Michael Hibblen

As News Director, Michael Hibblen oversees daily news coverage for KUAR. He handles assignments for the news staff, helps develop story ideas and edits copy. Michael is responsible for starting a news-sharing partnership between public radio stations in Arkansas in 2009 which laid the foundation for what became Arkansas Public Media. He is also a regular panelist on AETN's Arkansas Week, where journalists discuss issues in the news.

A native of North Little Rock, Michael started in radio in 1988, spending his first five years as a DJ for music stations in central and northeast Arkansas. After a 1993 internship at the C-SPAN Cable Network in Washington, DC, he transitioned to news, working for commercial radio stations KARN in Little Rock, WRVA in Richmond, Virginia and WIOD in Miami, Florida. In 2000, Michael became a nationally heard, Miami-based reporter for CBS Radio News, covering major stories in the region, including the anthrax attack at a tabloid publisher, an international custody fight over Cuban boy Elian Gonzalez, and the 2000 presidential election recount. He was hired by daily newspaper the Miami Herald in 2003 when it partnered with NPR station WLRN, initially working as morning news anchor. Later Michael became department editor, then assistant news director. He also wrote frequently for the newspaper.

Michael returned home to Little Rock in 2009 to work for KUAR. At that time he also resumed taking classes at UALR to finish his Bachelor of Arts degree in Mass Communication, graduating in May of 2013.

Phone: 501-683-7386

E-mail: michael@kuar.org

On today's show, we have information about how to apply for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program at community action agencies across the state as the pandemic continues to impact people's incomes. Plus, we have a recap of what happened during the first day of the Arkansas Regular Legislative Session in Little Rock. And, we tell you about a new podcast that focuses on Northwest Arkansas's Marshallese community.

Courtesy / Arkansas Legislature

On the first day of the Arkansas Legislative Session, Rep. Stephanie Flowers, a Democrat from Pine Bluff, suggested an update to a rule requiring face coverings. She proposed an amendment penalizing anyone who fails to wear one at all times by docking per diem payments. The amendment was rejected on a voice vote.

On today's show, we get an update on the construction of a mixed income neighborhood in Fayetteville that aims to ease the need for more affordable housing in the region. Plus, we speak with two City Council candidates who won their runoff elections earlier this month and are expanding the diversity of leadership in Northwest Arkansas. And, we hear from a local psychiatrist who is using ketamine to help people with treatment-resistant depression.

Michael Hibblen / KUAR

The process of vaccinating Arkansas healthcare workers against COVID-19 got underway Monday after the state received its first shipment of a vaccine from Pfizer. Within hours, frontline employees at the Arkansas Department of Health were rolling up their sleeves to get a shot. This comes only a few days after Governor Asa Hutchinson's address to the state urging Arkansans to continue to take precautions through the holidays.

On today's show, we speak with local restaurant owners as they are still trying to figure out how to navigate the state's dining restrictions. Plus, we head to UAMS Northwest where a drive-thru clinic allows patients who are wary of COVID-19 to be seen outside the building. And, we hear about the real story that inspired the 1980 movie Brubaker.

Courtesy / Phil Roeder

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments tomorrow in Arkansas's appeal of a case regarding reimbursements pharmacies receive from insurance providers. The case involves a 2015 law passed by the Arkansas legislature and has the potential to a be a precedent-setting case.

On today's show, we have the latest from Governor Asa Hutchinson's daily coronavirus response briefing. Plus, we find out about how the Momentary and the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art are working to bring creativity and art into people's homes, as well as local hospitals and senior living facilities. And, we hear from educators about the effectiveness of Arkansas's Alternative Methods of Instruction while students continue learning from their homes.

Courtesy / Arkansas PBS

With Arkansas school buildings closed because of the coronavirus outbreak, state education officials and Arkansas PBS are partnering to bring lessons to students' homes. The Alternative Methods of Instruction program, which provides packets of material for students to work on at home, was originally intended to be a short-term solution for situations like snow days. In part two of his report, KUAR's Michael Hibblen speaks with educators about the effectiveness of the state's AMI program.

On today's show, we have the latest information from Governor Asa Hutchinson's cornovirus response briefing. Plus, we hear from the mayor of Gravette about a grant that will allow the city to collect more census reponses from its residents. And, we launch a new series of reports called "Business As Unusual" to find out how niche businesses in our region are faring during the pandemic.

Courtesy / Arkansas PBS

With Arkansas school buildings closed because of the coronavirus outbreak, state education officials and Arkansas PBS are partnering to bring lessons to students' homes. The Alternative Methods of Instruction program, which provides packets of material for students to work on at home, was originally intended to be a short-term solution for situations like snow days. In part one, KUAR's Michael Hibblen takes a look at how AMI grew into five hours of daily programming on Arkansas PBS geared toward pre-K to eighth grade students that can be watch on TV or online.

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