From an early age, Erika knew she had a passion for storytelling and connecting with people through a camera lens. In fact, she got her start in television news in elementary school, on KNN – Klondike News Network! That drive led her to anchor the announcements and go to broadcast summer camps in high school. She then attended the University of Missouri in Columbia and graduated summa cum laude with dual degrees in Broadcast Journalism and Economics.

Erika has now spent nearly 15 years in TV newsrooms across the country. She started behind the scenes as a part-time production assistant and worked her way up as a producer, reporter and now anchor. She is an award-winning journalist, having won a Murrow and an Emmy, along with numerous state honors.

Erika is happily married to her husband Dan and loves being a mom to their two young boys, Axl and Knox. Most weekends you’ll find them out and about, exploring Northwest Arkansas and the River Valley, so feel free to say hi. As native Midwesterners, they are grateful for true Southern hospitality in welcoming their family to the region. Erika even says y’all now from time to time!

You can watch Erika on TV anchoring 5NEWS at 4, 6, 9 & 10. But she’d love to interact with you online anytime! Connect with her on Facebook through her fan page and follow her on Twitter @5NEWSErika. You can also email story ideas to

Recent Articles
  • 5NEWS Exclusive One-On-One Interview With Dr. Phil At ‘Go Red For Women’ Luncheon

    ROGERS, Ark. (KFSM) — The 15th anniversary of Northwest Arkansas “Go Red for Women” luncheon raised $450,000 for the American Heart Association while also educating women and men about heart disease and strokes. “American Heart Association started Go Red all these years back,” said Northwest Health Cardiologist Dr. Ashu Dhanjal. “The whole aim was to educate women to know more about their risk factors, take care of themselves better, and I think we`ve come a long way.” The event includes […]

  • Cameron School District Demands Jury Trial After Accusing Insurance Company Of Not Paying For Fire Damage

    CAMERON, Okla. (KFSM) — Nearly two years after a fire destroyed junior high, high school and gym in Cameron, Oklahoma, the district is demanding a jury trial and claim its insurance provider is refusing to pay. In August of 2017, just before 9 p.m. crews began to battle the structure fire that would burn through the night until nearly 4 a.m. In court documents filed this week in LeFlore County District Court, the school district said the Oklahoma School’s Insurance […]

  • Baby Boom At Westwood Elementary School In Greenwood

    GREENWOOD, Ark. (KFSM) — Westwood Elementary School in Greenwood is growing and growing… and growing! 10 teachers and counselors in the same building have welcomed new babies or found out they were expecting during the 2018-2019 school year. All the photos were taken by second-grade teacher Hollie Husband: The two oldest are Hudson Mask (born August 10, 2018) and Hadlee Garner (born August 20, 2018). They’re followed by Bennett Hart, born on Valentine’s Day – February 14, 2019. The littlest […]

  • Arkansas One Year Old Passes Away Weeks After Family Asks For Cards

    OZONE, Ark. (KFSM) — One Arkansas family is mourning the loss of their 16-month-old daughter. Lucille French passed away peacefully in her sleep on Sunday (March 17), according to her mother Tenessa. Lucille French was diagnosed with Krabbe Leukodystrophy at just 4 months old. It’s a rare condition caused by a gene mutation that affects the nervous system. Previously her mother sent 5NEWS a video of Lucille and a request for cards for her half-birthday celebration in April. Unfortunately, Lucille did not […]

  • Baptist Health Giving Sleep Sacks To All Newborns To Prevent SIDS

    FORT SMITH, Ark. (KFSM) — New parents have a lot to worry about when they bring their new baby home and they’re doing it all on very little sleep. That’s why it’s important to make sure your newborn is safe, especially when it’s sleeping, which infants do – a lot. Just remember the ABC’s of safe sleep: Alone, on their Back, in a Crib. Now babies born at Baptist Health – Fort Smith can fall asleep safe and sound, thanks […]

  • Pocola School Bond Issue Falls Short

    POCOLA, Okla. (KFSM) — A school bond issue in Pocola fell just short of the 60% of votes needed to pass on Tuesday (Mar. 5). The proposition was billed as not raising taxes and asked voters to approve using $425,000 to buy five new school buses and to also make updates to the fleet. It did not pass with 203 (57%) for and 156 (43%) against. One local family says the older busses take a long time to warm up […]

  • Arkansas Family Of 16-Month-Old With Weeks To Live Asking For Cards For Daughter

    OZONE, Ark. (KFSM) — One Arkansas family is asking for love and support as their 16-month-old has just weeks to live. Lucille French was diagnosed with Krabbe Leukodystrophy at just 4 months old. It’s a rare condition caused by a gene mutation that affects the nervous system. Lucille has already beaten the odds and doctors gave her an estimated 13 months to live. But now her body is shutting down. Her mother Tenessa sent 5NEWS a video of Lucille and […]

  • First Low-Intervention Birthing Suite In Arkansas To Open In Bentonville

    BENTONVILLE, Ark. (KFSM) — Expecting mothers have a big decision to make when it comes time to deliver. Do you want an epidural or to try a more natural approach? Now there’s a new option. The Family Birthplace at Northwest Medical Center – Bentonville is about to open the first low-intervention birthing suite in the state of Arkansas. It’s also the first hospital in the area to offer laughing gas to laboring mothers. It all adds up to become a […]

  • Rebuilding Fayetteville Public Schools After Superintendent Turmoil

    FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) – The Fayetteville school district is preparing for the upcoming semester with a new superintendent. The school board appointed Dr. John L Colbert to the position on June 21. It was the culmination of three months of turmoil within the district. March: An employee accused then-superintendent Dr. Matthew Wendt of sexual harassment April: The board put Dr. Wendt on paid administrative leave pending a district investigation May: The accuser’s attorney called out the district for “inaction” in the […]

  • Home Alone: How Old is Old Enough to Leave Kids Unsupervised?

    FORT SMITH (KFSM) — When the final bell rings and school’s out for summer, parents will have to figure out where their children will spend the next three months. Many kids will be unsupervised while mom and dad go to work. That’s a tough decision for families, but how do you know how old is old enough? 4-year-old Kenlee loves swinging at Creekmore Park while baby brother Charles watches nearby. They need a lot of supervision now, but their mom Katharine […]

  • Expecting Mother Goes Into Labor During Mountainburg Tornado

    MOUNTAINBURG (KFSM) — UPDATE: Jerry Lewis Crain, Jr. was born April 24 at 2:07 p.m. He weight 8 pounds 2 ounces and is 20 inches long. The family said mom, baby and dad are all doing well. When the Mountainburg tornado hit Friday (April 13), four people ended up in the hospital. One of them was an expecting mother who’d gone into labor. Krysten Crain almost had her baby on Friday the 13th. The bottles are washed. The blankets are folded. […]

  • Fayetteville Woman Featured in People Magazine for Losing Half Her Size

      FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) – Many of us start a new year with the best intentions of losing weight. But by now, many have given up on that resolution. Well if you’re looking for inspiration to get started again, or just get started, look no further than Bonnie Wiles from Fayetteville. People Magazine featured the 58-year-old in its January issue as one of six women who’ve lost “half their size” – in Bonnie’s case that’s more than 160 pounds. 5NEWS Anchor Erika […]

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