To start off this week’s From the Front …

I would like to thank all of the Arkansans who stopped by my Washington office during their visits to our nation’s capital, including the Mulkey family from Siloam Springs, the Jimenez family from Bentonville, Autumn Gafford from Bentonville, Matthew Parsons from Bentonville, and Alan Pinter from Fort Smith. Safe travels back to the Natural State.

This week, I had the opportunity to meet with many friends across Northwest Arkansas. On Monday, I visited Lincoln Junior High School to help kick off the Tata Consulting Services goIT App Design Camp. These students spent their fall break learning and creating their own app!

Arkansas is the national leader in computer coding and became the first state to pass a comprehensive law requiring all public and charter high schools to offer computer-coding classes.

I discussed the importance of STEM education, computer science, and how technology can help improve the community.

Next, I toured the Phat Tire Bike Shop in Bentonville. Phat Tire has stores around Arkansas and Oklahoma. The owner, Tim Robinson, showed me the latest technology, mountain bikes, and equipment.

I even took a spin on an electric bike!

Northwest Arkansas has dramatically increased its number of biking trails, and the location of Phat Tire is great for people coming on and off these trails who need maintenance on their bikes.

It was wonderful to learn of their growing business.

That afternoon, I visited Ozark Integrated Circuits (OIC) in Fayetteville. OIC works with faculty and students from the University of Arkansas.

Founded in 2011, employees model and design tools for integrated circuits as well as systems on chips. It was great to meet the team and see the amazing work that they have

On Tuesday, I traveled to Van Buren to tour the Affordable Housing Project, which helps the working people of Van Buren who are struggling to make ends meet have a place that they can call home.

I met with several people who have recently moved into these homes and talked to them about the importance of low income housing for people who are struggling financially.

StoneBrook Park homes of Van Buren is a 41-unit, single-family rental housing development made possible with the use of federal funds administered by the Arkansas Development Finance Authority in partnership with Strategic Realty and Crawford-Sebastian Community Development Council.

Later that day, I had lunch with the Sebastian and Crawford County Police Chiefs. We had a productive discussion about the needs of our law enforcement officers, the troubles facing the police force, and what I can do to assist them. I am very thankful for their service and dedication to our community.

Next, I toured Weldon, Williams, and Lick, Inc. in Fort Smith.

They offer a complete array of custom tickets, parking permits, roll tickets, design, packaging and distribution services. After the tour, I visited the Friedman-Mincer Building.

I had the opportunity to finish my day with a visit to the future site of the U.S. Marshals Museum in Fort Smith.

I was excited to celebrate the beginning of construction on the new museum, which is set to open in September 2019.

On Thursday, I traveled to the United States Military Academy at West Point for the quarterly Board of Visitors meeting, and I attended the Thayer Award Reception that evening.

On Friday, I chaired the Board of Visitors meeting followed by a tour of the West Point Mint.

Originally established as the West Point Bullion Depository, it was a storage facility for silver bullion. Today, it is also the major producer of gold coins.

I look forward to cheering on Army as they take on Temple tomorrow afternoon!


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