Courtesy Symphony of Northwest Arkansas

Symphony of Northwest Arkansas presents their annual Christmas concert this weekend. 

"A Very SoNA Christmas" features seasonal favorites with accompaniment from the University of Arkansas Schola Cantorum, the Bentonville High School Chamber Choir and vocalist Genine LaTrice Perez. 

Schola Cantorum director Steven Caldwell tells Katy Henriksen what to expect from this year's show and why the annual event is important for local choirs. 

On today's show, we hear about a conflict over a proposed quarry in unincorporated Benton County. We also speak with the new director of the Veterans Health Care System of the Ozarks, and we spend a little time with the band Roots Tour.

Z. Sitek / KUAF

The Benton County Planning Board is considering an application for a quarry to begin operating just outside of Rogers and Lowell. Project developers say the quarry could be good for the region, but dozens of nearby residents have concerns about noise and water pollution, as well as historic preservation.

J. Froelich / KUAF

Kelvin Parks has been selected as the new director of the Veterans Health Care System of the Ozarks. He served as interim director of the facility during a nearly year-long search for a permanent director. We speak with Parks about his experience and what he hopes to bring to the Fayetteville VA health center.

Roots Tour features Asher Perkins on guitar and the brothers Jeffrey and Shaun Essery on banjo and guitar respectively. The band will perform a holiday-themed show Friday at Fenix Gallery in Fayetteville. We talk with the group about their music and about the show.

Proposal Pushed to Cut Medicaid Spending

7 hours ago
Talk Business and Politics

Governor Asa Hutchinson's administration is proposing to cut Medicaid spending on certain services, including those pertaining to in-home care. In his weekly conversation with Roby Brock of Talk Business and Politics, political writer John Brummett offers his take on the governor's proposal.

On today’s show, we learn about a special beer made at Ozark Beer Company for a special cause. Plus, we hear why concerns continue about vaping and minors. And we learn why the University of Arkansas is seeking volunteers for two weeks of championship golf in 2019.

Courtesy / Sierra Nevada Brewing Company

Ozark Beer Company is making a special brew, the Resilience Butte County Proud IPA. The beer is a collaborative effort with Sierra Nevada Brewing Company and more than 1,300 breweries to raise funds to help victims of the Camp Fire in California.

J. Froelich / KUAF

Use of electronic cigarettes has increased by 80 percent in the last year, according to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We speak with a vape store owner and with a physician about the trend.

In May, Fayetteville will host the NCAA men's and women's golf championships for the first time ever. Hundreds of volunteers will help pull off the championships, which will be hosted by the University of Arkansas at Blessings Golf Club in Fayetteville. We speak with Annye DeGrand, an event organizer, to learn more.

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The drawing is Friday, Dec. 14

World and Area News

Updated at 3:19 p.m. ET

Google CEO Sundar Pichai made his public debut before Congress on Tuesday, spending much of his testimony countering Republicans' allegations of anti-conservative bias in the company's search results.

He also faced scrutiny of how much data Google collects on users and on the company's work on a censored search tool for China.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

The deadline for purchasing health insurance through the Affordable Care Act is this Saturday. Bruce Donaldson, Navigator Outreach Manager for the Arkansas Health Insurance Marketplace, says consumers are more comfortable with the enrollment process, which has been in place for four years, but there are still common questions.

The Google+ social network inadvertently gave app developers access to information on some 52.5 million users — even data that users designated as private — because of a "bug" in its software, Google says. The company had already announced it was pulling the plug on the social network because of an earlier incident, and now says the shutdown will happen four months sooner.

Lawmakers unveiled the much-anticipated farm bill compromise Monday night, ending the months-long impasse over whether a critical piece of legislation that provides subsidies to farmers and helps needy Americans buy groceries could pass before the lame-duck session concludes at the end of the year.

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