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KFSM

Volunteers Cleaning Up Fort Smith’s Union Christian Academy After Flooding, Classes To Be Moved Monday

FORT SMITH, Ark. (KFSM) — Volunteers are cleaning up Union Christian Academy in Fort Smith after heavy rain caused the school to flood overnight. The school board president says they are coordinating with local churches to find locations to hold classes on Monday, August  26.

Parents and students are moving desks, filing cabinets, and other items out of classrooms.

School Board President Daniel Mackey says about eighty percent of the school has been flooded.

Mackey said he was first alerted about the flooding early Saturday (Aug. 24) morning when the volleyball team showed up to leave for a trip to Tulsa.

Volunteers have been at the school helping out since 8 a.m.

We will update this story when new information becomes available. 

Red Cross Sets Temporary Shelter in Fort Smith After Flash Floods

FORT SMITH (KFSM) — According to the Fort Smith Police Department, the American Red Cross has set up a temporary shelter at the Grand Avenue Baptist Church after several have been displaced due to flash floods.

The police department is encouraging those that may have concerns about their loved ones to check this shelter first before contacting police, as they are currently responding to a number of areas.

If you need to be transported to the shelter, you can contact the Fort Smith Fire Department.

Police are urging citizens to not drive through flood waters or around any barricades.

One Woman Dead After Driving Through Flash Floods in Fort Smith

FORT SMITH (KFSM) — According to the Fort Smith Police Department, a woman attempting to drive through flood waters in Fort Smith this morning (August 24) has died.

The woman’s name has not been released yet, pending next-of-kin notification and investigators are still on scene.

The Fort Smith Police Department is urging citizens, for their own safety, do not attempt to drive through flooded areas or around any barricades.

This is a developing story.

Championship Wrestling of Arkansas Returning To Hot Springs

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. (KFSM) — Championship Wrestling of Arkansas (CWA) has announced it’s returning to Hot Springs this fall.

CWA will hold its “Lloyd’s Rumble” event at the Hot Springs Convention Center on October 12.

Performing that night will be Marcus Bagwell, Matt Riviera, Elijah Burke, and Barrett Brown. There will be special appearances by WWE Hall of Fame inductees Arn Anderson and Bob Orton Jr., father of current WWE Superstar Randy Orton.

The winner of the Lloyd’s Rumble will be titled CWA’s inaugural Arkansas Heavyweight Champion.

“I’ve wrestled all around the world against some of the biggest names in our sport,” said Storm. “I’ve reached the mountain top in our industry, but nothing feels quite as exciting as wrestling in front of my friends and family here in Arkansas, for such a great wrestling promotion like CWA.” Says former NWA Worlds Heavyweight Champion, Tim Storm who will be featured at the event along with other Arkansas native wrestlers.

Tickets can be purchased at www.cwatix.com or by calling the box office at 479-518-5205.

NWAA Swimmers Qualify For 2020 Olympic Trials, U.S. Open

BENTONVILLE, Ark. (KFSM) — It’s been a successful month for the Northwest Arkansas Aquatics (NWAA) swim club. Four of their swimmers have made some impressive accomplishments after swimming in champion meets this month.

Not only did they qualify for the next U.S. Open, but two swimmers qualified for the 2020 Olympic Trials.

U.S. Open qualifiers are Hayley Pike, Ryan Husband, Madeline Marks, and Hayden Harlow. Pike and Harlow both qualified for the Olympic Trials.

“We are incredibly proud of Hayley, Madeline, and Ryan for earning the opportunity to compete at these high level meets! Their commitment to the pursuit of achieving their goals through working hard is admirable and shows that big things are possible. We are excited to see them continue to build on these
results in the upcoming season! We are also extremely proud of Hayden for taking his swimming to the next level at Penn State.” says NWAA head coach Mark Gole.

The U.S. Open is the highest level national swim meet before the 2020 Olympic Trials. It will be held in Atlanta, Georgia from December 4 to December 7, 2019.

