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Alex Golden
Jan 21, 2022 - COVID

Arkansas is lagging in getting kids vaccinated

Note: Data is not shown for states in which the county was unknown for at least 10% of the children vaccinated in that state, or where children vaccination data was unavailable; Reproduced from a KHN analysis of CDC and NCHS data. Chart: Axios Visuals

A higher rate of kids in NWA are vaccinated against COVID-19 than most of the state, but the vast majority remain unvaccinated.

Why it matters: Children can become very ill if they contract COVID-19, health experts, including state health secretary José Romero, have said. They've stressed the vaccine is the best defense against the virus.

4 great places for mocktails in Northwest Arkansas

Illustration of a cocktail
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Kudos to those of you who have made it this far into Dry January. Here are four favorite spots where you can have your pick of mocktails this month (or any month!).

1. Bordinos in Fayetteville

  • Check out the spirit-free drink menu, which includes a lavender and rosemary martini, a cranberry mule and "taking names" with CBD, elderberry tonic, orange juice and soda water.

2. Theo's in Fayetteville

  • This upscale restaurant’s bar offers two mocktails — the Tropic Thunder (orgeat, lemon, pineapple, habanero syrup) and the Elderberry Bramble (blackberries, lemon, simple syrup, elderberry tonic).

3. Night Owl Tavern in Bentonville

4. The Foreman in Rogers

  • The menu boasts three classic mocktails — margarita, "gin" and tonic and negroni.
Worth Sparkman
Jan 21, 2022 - Business

Walton-owned investment firm makes a bet on kayaks

A man fishes from a kayak on a river. '
Courtesy of Eddyline Kayaks

Steuart and Tom Walton are in hot water — water brimming with kayaks, that is.

What's happening: Eddyline Kayaks of Burlington, Washington, raised an undisclosed minority equity investment from RZC Investments, owned by the brothers.

Worth Sparkman
Jan 20, 2022 - News

Arkansas trooper pay lags behind neighbors

Data: Axios Research; Chart: Axios Visuals
Data: Axios Research; Chart: Axios Visuals

Starting pay for Arkansas State Police is the third-lowest when compared to its neighboring states, an Axios analysis found.

What's happening: Director of the Arkansas State Police, Bill Bryant, wants to raise the annual starting salary for troopers by $10,000 or more, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports.

4 new podcasts for Arkansans

Illustration of a brain with sunglasses and headphones
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

On the treadmill more these days? Here are a few Arkansas-specific podcasts NWA Axios readers might like:

👩‍🌾 "Relevant Risk" is a new podcast focused on agribusiness issues and is produced by the Fryar Price Risk Management Center of Excellence at the University of Arkansas.

Worth Sparkman
Jan 19, 2022 - COVID

Charted: Omicron's strain on Arkansas hospitals

Note: ICU beds and ventilators are used by both COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 patients. Data: NWA Council; Chart: Axios Visuals
Note: ICU beds and ventilators are used by both COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 patients. Data: NWA Council; Chart: Axios Visuals

Arkansas' COVID-19 hospitalizations continue to climb even as the number of new cases decreases.

By the numbers: The state reported 1,487 hospitalizations on Tuesday, a five-month high.

Worth Sparkman
Jan 19, 2022 - Business

Startup studio set to launch tech companies in Northwest Arkansas

Illustration of a hand lighting the fuse of a rocket.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Cartwheel generates the spark of a product idea and lights the fuse.

  • Then it hires a pilot to, hopefully, navigate the launch of a company around the idea.

What's happening: The Bentonville-based startup studio is partnering with Winrock International on a yearlong effort they hope will eventually sprout two to three tech companies in NWA.

Worth Sparkman
Jan 18, 2022 - News

Arkansas' housing gap widens

Data: Zillow analysis of data from the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA); Map: Baidi Wang/Axios
Data: Zillow analysis of data from the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA); Map: Baidi Wang/Axios

Lenders denied 26% of Arkansas' Black mortgage applicants in 2020, the third-highest denial rate in the U.S., a recent report from Zillow shows.

Why it matters: The report provides more evidence that the pandemic is affecting Black Americans disproportionately, writes Axios' Hope King.