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PACT Act deadline extended, Eureka Springs to install roundabout


PACT Act application deadline extended

The Department of Veterans Affairs is extending the deadline for veterans and survivors to apply for PACT benefits.

The deadline is now Monday at midnight. April Eilers, public affairs officer at Veterans Health System of the Ozarks in Fayetteville, said veterans meeting the deadline can be eligible for backdated benefits.

"So if they apply on Aug. 14 by 11:59 p.m. they will get back pay for the benefits they've earned a deserved," Eilers said.

Eisler said applications in recent days that received an error message because of high volume on the system webpage are being counted.

Applications can be made through the va.gov/PACT or calling 1-800-698-2411.

Mabee Foundation gives $1.5 million for University of the Ozarks scholarships

The Tulsa-based Mabee Foundation iscreating an endowed scholarship for qualifying students at the University of the Ozarks in Clarksville.

The $1.5 million dollar gift will go to students from six states, including Oklahoma and Arkansas, who maintain a 3.0 grade point average. The foundation began supporting the school in the 1950s, when it provided funds for the Mabee Gymnasium.

According to a press release from the university, the scholarships will be worth at least $10,000 annually and awarded to as many as seven students.

Eureka Springs on step closer to new roundabout

Plans for a multi-lane roundabout are progressing in south Eureka Springs.

The city passed a resolution in 2021 to share costs with the Arkansas Department of Transportation (ARDOT) to improve traffic flow at the intersection of US 62 and Highway 23, which currently features a single stop sign. The roundabout would also have an overpass or underground pedestrian walkway, pending approval.

Daniel Siskowski, a staff program management engineer at ARDOT, said planning is more than halfway complete.

"And then we will start moving towards acquiring right-of-way and starting to move utilities," Siskowski said. "Right now we're looking at probably mid 2024 when it goes to construction but that is subject to any other type of restrictions, such as utilities taking longer to move or something else may come up.”

A public meeting was hosted and a survey was conducted by ARDOT. The results show a majority of participants support the roundabout. Resident Pat Matsukis is among those who opposes it.

“I don't know what the right answer is because I don't even know what all the options are, and if I don't know what all the options how does anybody else?” Matsukis said.

Some survey respondents said they prefer a traffic light or more stop signs, and others said a multiple lane roundabout will complicate traffic during school hours. Eureka Springs Mayor Butch Berry said in an email statement that he supports the roundabout and rejects installation of traffic lights at the busy intersection, which would only cause more congestion.

Three inductees to join Fayetteville Schools Hall of Honor

Fayetteville Public Schools will induct three new members to its Hall of Honor this year. Yesterday, the Fayetteville Public Education Foundation announced Mary Frances Kretschma, Dr. Daniel Story and Chaddie Kumpe Platt will be inducted to the Hall on Sept. 21. All are Fayetteville High School graduates and Platt was KUAF’s membership director from 1997 until 2005.

New addition to the Arkansas Drummer's Hall of Fame.

And congratulations to another person with KUAF ties. Steve Wilkes, who has hosted a pair of jazz shows on KUAF in the past, will be inducted into the Arkansas Drummer’s Hall of Fame tomorrow night at George’s Majestic Lounge.

Razorback soccer to finish exhibition

The Arkansas Razorback soccer teamconcludes its exhibition schedule tomorrow night in Fayetteville. The Razorbacks will host Southern Illinois University Evansville for a 6 p.m. match. The regular season begins next Thursday with a home game against Arkansas State.

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Kyle Kellams is KUAF's news director and host of Ozarks at Large.
Jacqueline Froelich is an investigative reporter and news producer for Ozarks at Large.
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