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Meet candidates event this week

The Pine Bluff Small Business Association will host a Meet the Candidates Mix & Mingle for residents to meet the candidates seeking city and county offices in the coming election. Light refreshments will be provided by Small Cakes, Hometown Roasters, and the Hive Cafe.

The event will take place Tuesday from 5-7 p.m. in the Donald W. Reynolds Center at 211 W. Third Ave. in Pine Bluff.

All candidates are encouraged to attend, and residents are encouraged to get to know the candidates and where they stand on various issues.

Forum's focus on

human trafficking

The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff 1890 Cooperative Extension Program will host a forum on human sex trafficking on March 17.

The forum is to begin at 11 a.m. in the UAPB STEM Building and Conference Center at 1530 L.A. "Prexy" Davis Drive in Pine Bluff. The event is being held to draw awareness to human trafficking and the trauma associated with it.

The crime occurs when someone uses force, fraud or coercion to control another person for the purpose of engaging in commercial sex acts or soliciting labor or services against a person's will.

Forum admission is free and open to the public, although seating is limited. Counselors will be present to assist with questions or needs. More information is available at (870) 575-8530.

Registration open

for rural life event

Registration is open for the 64th annual Rural Life Conference scheduled for Feb. 21 at the Pine Bluff Convention Center.

Workshops include:

• Changes in the new farm bill.

• The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff "Keeping it in the Family" forestry project, which works to stem the loss of black-owned land in Arkansas.

• Industrial hemp production. Producers can learn the requirements and get information on growing hemp in Arkansas. An area hemp processor will be on hand to discuss processing and marketing programs.

• A mobile aquaponics system. Aquaponics is a trending technique for growing premium-quality plant produce indoors and an excellent teaching tool in science, technology, engineering and mathematics classrooms.

• Nutrition recommendations and sampling a healthy dish.

Other agricultural topics include pea production, high tunnel vegetable production and a value-added grant. Ranchers can learn about cow-calf management and new pasture management strategies.

A panel discussion will address rural community challenges that impede prosperity and prevent wealth creation in Arkansas. Topics will include economic development, workforce readiness and quality of life.

This year's conference theme is "Vision 2020: Empowering Communities Through Education, Research and Extension."

Participants should register, even though the conference is free to producers, homemakers and retirees. Registration for professionals and agency personnel has a fee. The registration form -- including pre-registration, which offers a discounted rate -- is available on the bottom left corner of the website https://bit.ly/2H5kseE.

More information is available from Tamera L. Ford at (870) 575-8806 or fordta@uapb.edu.

Meeting Feb. 18

on U.S. 79 plans

The Arkansas Department of Transportation will hold a public meeting Feb. 18 to present and discuss plans to widen U.S. 79 between Couch Lane and Pinewood Drive in Jefferson County.

The meeting will be from 4-7 p.m. in Liberty Hill Baptist Church at 6300 U.S. 79 South in Pine Bluff.

The public is invited to visit anytime during the scheduled hours to view displays, ask questions and offer comments, the department said. More information is available by contacting the agency's public information office at (501) 569-2000 or info@ardot.gov.

Information for this article was contributed by Noel Oman of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

State Desk on 02/09/2020

Print Headline: Meet candidates event this week Forum's focus on human trafficking Registration open for rural life event Meeting Feb. 18 on U.S. 79 plans

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