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News Archive--January 2011

FYI--Valley Resident To Perform In Community Collaboration Concert

Louis Menendez, a gifted pianist and Valley resident, will provide piano accompaniment in a "Music For Peace" Community Collaboration Concert at St. Luke's Episcopal Church. The concert will honor the music of Dave Brubeck, with selected performances of Brubeck's music culled from more than 60 years of compositions. The music reflected the theme of peace and cross-cultural understanding.
Performers at the concert will include: the Hot Springs Music Festival Chorus; the Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences and the Arts Chorus; and the adult and childrens choirs of St. Luke's Episcopal Church. The choirs and soloists will be accompanied by organist Lynn Payett, pianist Louis Menendez, bassist Bill Huntington and drummer Jay Payette.
The Concert starts at 2 pm, Sunday, February 6, 2011. Tickets are $10, students $5. Call 623-4763 to reserve your seat. Only advances sales are guaranteed admission; tickets at the door are subject to available seating.
- Posted 1/25/11 by VL

FYI--Valley Resident To Perform In Mini-Concert

Louis Menendez, a talented conductor, pianist, educator, composer and collaborative artist (and Valley resident, we might add) will perform in a mini-concert at Westminister Presbyterian Church on Monday, January 24, 2011. Louis will be performing along with Deleen Davidson, a classically trained soprano. The concert will begin at 7:15 pm and is free to the public. The Fun City Chorus will also present a short program during the mini-concert.
A reception to meet the performers will follow the concert. Westerminister Presbyterian Church is located at 3819 Central Avenue, near the MLK bypass.
- Posted 1/22/11 by VL


Storm Update #9: West Mountain Now Open

Around 9:30 am, Tuesday January 18, 2011, the National Park Service opened the road over West Mountain.  The route had had been being closed for more than a week due to snow on the roadway.
- Posted 1/18/11; 5:30 pm by MT

Storm Update #8: Travel Conditions Near Normal

On Saturday, January 15, 2011, after two days of daytime temperatures well above freezing, travel conditions have largely returned to normal in the area. Whittington Avenue is clear of ice. However, the National Park Service continues to keep the road over West Mountain closed.
- Posted 1/15/11; 4:30 pm by MT

Storm Update #7: Travel Conditions Improving

As of Friday January 14, 2011, with afternoon temperatures reaching well above freezing, and with forecasts showing temperatures staying well above freezing for the next four days, travel conditions are markedly improved. For the most part, area roads are clear and passable. However drivers should be aware that infrequent icy patches still exist (especially on roadways in constant shade). Continued caution is advised. The National Park Service continues to keep the road over West Mountain closed.
- Posted 1/14/11; 6:15 pm by MT

Storm Update #6: Icy Patches Hinder Travel

As of Thursday January 13, 2011, icy patches still remain a problem on area roads as afternoon temperatures struggle to rise above freezing. In the Valley, the roadway around the Federal Park still has significant icy patches, especially in shady areas. Drivers should slow down and proceed cautiously. The road over West Mountain remains closed.
- Posted 1/13/11; 2:00 pm by MT

Storm Update #5: Area Roads Re-Freeze Again Overnight

Once again extremely cold overnight temperatures caused water on area roadways to refreeze, creating hazardous driving conditions.  As of mid-morning Thursday, January 13, 2011, temperatures remain in the teens and the afternoon high is expected to be just above freezing. Drivers should use extreme caution while traveling today and, if at all possible, delay travel until the mid- to late afternoon when road conditions are predicted to be less hazardous. Once again temperatures tonight will be below freezing. Starting Friday, January 14, 2011, temperatures are expected to moderate with forecasts models showing temperatures remaining well above freezing for five days straight. The road over West Mountain remains closed.
-Posted 1/13/11; 8:30 am by MT

Storm Update #4: Area Roads Re-Freeze Overnight 

Extremely cold temperatures caused water to refreeze on area roads overnight. As of mid-morning Wednesday, January 12, 2011 the temperature remains in the teens and any warm-up during the day will be very slow in arriving. Predicted afternoon high today is only 28 degrees. Residents are asked to forgo driving if at all possible as travel conditions remain very hazardous. Drivers are warned to use extreme caution while traveling today and, if at all possible, to delay travel until the late afternoon when road conditions are predicted to be less hazardous. The National Park Service continues to keep the road over West Mountain closed.
-Posted 1/12/11; 10:00 am by MT

Storm Update #3: Weather Warning for Wednesday

The National Weather Service has issued a warning for Wednesday that reads, in part:
Dangerous driving conditions possible. Temperatures will fall into the single digits and teens over much of the area. Any roads wet from melted snow will easily refreeze creating dangerous driving conditions. Roadways that have been untreated will tend to be the most hazardous. Use caution while traveling....
As of Tuesday, January 10, 2011 large areas of ice remain on Whittington Avenue around the Federal Park and on the roadway around the fountain at the intersection of Whittington and Central Avenues. Drivers should use extreme caution when traveling these roads. The road over West Mountain remains closed.
-Posted 1/11/11; 11:00 pm by MT

Storm Update #2: Snow Closures Announced for Tuesday

School and office closures will be common again on Tuesday, January 11, 2011. Below is a partial list of various offices that have announced closures:
  • Hot Springs School District, closed Tuesday.
  • City of Hot Springs Offices will open at noon on Tuesday.
  • National Park Community College, closed Tuesday.
  • Lake Hamilton School District, "snow day" closure for Tuesday.
While there has been no additional snowfall over the past 24 hours, the continued freezing temperatures means that snow and ice remain an ongoing hazard, especially on roadways (see photos below). Freezing temperatures are predicted to continue through Wednesday, January 12, 2011. Residents are urged to stay indoors and avoid travel if at all possible. If you find it necessary to travel, please use extreme caution. The road over West Mountain remains closed.
-Posted 1/10/11; 10:15 pm by MT
400 Block of Whittington Avenue on Monday, January 10, 2011 at noon.
Ice covers the entire travel lane. Ice covered the entire roadway around
the Federal Park. Forecasts predict ice will likely remain on area roads through Wednesday due to ongoing freezing temperatures.
Winter snowstorm in the Valley on Sunday January 9, 2011 transformed the Federal Park into a "Winter Wonderland."  Shown above is a scene with park's creek, trees and snow covered grounds.

