Laurinda Joenks

Religion reporter
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Recent Stories

Island History

Subscriber onlyMicronesian colonists settled in the Marshall Islands some 2,000 to 4,000 years ago, said April Brown, a history professor at Northwest Arkansas Community College and president of the Marshallese Education Initiative. The group recently offered a class on Marshallese culture and language for area teachers. Continue reading...

A Light on the Hill

Fayetteville church publishes 186 years of history

Subscriber onlyA column leading to the sanctuary of First United Presbyterian Church in Fayetteville bears three cornerstones. Two -- dated to 1830 and 1904 -- were saved from the early Presbyterian churches that joined together to form today's church. The third marks 1968 as that founding date. Continue reading...

Jeepers peepers

Frog lover hops to help to environment

Subscriber onlyIt was just before dark on Feb. 27 when the four hunters set out. As they approached the banks of Clabber Creek in Fayetteville, they stopped, cupped their hands over their ears and listened. Traffic noise from Interstate 49 at Garland Avenue filled the air. Continue reading...

Luck of the Irish

Genealogists share tips in Bentonville workshop

Subscriber onlyMany of the earliest settlers in Northwest Arkansas had Scots-Irish roots. They came from Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia -- and even some Quakers from Pennsylvania -- to settle in the area, said Rachel Whitaker, research assistant at the Shiloh Museum for Ozark History in Springdale. Continue reading...

Abrahamic Interfaith Center

Christian, Muslim congregations envision shared space

Subscriber onlyChristians and Muslims gathered together Feb. 2 at the Bentonville Islamic Center. Members of the community who call the center home welcomed all, shaking hands. Women wearing hijabs hugged strangers without them. And at 5:30 p.m., the appointed time for prayers, four Muslim men gathered in front of a niche set into the mosque wall nearest Mecca. They chanted, kneeled and bowed, following the centuries-old tradition. Continue reading...

Back in the swing

Baseball fans share memories with ‘Hot Stove League’

Subscriber onlyThere are two seasons: Winter and baseball. Continue reading...

50 Years Of Dirt

Nitty Gritty Dirt Band circles back to NWA

Subscriber only"American Dream," "Fishin' in the Dark" and other songs by the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band have served as part of the soundtrack to life for many. Continue reading...

Center's co-director displays 'insatiable passion'

Subscriber only"Dr. Riklon and I are here to plan a center," said Nia Aitaoto, co-director of the Center for Pacific Islander Health, a program of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Northwest in Fayetteville. Continue reading...

Island time

UAMS creates unique program for Pacific Islanders

Subscriber only"The Marshallese have one of the highest rates of type 2 diabetes in the world," reads a press release from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. "[The condition] affects as many as 50 percent of Islanders living in Northwest Arkansas. The Marshallese also suffer disproportionately from Hepatitis B, tuberculosis and Hansen's disease, as well as high rates of cancer, heart disease and obesity." Continue reading...

Longtime newspaper photographer remembered by community

Subscriber onlyAs a youngster, Bob Bickford didn't understand his father. Continue reading...

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