🍃 Spring Is in the Air - What Are You Doing This Weekend?

March 20, 2021

Development

Affordable Housing Center Emerges in NWA

NWA Daily

The Workforce Housing Center, a new center focused on addressing the emerging issue of housing affordability in NWA, launched yesterday (3/18) with support from the Walton Family Foundation and the Northwest Arkansas Council.

  • NWA is experiencing rapid growth that is projected to continue in the region for at least the next 25 years, and homebuilders may not be able to keep up with the rising demand. For reference, at the end of 2020, there were 731 homes listed on the market in NWA, with an average price of $386,108...

  • Teachers, firefighters, health care workers and other residents face increasing obstacles in finding housing at affordable rates relative to their incomes, said Nelson Peacock, President and CEO of the Northwest Arkansas Council.

  • A 2019 study by the Walton Family Foundation found that housing affordability is a rising concern as it is increasingly inaccessible for workers, families, and seniors in Northwest Arkansas. Peacock continues, “These barriers often prevent people from living in and contributing to the richness of the communities where they work. Ensuring our residents have quality, attainable homes must be a priority." -WFF

You can find the full press release and other resources HERE

Community

UA Vaccinates More Students with Hopes to Fully Reopen this Fall

NWA Daily

The U of A is requesting a surplus of COVID-19 vaccines from the Arkansas Department of Health in hopes of vaccinating the student body and returning to full-capacity by fall 2021.

  • This comes after Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced the state's vaccine rollout plan will begin administering doses to those in Phase 1-C, which includes people residing in crowded living areas such as dorms. -40/29 News

  • Meanwhile, the U of A Board of Trustees confirmed a resolution on Thursday (3/18) that directed campuses to prepare for "a return to in-person instruction and other campus activities".

  • "The purpose of this resolution is to send a very clear message to students, faculty, staff and leadership that we are returning to normal in-person activities this fall," said Ed Fryar, a former UA-Fayetteville professor and trustee who introduced the resolution. -NWA Democrat-Gazette

You can read more about the resolution HERE

Sports

High School Basketball Recap

NWA Daily (Bentonville High School)

It was a unique year for High School Basketball, but as the state conference tournaments wrap up this weekend, here is how your local high school heroes ended their season:

5A Conference

  • Siloam Springs lost in the first round of the 5A state tournament to Pine Bluff, 51-27. Siloam Varsity finished the year 13-15 overall with a record of 6-6 in 5A West Conference play.

6A Conference

  • After beating Conway in the first round, Bentonville West's road to the ship ended in the second round with a loss against Central, 68-48. Bentonville West finished the year 4th in conference with a record of 9-5 and 18-12 overall.

  • Springdale Boys had a short run as well falling in the first round to Bryant, 71-42. Springdale finished the year 6th in conference with a record of 3-11, and overall 11-15 record.

  • As the number 1 seed going into the tournament, Bentonville had a bye the first round. They were able to easily move past Bryant beating them 41-37, but fell in the third round to Central 57-50. Bentonville finished No. 1 in 6A West with a perfect record of 14-0, and 22-3 overall in the season.

  • Har-Ber also took a loss the first round to Northside, 55-48. They finished the season 3rd in conference with a 11-5 record and 20-9 overall.

  • Finally, Rogers made it to the second round but had a brutal loss to North Little Rock, 68-25. NLR ended up going on to win it all. Rogers finished 5th in conference with 7-8 record and 13-11 overall.

Shoutout to Fayetteville Girls Basketball team for making it to the championship game! They lost a close one 52-51 to Northside, but had a greater run in the bracket than any other regional 5A or 6A team men's or women's.

Education

UAMS Awarded $1.47M for DNA Research

NWA Daily (UAMS Northwest)

Arkansas in good hands - The National Cancer Institute has awarded Researcher Justin Leung, PhD, a five-year, $1.47 million grant to research DNA at UAMS. Leung's project is partnering with Robert Eoff, PhD, a professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in the UAMS College of Medicine.

  • Together their work could provide a fundamental understanding of the molecular mechanism of DNA damage regulation in our body and also reveal potential targets for cancer therapeutic development, Leung said.

  • Leung and Eoff will study the "Mechanistic Characterization of Cell Cycle-Dependent DNA Repair," which focuses on dissecting the molecular mechanism on cell cycle-regulated DNA repair, specifically during early DNA replication.

  • The NCI grant proceeded Leung's four-year, $792,000 American Cancer Society Research Scholar grant to study DNA repair mechanisms, which he plans to use to investigate how signaling molecules on chromatin interact with proteins that repair broken DNA during replication.

  • And before that, in September 2020, Leung received a $1.9 million grant from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences in support of the researcher’s roadmap project, “Deciphering the Chromatin-based DNA Damage Response Pathway.” -Talk Business & Politics

You can find the full story HERE

Events

Spring has Sprung: Your NWA Weekend Roundup

NWA Daily (Fayetteville Farmer's Market)

As nature seems to come alive with each passing day and flowers begin painting the waning winter landscape, it's high-time to get out of the house this weekend. Here's what we prescribe:

  • Oasis @ Undercroft: Escape to the Oasis as the tropical-themed pop up sweeps across Bentonville’s Undercroft Bar starting Friday, March 19th.

  • Fayetteville Farmer's Market: Your favorite local farmers market will return, Saturday, March 20. Order online or apply to be a 2021 vendor. Masks and social distancing will be required.

  • Camp at Coler: ICYMI Coler Mountain Bike Reserve is geared up with some of the coolest campsites in NWA. If you're looking to spend some time outdoors but want to stay close to all the amenities, Coler is the spot - a quick 5-minute ride from downtown Bentonville.

  • Blue Springs Heritage Center: Visit the historic bluff shelter and see the Blue Spring and its trout-filled lagoon in Eureka Springs this weekend. Easy walk - amazing views.

  • Wizard Way of the Ozarks 2021: Fayetteville's Alfie-award-winning convention inspired by all things wizards, witches, magic, and fantastical creatures in pop culture is back for its 3rd year on March 20! Guests can plan on celebrating favorite magical literary characters and the worlds surrounding them through a fun festival of spellbinding proportions. -Experience NWA

  • Roaring Bear Embroidery with Kathryn Hunter: In conjunction with the museum’s Crafting America exhibition, Crystal Bridges invites you to an afternoon of embroidery led by Louisiana-based artist and owner of Blackbird Letterpress, Kathryn Hunter. Guests will learn embroidery techniques on a custom letterpress printed fabric pattern designed by the artist. -Crystal Bridges

  • 2-Day Backpacking Adventure: Embark on an amazing backpacking adventure with OAR on March 20-21. This two day hike is full of waterfalls, rivers, bluffs and so much more. Register HERE.

Have a wonderful weekend and let us know if you do anything fun!

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