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Worth Sparkman
Mar 24, 2023 - News

Arkansas schools await money as state passes grim Jonesboro milestone

Illustration of a school desk surrounded by caution tape

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Friday marks the 25th anniversary of Arkansas' deadliest school shooting. Four students and a teacher were killed at West Side Middle School in Jonesboro; 10 other students were injured.

Zoom out: More than 600 shootings in U.S. schools have resulted in 375 deaths since the tragedy in Jonesboro, according to an Axios analysis of data from Ballotpedia and Education Week. That's an average of two events and 1.25 deaths per month — including summers.

XNA saw fewer delayed flights than national average

Data: BTS; Chart: Kavya Beheraj/Axios
Data: BTS; Chart: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

About 78% of domestic flights departed Northwest Arkansas National Airport on time in December 2022, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. That's down 4.4% from 82.4% the month prior, per recently released data from the department's Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS).

Yes, but: XNA fared better than the national average, which saw just 69.1% of December's flights depart on time.

Northwest Arkansas' concert scene is gaining notoriety

Illustration of a microphone cord forming a line chart going up.

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

You can't buy more street cred for a music venue than having the Foo Fighters perform— at least in the opinion of Brian Crowne, who would know. He wears many hats in NWA’s music scene, including vice president of the Arkansas Music Pavilion and co-owner of George's Majestic Lounge.

Driving the news: NWA is beginning to see more prominent headliners on its concert calendar. Tickets for the Foo Fighters' June tour stop at Walmart AMP sold out 22 minutes after going public, Crowne said. It's one of three U.S. non-festival concerts the band announced.

Worth Sparkman
Mar 22, 2023 - Business

The Shift: Endeavor report maps NWA tech startups

Illustration of a hundred dollar bill folded like a roadmap with navigation points dropped around it.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

A perfect roadmap for an entrepreneur's journey doesn't exist, but knowing where others have traveled can set a future course.

Driving the news: A report out this month by Endeavor Insight includes a first-of-its-kind visual snapshot of Northwest Arkansas' tech entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Ranch-flavored ice cream sours dessert

Photo: Worth Sparkman/Axios

I'm a sucker for a gimmick, so when an agency offered to send samples of Van Leeuwen's limited-run spring flavors — including Hidden Valley Ranch — I was too tempted to say no.

Taste test: I tested the ranch flavor with my wife and son. It's dead-on for America's favorite salad dressing, with aromas of buttermilk, onion and garlic.

Worth Sparkman
Mar 21, 2023 - Business

Arkansas poultry companies and Oklahoma get extension to agree

Illustration of a hand holding a gavel over water

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Northwest Arkansas poultry companies and the state of Oklahoma last Friday were granted another 90 days to strike an agreement in a lawsuit that dates back to 2005.

  • The suit alleges the companies are responsible for polluting water in the Illinois River Watershed, which runs into Oklahoma.
Alex Golden
Mar 20, 2023 - News

XNA topped pre-COVID passenger levels in January

Illustration of an airport check-in sign with a happy face

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Northwest Arkansas National Airport is seeing more passengers than it was before COVID stalled travel.

By the numbers: XNA had about 62,300 enplanements — tickets purchased to fly out — in January, up from about 48,700 in January 2022 and surpassing the roughly 56,600 in January 2019, XNA spokesperson Alex English told Axios.

Traveling Arkansas: World's Shortest St. Patrick's Day parade

Photo: Worth Sparkman/Axios

The longest-running World's Shortest St. Patrick's Day Parade celebrated its 20th gathering in Hot Springs on Friday with 98 feet of green beer, music and fun.

What happened: The Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders, actor Christopher McDonald, Arkansas-native country singer Justin Moore, the Village People, Miss Arkansas Ebony Mitchell and even the Mountain Pine High School marching band (Worth's alma mater) were all there.