Axios Northwest Arkansas
November 23, 2022
Good Wednesday morning.
🦃 We won't be in your inboxes tomorrow or Friday, but we're thankful to all of you who read us each morning. Happy Thanksgiving.
- We hope you'll enjoy a slice of pie from "Alice's Restaurant."
☁️ Cloudy with a chance of rain. Expect highs in the upper 40s to low 60s.
Today's newsletter is 788 words — a 3-minute read.
1 big thing: Sanders appoints staffers and looks ahead
Even as her team is busy planning an inauguration ball, Gov.-elect Sarah Huckabee Sanders has her eye on re-election.
Driving the news: This week the Sanders administration announced an agenda for her inauguration festivities Jan. 7 and 10, 2023 and appointed her chief of staff, and the campaign named a senior adviser for a 2026 bid.
Why it matters: The actions indicate an organized transition is in play for the transfer of executive power.
- Yes, and: The inauguration will be historic as Sanders is the first woman to be elected governor in the state.
Details: Specifics — including locations and times — are pending, but the inauguration celebration begins on Saturday, Jan. 7, with a "Freedom Fest" in the afternoon followed by bourbon and cigars with the first gentleman Bryan Sanders in the evening.
- A prayer and worship service will be held early on Jan. 10, followed by the swearing in and an address from Sanders.
- The inauguration ball will be that evening at the Statehouse Convention Center in Little Rock.
Meanwhile, Sanders named Gretchen Conger as chief of staff. Conger joined the governor-elect's campaign in 2021 and was previously deputy chief of staff to Gov. Doug Ducey of Arizona.
- The Sanders campaign announced it would transfer more than $2.5 million from the 2022 bid to a 2026 re-election effort and noted that campaign manager Chris Caldwell will be a senior adviser.
2. Parsing Fayetteville's 2023 budget
The city of Fayetteville has readied its budget for the new year.
Why it matters: The budget serves as a blueprint for how the city plans to spend your tax dollars.
By the numbers: Fayetteville plans to break even with about $216.7 million in both expenses and revenue.
Some highlights from the final budget include:
- 45 new jobs, including 10 police officers, five firefighters, three fire captains, three battalion chiefs in the fire department and seven parks and recreation employees.
- About $2.9 million on pavement, sidewalk and traffic signal improvements.
- $1.5 million on trail development.
- About $1.47 million on library equipment, materials and HVAC replacement.
- About $1.08 million for the police department, including $345,000 on public safety equipment, $111,000 on technology upgrades, $105,000 on central dispatch center improvements and $100,000 on vehicle replacements.
- $700,000 for parks improvements.
3. Kitchen Sink: Scratched from the headlines
⚖️ The case against a Missouri woman accused of kidnapping and killing a pregnant Benton County woman is in a holding pattern until federal authorities allow local prosecutors access to her.
- She was arrested on a federal charge, and federal authorities denied their request for the suspect to appear in court. (Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette)
🗣 Author and former child star Jeannette McCurdy will speak on Dec. 5 in Fayetteville as part of the University of Arkansas' distinguished lecture series. (Fayetteville Flyer)
🔌 Tontitown-based Paschal Air, Plumbing & Electric recently acquired Lyerla Heating & Air in Joplin, Missouri. The company bought two central Arkansas competitors earlier this year and another in Carthage, Missouri, in March 2021. (Talk Business & Politics)
🗓 Crystal Bridges will host a conversation with Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) on Dec. 19 at 6pm for its "We the People: The Radical Notion of Democracy" series. Tickets are sold out, but you can register to watch the event via livestream. (Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art)
4. 🎙 Audio File: NWA for your ears
Taking a trip this weekend? Here are a few podcast recs from or about Northwest Arkansas:
🧪 Associate professor of biomedical engineering at University of Arkansas, Kartik Balachandran, describes how technology is changing the study of human health. Listen to "Short Talks from the Hill."
🚢 Retired eastern Arkansas Judge John Fogleman enlightens listeners about the Sultana disaster, the worst maritime incident in U.S. history, which took place in April 1865 in Arkansas. Listen to "I Am Northwest Arkansas."
🌊 KUAF-FM's Kyle Kellams takes a deep dive into the Whitewater scandal and a look at Jim McDougal's career in a two-part podcast using the Pryor Center's archive collection. Listen to Part 1 and Part 2 on "Ozarks at Large."
⛹️♀️ Arkansas women's head basketball coach Mike Neighbors talks about what fans and players can expect from his sixth season. Listen to "The Hog Pod with Bo Mattingly."
Know of any great podcasts by locals not mentioned here?
- Tell us — just hit reply.
Plan your future
5. Your holiday weekend plans
The holidays are in full swing in Northwest Arkansas.
- Here are some ways to celebrate this weekend:
Christmas on the Creek: This family-friendly event in downtown Springdale includes a parade, a visit from Santa, a holiday market, a tree and live music from 11am-8pm Saturday.
"The Nutcracker": You have four chances to see the classic at Walton Arts Center this weekend. Get tickets ranging $30-$53.
"It's a Wonderful Life": The film is showing at 7pm Saturday at Victory Theater in Rogers. Get tickets for $10.
🎸 Alex has been listening to a lot of Elle King lately.
🧠 Worth is listening to "Intelligence: A Very Short Introduction" by Ian Deary.