Jacqueline Froelich

KUAF Reporter, "Ozarks at Large" and NPR Correspondent

Jacqueline Froelich is an investigative journalist and has been a news producer for KUAF National Public Radio since 1998. She covers politics, the environment, energy, business, education, history, race and culture. Her radio segments have been nationally syndicated. She is also a station-based national correspondent for NPR in Washington DC., and recipient of eight national and state broadcast awards. 

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A proposed measure to ban transgender minors in Arkansas from receiving gender-affirming health care, and penalizing medical providers who attempt to deliver it, was approved Monday by the state legislature. The bill now sits on Governor Asa Hutchinson's desk awaiting his signature. Northwest Arkansas family practice physician Dr. Stephanie Ho, who treats transgender youth, says if enacted, the law will cause harm. 

On today's show, we learn about how the Arkansas legislature narrows down the three constitutional amendments it will refer to voters in the 2022 General Election. Plus, we find out about the potential impacts of the Medical Ethics and Diversity Act, which allows medical providers to refuse to give care to a patient on moral or religious grounds. And, we have details about an upcoming SoNA performance that combines music from Northwest Arkansas with visual art from Paris.

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The Medical Ethics and Diversity Act sponsored by state Sen. Kim Hammer, R-Benton, enables health care institutions and medical providers to refuse to give care to a patient, even when medically necessary, for moral or religious reasons – except in an emergency. Dr. Joe Thompson, CEO and President of Arkansas Center for Health Improvement in Little Rock, says the new law is extremely broad and has the potential to cause harm.

On today's show, we head to Bentonville where a member of the city council helped organize a Stop Asian Hate vigil after a Bentonville fire captain, who later resigned, was accused of assaulting a Vietnamese man in Hot Springs. Plus, we speak with the director of a TheatreSquared play that was performed in front of a live, vaccinated audience. And, we learn about an infectious disease that's killing migratory songbirds and could potentially spread to birds that call the Ozarks home.

J. Froelich / KUAF

Wildlife experts are issuing advisories about an infectious disease killing Pine Siskins, a tiny migratory songbird which could possibly spread to other birds, including those that call the Ozarks home. Certain bird enthusiasts, including Kelly Muhollan, who manages bird feeders at the Botannical Garden of the Ozarks, are asking residents to take down feeders for at least six weeks to help save birds during spring migration.

On today's show, we learn about a proposed House bill that would eliminate cash bail on misdemeanor offenses, which advocates say can throw people's lives into chaos when they can't afford 10 percent of their bond. Plus, we hear from civil rights advocates after Gov. Asa Hutchinson signs a bill that bans trans female athletes from competing in publicly-funded school and college sports. And, we have voices from the past when Arkansas was in the process of building support for its first nuclear energy facility in Russellville.

Senate Bill 354, the “Fairness in Women’s Sports Act” was signed into law by Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson last week. The new law bars transgender women and girls from participating in publicly-funded school and college sports. We get reaction from both the Human Rights Campaign and ACLU of Arkansas for reaction and discuss the potentially consequences of the legislation.

On today's show, we find out why home prices across Northwest Arkansas skyrocketed in the last half of 2020 and what that means for homebuyers. Plus, we hear from a transgender advocate after an Arkansas legislator files a bill that would bar public school employees from acknowledging trans students' identities. And, we continue our collaboration with the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences with a conversation about ways to prevent colon cancer as we age.


Courtesy / Jewel Hayes

Arkansas House Bill 1749, filed by Rep. Mary Bentley, R-Perryville, would require public school teachers, administrators and staff to address a transgender student only by the name and sex cited on their birth certificate.

Courtesy / ACOM

The nonprofit Arkansas Coalition of Marshallese is hosting  “Celebrating Women Through Health and Education,” an International Women’s Day event, on Mar. 27 from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Willie George Park in Springdale. A dawn vigil will be held to commemorate Marshallese community members impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, followed by various activities and speeches, as well as a food box giveaway to families in need.

POSTPONED: The event has been moved to Apr. 3 from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.