Shawnya joined the 5NEWS web department in August of 2015. After growing up in a tiny town in Southwest Missouri, she headed to Fayetteville four years earlier as a freshmen at the University of Arkansas. She graduated from the U of A in May 2015 with a degree in English and Journalism and a (largely unused) minor in Medieval English and Renaissance Studies.

Shawnya fell in love with Fayetteville and lives there with her husband, Matthew, and their tiny, sassy mutt named Winston. She survives on a concerning amount of coffee and fruit. When she’s not being a journalist, Shawnya enjoys exploring the area and ranking local ice cream and coffee shops.

If you have a suggestion or story idea for Shawnya, email her at

Recent Articles
  • University Of Arkansas Receives $120 Million Gift From Walton Foundation To Establish Art School

    FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) — The University of Arkansas announced on Wednesday (Aug. 23) that a multi-million gift will allow them to establish a School of Art. The Walton Family Charitable Support Foundation donated $120 million to the U of A, which will be used to create the first and only art school in Arkansas, according to a university media release. This is the largest donation ever given to a U.S. university to support or establish an art school, and will provide […]

  • Arkansauce Performs Ahead Of Fayetteville Roots Festival

    FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) — Local band Arkansauce got some practice before heading to the Fayetteville Roots Festival to perform on Sunday (Aug. 27). Arkansauce will be performing at George’s Majestic Lounge from 12-1:30 p.m. on Sunday. The band recorded several local jams at Sunrise Stage at Sunrise Guitars in Fayetteville. Watch the performance below:

  • FBI Investigating Sen. Jake Files For Possible Wire Fraud, Money Laundering

    FORT SMITH (KFSM) — The Federal Bureau of Investigation is investigating a Fort Smith senator for possible wire fraud and money laundering, according to a warrant affidavit. Investigators served a search warrant on Sen. Jake Files’ businesses, FFH Construction, on Aug. 10 and seized several hard drives and disks. Investigators will also be looking into Files’ record-keeping documents. Files has not been charged with any crimes at this time, but he is being investigated for possibly misusing grant money. According […]

  • Arvest Bank To Take Over Bear State Financial

    FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) — Arvest Bank announced on Tuesday (Aug. 22) that it will be taking over Bear State Financial, the parent company of Bear State Bank. The company is expecting to close the $391 million deal in the fourth quarter of 2017 or the first quarter of 2018, subject to approval by Bear State shareholders and regulations, according to an Arvest media release. Bear State Bank operates 42 branches and three technology centers in Arkansas, Missouri and Oklahoma, and has […]

  • Rogers Police Searching For Cabanas Restaurant Burglar

    ROGERS (KFSM) — Rogers police are searching for a man who is accused of burglarizing a restaurant over the weekend. The burglary happened at Cabanas Restaurant on South 8th Street sometime overnight on Friday (Aug. 18). Police investigated the incident on Saturday morning (Aug. 19) and discovered that the individual stole items from the register and office after breaking into the business. Anyone with information about the man pictured should contact the Rogers Police Department at 479-636-4141.  

  • Elkins Public Library Giving Away Hundreds Of Solar Eclipse Glasses

    ELKINS (KFSM) — If you’re still in need of some solar eclipse glasses before the big event on Monday (Aug. 21), start making your way to Elkins. The Elkins public library will be giving away about 500 pairs of the ISO-approved glasses beginning at 10 a.m. when the library opens. The Elkins School District was originally planning on having students view the eclipse, and the library provided a pair of glasses for all the students and staff. However, on Sunday […]

  • See How The Eclipse Looks From Anywhere In The US

    ARKANSAS (KFSM) — If you’re stuck inside for the Great American Eclipse on Monday (Aug. 21), there are still ways to watch the solar event. Time magazine created a simulation that will let you see how the eclipse will look from any city or zip code in the United States. So if you’re curious how the sky will look for your family and friends across the country, type in their locations here. 5NEWS will also have full coverage of the […]

  • Arkansans React To News Of Broyles’ Death

    ARKANSAS (KFSM) — After the news of the death of former Razorback football head coach Frank Broyles was released, several Arkansans around the state shared their grief. Broyles passed away at the age of 92 following complications from Alzheimer’s disease. Jeff Long, University of Arkansas athletic director, said the state lost one of its most beloved figures. “The Razorback Family has lost its patriarch and Arkansas has lost one of its most beloved figures. Coach Frank Broyles was a legendary […]

  • Missouri Governor Calls For Resignation Of Senator Who Said She Hopes For President’s Assassination

    MISSOURI (KFSM) — A Missouri Senator is under fire after posting a Facebook comment saying she hopes the president is assassinated. Democratic State Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal’s comment has since been deleted — but it did not go unnoticed. “The St. Louis Field Office of the Secret Service is looking into the comments,” Secret Service spokesperson Cathy Milhoan said in a statement to CNN. “The Secret Service investigates all threats against the President, Vice President, and other protectees, whether they be […]

  • Bentonville Man Arrested, Accused Of Exchanging Nude Photos With 15-Year-Old Girl On Snapchat

    BENTONVILLE (KFSM) — A Bentonville man is facing charges after he allegedly exchanged nude photos with a 15-year-old girl on Snapchat. Kevin Forst, 26, is facing a charge of distributing, possessing, or viewing matter depicting sexually explicit content involving a child, according to a probable cause affidavit. On Sunday (Aug. 13), a Bentonville officer took a phone call from a Florida man, who said his 15-year-old daughter had been exchanging inappropriate texts and nude images with a Bentonville man, the […]

  • Federal Court Rules Arkansas Can Halt Planned Parenthood Funding

    ARKANSAS (KFSM) — A federal appeals court ruled that Arkansas can halt Medicaid funding for Planned Parenthood on Wednesday (Aug. 16). In 2015, Gov. Asa Hutchinson directed the Arkansas Department of Human Services to end a contract with Planned Parenthood through the Arkansas Medicaid program, essentially cutting off state funding to the reproductive health organization. The decision came after an anti-abortion group shared videos, which reportedly appeared to show the organization selling fetal tissue for profit. Planned Parenthood, however, maintained that […]

  • President Trump Disbands Business Advisory Councils Following Several Resignations

    WASHINGTON (KFSM) — President Donald Trump announced he was disbanding two business councils on Wednesday (Aug. 16). His announcement comes after several CEOs announced they were leaving the council in response to the president’s remarks on Charlottesville. Eight members left after Trump said that the violence at a rally of white supremacists in Charlottesville was perpetrated by many sides. Trump made the announcement on Twitter, saying, “Rather than putting pressure on the businesspeople of the Manufacturing Council & Strategy & Policy […]