Laura joined the 5NEWS team in June 2014. She moved to Fort Smith from Ottumwa, Iowa where she worked as a reporter/anchor for the ABC/CBS affiliated station KTVO-TV. Laura also volunteers at the local Humane Society and in her hometown of St. Louis for the Cancer Support Community.

Prior to her time in Ottumwa, Laura worked as a general assignment reporter at KODE/KSNF in Joplin, MO. She graduated summa cum laude from Columbia College Chicago with a major in Broadcast Journalism/Television.

When she isn’t working, Laura enjoys exploring all that Arkansas has to offer, yoga, hiking, water sports, attending St. Louis Cardinals games, trying new restaurants, spending time with friends, family and traveling.

If you have any story ideas, volunteer opportunities or would just like to say hello, she’d love to hear from you! Email her at

Recent Articles
  • Chung

    Author, Vietnam Refugee Returns To Fort Smith To Share His Story

    FORT SMITH (KFSM)—Students are learning about part of their city’s history from a man who lived it firsthand. After the fall of Saigon, and the end of the Vietnam War, many Vietnamese refugees came to Fort Smith. Vinh Chung and his family were some of them. “For a lot of Americans, when they think about the Vietnam War, the last image is the US helicopter leaving the US Embassy in Saigon, but that was where my story started,” Dr. Chung […]

  • van buren boy mouth taped shut

    5NEWS Exclusive: Woman Claims Grandson’s Mouth Was Taped Shut, School Investigating

    VAN BUREN (KFSM) — A Van Buren woman claims her grandson had his mouth taped shut by a sixth-grade special education teacher. Tami Flowers said the incident happened at Butterfield Trail Middle School on Friday (Sept. 25). “He was told to shut up, and if he didn’t shut up, she was going to tape his mouth shut,” she said. Flowers said the teacher called her the same day of the incident to explain what happened. “She was calling to apologize […]

  • Charter School

    Charter School Plan For Fort Smith Moves Forward

    FORT SMITH (KFSM)– The majority of the school board is putting its support behind bringing a charter school to the city. Now it’s up to the Arkansas Board of Education to give its stamp of approval. “People think that this is just a Fort Smith charter school, but it`s gonna be open enrollment to kids in the entire River Valley, and I`m excited about it,” Wade Gilkey, school board member said. “It`s a tremendous opportunity.” On Monday night (Sept. 28), […]

  • Playground

    Parents Say Playground Rules At Pocola Elementary School “Too Strict”

    POCOLA (KFSM) — Parents of Pocola Elementary School students are saying a list of playground rules issued to them is too strict. The list includes 14 specific rules about playground behavior and states the rules were developed to ensure the children’s safety at recess while instilling self-discipline and responsibility. “I agree with some of them because I do agree with the safety part, but I also feel like they have overdone it,” parent Cynthia Bohannan said Monday (Sept. 29). “If […]

  • Bikes, Blues and BBQ

    Three Motorcycles Reported Stolen At Bikes, Blues And BBQ Saturday

    FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM)–Three motorcycles were reported stolen at the final day of Bikes, Blues & BBQ, according to the Fayetteville Police Department. More than a dozen arrests were also made at the rally Saturday (Sept. 26), according to a release from Sgt. Craig Stout. Police also said there was one DWI/hit-and-run at Lafayette and College Ave.  A man in his mid-20s, named German Pineda-Loa, was arrested in connection with this incident at 11:26 p.m., according to police. No other details regarding […]

  • 911

    911 Call Released In Sebastian County Homicide Case

    SEBASTIAN COUNTY (KFSM)–A Fort Smith man called 911 after he and his family came across a 15-month-old wandering alone at night on a rural road. Investigators later found the body of the child’s mother 23-year-old Leonora Rippy. Sheriff Bill Hollenbeck said she died after being run over several times by a car on purpose. 25-year-old Aaron Cutsinger is charged with first-degree murder and first-degree attempted murder. The Sebastian County Prosecutor’s Office said he pleaded not-guilty to both charges on Wednesday […]

  • Maggie House

    Long-Term Children’s Shelter In Charleston Nears Completion

    CHARLESTON (KFSM)– A new place for abused or at-risk kids in the River Valley is almost ready to open. The Family Ministries Ambassador’s Council held their first meeting at Maggie House Tuesday (Sept. 22) to get an update on the lack of foster homes and residential beds in Western Arkansas. “I was not aware that we have the worst statistics in the state,” Bob Moody, Executive Administrator for Family Ministries Arkansas Division said. “We just don`t have enough foster homes, […]

  • Aaron Cutsinger

    Sebastian County Sheriff’s Office IDs Homicide Victim & Cause Of Death

    SEBASTIAN COUNTY (KFSM) — The Sebastian County Sheriff’s Office identified the victim of a homicide north of Hartford and revealed her cause of death during a media conference Monday (Sept. 21). The victim was identified as Leanora Rippy, 23, of Boles, Arkansas, according to Sebastian County Sheriff Bill Hollenbeck. Hollenbeck said a citizen reported an injured two-year-old child walking in the area of Observatory and Sugarloaf Roads Saturday night. Firefighters later found Rippy dead; she appeared to have been run […]

  • BEES

    Honeybee And Pollinator Festival Takes Place At Chaffee Crossing

    CHAFFEE CROSSING (KFSM) — September is National Honey Month, and many people in the River Valley are celebrating that this weekend. The Honeybee and Pollinator Festival kicked off at 9 a.m. Saturday (Sept. 5) at the Learning Fields at Chaffee Crossing. The event offers classes, lectures and hands-on training. Festival-goers can also learn about the pollination process and honeybees. “They produce beeswax, I mean a lot of people are looking for beeswax, and this is a cube of bees wax, […]

  • cedarville surveillance video

    VIDEO: Cedarville School District Releases Video Of Playground Injury

    CEDARVILLE (KFSM) — The Cedarville Schools superintendent released surveillance video Wednesday (Sept. 16) that shows how a seven-year-old boy was injured on an under-construction playground at the elementary school. The video is included below. Zach Moore was flown to Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock after he was severely injured on August 18 when a bench fell on his head, according to an incident report from the Crawford County Sheriff’s Office. His parents, Brooke and Josh Moore, said their son […]


    High School Student Expected To Be Okay After Accident At Clarksville School

    JOHNSON COUNTY (KFSM) — A Clarksville high school senior is expected to be released from Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock Tuesday evening after he was hit by a vehicle in one of the district’s parking lots Monday night (Sept. 14), according to Clarksville police. Clarksville Schools Superintendent David Hopkins said the accident happened at the Junior High School parking lot after school let out for the day. Students who were outside and witnessed what happened alerted the district’s activity […]

  • missing child

    Fort Smith Police: Missing Child Found Safe In Mexico; Not An Abduction

    FORT SMITH (KFSM) — A two-year-old child reported missing in Fort Smith Sunday (Sept. 13) was found safe overnight in Mexico, according to Detective Michael McCoy with Fort Smith Police. An Amber Alert was first issued for David Mauricio-Castillo after his mother told police he disappeared while playing in his front yard at 3606 Marshall Drive. Police spent several hours attempting to locate the child’s father, Raul Mauricio-Parga, 29, who was identified as a suspect in Mauricio- Castillo disappearance. “They […]


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