Washington County

Matthew Moore / KUAF

A sign sits outside of Karas Health Care in Fayetteville promoting a paid COVID-19 prevention drug study. The study does not involve ivermectin, but instead is a partnership with Adagio Therapeutics to perform a clinical trial testing whether monoclonal antibodies are an effective preventative treatment for COVID-19. 

Courtesy / Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette/David Gottschalk

The Northwest Arkansas Crisis Stabilization Unit, a prison alternative for people with mental health needs, will reopen under managament from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. The Fayetteville clinic closed in June because of funding cuts, according to the site's previous staffing company Ozark Guidance. 

Courtesy / KNWA/Eva Madision

The Washington County Dentention Center's healthcare provider Karas Correctional Health has been prescribing the antiparasite drug Ivermectin to detainees who test positive for COVID-19. Ivermectin, most commonly used to treat livestock, has not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat the coronavirus.

courtesy / Returning Home Inc.

This month Returning Home, a Springdale-based nonprofit that works with those at-risk of recidivism, began a new Community Alternative Program. CAP gives people who violate terms of their parole or those who have committed low-level, non-violent offenses an on-site treatment option in lieu of jail time.

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Earlier this month, the Northwest Arkansas Council announced the launch of a new workforce housing center, which will be tasked with addressing the housing and transportation affordability issues created by a bustling economy and growing population.

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According to Arvest Bank's most recent Skyline Report released earlier this month, the average price of homes across both Washington and Benton Counties rose at a faster pace in the last half of 2020 than previous years. The lack of supply to keep up with high demand is mostly responsible for the rapid increase in prices as buyers outbid each other on a small inventory of real estate.

Courtesy / Washington County

Washington County justices of the peace remain divided on the best ways to use a $4.5 million reimbursement from the first round of federal CARES Act funding distributed by the state. Since much of the items the county was reimbursed for were included in the 2020 budget, Democrats on the Quorum Court want to see the money go toward small business aid, hunger relief efforts, and rental and mortgage assistance. The Republican majority says the financial impacts on the county are not fully known and the money should be used for near and long-term county expenses.

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There have been very few Circuit Court jury trials held across Arkansas in the last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. While there have been brief windows of time when those types of in person proceeding were allowed, the Arkansas Supreme Court has suspended all felony jury trials through the end of April. The year long delay is having an impact on everyone involved in local judicial systems.

An ordinance that places limitations on how justices of the peace can bring items before the Quorum Court is heading to the full Washington County Quorum Court after it passed through the County Services Committee Monday evening. The ordinance requires all proposed ordinances to go through a committee and prohibits proposed ordinances from being raised a second time within a year if an ordinance was voted down the first time it was presented.

During their regular meeting Thursday, the majority of the Washington County justices of the peace voted against an ordinance that would put a portion of the county's CARES Act reimbursement toward pandemic financial aid programs. Late last year, the county received $4.5 million from the state's allotment of federal relief funding.