mondays at Park Hill Presbyterian Church Fellowship Hall, 3520 JFK Blvd in North Little Rock. For additional information or to pre-register, call 501-666-9694 or visit www.arkansasscottishcountrydancing.com.

L’Oreal to speak at upcoming green bag lunch

Representatives from L’Oreal in North Little Rock will speak about the company’s efforts to curb energy usage and reduce waste at a "Putting Green to Work lunch" scheduled during the national Pollution Prevention Week.

The lunch will take place Sept. 20 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality, 5301 Northshore Drive, North Little Rock.

The L’Oreal, USA, cosmetics manufacturing facility in North Little Rock was a finalist for the department’s ENVY award in 2011 for its participation in the Home Energy Affordability Loan program, which resulted in increased energy efficiency not only at the company’s plant, but at the homes of company employees as well.

Admission is free, but registration is required for the event, as seating is limited. Attendees should bring their own lunch. To register, contact Audree Miller at (501) 682-0015 or email miller@adeq.state.ar.us by 4 p.m. Sept. 18.

American Red Cross asks Arkansans to give blood during Sickle Cell Awareness Month

The general public is being asked to help the American Red Cross meet the needs of patients by donating blood during September, which is National Sickle Cell Awareness Month. Sickle cell anemia is a disease that affects around 70,000 in the U.S., most of them of African descent but also some of Spanish, French, Italian, Greek and Turkish descent.

The following are upcoming blood donation opportunities: Sept. 21 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at American Red Cross Blood Center, 4548 JFK Blvd. in North Little Rock; Sept. 25 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at American Red Cross Blood Center, 4548 JFK Blvd. in North Little Rock; Sept. 28 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at American Red Cross Blood Center, 4548 JFK Blvd. in North Little Rock; Sept. 28 from noon to 5 p.m. at Helping Hands, 4901 N. Shore Drive in North Little Rock.

Anyone wanting to donate blood should call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental permission in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

NFL Hall of Famer to air broadcast from North Little Rock on Sept. 23

NFL Hall of Famer Terry Bradshaw is introducing North Little Rock, Arkansas to over 68 million people when his show Today in America airs nationally on Sept. 23 at 3 p.m.

A project that was a year in the making, the North Little Rock Visitors Bureau was approached by producers, who recognized that in today’s challenging economic times, tourism still has a large impact on the global economy. Producers were impressed by North Little Rock’s desirable location and hospitality.

"It was an exciting time for us. We strive daily to promote North Little Rock and to be offered such a great opportunity like this was amazing and it doesn’t hurt that Terry Bradshaw hosts the show," said Hazel Hernandez, Public Relations Representative at the Bureau.

With the producers, Hernandez worked on a script, shoot locations, and interviews for the segment.

Annual Food Showcase Set for Sept. 27

The North Little Rock Chamber of Commerce’s 19th Annual Taste of the Town, presented by Pulaski Technical College, will be held on Thursday, Sept. 27 from 5-7 p.m. at Dickey-Stephens Park in North Little Rock. Tickets are $15 in advance and can be picked up at the Chamber office or purchased at the door for $20. Tickets are also available to purchase online at http://www.eventbrite.com.

Taste of the Town gives the business community an opportunity to sample the "Tastes" that the region has to offer. Taste of the Town has become one of the area’s leading business networking events with over 1,200 attendees and more than 30 local restaurants, caterers and drink distributors participating.

Taste of the Town will feature "Tastes" from the following food and beverage vendors: American Pie Pizza, Argenta Market, Blue Bell Creameries, Blue Coast Burrito, Cantina Laredo, Coca-Cola Bottling Company, Cotham’s Mercantile, Cregeen’s Irish Pub, Doe’s Eat Place, Fox & Hound, Glazer’s Distributors of Arkansas, Golden Corral, Golden Eagle of Arkansas, Harbor Distributing, Hooters, Las Palmas, Lindsey’s Hospitality & BBQ, Little Caesars, McAlister’s Deli, Moe’s Southwest Grill, Newk’s Express Cafe, Panera Bread, Popeyes Louisiana Chicken, Premium Refreshment, Pulaski Technical College Arkansas Culinary School, Simply the Best Catering, Tropical Smoothie Cafe-NLR, Two Sisters Catering, Tyson Foods-NLR, US Pizza Company, and Verizon Arena Catering.

Taste of the Town is also sponsored by Fresh Talk 93.3, Crain Automotive Team, The Heritage Company, The Hughes Agency, kHITS 96.5, KTHV, Mass Enthusiasm and the North Little Rock Visitors Bureau.

Proceeds will support the Chamber’s educational programs, such as Arkansas Scholars, Leadership Renaissance, and Vital Link, as well as fund local scholarships in the community.

For more information, contact the North Little Rock Chamber of Commerce at (501) 372-5959. Additional information can also be found at www.nlrtasteofthetown.com.

Thea Paves the Way set for Sept. 29

For the seventh year, school and community groups, families, artists and more will descend upon the lawn of the Clinton Presidential Library for Thea Paves the Way sidewalk chalk art event. For the past six years, this exciting and free event has given students, teachers, and others from around the state an engaging venue in which to enjoy the arts. Families will also enjoy music, a balloon artist, concessions, and more.

