Zuzanna Sitek

Reporter, Ozarks at Large

On today’s Ozarks, for a growing Marshallese population in northwest Arkansas, a physician who speaks their language. Plus, an intensive formula for exposure to a different culture; a foreign exchange program puts students from Muslim families abroad with American families. And considering what to do with an aging dam in Bentonville.


Bentonville city leaders will have to decide what to do with the dam at Lake Bella Vista, which was declared failed in 2008. The city is considering removing and rebuilding the dam, but a local nonprofit organization called Friends of Little Sugar Creek would like to see the dam gone for good. Friends of Little Sugar Creek members say restoring the stream would eliminate the algae bloom problem and reconnect upstream and downstream fish populations.

On today’s show, a big decision for a small dam in Benton County. Plus, Pete Seeger’s life as a musician, environmentalist and social activist is explored in a special exhibit at Tulsa’s Woody Guthrie Center; and Gerald Sloan’s memoir in verse.


The dam on Little Sugar Creek, which creates Lake Bella Vista, has been considered failed since 2008 when it was topped by flooding. It has also been topped by flooding in 2011, 2013 and 2015. Following the flooding in 2008 and 2011, the city of Bentonville applied for funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to tear down and rebuild the dam. The city got a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which was necessary to fulfill the FEMA requirements, in December 2016, but it expired in March 2017.

On today’s show...restoration, preservation and adaptation. In Gravette, a team is working to preserve a historic plane. In Fayetteville, concern over what should be preserved and how. And on stage in the fall at the University of Arkansas: a classic updated...and preserved...at the same time.