Antoinette Grajeda

KUAF host and contributor of "Ozarks at Large"

Antoinette Grajeda is a producer and reporter for Ozarks at Large. She began her professional career as a print journalist in 2007 and joined the KUAF staff in 2009. She earned a B.A. and M.A. in Journalism from the University of Arkansas. Since 2007, Antoinette has participated in the NWA Gridiron Show, which raises money for scholarships. She has also volunteered with the Lemke Journalism Project since 2008. This six-week program teaches high school students about journalism and encourages them to pursue higher education.

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On today's show, we head deep into the hollows of Eureka Springs to track down a remote long-lost spring that played a role in the creation of the Ozarka Natural Spring Water company. Plus, we learn about a new initiative that aims to help vulnerable Arkansans with their medical debt. And, we speak with the coordinators of Slow Streets NWA as they get ready to launch this year's program.

All Saints' Episcopal Church in Bentonville has launched an initiative to raise funds to erase medical debt for vulnerable Arkansans. The church has partnered with RIP Medical Debt, a nonprofit organization that purchases debt at a fraction of the cost and then forgives it instead of collecting it.

On today's show, we speak with several local small business owners who were some of the 30 people who received a fully-funded Kiva loan after applying through the micro-lending platform with the help of the NWA Kiva Hub. Plus, we hear from Arkansas Sen. Jim Hendren who announced this morning that he is leaving the GOP to become an Independent. And, we head to Huntsville where one family had to open up their kitchen to their calves to keep them warm during this week's snow storms and low temperatures.

Courtesy / Megan Harris

Cattle ranchers across the state are working hard to protect their herds from record low temperatures and heavy snowfall. Newborns calves are the most vulnerable to the cold and one Huntsville family is sheltering young cows by moving them into their kitchen.

On today's show, we hear from local county emergency managers as the state gets hammered by two winter storms and temperatures in the negatives. Plus, we have highlights from the governor's weekly coronavirus response briefing where he announced changes to restrictions on indoor gatherings. And, we speak with peace activists about why they're asking the University of Arkansas to end its collaboration with Honeywell International.

The Gravette Public Library has brought back its popular Blind Date With a Book program for the month of February. The annual event introduces patrons to new authors and genres by concealing the book's cover.

On today's show, retired nurses are stepping up to help with care during the pandemic. Also, members of the Citizens First Congress are pressing for better compliance with mandated COVID-19 protective practices during the 2021 Arkansas Legislative Session. Plus, representatives with the Arkansas Central Arkansas Library System in Little Rock discuss upcoming public events, previously available only to those who could attend in person, now virutally open to all. 

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As the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine continues across Arkansas, some nurses are coming out of retirement to help with the distribution. Nurses says it's been challenging because they don't have enough vaccines for all of the volunteers.

On today's show, we find out how Ozark Guidance will be using a $4 million grant to support underserved communities in the region. Plus, we speak with the director of the University of Arkansas African and African American Studies program about her upcoming seminar that explores the concept of Black utopias. And, we find out what kind of classes the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute will be offering this spring.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has awarded Ozark Guidance a $4 million expansion grant to develop a Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic program over the next two years. The funds will be used for outreach and new services for underserved communities, such as the Latino and Marshallese populations, in Northwest Arkansas.

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