Scratching the Surface: Radar Instruments

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Tune into this installment of Scratching the Surface to hear about how radar instruments help scientists learn about other planets. 

On today's show, we provide information from the governor's daily briefing on the coronavirus response in the state. Plus, we hear from immigration advocates who want to make sure immigrants, who are vital to keeping the economy running, are supported during the pandemic. And, we find out why the Washington County Sheriff's Office is releasing inmates from its jail during the outbreak.

In Friday's briefing, Governor Asa Hutchinson said his team is looking at models that aim to predict the future number of coronavirus cases in the state. Current models show as many as 3,500 cases of COVID-19 by mid-April. The governor said his goal is to beat those projections, but the state is also preparing for the worst case scenario, so he has authorized additional National Guard members to help expand the number of hospital beds in the state and the state has put in a request for 500 ventilators, although there is no guarantee that many will be available.

Michael Tilley, with our partner Talk Business and Politics, says recent financial numbers give us an idea of how the economy was doing before the pandemic, but don't offer a clear picture of what is next.

Arkansas United hosted a teleconference this week to discuss how immigrants are being impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Advocates argue immigrants are vital to keeping the economy running and they're concerned immigrants won't receive support from initiatives like the $2 trillion economic rescue package approved by the Senate.

The Washington County Sheriff's Office is working with the prosecutor's office to release inmates who are accused of non-violent crimes and at higher risk of complications from the coronavirus. So far, the jail has released about 150 people.

J. Froelich / KUAF

The Community Blood Center of the Ozarks, with facilities in Springdale and Bentonville, remain open during the COVID-19 pandemic under strict medical security measures. Donors are urgently needed as most public blood drives have been cancelled until further notice.

After cancelling Northwest Arkansas Fashion Week, which was supposed to take place in April, Robin Atkinson, the CEO of the Arkansas Fashion and Arts Forum, organized designers and others to sew face masks instead.

Local service industry workers are stepping in to help their own through a new organization called the Fayetteville Independent Restaurant Association. The association is taking donations to help employees who've been laid off during the pandemic pay their bills.

Courtesy / Runway Group

A coalition of Northwest Arkansas businesses and farms has created a network to make sure healthcare workers are getting hot meals while they put in long hours. We spoke with Kurt Berman, the CEO of Ropeswing Hospitality Group, to find out how the system came together and how it works.



World and Area News

Major League Baseball players are bracing for a 2020 that might not see a single game played.

Another possibility forced by the coronavirus outbreak is that the baseball season will move down the calendar.

On Friday, players and the Major League Baseball owners ratified a deal fairly quickly and with both sides taking concessions on economic issues in the face of the pandemic complicating and possibly axing this year's season.

A host of NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour takes a look at how the coronavirus is affecting cultural production — and offers some recommendations for home entertainment.

NPR's business correspondent addresses listener concerns about retail workers and talks about about best practices for consumers as the coronavirus epidemic worsens.

NPR's business correspondent answers listener questions about economic sectors that are booming, working in retail and supporting small businesses in the middle of the coronavirus emergency.

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