The 2020 Olympic Trials will take place in Omaha, Nebraska from June 21 to June 28, 2020.

Fayetteville Woman Ordered To Repay More Than $400,000 Stolen From Springdale Church

Andra Smith

FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) — A Fayetteville woman was sentenced Friday (Aug. 23) to 20 years probation and ordered to repay more than $400,000 she embezzled from a Springdale church.

Andra Smith, 41, pleaded guilty in Washington County Circuit Court to theft of property after reaching a plea deal with prosecutors.

Smith must pay $50,000 upfront while the remaining $363,000 will be paid out in monthly installments.

Smith must also remain on good behavior during her probation. She faces up to 20 years in prison if she violates her probation.

Smith’s guilty plea was deferred under Act 346, which allows non-violent, first-time offenders to have their record expunged if they complete their probation.

Smith was arrested in December after a certified fraud examiner found $413,701.78 was missing from First Assembly of God.

Pastor Keith Underhill first became concerned about the church’s accounting in September 2017, when he found several discrepancies in monthly financial statements.

The discrepancies dated back to 2012, including $30,000 that was charged to a church credit card, according to an arrest report.

In June 2018, Underhill and the board confronted Smith, who said in a letter she stole roughly $10,000 starting in 2016.

Church officials continued to review accounting documents and found more than $175,000 had been stolen.

A month later, Smith wrote in another letter her theft began in 2012 and amounted to more than what she previously admitted, according to the report.

A fraud examiner reviewed the church’s financial statements over the summer, including Arvest bank accounts and credit cards, to come up with the final number.

Heavy Rain, Flash Flooding Causes Chaos In Fort Smith

FORT SMITH, Ark. (KFSM) — Heavy rain proved to be dangerous Thursday (Aug. 22) night, especially in Fort Smith.

Flash flooding caused a frightening situation for one car full of people. Flash flooding led to emergency responders having to help one family escaper their car as water surrounded it.

Storms also caused some problems at a church in the south part of Fort Smith.

The Fort Smith Police Department posted on Facebook Thursday night that a church on Cavanaugh Rd. was struck by lightning — causing a power line to come down.

The pastor of the church told 5NEWS lightning didn’t actually strike the building, but it was actually a loose cable from a nearby power pole causing sparks to fly.

“It was sparks. It was throwing off electricity about 15 feet. Every time they come together, they would spark off of that. It was coming close to the building. But it was really closer to the yards behind us… but it wasn’t really that dramatic,” Lester Pegues says.

Pegues says everyone inside the church was fine, and no one was hurt.

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Pedestrian Hit By Vehicle Outside Chick-fil-A In Fayetteville

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KFSM) — One person has been taken to the hospital after being hit by a car outside Chick-fil-A on MLK Boulevard in Fayetteville Thursday (Aug. 22) night.

Multiple emergency crews responded to the scene.

Police say the pedestrian was hit by a driver pulling out of the Chick-fil-A parking lot.

The extent of the person’s injuries is unknown at this time. No word on if the driver has been cited for the incident.

Check back for updates on this developing story. 

New Dairy Queen Grill & Chill Opening In Siloam Springs

Dairy Queen DQ Photo Courtesy: MGN Galleries

SILOAM SPRINGS, Ark. (KFSM) — A Dairy Queen Grill & Chill location is set to open in Siloam Springs August 26. This Franchise will be under the ownership of multi-unit operators, Aimee, and Terry Sims.

The location will feature made to order lunch and dinner options including GrillBurgers and chicken strip baskets and will offer their classic soft serve favorites such as the iconic Blizzard treat.

According to TB&P, this location is only one of seven DQ Grill & Chills planned for Northwest Arkansas. The others are planned to be in Fort Smith, Rogers, Springdale, Tontitown, and Van Buren.

This also welcomes more job opportunities for the area and a great new place to enjoy with family and friends.