Springdale

Courtesy / Springdale School District

Two days before the Thanksgiving holiday, the superintendent of the Springdale School District announced all schools would be pivoting to remote learning until Dec. 7. Superintendent Jarred Cleveland said there were too many staff who had tested positive for COVID-19 or had to be quarantined due to possible exposure that they weren't sure there would be enough substitute teachers to fill those roles for a number of days.

Courtesy / City of Springdale

As city and county governments across Arkansas receive reimbursements from the state's allotment of CARES Act funding, Springdale Mayor Doug Sprouse explains what the city will do with its nearly $2.9 million share. He says a discussion about purchasing a firing range for the police department got incorrectly mixed up with a discussion about the federal funds.

Courtesy / Walton Family Foundation

The Walton Family Foundation's Northwest Arkansas Design Excellence Program has provided grants to three projects this autumn in Springdale, Rogers and Bentonville. Foundation leaders say public space design is a matter of importance now and for the post-pandemic future.

Courtesy / Kevin Flores

Kevin Flores made history this week in Springdale as the first person of color to get elected to the City Council. After immigrating from El Salvador in the mid-1990s as a child, Flores grew up in Springdale, went on to serve in the Marine Corps, and is now an attorney. He beat incumbent Rick Evans with 57 percent of the vote.

According to data published by the Northwest Arkansas Council, the region's diverse populations have increased from making up less than five percent of the overall population in 1990 to nearly 30 percent in 2019. In Springdale, more than half the city's population consists of non-white residents. A person of color has yet to be elected to a city government role, but this election cycle three candidates of color are running for seats on the City Council.

Courtesy / Faith Laukon

Faith Laukon's father, Adelbert, died on July 20, 2020 due to complications from COVID-19. He was one of the more than 50 Marshallese community members who passed away during the height of the coronavirus outbreak in Northwest Arkansas this spring and summer. Laukon says the pandemic has left behind a devastating legacy in the tight-knit community.

Courtesy / Albious Latior

Marshallese community activists have been busy registering dozens of Marshallese Americans so they can vote in the upcoming election. Albious Latior spent several days personally going to people's homes to deliver and collect registration forms ahead of the Oct. 5 voter registration deadline. He says the Marshallese community needs to have a say in electing local, state and national leaders.

Courtesy / City of Springdale

The Downtown Springdale Outdoor Dining District opens to the public today. The city council approved an ordinance establishing the new entertainment district by a vote of 5-3 at last night’s meeting. The approved ordinance permits alcoholic beverages to be carried outside of participating businesses and be consumed within the downtown district between 11 a.m. and 10 p.m. daily so long as the beverage is contained in a designated cup.

Courtesy / Washington County Election Commission

Early voting begins Aug. 4 for a special election in Bethel Heights and Springdale. Registered voters will be casting ballots for or against the consolidation of the city of Bethel Heights into the city of Springdale. Election officials are implementing new safety precautions in both Benton and Washington County polling sites to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Last night, the Springdale City Council decided to continue its discussion of creating a downtown entertainment district at its next meeting on Aug. 11. The proposal allows alcoholic beverages to be carried outside of participating businesses to be consumed within the downtown Springdale Outdoor Dining District between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m. daily, so long as the beverage is in a designated cup.

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