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The Veterans Health Care System of the Ozarks will hold an online town hall meeting at 11 a.m. Nov. 17 via Zoom.

The town hall will serve as an open forum for veterans and a listening session for VHSO leadership, with the goal of ensuring veterans, their families and beneficiaries have the opportunity to be heard and have their concerns addressed by senior VA officials.

The town hall is open to the public, including veterans, family members or other beneficiaries, as well as congressional stakeholders, veterans service organizations, non-governmental organizations and community partners. No registration is required, and the event is free to attend.

Meeting information is 1-669-254-5252, Meeting ID:161 671 9387#, Passcode: 889372#

Information: (479) 444-4086.



The Osher Lifelong Institute at the University of Arkansas announces the following classes for the upcoming week:

• Nov. 16: “1918 Flu Pandemic” (online). The influenza outbreak of 1918 began for victims as a set of familiar, seasonal flu-like symptoms: high fever, body ache and cough. But those infected suffered a new set of alarming symptoms as well: severe headaches, bleeding from the nose and eyes and cyanosis, a distressing lack of oxygen signaled by blue lips and fingertips. Some patients coughed so violently they tore abdominal muscles. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that the 1918 flu, an H1N1 virus of avian origin, is estimated to have infected about one-third of the world’s population and to have killed 50 million people worldwide. This course will lead you through the three waves of the global influenza infection (spring 1918, fall 1918, and spring 1919), reveal the role of the military in the spread of the disease across the globe, review therapeutics available and protocols implemented at the time, and document how corrupt politics and government mismanagement especially harmed vulnerable populations already struggling during the crisis. $29.

• Nov. 17: “Hike at Logan Springs Preserve,” $25 members, $40 nonmembers; “Who Elected Our President? A Generational Review of 2020 Election Results” (online), $15. All are welcome.

• Nov. 19: “Chasing Waterfalls: Hideout Hollow,” $25 members/$40 nonmembers.




Come and enjoy a quintessential winter activity this year in Branson at an outdoor, real ice skating rink. The Track Family Fun Parks has partnered with The Holidays on Ice to install and operate a 7,200-square-foot ice rink from mid-November until at least New Year’s Day. It will be located adjacent to the Branson Ferris Wheel and the new “United We Stand” community Christmas tree display.

The oval-shaped ice skating rink will be the same size as The Rink at Rockefeller Center in New York City. The operating hours will depend on weather, but the initial plan has the rink open both day and night. Nighttime skaters will not only enjoy the light shows on the Branson Ferris Wheel, but holiday lights strung around the rink itself.

The ice skating rink will be located at 3325 W. 76 Country Blvd.

Information: (417) 334-1612, or email or call (760) 470-3466.



Pack Rat Outdoor Center in Fayetteville will host its third annual Wild & Scenic Film Festival On Tour Dec. 4-5. This year will be virtual, so viewers can watch from the comfort of their own homes. The benefiting nonprofit is the NWA Land Trust.

Events begin at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 4 with an “open lobby time,” followed by the films at 7 p.m.




The Fort Smith Regional Art Museum has received a grant from the Arvest Foundation that will provide both a new name and a strengthened program for its education program. The student gallery that RAM opened in 2018 to exhibit works of art by students is now named the RAM Student Gallery Sponsored by Arvest Foundation.

“This gift from the Arvest Foundation puts a wonderful spotlight on the talent of our region’s young artists,” says Louis Meluso, executive director of the Regional Art Museum. “RAM is so grateful for the support from Arvest that has resulted in the gift of our building in 2009, and now the strengthening of our efforts to enrich youth’s lives through the new Student Gallery sponsored by Arvest Foundation.”

RAM’s education program includes free art classes for ages 18 months and older. Classes include Toddler Tuesday, Home School Art Program, RAM Saturday, and Drop In and Draw, a live-model sketching class for adults. Currently, due to covid-19, RAM’s education program has transitioned to an online format. RAM anticipates returning to on-site programming as soon as safely possible in 2021.

Local Arvest Bank officials say promoting arts for youth is an important investment in a community.

“At Arvest, we believe in making our communities better places to live, work and play,” said Roger Holroyd, Arvest Bank President and CEO. “Through the Arvest Foundation, we are able to do that by supporting local organizations doing work to help and empower those in need. We trust these donations reflect our ongoing commitment to Fort Smith.”

RAM’s first- and second-floor art galleries are open to the public. Entry to RAM is free.


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