On today's show, we check in with Michael Tilley of Talk Business and Politics for a roundup of news happenings in the River Valley. Plus, we have details on a new law that will require insurance companies to cover diagnostic breast cancer exams. And, we hear from tourism officials and event organizers who say they're concerned about the potential fallout of the stream of legislation aimed at the transgender community that's coming out of Little Rock.

Michael Tilley, with our partner Talk Business and Politics, discusses the decision-making process for a possible pilot training project in Fort Smith, a drop in building activity in the River Valley and a renewed fundraising push for the U.S. Marshals Museum.

A new law will require Arkansas insurance companies to cover diagnostic breast cancer exams just like they cover screening mammograms. Advocates say many women skip important follow-up exams because they cannot afford them.

Courtesy / Anya Bruhin

Experience Fayetteville, the city's tourism bureau, as well as cycling event organizers and organizations say they're concerned about the recent calls for boycotts and venue changes after the Arkansas legislature passed several bills they say unfairly target the state's transgender community. A representative of NWA Equality says the LGBTQ is not endorsing boycotts at this time, but is encouraging donations to organizations like the ACLU and Human Rights Campaign, which plan to fight the laws in court.

courtesy / Facebook/VHSO

Many millions more U.S. veterans, including those not presently enrolled in VA health benefits, will be able to access no-cost COVID-19 vaccinations administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs, under the new Strengthening and Amplifying Vaccination Efforts to Locally Immunize all Veterans and Every Spouse Act, or SAVE LIVES ActKelvin Parks, medical director of the Veterans Health Care System of the Ozarks in Fayetteville, explains how the new law will work. 

From the atrium at the Walton Arts Center to downtown Springdale to the top of Mt. Sequoyah, live music is coming back. Becca Martin-Brown, the features editor at the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, gives us a few options for weekend entertainment.

On today's show, we have an update on the hate crimes bill that was filed back in November after Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced his support for such legislation. Plus, we hear from professional and amateur cyclists as some are calling on a boycott of events taking place in Fayetteville after the state legislature passed several bills advocates say target transgender athletes and children. And, we welcome the arrival of spring with music selections from Sound Perimeter's Lia Uribe.

Senate Bill 3, a hate crimes bill filed in November and presented to the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday, aims to enhance sentencing for offenses committed because of certain attributes such as race, religion or sexual orientation.

Courtesy / Instagram

Professional and amateur cyclists from around the world are making statements regarding the several national and international level events that will be taking place in Fayetteville over the next few months. The reaction comes after the state legislature passed several bills that some racers say unfairly target transgender athletes and children. Some of the athletes have called for boycotts, while others are calling on cycling governing bodies to change venues for the races.

Courtesy / Arkansas Community Foundation

The Arkansas Community Foundation, a statewide nonprofit, is celebrating its 45th anniversary. Roby Brock, of Talk Business and Politics, speaks with President and CEO Heather Larkin on this week's edition of the Northwest Arkansas Business Journal Report.

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World and Area News

Two of the world's largest electric vehicle battery manufacturers reached a settlement on Sunday that President Biden called "a win for American workers and the American auto industry."

Tamika Palmer says the art exhibition dedicated to her daughter, Breonna Taylor, is everything she hoped it would be; it's peaceful, she says, "to be able to come to this place and just be filled with her spirit."

It's been nearly 13 months since Louisville Metro Police officers shot and killed Taylor in her home. Now a show in her honor is on view at Louisville's Speed Art Museum. It's called "Promise, Witness, Remembrance." Palmer never imagined her daughter would be memorialized this way.

In a narrow lane near Mumbai's docks, commuters on bicycles weave through the crowd as workers push wooden carts loaded with heavy burlap sacks into warehouses.

Thirty-eight-year-old laborer Mohammad Yaqoob unloads sacks full of marbles from a truck. When he gets tired and thirsty, he walks to an ornate stone structure in the middle of the bustling street. It's a drinking fountain, or pyau (sometimes spelled pyaav), as it's called in the local Hindi and Marathi languages.

Richard Thompson has been making music for a very long time. From his days in the late 1960s as a teenage guitar player and songwriter with the seminal British folk rock group Fairport Convention to his roaring partnership with then-wife Linda Thompson, and his many years as a solo artist beyond.

Duke University in North Carolina has announced that it will require students to have a COVID-19 vaccine when they return this fall. And the list of campuses with such policies is growing.

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