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Central Arkansas couple on “Wheel of Fortune” | Arkansas Democrat Gazette

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Central Arkansas couple on “Wheel of Fortune” | Arkansas Democrat Gazette


Amy Robbins has been watching “Wheel of Fortune” since she was a child growing up in Little Rock in the 1980s. When she and Joe Robbins, who have been married for 12 years, first got together, she introduced him to the popular game show, creating another avid “wheel” fan.

“We watch it every night, pretty much while we’re eating dinner,” Amy said. “We always watch it, and we love it.”

Over the years, Amy said she and Joe often thought about being on the show, which pits contestants against each other in solving word puzzles for prizes ranging from cash to trips to automobiles. The 30-minute program, hosted by Pat Sajak with co-star Vanna White, airs at 6:30 p.m. Monday through Friday on ABC.

“We wanted to do it together, like explicitly, because it’s almost like we solve it for each other,” Amy said. “If I know one word, he knows the other word.”

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Amy is such a “wheel” fan that she subscribes to the show’s email newsletter. In November, she got an email announcing auditions for the 2024 season of Sweethearts Week in which married couples join as teams to compete against other couples. “I was like, well, that is what we’ve always wanted to do; let me just apply,” she said. “And, so, I did that on a whim. I didn’t even tell Joe about it.”

Two week later, in early December, the show’s producers contacted her to ask if they wanted to audition. By then she had told Joe, and he was up for it. They agreed and participated in a “meet and greet” session on Zoom where the producers evaluated the potential candidates for their personalities and energy, Amy said. “We were like, we don’t know if they’re even going to call again,” Amy said. But, call they did, and the couple went through round two, a Zoom session where they did word puzzles similar to the show and even competed with other couples.

“After that, we were like, ‘OK, they’re definitely not going call us now,’” Amy said. “We didn’t think we did that well. You know, we were like, ‘whatever, that was fun.’” But, lo and behold, they did do well and were invited to California in January to tape the show, which will be aired on Wednesday — Valentine’s Day.

Being on the set, located in Culver City, Calif., was “almost surreal,” Amy said, adding that they spent 12 hours at the studio, which included rehearsing taping their episode. They also met Vanna White, the show’s glamorous co-star, before the show. “She was just so nice,” Amy said, adding that the contestants had assistance with their makeup and hair, “which was also glamorous.”

Once the show began, it was over quickly. Show producers told them it would be “the fastest 20 minutes of your life,” Amy said. And they were right. “It almost feels like a blur because you’re just so excited and so nervous and trying to do your best,” Amy added.

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So how did they do? You will have to wait and watch on Wednesday. Show policy prohibits contestants from talking about the results prior to the airing of their episode. And even their closest friends and family, who will be joining them for a watch party at the couple’s home in Alexander, will have to wait to see who wins. “They tried every tactic to get it out of us, and we have not shared,” she said.



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Preview | Saluki Baseball Travels to Central Arkansas for Weekend Series – Southern Illinois University Athletics

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Preview | Saluki Baseball Travels to Central Arkansas for Weekend Series – Southern Illinois University Athletics


CARBONDALE, Ill. – Southern Illinois baseball is set to faceoff with Central Arkansas for a three-game series starting Friday afternoon on the road. The Salukis enter the series at 4-0 while UCA is coming in at 1-4.
 
THE SCHEDULE
Friday – 3 p.m.
Saturday – 2 p.m.
Sunday – 1 p.m.
 
HOW TO FOLLOW ALONG
Fans can also follow along via live stats or on Twitter @SIU_Baseball.
 
WEEKEND ROTATION
RHP Aidan Foeller (1-0, 0.00) vs RHP Jesse Barker (0-1, 5.79)
LHP Al Holguin (0-0, 6.23) vs RHP Cole MacRae (0-1, 2.25)
RHP Jake Combs (0-0, 19.29) vs TBA
 
AROUND THE HORN
  • Saluki baseball continues its seven-game road swing to open the 2024 season with a weekend series at Central Arkansas — the first time that SIU has made the trip to Conway in program history.
  • SIU has drawn 49 walks in four games this season which ranks second in the nation — three Salukis rank in the top-5 nationally in walks drawn (Jake Allgeyer – 1st/9, Bennett Eltoft and Steven Loden 5th/8).
  • Saluki infielder Steven Loden has carried over his power from a year ago when he hit 18 homers. The senior has a home run in each game (4) this season and ranks second in the nation behind Texas A&M’s Jace Laviolette (5).
  • SIU is fifth in the nation with an on-base percentage of .505.
  • Southern has scored at least 14 runs in each of its first four games. Its 57 runs scored ranks fourth nationally.
  • Seven Salukis hold an OPS of over 1.000 led by Steven Loden with a 1.355 OPS. Loden has eight hits in 16 at bats. Four of his hits are home runs, while he also has a triple and a double.
  • Similar to years past, the Salukis have made their mark on the base paths, swiping nine bases in nine attempts. Jordan Bach, Mathieu Vallee, and Bennett Eltoft are 2-for-2 to lead the team.
  • Friday night starter Aidan Foeller was nearly perfect last time out, allowing just one base hit and striking out eight batters. He did not issue a walk in five complete innings for the Salukis.

