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
  • 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 […]

  • No Sexual Assault Charge For Former Benton County Deputy, Prosecutor Says

    BENTON COUNTY (KFSM) — A second degree sexual assault charge was dropped against a former Benton County deputy and former justice of the peace, Benton County prosecutor Nathan Smith said. Richard Kevin Harrison turned himself into the Benton County Sheriff’s Office on Thursday morning (July 27) and was facing a second degree sexual assault charge, said Sgt. Shannon Jenkins of the Benton County Sheriff’s Office. Smith said that the woman accusing Harrison of sexual assault did not want to pursue […]

  • Where To Donate Goods, Money To Help Hurricane Victims

    ARKANSAS (KFSM) — Hurricane Harvey pounded the southeast coast of Texas over the weekend, leaving the region devastated. However, with the rains still coming, Good Samaritans are already lining up to help. Some local businesses have announced their plans to send food, monetary donations, supplies, and rescue workers. Here’s how you can get involved: – 5NEWS is partnering with the Arkansas Razorbacks to host Razorback Relief: Operation Florida. Please consider donating items for the victims of Hurricane Irma. To learn […]

  • UPDATE: Suspect From 2009 Cold Case Turns Himself In

    LEFLORE COUNTY (KFSM) — Donald Lee Bocephus “Bo” Wilson turned himself into the Leflore County Sheriff’s Office, according to Undersheriff Kendall Morgan. This is a developing story. More details to come.   —previous story— The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation announced they finally have answers to a 2009 cold case. During a press conference on Tuesday (Sept. 5), LeFlore County district attorney Jeffery Smith announced that the department solved the murder of Jody Rilee Wilson. Wilson’s body was found on […]

  • Fayetteville Stretch Of I-49 Will Have 15-Minute Overnight Lane Closures

    FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) — A stretch of Interstate-49 through Fayetteville will be shut down for short periods overnight starting Thursday (Sept. 7). Motorists should expect lane closures for 15-minute intervals near mile marker 67 for construction work starting on Thursday, according to an Arkansas State Department of Transportation press release. From Sept. 11-23, drivers should also expect closures on the northbound off-ramp and southbound on-ramp of Exit 67. The lane closures are part of a $94 million construction project widening part […]

  • Man Accused Of Stabbing Woman At Fort Smith Historic Site Charged With Attempted Murder

    SEBASTIAN COUNTY (KFSM) — A man who was accused of stabbing a woman who was walking around the National Historic Site Trail in Fort Smith on Wednesday (Aug. 30) has been charged with attempted murder. Elijah Reed, 26, of Fort Smith, was charged with first degree attempted murder and kidnapping, both felonies, according to a release from prosecuting attorney Daniel Shue. Reed is being held on a $100,000 cash bond. Police received a call about the attack at about 11:30 […]

  • Arkansas State University Game Against Miami Cancelled Due To Hurricane Irma Fears

    JONESBORO (KFSM) — An Arkansas State University football game scheduled for Saturday (Sept. 9) was cancelled over concerns about Hurricane Irma. The Red Wolves were supposed to take on the University of Miami Hurricanes at Centennial Bank Stadium in Jonesboro. Hurricane Irma, which is currently a Category 5 storm, is scheduled to make landfall over the weekend, which poses a threat to returning Miami players. Arkansas State University posted the following statement on their Facebook page: Due to concerns related […]

  • Officers Searching For Suspect Who Stole Medical Van, Led Barling Police On Chase

    BARLING (KFSM) — Multiple law enforcement agencies are searching for a suspect who led officers on a chase in a stolen vehicle on Tuesday (Sept. 5). The chase started in Barling around 9: 45 a.m., said James Damonte, chief deputy of Barling Police. The suspect stole a white medical van in Sebastian County, and Barling police followed the man through the city and into Crawford County before losing the van along Old Gun Club Road. Damonte said officers are no […]

  • Sequoyah County Sheriff Cancels Silver Alert For 87-Year-Old Man

    SEQUOYAH COUNTY (KFSM) — UPDATE: The Sequoyah County Sheriff’s Office canceled the alert at 9:07 p.m. ———————————————— The Sequoyah County Sheriff’s Office has issued a silver alert for a missing elderly man. Deputies are searching for Vonnie Turner, 87, according to the alert. Turner was last seen along Highway 59 near the Adair County Line along 11:59 a.m. He has a medical or physical disability, and he is considered to be in imminent danger of serious bodily injury or death, […]

  • Fort Smith Police Searching For Suspect Who Passed $9,600 Counterfeit Insurance Check

    FORT SMITH (KFSM) — Fort Smith police are searching for a woman who is accused of passing a counterfeit insurance check for thousands of dollars. The woman was accused of passing a counterfeit insurance check for $9,630 at Simmons Bank on 4200 Rogers Avenue on Aug. 9, according to a Fort Smith Polcie Department release. The suspect used the identity of an account holder living in Springdale. The woman asked that the counterfeit check be deposited into another account, the […]

  • Local Artist Unveils New Mural At Barling Elementary

    BARLING (KFSM) — A new mural was unveiled at the Barling Elementary School on Friday (Sept. 1). Artist Kevin Arnold, who is a former student of Barling Elementary, created the mural. Arnold’s artwork has been displayed nationally and internationally, and he was named one of the top 40 up and coming artists in America. Arnold enlisted the help of students in grades 3-6 to help paint the mural, which showcases the fantasy and childlike wonder of learning. “I had the […]

  • Fire Destroys Greenwood Shed, Knocks Out Power To Neighborhood

    GREENWOOD (KFSM) — Some Greenwood residents are without power after a fire took over a shed. The fire broke out around 9 a.m. Friday morning (Sept. 1) in a shed off Highway 10 and Excelsior Road. The shed, which is near a home, caught a few electric poles on fire. SWEPCO had to turn off power to the immediate area, crews on scene said. About five homes in the area will be out of power until 12:30 p.m.

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