Tribe announces art show winners

The Cherokee Heritage Center recently announced the winners of the 47th annual Trail of Tears Art Show and Sale. The 2018 grand prize was awarded to Troy Jackson for his sculpture, “Adadolisdi — The Prayer.”

First place winners include Kenny Henson, painting; Paul Hacker, sculpture;Mike Dart, basketry; Jane Osti, pottery; Toneh Chuleewah, jewelry; John Gritts, graphics; Norma Howard, miniatures; and Mike Phillips, emerging artist. Other awards include Norma Howard, Trail of Tears and Betty Garner elder awards, and Kindra Swafford, Bill Rabbit legacy award.

Winners in the Cherokee Art Market Youth Competition also were named, including Lindsay Petitt, best of show; Tyrus Teehee, two dimensional first place for sixth-10th grades; Xeneca LeClair, two dimensional first place for 11th and 12th grades; Julia Lewis, three dimensional first place for sixth-eighth grades; Alexis Rietman, three dimensional first place for ninth and 10th grades; Graysianne Bennett, three dimensional first place for 11th and 12th grades, judge's choice and Bill Rabbit awards; Tucker Williams, judge's choice; and Chloe Davis, judge's choice.

All art entries will continue to be on display through May 5 at the Cherokee Heritage Center, 21192 S. Keeler Drive in Park Hill, Okla.

Parkinson's forum held today

The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences will host a free Parkinson's forum from 1-5 p.m. today on the 12th floor of the UAMS Jackson T. Stephens Spine and Neurosciences Institute. Call (501) 686-5270 for information.

Parrot Island gearing up to open

Parrot Island Waterpark, 7300 Zero St., will open for the 2018 summer season May 25. This year's events will include select Family Fun Fridays and Live Music Sundays as well as returning favorites like Dark Water Nights, Tiny Tot Time, Aqua Jog, Teen Dance Nights, Value Days, Friend Frenzy and more.

2018 season passes are now on sale at a discounted price through April 30. Visit or the park to purchase tickets or for information.

ATU to host journalism panel

Arkansas Tech University and the Arkansas Humanities Council will present a panel discussion titled “Arkansas and The Media: The Future and Relevance of Journalism in Our Democracy” at 6 p.m. Monday in Room 300B of the Ross Pendergraft Library and Technology Center, 305 West Q St. in Russellville. Panelists include Gwen Moritz, editor of Arkansas Business; Ken Reynolds, assistant news director at KATV Channel 7 in Little Rock; Dr. Jay Hudkins, associate professor of communication at ATU; Dr. Merlin Mann, associate professor of journalism at ATU; and Dr. Michael Rogers, associate professor of political science at ATU. Rex Nelson, senior editor for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette will serve as moderator. The public is invited.

Festival to showcase Italian culture

The Arkansas Italian Food and Culture Festival will be held Friday and Saturday along the North Shore Riverwalk in North Little Rock. The festival will include adult and youth soccer tournaments, bocce tournaments, grape stomp challenges, an Italian car exhibit, live entertainment, Italian music and Italian food.

Admission is $5 per person at the Willow Street entrance. Children 5 and younger are admitted free. Visit for information.

Join Great American Cleanup

Keep Fort Smith Beautiful and Armstrong Bank will sponsor a Spring Litter Pickup event from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday beginning at 720 Garrison Ave. Gloves, trash bags, vests and hot dogs for lunch will be provided. A drawing for prizes will be held at 11:30 a.m. Participants will receive a free t-shirt while supplies last. Call (479) 452-4698 or visit the Keep Fort Smith Beautiful Facebook page for information.

Have fun at princess/pirate party

The Miller Branch of the Fort Smith Public Library, 8701 S. 28th St., will hold a free Princess and Pirate Party from 2-4 p.m. Saturday. The open-house style children's event will include games, crafts, face painting, costumes and more.

Visit or call (479) 646-3945 for information.

Duathlon offers melanoma information

University of Arkansas at Fort Smith professor Dr. Kerrie Taber will coordinate a melanoma duathlon at 7:30 p.m. April 22 at Chaffee Crossing. Taber, a stage II melanoma patient, hope to raise awareness with the 5K run, 12-mile bike ride and then another 5K run. Participants can compete as one-person or two-person teams.

Proceeds will benefit the River Valley Skin Cancer Alliance, Melanoma Research Foundation and the Donald W. Reynolds Cancer Support House. Visit to sign up or for information.

United Way to host safety event

The United Way of Fort Smith Area will host a community awareness event called Keeping Kids Safe beginning at 2:30 p.m. April 24 at the Alma Community Center, 114 Column Lane East in Alma. The event is being held in observance of Child Abuse Awareness/Sexual Assault Awareness month, and it will include representatives of local, state and federal law enforcement agencies, The Crisis Intervention Center, The Hamilton House, The Morgan Nick Foundation and criminal prosecutors providing insight into the alarming reality of crimes against children, child exploitation and sexual assault. Author and human rights activist Debby Schriver also will attend. Light refreshments will be served, and the public in invited.

Call Penni Burns at 782-1311 for information.

Learn about journaling, more

The Alma Public Library, 624 Fayetteville Ave. in Alma, will host a Memory Album and Journaling class for adults and seniors from 2-4 p.m. April 26. Lara Carlson, creative memories adviser, will lead the class. Materials will be provided, but participants are encouraged to bring eight to 10 photos. Space is limited, so please register by Thursday by calling (479) 632-4140.

