Ahead this hour, we get prepared for tick season and tick-borne illnesses. May is Lyme and Tick-borne disease awareness month in Arkansas. Also, we hear how some schools in the state are seeking an exemption to the state’s new campus carry law. And Dylan Earl stops by to play us some country music as we head into the weekend.

Bentonville Makes Big Population Gains

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New data from the U.S. Census Bureau suggests cities in northwest Arkansas continue to grow at a steady pace, and the city of Fort Smith continues to seek solutions for its troubled city-wide recycling program. Michael Tilley of Talk Business and Politics has more.

Ticks are tiny blood-sucking arachnids that feed on deer, birds, rabbits, squirrels, rodents and lizards. During bloodmeals, Arkansas ticks may absorb pathogens naturally carried by wildlife, with strange names like Tularema, Rickettsia, Anaplasma, Ehrlichia, and Borrelia. So when ticks feed on people, they regurgitate bacteria into the bloodstream. 

 
Borrelia burgdorferi causes Lyme disease, endemic in Wisconsin and New York. Lyme is transmitted by infected juvenile black-legged or deer ticks, which are common in Arkansas. In recent years, more Arkansans are claiming to be Lyme positive. In February the Arkansas Department of Health, based on U.S. Centers for Disease Control protocol, confirmed two “probable” cases in the state. The case identities, disclosed by family and not the department, were two little girls bitten by Lyme-infected ticks in northwest Arkansas last summer. In response to growing concern, Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson has proclaimed May Lyme and Tick-borne Diseases Awareness Month. 

Ahead of a new law taking effect in September that expands places where people can carry firearms, schools that want to prohibit concealed handguns are working with state police to get exemptions.

Institutions seeking to ban concealed weapons from certain areas and events must send a security plan to be approved by Arkansas State Police.

A Friday roundup includes U.S. Senator Boozman praising a proposed increase in border security spending, Ozark Beer Company celebrating its new space in downtown Rogers, and more.

Let's Go Outdoors

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Memorial Day weekend often means spending time outside. Becca Martin Brown from the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette says there are plenty of outdoor events this weekend including the Omni Peace Garden Tour, a twilight hike in Fort Smith and the Pioneer Days Parade in Van Buren.

Dylan Earl has lived in Fayetteville for about a year now, even if he has been touring consistently through the first half of 2017. He recently came by the Carver Center for Public Radio to talk about his music, and to let us hear some songs he plans to release on his first full-length album later this year.

Scratching The Surface: Mineral Detection

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Welcome to Scratching The Surface with Caitlin Ahrens, the Pluto Manager at the Center for Space and Planetary Science.  Today, we learn how scientists are able to detect minerals on Mars without actually being there.

For more on the Center for Space and Planetary Science, visit spacecenter.uark.edu

On this edition of Ozarks, a conversation with the director of a new documentary investigating an old Fort Smith murder case. Plus, this week’s installment of the NWA Business Journal Report.

Rusti Barger, a stay-at-home mom of six, delivered her first two babies in the local hospital. When she became pregnant a third time in 1999, she and her husband David, from rural Faulkner County, chose to have a home birth. They hired a midwife who instructed her to undergo a state-mandated medical risk assessment. Barger made an appointment at the county public health clinic. And that’s where, she says, things went awry. 

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World and Area News

It was eight against one, according to German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

On the one side, leaders of Canada, Japan, France, Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom, plus two EU representatives. On the other side, President Trump.

And up for debate, the peril of climate change and the urgency of the U.S. commitment to the Paris accord to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Merkel said that everyone at the table at the G-7 summit in Taormina, Italy, was urging Trump to stick with the pact, according to Reuters.

On this week's podcast we take a look at what President Trump's first budget proposal could mean for the poor state of Arkansas. Analysis from political scientist Heather Yates of UCA and reaction from the state's Congressional delegation.

The KUAR News crew also takes a look at:

- A new task force on tax policy is off and running in the Arkansas Legislature. Tax cuts for the wealthy is the goal of some but at what cost? Is there a will to pay for it by cutting existing exemptions?

On Monday night, a bombing timed to coincide with the end of an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester killed 22 people, many children, and injured dozens more. Today, Grande responded at length to the tragedy in a letter to her fans that she posted on social media.

In Lebanon, the LGBT community has made important strides in recent years. A series of court rulings have poked holes in a law that essentially criminalizes homosexuality. This has encouraged activists to push for greater rights.

In the 1980s, a Florida native named Edward Stierle created a ballet that was a response to the AIDS crisis. It also stands as its creator’s own requiem.

The company Dance Now Miami is performing “Lacrymosa” next week in Miami Beach. Alicia Zuckerman (@AliciaZuckerman) from Here & Now contributor WLRN has our story.

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