Fort Smith

The 100 Families Initiative, a program of Restore Hope, recently received a $1.67 million grant from the Arkansas Division of Workforce Services to expand its services in Sebastian County and to create collective impact initiatives in Crawford, Pulaski and White Counties. 100 Families provides wrap around services through a collaborative network of nonprofits and agencies with the goal of keep children out of foster care. The grant will be administered through the United Way of Fort Smith Area.

After a nearly three-hour long special meeting Saturday morning, the Fort Smith Board of Directors voted 4 to 3 to table the discussion of a mask ordinance. The board approved a resolution July 7 prior to proposing an ordinance that was adapted from a model ordinance unveiled by Gov. Hutchinson earlier this month. The board's next regular meeting is July 21.

Michael Tilley, with our partner Talk Business and Politics, discusses how River Valley Relief, Covia and Gerber are creating new jobs amid the pandemic. He also previews a special meeting of the Fort Smith Board of Directors who will discuss a face mask ordinance Saturday morning.

Michael Tilley, with Talk Business and Politics, discusses what may be next for branding Fort Smith after Executive Director Claude Legris announced his retirement from the Fort Smith Advertising and Promotion Commission this week. He also discusses sales tax numbers for Northwest Arkansas and a slight increase in regional airport traffic in May.

Courtesy / Fort Smith National Historic Site

The Fort Smith National Historic Site began its phased reopening June 1. Weather permitting and applying social distancing guidelines, park rangers will conduct roving interpretation on the grounds and trails. The Visitors Center will remain closed.

Michael Tilley, with Talk Business and Politics, discusses why an airline is asking to suspend its operations at Fort Smith Regional Airport. Plus, he has the latest financial numbers for the Arkansas River Valley and more information about a grant for Future School of Fort Smith.

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As local law enforcement has adjusted to new restrictions and guidelines during the coronavirus pandemic, there has been a marked drop in the number of people who are arrested and transported to county jails. The outbreak has also caused a noticeable shift in the types of crimes that are being committed. Despite the operational changes, authorites still want people to know they continue to respond to calls and are not turning a blind eye to crime.

Courtesy / Fort Smith Brewing Company

Aside from offering door delivery of its beer, the Fort Smith Brewing Company has opened up a drive-in theater in its parking lot at Chaffee Crossing. The brewery started hosting the event last Thursday with a screening of A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood. The drive-in movie nights will continue on Thursday, but the owners are hoping to add screenings on Fridays and Saturdays. The events are free, but reservations are required.

Courtesy / Fort Smith Public Schools

Fort Smith Public Schools has installed new "Park and Learn" signs at its school campuses to indicate the best locations for students to access WiFi at each site. Students can go to any location to access WiFi on their Chromebooks as the devices will automatically connect to WiFi at the location.

Michael Tilley, with Talk Business and Politics, explains why less traffic on the Arkansas River can have a domino effect on the economy. He also discusses unemployment and a big food donation from OK Foods.

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