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

Services for John Walker, civil rights attorney and state legislator, have been planned.

Arkansas civil rights attorney and state lawmaker John Walker has died. He was 82. The Pulaski County Coroner’s Office says he died Monday at his home in Little Rock. A cause was not immediately reported.

Democrats in the Arkansas Legislature responded to Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s State of the State address Tuesday by expressing their priorities for the session that is just getting underway. In particular, they voiced concerns about the impact the governor’s proposed tax cut plan would have on the state budget.

Two freshmen representatives, Megan Godfrey of Springdale and Jay Richardson of Fort Smith, read a prepared statement saying that allocating money for highways and expanding pre-kindergarten education would benefit more Arkansans.

The Arkansas Agriculture Department has opened a 30-day public comment period regarding proposed regulations for the use of dicamba. The herbicide has been blamed in recent years for extensive crop damage after drifting on non-resistant vegetation. A public hearing has also been scheduled for next month.

After an impasse that stretched on for months, a final version of the Farm Bill has been agreed to in Congress. The U.S. House and Senate are expected to vote on the compromise bill in the coming days.

After nine months of work, the Arkansas School Safety Commission released its final report Monday with recommendations on how schools could best avoid mass shootings. The panel was created by Gov. Asa Hutchinson in March as a response to a school shooting in Parkland, Florida where 17 people were killed. 

"The State of the Heartland: Factbook 2018" uses socioeconomic factors to look at how the area’s economy has been performing in recent years compared to the rest of the country. The full report can be found here.

A company hired to grade Arkansas medical marijuana dispensary applications says it can deliver scores to the state by the end of next month. But at a meeting Tuesday, the chair of the state’s Medical Marijuana Commission voiced concerns that no physicians are part of the scoring team.

Next week, the first in a series of sentencing hearings will be held for former Arkansas lawmakers, a college president and others who were convicted or pleaded guilty for their roles in a wide-ranging corruption scheme.

A pioneering musician from Brinkley is being posthumously honored by having part of U.S. 49 in eastern Arkansas dedicated as the Louis Jordan Memorial Highway. A ceremony was held Monday with officials from the Arkansas Department of Transportation and other dignitaries who came together to unveil a sign alongside the highway.

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