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National Poll Worker Recruitment Day and Gov. Sanders meets with Black Caucus


Celebrating National Poll Worker Recruitment Day

Today is National Poll Worker Recruitment Day. Jennifer Price, director of elections in Washington County, said poll workers are the heart and soul of elections.

“Without poll workers, we wouldn’t be able to have polling locations in local neighborhoods and in your communities," Price said. "So we are constantly recruiting poll workers to be able to provide accessible voting for everyone.

Price said the Election Commission provides training, support for newcomers and people will be surrounded by experienced poll workers. On Election Day in a presidential election, like one in 2024, Washington County is expected to need more than 400 poll workers.

Price said although she considers being a poll worker a volunteer opportunity, it’s not fully a volunteer position.

“But, you do get paid," Price said. "So it’s a nice bonus to be able to, in essence, volunteer your time but also get a little money.”

Price said if people are nervous about signing up to be a poll worker and would rather have a friend tag along, that is strongly encouraged and she will schedule friends to work together at a polling location.

“So that you feel a little bit more comfortable, rather than just showing up to do something on your own," Price said. "If that makes you feel more comfortable coming in and applying (with a friend), we definitely encourage you to do that. It’s a bonus for you, but it’s also a bonus for us, because we get an extra poll worker.”

Find more information about signing up to be a poll worker here.

Gov. Sanders meets with Black Caucus to discuss AP African American Studies course

Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders met yesterday with Democrat state legislators and leadership from the Arkansas Legislative Black Caucus to discuss the week-long controversy over AP African American Studies in Arkansas.

Sen. Clarke Tucker of Little Rock attended the meeting and said he feels there has been some communication difficulties from the Arkansas Department of Education and the governor’s office about the course.

“They assured us, and we asked them to get this message out to the public, they assured us that the course would be taught this year, and that the course is not going to be removed from the schools that have elected to proceed with the course," Tucker said. "And I think that’s a very important point for the public to understand.”

Hear more from Tucker in a conversation on tomorrow’s Ozarks at Large. The segment is about the course and a scholarship fund being raised at Little Rock Central.

After the meeting, the governor's office sent a statement about the conversation with legislators.

“Governor Sanders was happy to meet with Democratic Representatives and members of the Black Caucus to discuss the importance of education in Arkansas and the process by which AP courses meet the standards in the state. She looks forward to continuing to work with them and all teachers and schools to ensure Arkansas law is being followed.”

Ozarks at Large reached out yesterday to the department of education for clarity and to again ask for specific examples of indoctrination in the AP classes' coursework. Department officials have not responded to our latest email.

XNA to hold runway safety meetings throughout September

Northwest Arkansas National Airport is one of 90 airports the Federal Aviation Administration will hold runway safety meetings with through the end of September.

The FAA has seen a string of close calls with airports across the nation, such as runway incursions and near misses in the sky. In a statement, Tim Arel, the chief operating officer for the FAA’s Air Traffic Organization said sharing information is critical to improving safety and these meetings help achieve the goal of zero close calls.

These meetings will bring airport stakeholders together to identify unique risks to surface safety and develop plans to mitigate or eliminate them completely.

National Science Foundation awards funding to University of Arkansas biodiversity researcher

The National Science Foundation has awarded more than $925,000 to a University of Arkansas professor to study the effects of climate change on biodiversity.

Adam Siepielski is a professor of biological sciences and plans to use the grant to support experiments on freshwater damselflies, a predatory insect similar to a dragonfly. In his proposal, Siepelski said species that are better at avoiding predators are often poorer competitors and reproduce less.

The research looks to develop an understanding of how climate warming affects trade-offs between competition and predation specifically through the damselfly. 

Mt. Nebo Trail Run

The Arkansas Ultra Trail Series will host the Mount Nebo Trail Run this Saturday. This free-to-enter race will begin at 7 a.m. at the top of Mount Nebo State Park near Dardanelle.

Despite high temperatures, runners will remain cool thanks to the high altitude. Race coordinator Tom Aspel said the top of the mountain sits significantly cooler than its base.

"See the race came around, or the trail run came around, because a lot of the trail runners wanted something fun and not terribly long for in the middle of the summer like August, you know when it's hot," Aspel said. "So I said, 'Hey, Nebo is 2000 feet above sea level. So, it's usually about eight to 10 degrees cooler.'"

Runners will also keep their own times during this event. Aspel said this way of timekeeping was fairly common 20 years ago, and the athletes will usually keep each other honest.

"I mean, that's just the old way was done," Aspel said. "You know, go back 20-30 years ago and run a 50k out on the Ouachita trail— If you came in first, there was nobody there, there was this chart and the time. You kept your time and then went on the honor system."

Post-run food will be provided at no charge.

Heat delays Razorback soccer

Arkansas’ soccer match with Oregon tomorrow night in Fayetteville will be moved back an hour because of the heat. First kick is now scheduled for 7:30.

NWA Naturals face Tulsa

The Northwest Arkansas Naturals will play Tulsa at Arvest Ballpark tonight.  Last night the Drillers defeated the Naturals 7-4 and remain a half game out of first.  Tonight’s first pitch is set for 7:05 p.m.

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Kyle Kellams is KUAF's news director and host of Ozarks at Large.
Matthew Moore is senior producer for Ozarks at Large.
Jack Travis is a reporter for Ozarks at Large.