NYT Names Northwest Arkansas a Top Destination for 2021

January 12, 2021

Economy

Energy Assistance Program Provides Relief for Low Income Households in NWA

As COVID-19 continues to disrupt everyday life, those in need of extra assistance with energy bills are encouraged to apply for the state's Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). -4029 News

  • Starting today (Jan. 11), approved applicants may receive help in making those monthly gas, electric, wood, and propane payments a little more feasible.
  • However, applicants are advised to fill out the application in its entirety, ensuring all information is correct.
  • For more information on how to apply and where to find the Community Action Agency in your area, visit HERE.

Community

Diversity and Inclusion Efforts on the Rise in NWA

NWA Daily

Across NWA and the greater Fort Smith area, many businesses and companies are implementing more diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) positions and programs.

  • In 2019, Latricia Hill-Chandler became Arvest Bank's first diversity and inclusion officer. Next Tuesday, Jan. 19, John William Blue will become the first executive director of DEI at the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith. -Talk Business and Politics
  • These are just a few examples of the area's inclusion efforts. In addition, The Northwest Arkansas Council's EngageNWA Program is set to launch the NWA DEI Business Cohort.
  • JB Hunt Transport Service announced its $2.25 million collaboration with Walmart that will also contribute to DEI Efforts. -Talk Business & Politics
  • And finally, TRUE NWA, an initiative supported by the Walton Family Foundation, is contributing $1.2 million to 14 local organizations to support DEI efforts.

COVID-19

COVID-19 Cases Hit Record Highs Across Arkansas

According to The New York Times, the state of Arkansas is reaching all-time highs in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, and NWA hospitals have been hit even harder as they struggle to create space for patients.

  • Almost 6,000 cases were reported for NWA between Dec. 27 and Jan. 2, says Dr. Jennifer Dillaha with the Arkansas Department of Health. -KNWA/Fox24
  • Local pharmacies are encouraging those that are included in Phases 1B and 1C to sign up for the vaccine as soon as possible to prevent a further rise in cases.
  • There are 140 COVID-19 patients hospitalized in NWA, 114 in ICU units. -KNWA/Fox24

Be sure to mask up and continue to take the precautionary measures to protect yourself and your neighbors. Check out the CDC's COVID-19 protection guide.

Sports

Lady Hogs Narrowly Fall to No. 8 Texas A&M (74-73)

Razorback Basketball has had an electric 2021 season filled with top ten wins and heartbreaking standoffs.

  • On Jan. 9, the Arkansas Men's Basketball team defeated the Georgia Bulldogs 99-69, bouncing back after a tough loss against Tennessee on Jan. 9. On Wednesday, they will travel to Tiger Territory and tip off at 6pm C.T.
  • The Lady Hogs are coming off a 74-73 loss against No. 8 Texas A&M in a game so close it seems a rematch should be in order. They will tangle with the Florida Gators on Thursday, Jan. 14, at 7pm C.T.

Community

NWA Dubbed an "Eden" in New York Times' 2021 Destination List

NWA Daily

For NWA locals, living here can feel like you've found a little piece of heaven on Earth. With the majesty of the Ozarks, the serene rivers and lakes, and world-class museums and people, paradise can be found by simply taking a step outside, and this best-kept little secret seems to have found its way to New York City.

  • In a piece for the The New York Times' 52 Places to Love in 2021 Shaye Anderson named NWA, specifically Ponca, an "Eden" destination.
  • Anderson, Creative Content Director at BLKBOX in Bentonville, went on to describe how the beauty of the Buffalo River and the lush foliage of the area make NWA the ideal place to social distance. -NYT
  • Read the full write-up HERE.

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