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Gandy honors students

Gandy Elementary School at White Hall announced its Students of the Month for February. They are, bottom row, Isabelle Lunsford, Jack Menard, Isabella Gullett, Brody McNealy, Abby Harrison, Madelyn Winkler; middle row, Brady Peyton, Trenton Jones, Kailyn Stewart, Lilly Warriner; and top row, Harlie Hipp, Jayden Smith, Brayden Smith, Manas Patel, Cameron Cobb and Skyler Garrison. (Special to The Commercial)

Taylor honors students in April

Taylor Elementary School in the White Hall School District honored students of the month for April. They are, front row, Rohandeep Singh, Brylee Crow, Angel Erakrik, Karington Bowman, Gurtaj Singh, Winbread Anjolok; middle row, Raelee Mills, Aidan Jones, Drew Reece, Shian Nelson, Blake Billings, Jada Sanders; and top row, Blaine Gamill, Russhay Moon, Ashley Pennington, Terrance Show and Jamir McNeary. (Special to The Commercial)

U.S.D. 1812 honors White Hall cadet

Left, Arkansas State Society United States Daughters of 1812 (U.S.D.1812) President Sharon Wyatt, and Simon Bradford Chapter President MarJo Dill, right, recently presented Cadet Tylina Smith with a National Society U.S.D. 1812 JROTC medal and certificate. Smith will enter college in Missouri this fall and participate in the ROTC program as well. The presentation was made during the White Hall High School JROTC Awards Luncheon. (Special to The Commercial)

Star City student receives Majors scholarship

Jessie Owen, a graduating senior at Star City High School, will receive the Gerald and Sue Majors Endowed Scholarship to attend the University of Arkansas at Monticello. The scholarship was created by Star City natives Gerald and Sue Majors of White Hall. Owen is the daughter of Jess and Ramona Owen. The scholarship is awarded annually to a Star City senior who exhibits a strong academic background and work ethic, and displays outstanding professional potential. Owen will enter the pre-nursing program. (Special to The Commercial)

White Hall resident among scholarship recipients at UAPB

Students in the Department of Agriculture at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff have been awarded more than $25,000 in scholarships in fall 2013. Among them is Elizabeth Andrews, a junior agribusiness major and a Southeast Arkansas College transfer student from White Hall. She has been awarded a $1,250 National Crop Insurance Services 1890 Land Grant Scholarship. Andrews will receive $1,250 per semester for four semesters.

Quiz Bowl winners

The White Hall 5th Grade Quiz Bowl Team won 1st Place at the Elementary Regional Quiz Bowl Fall Tournament on November 8, 2013 at the ARESC in Pine Bluff. The team members are: Trevor Dady, Willis Grandy, Owen Haynes, Sarah Leder, Claire Mwai, and Rebecca Reed. Marybeth Passmore, GATE Teacher, serves as the coach for the Quiz Bowl Team with assistance from Sonya Dady, parent volunteer.

Gandy Students of the Month

October students of the month at Gandy Elementary School are: (bottom row) Jaxson Bates, Osbaldo Duron, Zamarion White, Cadence Caldwell, Tyler Barnes, Ally Robinson; (middle row) Presley Chism, Mason Cothran, Jayden Smith, Ethan Hartley, Dana Martinez; (top row) Daija Winters, Lilly Hood, Kamryn McEntire, Mackenzie McDaniel and Denya Alghazali. Not pictured is Brayden Wafford.

Three schools recognized by UAF

Pine Bluff’s Jack Robey Junior High School, Hardin Elementary School in Redfield, White Hall Middle School and White Hall High School have won recognition from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville Office for Education Policy’s 2013 Outstanding Educational Performance Awards program, which highlights the highest-performing Arkansas schools based on benchmark and end-of-course exams.

Report: 20 percent of Arkansas households struggle with hunger

LITTLE ROCK — An average of one out of every five households in Arkansas had difficulty putting food on the table between 2010 and 2012, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service's annual report on food insecurity. The USDA said in the report released Wednesday that 19.7 percent of Arkansas households — the second highest percentage in the nation after Mississippi's 20. 9 percent — were considered food insecure, meaning that at some time in the course of a year the households had difficulty providing enough food for all their members because of limited resources. The margin of error is plus or minus 2.45 percentage points. Of those households, 8.1 percent — the highest percentage in the nation — had "very low" food security, meaning that the food intake of some household members was reduced and normal eating patterns were disrupted at times. Nationwide, 14.7 percent of households were food insecure on average in 2010-2012, with 5.6 percent of the households experiencing very low food security, according to the report. The margin of error is plus or minus o.24 percentage points. USDA researchers also found: — Rates of food insecurity were substantially higher than the national average for households with incomes near or below the federal poverty line, households with children headed by single women or single men, and black and Hispanic households. Food insecurity was more common in large cities and rural areas than in suburban areas and exurban areas around large cities. — Typically, households classified as having very low food security experienced the condition in seven months of the year, for a few days in each of those months, according to the report. — The typical food-secure household spent 26 percent more for food than the typical food-insecure household of the same size and composition, including food purchased with Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, benefits. — Fifty-nine percent of food-insecure households reported that in the previous month they had participated in one or more of the three largest federal food and nutrition assistance programs: SNAP; the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, or WIC; and the National School Lunch Program. Kathy Webb, executive director of the Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance, said Wednesday the report highlights the need to maintain the SNAP program. The Republican-controlled U.S. House has passed a proposed farm bill that includes no SNAP funding and is expected to propose a separate bill that would slash SNAP funding by up to $40 billion. "Given the level of food insecurity that continues to persist in this state, Congress needs to stop asking how much to cut from SNAP and other low-income programs and start acting on what is going to help struggling families. Far too many people in our state continue to struggle with hunger, and we urge our members of Congress to pass a farm bill that doesn't cut SNAP," Webb said in a news release.