On today's show, we have a discussion about Fort Smith's economy and its economic future. Plus, we bring you the latest on a large fire at a manufacturing facility in Bentonville that took place Wednesday. And, we pay a visit to the Community Blood Center of the Ozarks' new blood collection vehicle, which has been dubbed "The Blood Vessel."

Michael Tilley, with our partner Talk Business and Politics, examines the Fort Smith economy and offers thoughts on the city's economic future.

Courtesy / City of Bentonville

A fire that took place at United Industries in Bentonville Wednesday is now under investigation, but fire department officials say they don't believe it was a criminal act. The fire started outside the building causing the collapse of three silos containing polystyrene pellets used in United Industries foam products.

Arkansas Staged is the lone Arkansas theater company to collaborate with Climate Change Theater Action to produce staged readings about climate change. You can see the one-night-only production at 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14 at Mt. Sequoyah.

Courtesy / CBCO

The Community Blood Center of the Ozarks is using a new self-contained blood collection vehicle in Northwest Arkansas. The new vehicle, dubbed “The Blood Vessel,” is a 37-foot long vehicle replacing a previous version that was nearing two decades of continual use.

Courtesy / Matt Ward

Earlier this year, Australian country singer-songwriter Matt Ward released his new album titled Heartland, an album that would top the ARIA Country Music charts in Australia. Prior to the album's debut, Ward was in Northwest Arkansas to play a show with Arkansas native Bonnie Montgomery. While he was in the region, Ward came to the Firmin-Garner Performance Studio to talk with us about the then upcoming release.

On today's show, the U.S. Department of Agriculture is awarding $3.4 million to test ways to eradicate nuisance feral swine in Arkansas.  Plus, a discussion of the possible ramifications of not having diverse student populations in American schools. And, we tell you about a new way small business owners and entrepreneurs, who may not qualify for a traditional bank loan, might be able to access capital.

Courtesy / Doug Stowe

Arkansas is among 10 states to participate in the Feral Swine Eradication and Control Pilot Grant Program, a joint effort by USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service and Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, to deal with the threat that feral swine pose to agriculture, forestlands, waterways, wildlife and human health. 

Courtesy / Kiva

Startup Junkie, in partnership with the Walton Family Foundation, has launched a Northwest Arkansas Kiva hub. Kiva is an international crowdsourcing nonprofit that connects entrepreneurs and small business owners who don't qualify for traditional bank loans with lenders from around the world.

Courtesy / Bravo TV

A Fort Smith native and graduate of the University of Arkansas apparel studies program will be competing on the new season of Project Runway. Brittany Allen is one of 16 fashion designers who will have to prove their mettle on the Bravo TV show, which premieres tonight at 8:30 p.m.

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From rap to rock to singer-songwriter pop, 2019 was a bountiful year for all kinds of music. Lil Nas X's hit "Old Town Road" defined the year with its massive, genre-crossing popularity and sheer catchiness. But when it came to the best albums of 2019, female artists reigned.

Rural Henning, Tenn. is home to the Women’s Therapeutic Residential Center, a name that sounds like a weekend retreat. It’s actually a prison.

Updated 12:30 p.m. ET

At least five people are dead after an eruption on a volcanic island off the coast of New Zealand on Monday, local officials have confirmed.

New Zealand police say a number of people were injured and have been taken to an area hospital, but it remains too dangerous for emergency services to access the island and search for those missing.

The rapid ascent of Netflix as a creator of film and television continued Monday morning as the streaming service placed four films in the Golden Globes' 10 best motion picture contenders in comedy and drama. But the Hollywood Foreign Press Association rewarded established directors like Quentin Tarantino, too, while continuing its legendarily wacky devotion to some of its favorite celebrities.

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