Fort Smith

Courtesy / Urban Institute

The Urban Institute, a nonprofit research organization in Washington D.C., is hosting a series of community focus groups in Fort Smith early this week as part of a national research project called “Tackling the Roots of Food Insecurity.” For details call 877-469-1644 or email

Michael Tilley, with our partner Talk Business and Politics, says the flooding in the Arkansas River Valley will have long-range effects for the region and the state.

Courtesy / Nathan Rott

Nathan Rott, a national correspondent for NPR, is in Arkansas this week covering the historic flooding in the region. He talked to us yesterday about his work examining the effects the disaster is having on agriculture.

Z. Sitek / KUAF

The Arkansas River in the River Valley crested at just below 41 feet Wednesday, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The water rose less than expected, but still beat the previous record of 38 feet. It also damaged nearly a thousand structures of which more than 600 were homes. As the river begins receding, residents and city leaders are undertaking recovery efforts. Volunteers can sign up to help here and monetary donations can be made to the United Way by texting FLOOD2019 to 91999.

Z. Sitek / KUAF

Governor Asa Hutchinson is approving $100,000 in emergency funds to assist with flood support efforts in the state. The flooding, resulting from rainfall in northeast Oklahoma flowing downstream, is expected to get worse with storms set to pass through the state by mid-week. People interested in volunteering with recovery efforts can sign up here.

Downtown Fort Smith Traffic Study Underway

May 24, 2019

Michael Tilley with Talk Business & Politics discusses a Fort Smith traffic study, new employment numbers and the Future School's first graduating class.

Courtesy / St. Scholastica Monastery

The sisters of St. Scholastica Monastery in Fort Smith have been part of the River Valley since 1878. The community of about 30 sisters, down from nearly 400 in the 1960s, moved out of the original monastery into a new facility. Border Town Auctions is holding an auction of 5,000 items through Saturday to raise money for the monastery and the sisters.

Patients who recieve blood transfusions at Mercy Hospital Fort Smith can now use an online service to send an anonymous message to their blood donor. Mercy and the Arkansas Blood Institute are partnering to roll out the Thank the Donor program in the River Valley.

Each year the Unexpected, a public art festival in Fort Smith slowly expands to reach new audiences. The murals- vibrant, graphic, comedic and arresting- creep from one building to the next along Garrison Avenue downtown.

After four years of international artists descending on this, as some say, 'sleepy' town the art is starting to have a lasting impact not only on the face of the city, but in the daily lives of its residents. 

Documents relating to the proceedings in Judge Isaac Parker's federal courtroom in Fort Smith have been given to the Arkansas State Archives. We speak with Stacy Hurst, director of the Department of Arkansas Heritage, to learn about how the papers survived and what they contain.