$1.5 Million in Renovations Approved for Bentonville Jr. High

February 19, 2021

Recreation

More Arkansans Hitting the Trails Due to COVID-19

NWA Daily (Lake Atalanta, Rogers)

According to Arkansas Outside, online reviewer RunRepeat and All Trails partnered in a study to explore the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on outdoor activity. The data found that the number of hikes logged in 2020 was up 171.36 percent compared to 2019.

  • And that's not all - the number of individual hikers in 2020 was up 137.7 percent compared to 2019. Outdoor activities such as hiking have steadily been on the rise the past few years, and the study showed bumps in the number of hikes, the number of users recording hikes, and hikes per user.
  • Overall, there has been a rebound in hike time, calories burned, and elevation gain since April 2020 - with thousands of participants recording more hikes than ever before. However, compared to pre-pandemic numbers, hikers are still logging less total time, burning fewer calories, and climbing less elevation. Arkansas Outside

If you're like us, you might be in need of better weather to get excited about a hike. Here are the hikes we are looking forward to when it begins to warm up this Spring (or next week!):

Education

Washington Jr. High Approved for $1.5 Million Remodel

On Tuesday, the Bentonville School Board approved $1.5 million in renovation projects for Washington Jr. High in a 7-0 vote for phase two of the school's remodel.

  • The initial phase was completed last summer and included a full kitchen renovation, refinished gym floor, updated door hardware, bathroom partitions, and a new retention masonry wall on the west sidewalk and parking lot.
  • The next phase of the project is expected to break ground in March and will include a complete renovation of the athletic locker rooms, refurbished electrical switchgear in the main building, a new art room, and retractable visitor bleachers. -NWA Democrat-Gazette

Additionally, the Bentonville School District has plans to open a new elementary school for the 2022-2023 school year, located at 5301 S.W. Barron Road.

  • "Right now, we're a year-and-a-half away from opening the school," said Don Hoover, student services executive director. The district is also considering a new zone for the school that will potentially impact Centerton Gamble, Evening Star, Osage Creek and Willowbrook elementary schools. -NWA Democrat-Gazette
  • Things to keep in mind for developing the school zones are maintaining neighborhoods, future growth, acknowledging previous school zones and including as many Bella Vista families as possible in Cooper's school zone, Hoover said.

Sports

Arkansas Athletic Achievements

NWA Daily (Bud Walton Arena, Fayetteville)

Following a year of setbacks in 2020, the Arkansas Razorbacks are back in action and better than ever. This week, 13 Arkansas sports teams ranked in the Top 25 in the nation, while others maintained perfect records and are scoring major SEC wins. Here are a few highlights:

  • Women's Track & Field #1 AND Women's Cross Country #1
  • Men's Track & Field #2 AND Men's Cross Country #3
  • Gymnastics #5
  • Women's Soccer #7
  • Men's Baseball #8
  • Women's Golf #13
  • Women's Basketball #18 AND Men's Basketball #24
  • Softball #20
  • Swimming & Diving #20
  • Men's Golf #25
  • Women's Tennis: (5-0) Spring Record AND Men's Tennis (6-2) Spring Record
  • Volleyball: 4 Straight SEC wins
  • OVERALL GPA FOR FALL 2020: 3.2

It truly is hard to be humble...

Local Government

Fayetteville's Turning Green

NWA Daily

Fayetteville City Council has adopted new regulations for electric vehicle charging stations to be made publicly available on private property. Regulations require car chargers to be a level 2 charger, have a minimum 30 amps on a 240-volt circuit, and be connected to a network that allows users to find them on a cellphone. -KUAF

  • One of Fayetteville's main energy action goals is to reduce carbon emissions caused by fossil fuels, and encouraging the use of electric vehicles is a "pretty effective strategy" said Fayetteville's Environmental Director Peter Nierengarten. Previously, the city had no regulations or guidance concerning charging stations "...we basically spelled out what those requirements needed to be" said Nierengarten.
  • Fayetteville is also working to install charging stations in public areas such as parks and downtown parking lots.
  • Beyond vehicle emission goals, the city is focusing clean energy, waste reduction and building energy usage. In 2019, Fayetteville broke ground on a 10-megawatt solar array that helped move the city's footprint of about 16 percent clean energy supply to 72 percent clean energy supply.
  • So, what is next? Nieregarten said the city is also looking to increase the number of trees planted and convert to more energy-efficient lighting.

Restaurants

Hidden Gem Eateries in NWA You Need to Try Now

NWA Daily (Taquería Don Güero, Springdale)

How many times have you driven by that local food truck or dive bar and promised yourself that you'd try it someday? NWA is full of under-the-radar, "best burger I've ever had" opportunities and Leisurlist created a list of the tastiest hotspots in the area that you probably have no idea existed (or at least we didn't). Here are a few of our favorites:

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