The event is slated for Saturday, Sept. 29, at the William J. Clinton Presidential Library, 1200 President Clinton Ave., Little Rock from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Free admission Online Registration is encouraged.

Teachers who register their students and compete together as a school group have a chance to win one of two $250 gift certificates from Dick Blick.

In addition, all teachers and students K - college will receive free admission into the Clinton Presidential Library on the day of the event. Students are asked to bring some form of school I.D. or check in with their teachers upon arrival.

Man exonerated from death row to speak in Arkansas

A man who was sentenced to death and later proven innocent by DNA evidence will be sharing his story in Arkansas this October. Ray Krone spent ten years in Arizona prisons for a crime he did not commit before his exoneration in 2002.

Upon his release, he became the 100th person since 1973 to have faced the death penalty and later been set free. He now travels the country raising awareness about wrongful conviction and speaking out against capital punishment.

On Tuesday, Oct. 2, Krone will share his story in Fayetteville at Giffels Auditorium on the campus of the University of Arkansas at 7:30 p.m. On Oct. 4, he will speak in Little Rock at the Clinton School of Public Service’s Sturgis Hall at 6 p.m.. Seats for the Little Rock event may be reserved by emailing publicprograms@clintonschool.uasys.edu or calling 501-683-5239. Additional dates may be added.

The speaking tour is being coordinated by the Arkansas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty (ACADP) in conjunction with Witness to Innocence, a non-profit advocacy network composed of death row exonerees.

Lakeside Neighborhood Association plans National Night Out event Oct. 2

The Lakewood Neighborhood Association in North Little Rock will be sponsoring a National Night Out event on Tuesday, Oct. 2, from 5-7 p.m. near the intersection of Topf and Fairway. The event is designed for the Lakewood neighborhood where people can come together and visit with local law enforcement officers and promote neighborhood safety. The event will have various booths set-up, animal rescue organizations, food, and a chance to register for prizes from local businesses.

The event will be held in the parking lot shared with United Methodist Church of Lakewood and Lakewood Elementary. The coordinator for this event is Nathan Longeway who can be reached at 501-612-9677.

River Boat "Cruise For the Kids" set for Oct. 4

The North Little Rock Mayor’s Youth Council will host a riverboat cruise fundraiser to benefit the Arkansas Rice Depot’s Food for Kids backpack program. The event is sponsored by Red Lobster and the Arkansas Queen. Boarding begins at 6:30 p.m. on the elegant, triple-decker Arkansas Queen on Thursday, Oct. 4 and the event ends at 9 p.m. The evening includes live music and a silent auction.

The evening’s meal will be catered by the North Little Rock’s Red Lobster and includes Cesar salad, appetizer, bacon-wrapped shrimp, chicken Alfredo, shrimp Alfredo, roasted corn, rice pilaf, signature Cheddar Bay biscuits, and Key lime pie with raspberry sauce. The cost of the ticket is $50. The ticket price will feed one child in the backpack program fifty meals.

The cruise will sail rain or shine. In the event of severe weather, meals and music will be at the landing. To purchase tickets online go to www.cruiseforthekids2012.eventbrite.com, or send a check to Arkansas Rice Depot, 3801 West 65th Street, P.O. Box 34427, Little Rock, AR 72203-4427. For more information call Jan Scholl, Director of the NLR Mayor’s Youth Council at 501-951-0866.

NLRSD partnering with health department to provide flu clinics

The North Little Rock School District is partnering with the North Little Rock Health Department to sponsor the following flu clinics for 2012:

Oct. 16 at North Heights Elementary from 2:30-6 p.m.

Oct. 23 at Seventh Street Elementary from 2:30-6 p.m.

Oct. 29 at Boone Park Elementary from 2:30-6 p.m.

There will also be a drive-thru clinic on Nov.8 at Lakewood Middle School/North Little Rock Freshman Campus Parking Lot from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

These flu clinics are for students, employees, parents, and community members. Everyone is welcome.

Laman Library Continues Partnership with NLR’s Fit 2 Live Initiative; Announces Fall Schedule

The William F. Laman Public Library System announces its continuing partnership with NLR’s Fit 2 Live initiative, the third Tuesday of each month at 6:30 p.m.

"Fit 2 Live" at Laman will teach patrons about nutrition, exercise options, healthy grocery choices, meal planning and more. There are several upcoming events, including:

— Tuesday, Oct. 16, at 6:30 p.m.: "Navigating Nutrition Recommendations – Is My Plate Your Plate?" with David Rath Nutrition;

— Tuesday, Nov. 20, at 6:30 p.m.: Free martial arts class where patrons can learn about coordination, balance, and self-defense while getting your dose of exercise and having fun.

Fit 2 Live is an initiative created by the City of North Little Rock and the North Little Rock School District in 2009 "to address the obesity epidemic in our city and to make the healthy choice the easy choice for our residents."

Says Rhodes, "We are excited about our partnership with Laman Library. It is a win-win for the city and its residents. What better place to learn about making healthier choices in our lives, than the public library."