Ozarks At Large

Weekdays at noon and 7 p.m. and Sundays at 9 a.m. on 91.3 FM

This locally produced news magazine has covered news, sports, politics, arts & culture and the quirky and unusual happenings in the Ozarks for more than three decades.

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On today's show, we go underground in Fayetteville, which like many older towns and cities, still has sections of drinking water and sewer pipes that are made of asbestos-cement. Plus, we speak with a local author about her new memoir, which chronicles her work as an AIDS activist in Hot Springs in the 1980s and 90s. And, we hear from Arkansas Secretary of Health Dr. Jose Romero as he goes before legislators to discuss COVID-19 vaccine authorization and distribution.


Mineral asbestos, a hazardous material, was commonly used in the mid-20th century for commercial and industrial purposes, including to manufacture concrete amalgam municipal and domestic drinking water and wastewater pipes. In many older towns and cities, remnant sections of deteriorating asbestos-cement pipelines remain in place and Fayetteville is no exception.

John Brummett, a political writer for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, speaks with Roby Brock, with our partner Talk Business and Politics, about the continuing transition from one presidential administration to another. They also discuss the policies and politics surrounding vaccines.

Courtesy / Grove Atlantic

In the 1980s in Hot Springs, Ruth Coker Burks was in her 20s, a single mom with a daughter, when she walked into a hospital room no nurses wanted to enter and sat with a gay man with AIDS so he wasn't alone in the last hours of his life. For the next several years, she cared for dozens more men who were dying of the virus and educated countless others about HIV prevention. Coker Burks tells her story in a new memoir, All the Young Men, and discusses the book in a two part interview.

Arkansas Secretary of Health Dr. Jose Romero, who is also the chair of the CDC's national Advisory Committee for Immunization Practices, went before state legislators Monday to discuss the latest developments in the race to distribute the first of what are likely to be several COVID-19 vaccines. To watch the full Public Health, Welfare and Labor Committee meeting, click here.

Our Militant Grammarian, Katherine Shurlds, explores regional differences when it comes to our choice of terms, words and pronunciations.

On today's show, we hear from a traveling ICU nurse about what it's been like to work in New York, Northwest Arkansas, and Texas during the COVID-19 pandemic. Brittany Diaz discusses helping at a New York City hospital during the height of the outbreak there, the emotional toll of caring for coronavirus patients, and the steps communities can take to help medical staff at hospitals across the country. Plus, we head into the Pryor Center archives to remember The Group and their business ventures in Arkansas.

Courtesy / Brittany Diaz

Brittany Diaz is a traveling ICU nurse who has worked in hospitals in New York City, Northwest Arkansas, and Dallas, Texas during the COVID-19 pandemic. She describes her experiences on the frontlines of the health crisis and discusses the emotional toll caring for COVID-19 patients is taking on her and her colleagues across the country.

Courtesy / KATV Archives / Pryor Center

In this week's segment from the archives at the David and Barbara Pryor Center for Arkansas Oral and Visual History, we remember The Group, an intentional community established by young people who moved to Arkansas in the 1970s after becoming disenchanted with Hollywood. The Group's members are known for operating a dinner theater in Logan County and launching an internet service provider company out of Little Rock.

On this Thanksgiving Eve edition of the show, we have highlights from the governor's weekly coronavirus response briefing as we head into one of the many upcoming holidays. Plus, we have details on how to become a much-needed convalescent plasma donor to help future COVID-19 patients fight the virus. And, we check in with KUAF General Manager Leigh Wood to get an idea of how the station is doing in a year that's been unlike any other.