 
RHODES AT THE HELM

  • Lance Rhodes enters his fifth season at the helm of the program, leading the team to 40 or more wins during two of the last three seasons — including the first back-to-back 40-win seasons in program history (2021 & 22).
  • Rhodes holds an overall record of 130-69 and a 46-30 mark in Missouri Valley Conference play.

 
THE SERIES & THE MATCHUP

  • The Salukis and Bears have met six times prior to the weekend with both teams winning three games each. This will be the first time that the Salukis will play UCA in Conway as both series were played at Itchy Jones Stadium, first in 2015 when SIU dropped all three games before SIU swept the Bears in 2022.
  • The Bears have played a tough schedule on the road thus far in the 2024 season, including a pair of close losses to defending national champion LSU last weekend in Baton Rouge. UCA fell to Memphis 14-4 on Tuesday.
  • UCA is hitting .193 with two home runs while its pitching staff holds a 5.36 ERA with 46 strikeouts.

 
THE 2024 DAWGS

 
THE BIG FLY

  • SIU’s eight home runs rank 19th nationally and tops in the MVC through four games. Loden leads the team with four in 16 at bats.
  • As a team, the Salukis hit the third-most home runs in program history in 2023 with 79 bombs, averaging 1.39 home runs per game.
  • Steven Loden and Pier-Olivier Boucher finished second and fourth, respectively in single-season home runs in 2023. Loden sent 18 homers out which ranked second while Boucher hit 16 home runs to tie for fourth place.

 
LET’S TURN TWO

  • The Salukis led the nation in double plays (61) and double plays turned per game (1.07) in 2023.
  • SIU has led the MVC in turning double plays in seven of the last 10 seasons. SIU led the MVC in double plays in 2013, 14, 15, 17, 18, 20, and 2023. The Salukis were second in the MVC in 2016.

 
WINNING AT THE ITCH

  • SIU started the Lance Rhodes era by winning 13 consecutive home games (5-0 in 2020 (COVID), started 8-0 in 2021). Overall, SIU is 74-24 at Itchy Jones Stadium under head coach Lance Rhodes.

 
MVC PRESEASON POLL

  • Indiana State was picked in a poll of league head coaches to win the 2024 Missouri Valley Conference baseball title. The Sycamores are defending regular-season and tournament champions. ISU received 95 total points and eight of 10 first-place tallies in this season’s poll, while Missouri State and Evansville earned the other two first-place votes. The Bears finished second in this year’s poll with 89 points, while Evansville is in the No. 3 spot with 81 points. Murray State (4th, 67 points) and Southern Illinois (5th, 63 points) are tightly bunched for the next two spots, followed by Belmont (6th, 40), Illinois State (7th, 39), UIC (8th, 34), Valparaiso (9th, 22), and Bradley (10th, 20).

 
PRESEASON MVC HONORS

  • Right-hander Jake Combs was named Preseason All-Missouri Valley Conference. A Second Team All-MVC selection a year ago, Combs led the team in ERA with a 2.97 mark in 63.2 innings across 16 appearances, including 15 starts. In MVC play Combs held opponents to a 2.01 ERA in 31.1 innings.

 
DAWGS WITH WALK-OFF MAGIC

  • Southern Illinois recorded six walk-off wins in 2023 and has 11 walk-off wins under Lance Rhodes.

 

 
FAST FACTS

  • Bob Goalby was a letter winner for the Saluki Baseball team in 1948, just the second year as a program. He went on to star in another sport: He won the 1968 Masters, defeating, among others, Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Gary Player, and Sam Snead.

 

  • SIU has led the MVC in turning double plays in seven of the last 10 seasons. SIU led the MVC in double plays in 2013, 14, 15, 17, 18, 20, and 2023. The Salukis were second in the MVC in 2016.

 

  • The Salukis are one of the most senior-laden teams in the nation with 18 on the roster this season.

