Remembering the Matriarch

Carl Carter Jr. laughs a lot, and his father says he gets that from his mom. “He’s always been a joyful kind of guy,” Carl Carter Sr. says of his first son. “He has the same smile his mother had, except hers was a little bigger.” Carl Jr. says he can’t help but laugh when … Continue reading Remembering the Matriarch

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

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

Hunter’s Hope — Article 4

  Hunter Phifer checks in to the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Medical Center at 4:50 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 21. He says he's not nervous, but a slight twitch of his eye suggests otherwise. He hasn't slept and says he's hungry. Brian Smothers arrives at the Little Rock hospital just before 6 a.m. He's … Continue reading Hunter’s Hope — Article 4

High Anxiety

Going home for Christmas is a dream come true for most holiday travelers. But for some people, it can feel more like a nightmare. For the first time in three years, I will be joining my family for the holiday and but that's not what has my tummy rolling. It's how I'm getting there. I'm … Continue reading High Anxiety

Legal Limbo

Zeek Taylor appeared overjoyed at the courthouse in Eureka Springs on May 10. In one hand was a 13-page ruling authorizing him to marry. In the other was the hand of his soulmate. Taylor waited 42 years for the opportunity to marry Dick Titus. "It's been a roller coaster of a ride," he said. "But … Continue reading Legal Limbo

Hunter’s Hope — Article 2

For most Arkansans, Dec. 10 will be like any other Wednesday in the heart of holiday shopping season -- busy malls, gift wrapping, office parties -- nothing particularly out of the ordinary. But for two local men, it will be the beginning of some drastic changes. At 5 a.m. that day, both will check into … Continue reading Hunter’s Hope — Article 2

Celebration of 125 years

There was something magical in the snow that night. It fell straight down and gently. Without so much as a breeze, the white flakes flurried from the late night sky and caught in his mother's lamplight. He sat snuggling in the night air atop his father's shoulders as they walked home across the field. It … Continue reading Celebration of 125 years

Kitten Kindness

Kittens are cute, and no one with a heart would say otherwise. They're fluffy and soft with tiny little noses and pink toes. They're precious. And they're a big problem in America. Kittens make up a large percentage of the population of feral cats, a group estimated to be number more than 58 million. That's … Continue reading Kitten Kindness