Laurinda Joenks

Religion reporter
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Recent Stories

Island History

Micronesian 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.

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A Light on the Hill

Fayetteville church publishes 186 years of history

A 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.

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Jeepers peepers

Frog lover hops to help to environment

It 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.

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Luck of the Irish

Genealogists share tips in Bentonville workshop

Many 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.

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Abrahamic Interfaith Center

Christian, Muslim congregations envision shared space

Christians 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.

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Back in the swing

Baseball fans share memories with ‘Hot Stove League’

There are two seasons: Winter and baseball.

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50 Years Of Dirt

Nitty Gritty Dirt Band circles back to NWA

"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.

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Center's co-director displays 'insatiable passion'

"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.

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Island time

UAMS creates unique program for Pacific Islanders

"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."

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Longtime newspaper photographer remembered by community

As a youngster, Bob Bickford didn't understand his father.

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