Kathryn joined the 5News team as a reporter in April of 2016. She is an Arkansas native and a proud graduate of the Walter J. Lemke Department of Journalism at the University of Arkansas. Kathryn started her reporting career at KSWO in Lawton, Oklahoma and after almost three years in the Sooner state she is happy to once again call Northwest Arkansas home. If you have a story idea for Kathryn, email her at Kathryn. Gilker@kfsm.com

Recent Articles
  • Sewage Smell Overtakes Neighborhood In Lowell

    LOWELL (KFSM) — It smells like raw sewage in one Lowell neighborhood due to old septic tanks failing, and residents there think there should’ve been better planning when the neighborhood was designed decades ago. Austin Bray lives in the Sabre Heights subdivision in Lowell. Especially after heavy rains raw sewage pools in his backyard and he knows it’s due to his septic tank that has failed. He hopes he and his neighbors can be hooked up to the City of […]

  • Hotel Offering ‘Fresh Breath Of Air’ For Residents Impacted By Bella Vista Stump Dump

    BENTONVILLE (KFSM) — Families suffering through the smoke from the stump dump in Bella Vista, now have a place to get some relief. The Courtyard by Marriott off Central Avenue in Bentonville is offering those effect by the smoke rooms for $59 Thursday (Feb. 14) through Sunday (Feb. 17) nights until the fire is finally put out. “I’m pleased to hear about that. It’s nice to know that local businesses are stepping up to help our community out,” Chris Nelson. […]

  • Senator Tom Cotton Visits Former Stump Dump In Bella Vista

    BELLA VISTA, Ark. (KFSM) — Senator Tom Cotton visited the former stump dump in Bella Vista for the first time Friday (Feb. 8). The illegal dump site on Trafalgar Road has been burning since July 29, 2018. Senator Cotton says after seeing and smelling the fire first hand, his main concern is public health. Cotton is set to meet with acting Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler next week. He wanted to be able to describe what steps local and […]

  • Special Prosecutor Will Look Into Alleged Misconduct At Centerton Police Department

    BENTONVILLE (KFSM) — The Benton County prosecutor has asked a special prosecutor to investigate allegations of misconduct involving two Centerton police officers. Benton County Prosecuting Attorney Nathan Smith said Arkansas State Police recently completed its investigation into whether the department violated the Arkansas Speed Trap Law and questionable purchases made by Chief Cody Harper and Captain Kris Arthur via city credit cards. Smith said Thursday (Feb. 7) the department didn’t violate the speed trap law, but investigators did uncover potential wrongdoing with […]

  • Former Police Chief, Convicted Murderer Pleads Guilty To Raping Rogers Teacher In 1997

    ROGERS (KFSM) — A convicted murderer and former Northwest Arkansas police chief admitted to raping a Rogers teacher more than 20 years ago. Grant Hardin, 50, of Garfield pleaded guilty Thursday (Feb. 7) in Benton County Circuit Court to two counts of rape. Judge Robin Green sentenced him to 50 years in prison — 25 years for each count. Hardin, the former Gateway Police Chief, is already serving a 30-year sentence for killing James Appleton in February 2017. Rogers police […]

  • Bill Would Give Firefighters Who Are Fighting A Certain Cancer More Sick Leave

    NORTHWEST ARKANSAS (KFSM) – House Bill 1299 called Crump’s Law would provide up to one year of sick leave for firefighters who have contracted a particular type of cancer that has been linked to fighting fires. Representative Nicole Clowney of Fayetteville said there have been many cancers linked to the job including colon cancer and some gastrointestinal cancers. Right now, state law gives firefighter’s family benefits if they die from cancer linked to their work. “Our firefighters have our backs […]

  • Tips For Safely Heating Your Home During Frigid Temperatures

    ARKANSAS (KFSM) — Most people use heaters in their homes to stay warm, but some use wood-burning stoves or space heaters which could be dangerous by starting a fire or producing unsafe levels of carbon monoxide. A Bella Vista home burned to the ground last week during this recent cold snap and the likely cause was a space heater. Rogers Battalion Chief David Whitlow said there’s always an increase in house fires in the winter. “If the space heater is red […]

  • XNA Feeling Effects Of Government Shutdown

    NORTHWEST ARKANSAS (KFSM) — The government shutdown has caused staffing shortages LaGuardia airport in New York City causes cancellations at Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport. With president trump’s announcement of a temporary solution, we don’t know if staffing issues will continue at airports. Multiple flights go in and out of XNA to LGA each day and some of those were delayed today and others were canceled. Raymond Chavez is heading to Arizona to visit family. He started receiving texts early this morning their flight […]

  • Marshallese Struggle With Language Barrier In NWA

    SPRINGDALE (KFSM) — Jeen John immigrated to Northwest Arkansas from the Marshall Islands, and he is now fighting for his life after a hit and run crash. The driver, now jailed, is facing serious charges, but cultural and language barriers could be difficult for the family to overcome to get justice for John. While the suspect in this crime speaks English, the victim and his family speak native Marshallese, making it more challenging to navigate the court system. “The difficulty will […]

  • Lawsuit Continues Against State Senator For Blocking Arkansans On Social Media Accounts

    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KFSM) — One Northwest Arkansas woman testified in federal court Tuesday (Jan. 15) after a state senator blocked her and other atheist constituents from his social media accounts. The original complaint was filed on behalf of American Atheists members in Arkansas against Senator Jason Rapert back in October of 2018. Karen Dempsey of Rogers and two others said Rapert unconstitutionally blocked them after they expressed different viewpoints and due to the fact they are atheists. Rapert said […]

  • Former Centerton Church Volunteer Arrested On Sexual Assault Charge

    CENTERTON (KFSM) — A former youth volunteer at First Baptist Centerton is accused of having a months-long sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl who went to the church. Derek L. Smittle, 30, of Centerton was arrested Monday (Jan. 14) in connection with first-degree sexual assault, a Class A felony. The girl’s mother said she found Smittle and her daughter at an Air BNB in Cave Springs earlier this month, according to a probable cause affidavit. Smittle and the girl said they’d […]

  • New Bentonville Mayor Talks About Plans For 2019

    BENTONVILLE (KFSM) — The race for Bentonville mayor was a five-way race that went into a runoff with Stephanie Orman winning the office back in December 2018 after defeating Jim Webb. From roads, to an animal shelter, to a call center for the police department and a new city hall, Bentonville Mayor Stephanie Orman is already hard at work after taking office at the start of the new year. She has a lot of projects she wants to work on […]

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