Axios Northwest Arkansas

Picture of the Fayetteville skyline.

November 29, 2022

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Today's newsletter is 868 words — a 3.5-minute read.

1 big thing: Hutchinson condemns Trump meeting

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Sunday slammed former President Trump for meeting last week with white nationalist Nick Fuentes, calling the decision "very troubling" on CNN's State of the Union, Axios' Erin Doherty writes.

State of play: Trump had dinner last week with Fuentes, who has been labeled a "white supremacist" by the U.S. Justice Department. Rapper Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, also joined for the Mar-a-Lago meeting.

What they're saying: "No, I don't think it's a good idea for a leader that's setting an example for the country or the party to meet with a vowed racist or antisemite," Hutchinson said.

  • "When you meet with people, you empower, and that's what you have to avoid. You want to diminish their strength, not empower them," he said.

Between the lines: Hutchinson told CNN earlier this month that he is "very seriously" considering running for president in 2024.

2. Arkansas lawmakers look to next farm bill

Illustration of a pitchfork with money on the end.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Sen. John Boozman and Rep. Rick Crawford — both Republicans — are already looking at potential changes to the next farm bill, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports.

Why it matters: The bill allocates funding for federal nutrition, farming and conservation programs as well as agriculture research and rural development.

  • Zoom in: Agriculture adds about $16 billion to Arkansas' economy each year with nearly 50,000 farms in the state.
  • The largest poultry and rice producers in the U.S. are based here too.

Context: Boozman is the ranking Republican on the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry. Crawford is part of the House Agriculture Committee.

What they're saying: "Agriculture policy may be complex, and debates about food policy may get less attention than other hot button issues, but these decisions matter to all of us," Boozman wrote in a column Monday.

  • "Recent events have reminded us we cannot find ourselves in a position where we are dependent on other nations for our food supply," he wrote, apparently referring to the war in Ukraine, which has pinched the global food supply.

Yes, and: Crawford told the Democrat-Gazette that lawmakers should consider raising reference prices, referring to a program that reimburses farmers for losses on commodities under a set price, noting the last change was in 2013.

What's next: The 118th Congress is scheduled to convene on Jan. 3, 2023.

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3. Kitchen Sink: News stream

Illustration of the Bentonville Water Tower, with a faucet added to it.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

🍺 The eponymous Maxine Miller Legacy Fund, created in honor of the late founder of Maxine's Taproom in Fayetteville, has been established to pay for scholarships and other expenses for students in the University of Arkansas' gender studies program. (Fayetteville Flyer)

🚨 The Mountain Home school district received two gun-related threats via social media over the Thanksgiving weekend. Two students were taken into custody by local police. (Northwest Arkansas-Democrat Gazette)

⚖️ A trial date of Dec. 20 is set for former Tyson Foods executive and Beyond Meat chief operations officer Doug Ramsey, who allegedly bit a man's nose and threatened to kill him in a parking garage after an Arkansas football game in September. (Meatingplace)

Quote du jour
"We recently played a highly contested and emotional game against an exceptional San Diego State team. Shortly after the game, I and some members of our program responded with negative dialogue to a few San Diego State fans. I want to take this opportunity to apologize to the San Diego State community ... head coach Brian Dutcher, his staff, their excellent team, and their enthusiastic fans for this post-game interaction."
— Arkansas' head basketball coach Eric Musselman's apology for his behavior following a game at the Maui Invitational

4. Where to see lights in NWA this season

If you like lights, you have to head to the downtown Bentonville square. Photo: Alex Golden/Axios

Northwest Arkansas has festive holiday fans covered this year.

What's happening: You have about a month to enjoy whimsical lights and other seasonal decor.

Fayetteville's downtown square is illuminated with more than 500,000 LED lights each night until Jan. 1, 2023.

The Stewart Family Christmas Light Display features lights and inflatable decor in addition to a visit from Santa and train and pony rides — a real treat for the kiddos.

  • Hours are 5-10pm weeknights and 5-11pm weekends at 4279 E. Wyman Road in Fayetteville. Admission costs $8 and is free for kids 2 and younger.

The Bentonville downtown square is decked out in holiday lights with a Christmas tree smack dab in the middle.

  • Bonus: The Rink at Lawrence Plaza is open downtown for the season, so you can enjoy a winter night straight out of a Hallmark movie.

Downtown Springdale is also a winter wonderland with light displays this season.

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5. Walmart wins Black Friday search

Illustration of a cursor arrow with a retail price tag

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Walmart was the most searched online retailer this Black Friday, besting e-commerce rival Amazon, according to data from ad tech firm Captify.

Why it matters: The research suggests budget-conscious shoppers are hungry for deals, and they're more likely to gravitate toward online retailers that are serving them discounts, especially in the inflationary environment, Axios' Kimberly Chin writes.

The latest: Captify's ranking of most searched retailers online shows Amazon behind Walmart, Target and Kohl's this year.

  • Black Friday discount searches tied to Walmart rocketed 386% year over year, CNBC reports.

This newsletter was edited by Gigi Sukin and copy edited by Carlin Becker.

📸 Alex printed off 600 photos from her phone and plans to put them in old-school photo albums — her hibernation project.

🚨 Worth is reading about racist flyers distributed in North Dakota.