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Waters of Arkansas and Oklahoma opens for a preview weekend

KUAF

Arkansas lawmakers pass new tax cuts

During last week’s special session of the Arkansas Legislature, lawmakers passed new cuts to the state’s personal income tax and corporate tax rate. In an interview with KARK Channel 4’s Capitol View, Republican Senate President Bart Hester of Cave Springs said the tax cuts will go into effect in January of next year. He said a new one-time personal income tax credit will go into effect this year. 

"But we have some immediate tax relief $150.00 matters to working families and people of Arkansas," Hester said. "We're happy to send it back to them."

Lawmakers approved lowering the top income tax rate from 4.7% to 4.4%. The corporate income tax rate will be lowered from 5.1% to 4.8%.

WOKA hosts preview weekend

The Waters of Oklahoma and Arkansas or WOKA Whitewater Park is located just past the Oklahoma and Arkansas border, adjacent to the Illinois River. Inside the gates, a 1,200-foot artificial river surges, creating adjustable rapids suited for every level of white-water expertise.

WOKA is a product of a partnership between the Grand River Dam Authority, the City of Siloam Springs and the Walton Family Foundation. Grand River Dam Authority Spokesperson Justin Alberty said it’s the perfect place for anyone to come learn about whitewater paddle sports, even if they just want to watch from the shore.

“[There are] lower drops down her and drops toward the end for people whose skillset is not quite as high,” Alberty said. “But it’s also going to be a great place to come be a spectator as well, to watch people go through the course. It’s going to be great. But we do encourage you before you come out, to visit the website, watch some of the videos, and get some of the background information. But really even your novice floaters to experienced floaters- there’s going to be something for them here at WOKA.”

The park is many years in the making. The $33 million project broke ground three years ago. Alberty said a place like a whitewater park involves many moving pieces and equally as many stakeholders’ involvement.

“Well you know when you do a project like this,” he said. “To have the beauty we have behind us and everything we have going here, it just takes time to get all the pieces together and to finalize the construction. All the planning and all the permitting and stuff required to make it a reality. We’re pretty pleased. Yes, it’s been a long timeline, but it’s gonna be worth it, and I think people will see that.”

Springdale resident and former president of the Arkansas Canoe Club’s Northwest chapter Tracy McFetridge was in attendance at WOKA last Friday.

McFetridge said she’s been anxiously waiting for the park to open.

“I'm so excited,” McFetridge said. “It is so great for the paddling community, and it's going to bring people in from, literally I mean, all over the country… Between Oklahoma City and the East Coast, really this is the next spot. So, I mean you can literally go across the country. The next one is in North Carolina.”

WOKA officials are planning for a formal grand opening next spring. You can go to visit their website for more information.

Razorback volleyball begins intraconference play

The Arkansas volleyball team will head into SEC action with a 10-2 record after sweeping all three matches in a tournament in Queens, New York this weekend. The No. 17 Razorbacks host South Carolina Friday night at 7 p.m. in Barnhill Arena.

Razorback soccer wins this weekend

The 11th-ranked Arkansas soccer teamis now 5-2-1 after collecting a pair of wins this weekend. Friday night Arkansas won at Tennessee and yesterday defeated Grand Canyon 3-2 in Fayetteville. Yesterday’s match drew the third-largest crowd in program history, more than 2,600 fans. Up next is Alabama at home Thursday night.

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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 KUAF's digital content manager and a reporter for Ozarks at Large.
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