Zuzanna Sitek

Reporter, Ozarks at Large

Ozarks at Large for Thursday, April 22, 2021

Apr 22, 2021

On today’s show, FEMA is providing financial assistance for funeral expenses incurred by loved for Arkansans who’ve died due to COVID-19. Plus, after more than a year of being unable to perform together, Fayetteville High School drama students get the chance, under pandemic guidelines, this Friday night. Also learning how to cook at Fayetteville Public Library, and much more.

Z. Sitek / KUAF

The Fayetteville Public Library's new commercial kitchen passed health inspection last week and is ready to host teaching and learning opportunities. Executive Director David Johnson says people and organizations will be able to check the kitchen out like a book and programming at the new facility will be driven by community members. The kitchen will also be used to supply the library's new deli with fresh food items.


On today’s show, new developments emerge in downtown Rogers. Plus a tiny but "scrappy" library in Berryville has big plans to expand. And newspapers preserved by Subiaco Abbey provide a glimpse of immigrant life in 19th century Arkansas.


Z. Sitek / KUAF

Construction of Railyard Park in downtown Rogers is nearing an end with an opening scheduled for later this spring. The new park includes a performance stage, playground and splash pad with water towers painted by local and international artists, as well as an area for the Downtown Rogers Farmers Market, which begins May 1.

On today’s show, advocates for transgender Arkansans let their voices be heard. Plus, questions still remain regarding a nearly 60-year old murder case. And Broadway is coming back to the Walton Arts Center. 

Courtesy / InTRANSitive

Transgender advocacy group InTRANSitive is partnering with other organizations to hold a "Trans Week of Mourning" in opposition to a legislative session that's about to end with the passage of several bills aimed at the trans community. This week's events include a "Strategies for Resistance" panel, banner drop, as well as a "die-in."

On today's show, we find out why school districts across Arkansas are choosing to go solar and how the state has made it easier for them to do so. Plus, we speak with writer Steve Wiegenstein whose new book of short stories from the Ozarks has been nominated for the PEN/Faulkner Award. And, we learn about a bill that proposes to make it easier to achieve a licensed professional massage therapy education.

Courtesy / Batesville School District

In 2018, the Batesville School District voted to work with Entegrity Partners to go solar to make room in its budget for salary increases for teachers. Now, Entegrity is working with 20 other school districts to harness the power of the sun to save money. Aside from becoming more affordable overall, Arkansas laws like the Solar Access Act of 2019, have made it more economically feasible for public entities like school districts to make the switch to solar power.

On today's show, we learn about a nonprofit immigrant legal aid organization that helps undocumented youth obtain DACA credentials. Plus, we have information about Northwest Technical Institute's plans for a new medical building. And, we speak with the mom of a trans man about this year's legislative session and the ways in which Arkansans can show their support to the trans community in face of numerous laws targeting trans youth and athletes.

Jennifer Steel's oldest son is transgender. She says the last couple of months have left her family hurt, sad, angry, disgusted and confused as the Arkansas legislature has passed several laws trans advocates say unfairly target the trans community. But Steel says, she still has hope and there are ways Arkansans can step up to show trans children they have their support.