The Time is Now

Braelond Simmons could have been the perfect statistic. The J.A. Fair High School graduate’s father died 12 days after his sixth birthday. He and his two younger siblings were raised by a single working mother in Little Rock’s John Barrow neighborhood. His family lived in poverty. Their house was burglarized repeatedly. “We saw things, and … Continue reading The Time is Now

On the Mat

It turns out, mortuary schools don’t have cheerleading scholarships. So when Stacey Kohles had to choose between her two life ambitions — cheer and funeral science — the young adult landed on the mat. Although she dabbled in dermatology, psychology and dreamed of opening a flower shop, the Fort Smith native eventually started Arkansas Cheer … Continue reading On the Mat

Growing Health

Arkansas may be the top producer of rice and poultry, but food isn’t always widely available to its residents. The state is ranked No. 1 in the country for senior hunger, says Jerry Mitchell, executive director of the Area Agency on Aging of Northwest Arkansas. Some 13 percent of residents ages 60 and older live … Continue reading Growing Health

Looking Like Spring

The winter of 1947-48 was long and miserable in Northwest Arkansas. It was the season the Razorbacks tied 0-0 with the LSU Tigers in what would later be dubbed the Ice Bowl. Temperatures dropped to 14 below in Gentry, and March brought over a foot of snow instead of spring rains and flowers. By the … Continue reading Looking Like Spring

Breaking the Taboo

Vagina. Does the word make you uncomfortable? It makes a lot of people uncomfortable. But why? After all, the vagina is a human body part just like any other. It’s an organ that connects the uterus to the outside world. It’s part of sexual intercourse. Babies come into the world through it. It’s a source of … Continue reading Breaking the Taboo

Hangin’ with Rodney

Rodney Carrington is brash, raw and has a bit of a mouth. But more than that, he’s honest. The comedian is traveling next week from his home just outside of Tulsa, Okla., to the John Q. Hammons Center in Rogers for a night of stand-up that he calls “truthful comedy.” “This act is all new, … Continue reading Hangin’ with Rodney

Identity: a Discovery

Amy Tan didn’t expect to be a best-selling author. “I sent two or three of my stories to the New Yorker, mostly to get that rejection letter that would signal to end that story and begin a new one,” she said. “I would pin that rejection letter on my bulletin board. I had a whole … Continue reading Identity: a Discovery

Hunter’s Hope — Commentary

"Isn't he just full of it?" Amber Atwood asks with a laugh. "He thinks he knows everything." "I do not. I'm just right, and that's just the way it is," her son, Hunter Phifer, snarks with a grin. It's been six weeks since Hunter received a new kidney, and he is certainly feeling better. It's … Continue reading Hunter’s Hope — Commentary

Hunter’s Hope — Article 5

At 1 p.m., Brian Smothers opens his eyes. He’s groggy, confused and in pain. He’s in a surgical recovery room but isn’t sure why. Before he falls back to sleep, a nurse asks him to rate his pain. “I am going to say a 10,” he replies. “But I’ve never been in this much pain … Continue reading Hunter’s Hope — Article 5

Stayin’ Alive

The music is loud, and the women are still warm for a reincarnation of the pop group that made disco forever cool. The Australian Bee Gees are coming to Northwest Arkansas for a performance that will launch audiences out of the Ozarks and straight into the uncanny valley. Touted as the world's leading Bee Gees … Continue reading Stayin’ Alive