Create a string art craft

The Van Buren Public Library, 1409 Main St. in Van Buren, will host a Crafterwork string art program from 6-7 p.m. April 26. Supplies are provided, but space is limited. Call (479) 474-6045 or email to reserve a spot.

Learning Fields offers florist class

Kay Schlaefli, a certified Master Florist, will conduct a hands-on Master Florist class from 10:30 a.m. to noon April 28 at The Learning Fields, 7300 Gardener Ave. at Chaffee Crossing. Cost is $20, and participants should bring their own cutting tools. Class size is limited, so pre-registration is required. Visit to register or for information.

Crime victims symposium rescheduled

The National Crime Victims Rights Week symposium has been rescheduled to take place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 28 at the Sequoyah County Courthouse, 119 S. Oak St. in Sallisaw. Several area victims service agencies will be available to discuss resources. The event also will include bounce arounds, live music, free hamburgers, hot dogs and t-shirts and more.

Admission is free. Contact Sarah Ridinger or Cindy Smith with the Sequoyah County Sheriff's Office at (918) 817-9229 or (918) 775-1213 for information.

Community supper benefits cemeteries

The Tucker Community Supper will be held from 5-7 p.m. April 28 at the Tucker Community building. Meal will include chicken and dressing, barbecue, vegetables, desserts, tea and coffee. Cost is $8 for adults and $4 for children younger than 12. All proceeds will be used for upkeep of the Cowlington and Short Mountain cemeteries.

Gravestone conservation workshop slated

Cherokee Nation Cultural Tourism and Preservation Oklahoma will host a two-day workshop demonstrating how to properly care for and preserve tombstones from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. May 3-4 at the Tahlequah Public Cemetery. Professional gravestone and masonry conservator Jonathan Appell, member of the Preservation Trades Network, will lead the class.

Cost is $45 per person, and lunch is provided. Tools and most materials also will be provided. Attendees are encouraged to bring a folding chair for comfort.

The workshop is limited to 25 people on a first-come, first-served basis. Visit to reserve a spot or for information.

Park plans eagle awareness event

Bull Shoals-White River State Park, 153 Dam Overlook Lane in Bull Shoals, will host an eagle awareness weekend from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. May 4 and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 5. The American bald eagle is not only our national symbol, it is also symbolic of our ability to save and preserve species. Guest speakers will include Tim Ernst, a local nature photographer and author, and Rodney Paul, the director of The Raptor Rehab of Central Arkansas and the Dickerson Park Zoo in Springfield, Mo. Paul will bring a live mature bald eagle, a golden eagle and other birds of prey. Other events include river cruises, lake cruises and birding exploration stations.

Visit, call (870) 445-3629 or email for information.

Community barbecue dinner planned

Uniontown Masonic Lodge No. 395 will host an all-you-can-eat community barbecue dinner beginning at 11 a.m. May 5 at the Masonic Lodge, across from the post office in Uniontown. The meal will include smoked brisket, bologna and ribs, chicken strips, baked beans, potato salad, coleslaw, cold drinks and desserts. No alcoholic beverages please. Cost is $10 for adults and to-go plates, $4 for children ages 6-10 and free for children younger than 6.

Lozano to present drug abuse program

Fort Smith Elks Lodge No. 341, in conjunction with the Fort Smith and Van Buren school districts, the Fort Smith and Van Buren police departments and the 12th and 21st Judicial Drug Task Forces, will host a series of drug and substance abuse prevention programs presented by Ray Lozano, a nationally recognized youth speaker. Lozano will present age-appropriate programs for area students as well as evening programs for the community as a whole.

The free community program will be held from 7-8 p.m. May 15 at the Northside High School auditorium, 2301 N. B St. in Fort Smith. School programs will be held May 14-16 at Butterfield Middle School in Van Buren, the Van Buren Freshman Academy and Ramsey, Kimmons and Darby junior high schools in Fort Smith.

Sign up for Footsteps for Families 5K

The Oklahoma Department of Human Services Child Welfare in LeFlore County will hold its second annual Footsteps for Families 5K Race and Fun Run at 6 p.m. May 21 at the Carl Albert State College Campus, 1507 S. McKenna St. in Poteau. The race will be chip timed.

Registration is $20 per person. Visit or pick up forms at the LeFlore County DHS office, 511 S. Harper in Poteau, to register. Call Annie Richard at (918) 839-5960 or Cheyenne Glover at (918) 658-4940 for information.

Center to host ancestry conference

The Cherokee Family Research Center will host the Five Tribes Ancestry Conference on June 7-9 at the Chickasaw Cultural Center, 867 Charles Cooper Memorial Road in Sulphur. The three-day event provides tools for researching American Indian heritage. The keynote speaker is Dr. Daniel F. Littlefield Jr., director of the Sequoyah Research Center at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

Cost is $150, which includes a conference bag and a flash drive with digital copies of conference materials. Visit to register by May 31. Call (918) 456-6007, ext. 6162, or email or for information.

Tribal volunteers recognized

Cherokee Nation Businesses recently recognized 16 employees for their outstanding volunteer efforts including Kyle McInerey, Cherokee Casino Sallisaw, and Melinda Rice, Cherokee Casino and Hotel Roland. Employees of the tribe’s business and entertainment arm dedicated roughly 4,000 volunteer service hours to community outreach projects and numerous charitable efforts during the past year.