Storm Update #1: Snow Closures Announced For Monday

School and office closures will be common Monday, January 9, 2011. Below is a partial list of various offices that have announced closures:
  • Hot Springs School District, "snow day" closure.
  • City of Hot Springs (excluding emergency services).
  • National Park Community College, closed Monday.
  • Lake Hamilton School District, "snow day" closure.
As of 10:00 pm, Sunday January 9, 2011, total snowfall in and around the Whittington Valley ranged between four and six inches with weather radar showing snow showers quickly tapering off in the area. Additional snow accumulation should be minimal. Temperatures will remain at or near freezing for the next forty-eight to seventy-two hours. The National Park Service has closed the road over West Mountain.
- Posted 1/9/11; 10:15 pm by MT

NEWS: Snow Blankets Valley; WVNA Meeting Postponed One Week

Starting midday Sunday, January 9th, 2011 a cold front combined with an influx of moisture from the Gulf of Mexico to deliver the first snow storm of the season to Hot Springs. Snow began falling around noon in the Whittington Valley and continued unabated through mid-evening. At the time of this report, total snow accumulation was over three inches. Forecast models predict total storm snowfall of between four and six inches.
Local residents report that numerous vehicle accidents have occurred on area highways. City and State officials strongly encourage residents to stay indoors and avoid travel if at all possible. If you find it necessary to travel by vehicle, please use extreme caution. A Little Rock driving instructor, in a newscast, stated that vehicles need up to ten times more distance to stop on slick or icy roads than on a dry roadway. Drivers are strongly encouraged to slow down and maintain substantial distances with other vehicles in order to avoid collisions.
- Posted 1/9/11; 7:00 pm by MT
Photos taken at 7:00 pm January 9, 2011 capture images of
falling snow and accumulation in the Valley. Snowfall is expected
to continue for several more hours.

NEWS--Construction Delays on Whittington Avenue

The City of Hot Springs reports that traffic on Whittington Avenue, at the far west end of the Valley, may be subject to short delays through Monday, January 17th. City workers are installing a new water line under the roadway. Traffic on Whittington Avenue near the intersection with Hembree Street may be reduced to one lane during daylight hours. Flaggers will be present to direct traffic. Drivers are advised to use caution when traveling through the construction zone.
Originally, installation of the water line was to be completed Friday, January 7th, but due to the recent snow storm and freezing weather, the completion date of the project has been twice extended.  (Note: Article has been updated to report a new expected project completion date of January 17, 2011.
- Posted 1/5/11; Updated 1/10/11 & 1/13/11 by MT


FYI--MLK Parade to Start in Valley; Detours Expected

On Monday January 17th, Hot Springs will host its annual Martin Luther King Parade for residents and visitors alike. The parade is scheduled to start at 9:00 am. The parade is a wonderful community event for Hot Springs.
The parking lots at the corner of Whittington Avenue and Walnut Street be used as staging areas for the parade. The parade route begins at the east end of the Whittington Valley, at the intersection of Central and Whittington Avenues, and will continue south on Central Avenue through downtown Hot Springs to Spring Street, and then onto Convention Boulevard.
According to a statement issued by the Hot Springs Police Department, on parade day vehicle traffic on Central Avenue through downtown will be diverted onto side streets beginning around 8:30 am. The Police Department expects to reopen Central Avenue to vehicle traffic by 10:30 am.
Vehicle traffic in and out of the Valley during the parade may be delayed and detoured. On parade day, between 8:30 am and 10:30 am, residents and visitors are strongly encouraged to use West Mountain Drive as their route into and out of the Whittington Valley.
-Posted 1/4/11 by MT


FYI--Website Undergoing Construction

You may have noticed some recent changes to our website. Over the last few weeks we've been working to streamline and improve our site. Most of the changes have taken place behind the scenes and may have gone unnoticed. Our intention was to make it easier and faster to get around our website.
One of the more obvious changes is that we've reduced the size of the live weather report on our home page. This change was made to optimize our home page to load faster. But we know how important it is to keep on top of the weather here in Arkansas, so we've added a whole new Weather page to our website. The weather information on this new page is timely and because it is displayed in a larger format, the information is much easier to read.
Another obvious change is that we've also reorganized our "News and Updates" pages. We've broken down our new reports by month, giving each month its own separate web page. By reducing the amount of information reported on each web page, we've expect each page to load much faster. Previously, on dial-up connections, our news pages could take three or more minutes to download.
In addition, we've simplified our Recipe Archive. Downloading recipes should be much faster now. Likewise our Free Wallpapers have been compressed and should load quicker (but may still take a while on dial-up connections). Finally, we've adjusted the colors on our web pages to be more consistent from page to page while simultaneously reducing visual clutter. We hope you like the changes.
If at any time over the last few weeks you've come across a dead link or jumbled text or a missing picture on our website, know that we are working hard to get everything back up and running normally. We thank you for your patience.
- Posted 1/3/11 by MT
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