 

  • Utah Valley – 20
  • Texas State – 18
  • Houston – 18
  • Notre Dame – 18
  • Southern Illinois – 18
  • 6. Georgetown – 17

 
SIU BASEBALL: A RICH HISTORY

  • Southern Illinois has made five College World Series appearances, finishing second in the nation twice (1968, 71) and third twice (1974, 1977).

 

  • SIU has produced 25 Major Leaguers. Some notable MLB Salukis include Steve Finley, Duane Kuiper, Dave Steib, Jerry Hairston Jr., Al Levine, Jason Frasor, and Jim Dwyer.

 

  • The Dan Callahan MVC Baseball Coach of the Year award is the only Valley coaching award in any sport named after a former coach. Callahan coached SIU from 1994-2010, amassing 595 wins. In the decade of the 1970’s, Southern Illinois had the second-best winning percentage in all of Division I baseball, trailing only Texas. SIU was 383-106-3 (.782) from 1970-79.

 

  • The Salukis have won eight Missouri Valley Conference championships. All but one came during a 16-year stretch from 1975-90. (SIU was independent in baseball before joining the MVC in 1975). Southern claimed its eighth Valley title and the program’s first in 32 years in 2022 after going 16-5 in conference play.

 
UP NEXT
The Salukis will welcome Butler on Tuesday for its first game of the season at Itchy Jones Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m. and admission is free.  
 
FOLLOW THE SALUKIS
Keep up with all the latest news and information on the Salukis by following the team on Twitter at @SIU_Baseball, on Facebook at Facebook.com/SalukiBaseball, and on Instagram at @SIU_Baseball. Fans can also download the “Salukis” Mobile App on the App Store or Google Play Store.
 





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Tracking Arkansas’ basketball teams in the NET Rankings | Whole Hog Sports

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Tracking Arkansas’ basketball teams in the NET Rankings | Whole Hog Sports


Follow along throughout the 2023-24 men’s and women’s basketball season to see how the Razorbacks are faring in the NET Rankings:

Latest Update:

Feb. 22  Arkansas won at Texas A&M 78-71 on Tuesday and have since risen 16 spots in the NET Rankings to No. 120.

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According to the metric, Arkansas’ best win so far is at home against Duke (No. 12) on Nov. 29, and its worst loss is to UNC-Greensboro (130) at home Nov. 23.

Best wins: Duke (12), at Texas A&M (49), Texas A&M (49), Georgia (95), Stanford* (102), UNC-Wilmington (109)

Losses: Tennessee (6), Auburn (7), North Carolina* (10), Kentucky (24), at Florida (29), at Mississippi State (36), Oklahoma* (40), South Carolina (57), at Ole Miss (68), Memphis* (82), at LSU (85), at Georgia (95), UNC-Greensboro (130)

Q1: 2-8     Q2: 1-4     Q3: 5-1     Q4: 5-0

Up next: Arkansas will host Missouri (147) on Saturday at 11 a.m. (Q3)

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* = game played at neutral site

Latest Update:

Feb. 22 — The Razorbacks defeated Missouri 75-68 on Sunday and have since gone up 1 spot to No. 63 in the NET Rankings.

Arkansas’ best win so far is at Alabama (No. 29) on Jan. 14, and its worst loss is to Arkansas-Pine Bluff (171) on Dec. 10.

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Best wins: at Alabama (29), at Florida State (41), Illinois* (44), Auburn (52), at Missouri (74), Missouri (74), Georgia (96), Murray State (106), Wisconsin* (110)

Losses: UCLA (7), at LSU (9), Alabama (29), Marquette* (32), Mississippi State (34), at Tennessee (37), at Florida (58), at Kentucky (156), UAPB (171)

NET 1-25: 0-2   NET 26-50: 3-4   NET 51-100: 4-1  NET 101+: 11-2

Up next: Arkansas will play at Texas A&M (36) on Thursday at 7 p.m.

* = game played at neutral site

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Arkansas Attorney General approves ballot proposal for medical marijuana law changes

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Arkansas Attorney General approves ballot proposal for medical marijuana law changes


LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KARK/KAIT) – A group’s plan to put medical marijuana accessibility changes before Arkansas voters this November crossed a major milestone Tuesday.

Content partner KARK reported on Feb. 20, that Attorney General Tim Griffin approved the Arkansas Medical Cannabis Amendment of 2024.

If approved by voters, it would change the current medical marijuana laws (Amendment 98), increasing access for patients.

Proposed changes would include who is qualified to sign off on medical marijuana cards. That role is currently limited to doctors, but the proposal would add nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and pharmacists.

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You can read more about this story on KARK’s website.



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