Ann Kenda

Ann Kenda joined Arkansas Public Media in January 2017 from Sudbury, Massachusetts.  She is a graduate of Syracuse University and previously worked in public radio, commercial radio and newspaper in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.  She focuses on health, justice, education and energy as part of the Arkansas Public Media team.  Her stories can be found on the airwaves, ArkansasPublicMedia.org and social media.

Arkansas State University has introduced its new Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs.  Dr. Alan Utter comes to A-State from a similar

position at Texas Woman’s University.

He speaks with KASU’s Ann Kenda about his interest in experiential learning.  Click on the Listen button for the entire interview.  

The HOPE Humane Society in Fort Smith readies to shut down its animal shelter after contract negotiations between the organization and City of Fort Smith broke down last month. Plus, University of Arkansas officials are working to ensure students have access to free tampons when they return for the fall semester. And, more dentists are reaching out to patients with fear or extreme sensitivity to oral pain to let them know sedation can be an option to help them maintain dental hygiene and care.

ANN KENDA / ARKANSAS PUBLIC MEDIA

More dentists are reaching out to patients with fear or extreme sensitivity to oral pain to let them know sedation can be an option to help them maintain dental hygiene and care. This report is part of a year-long state-wide series on oral health produced by Arkansas Public Media and supported by Delta Dental of Arkansas.

The Jonesboro City Council held its first reading of an ordinance approving a ballot question on a sales tax issue Tuesday night.  The question asks for a one percent sales tax tacked on to the existing tax.  Half would be reserved for public safety, while the other half would go towards quality of life projects, such as trails, parks and bike paths.  The proposal has received a mixed reaction, with some residents saying the funding is needed to improve living conditions and others arguing that it's too much of a burden on low-income residents.  A similar measure failed at the ballot in 2015.

More dental practices are reaching out to patients with fear or extreme sensitivity to oral pain to let them know that sedation can be an option to help them cope with dental health care.

“Anything is better than ignoring it,” says Dr. Todd Higginbotham, a dentist in Jonesboro. 

Higginbotham offers a spectrum of sedation options that include anti-anxiety pills, typically benzodiazepine medications such as valium or xanax.  He also can administer nitrous oxide ("laughing gas") to take the edge off procedures and oral conscious sedation, which places patients into a relaxed semi-conscious states. 

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