News

Singer-songwriter James McMurtry sat down with KUAR's Michael Hibblen to talk about his music and play a couple of songs.

For more than two decades he's been releasing albums with often bleak lyrics, developing a loyal following.  Author Stephen King has called him "the truest, fiercest songwriters of his generation.

McMurtry came by KUAR for the interview July 20, 2010 before a show that evening at Juanita's in Little Rock.   You can learn more about him at: www.jamesmcmurtry.com.

Michael Hibblen

An Arkansas singer is hoping to show how the childhood of Bill Clinton helped shape the future president. She is putting together an opera that is a day in the life of the then 14-year-old Clinton growing up in Hot Springs.

The production is to be called Billy Blythe, which is the name Clinton went by until he adopted his step-father's last name in high school.  It's the brainchild of 30-year-old Bonnie Montgomery.

Arkansas vets rediscover the art of war

Jun 14, 2010
Dr. Reinaldo "Dito" Morales, Jr.
Malcolm Glover

Many Veterans wrestle with feelings of depression and loneliness when they return home from battle. The agony of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), amputations and Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) can at times be unbearable.

In order to help these servicemen and women overcome physical and mental injuries, a professor from the University of Central Arkansas started a lecture series that inspires vets by connecting them with art from ancient warrior cultures. FM 89's Malcolm Glover filed this report on an innovative program that's changing lives.

  

Michael Hibblen / KUAR

Includes personal reflections by KUAR's Michael Hibblen.

Work is finally getting underway to renovate the 111-year-old Rock Island Bridge adjacent to the Clinton Presidential Center in Little Rock. Former President Bill Clinton is to lead a groundbreaking ceremony Friday morning at the bridge, which at one time was slated to be torn down.

The pledge to renovate the railroad bridge was made nine years ago, but beginning the work was repeatedly delayed, prompting some to wonder if it ever would happen. Now, after securing funding from numerous sources, the $10.5 million project is finally ready to get underway.

“We are standing at the foot on the south side of the Rock Island Bridge, now known as the Clinton Park Bridge.  It was renamed last week by Little Rock City Board of Directors," said Clinton Foundation spokesman Jordan Johnson.

It will serve as the eastern end of the 14 mile river trial.

“This will be a ramped pedestrian bridge, completely ADA compliant," said Jordan.  "We're looking at the trusses here and there will be, in essence, a bridge built inside the existing structure.  So we're going to preserve the existing structure, but also build a footpath through it that will level off at the lift span and then gradually go back down to the North Little Rock side."

Arkansas VA speeds up vets' claims process

Apr 22, 2010
Iraq War vet Jacob Mitchum
Malcolm Glover

As a wave of veterans returns from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the backlog of disability claims continues to mount. The tangled process of ensuring veterans get financial compensation for their injuries leaves many vets feeling like their twisting in the wind. A program underway at the Veterans Administration in Little Rock aims to tackle that perception.

Michael Hibblen / KUAR

The nine African-Americans who integrated Central High School in 1957 are being featured in this week's issue of the New Yorker that looks at civil rights icons.

Standing in front of the school, the nine posed for the renowned photographer known as Platon, who has taken portraits of presidents and world leaders and was brought to Little Rock by the magazine for the assignment.

Members of the Little Rock Nine are now in their late 60s.  Only three live in Arkansas today, with the rest spread out around the world.

Soldier with Arkansas Guard becomes U.S. citizen

Dec 17, 2009
Specialist Phanarat Somkuan
Malcolm Glover

Every year an increasing number of immigrants earn U.S. citizenship by joining the Armed Forces. Currently, The Arkansas National Guard has about 25 Soldiers going through that long naturalization process and this fall eight became citizens.

Phanarat Somkuan is originally from Thailand and recently became an American citizen by serving in the military. FM 89's Malcolm Glover has details.
 

Arkansas National Guard's Agricultural Development Team
Malcolm Glover

As President Obama escalates the war in Afghanistan, some members of the Arkansas National Guard will soon deploy to that war-torn country to help the Afghan people bolster agribusiness.

Army veteran overcomes adversity and finds home

Nov 10, 2009
Barbara Minyard and her son Kyle
Malcolm Glover

For every member of the Armed Forces who fights abroad in war there are countless others, who never enter a battle zone and face their own trials here at home.

FM 89's Malcolm Glover has the story of a single-mother who created a better life for her son by relying on the skills she learned in the Army and the support she received from a Little Rock homeless shelter.

Click here to learn more about the Our House shelter and its programs for homeless families.

An Arkansas soldier's story

Oct 29, 2009
PFC Kenny Hill's basic training picture.
Malcolm Glover

Retired Army Staff Sergeant Kenny Hill is a disabled veteran and a Purple Heart recipient, who grew up in small town Arkansas.

Every soldier has a story and Kenny Hill's service in the military is a fascinating tale of courage, reported death, and the transformation of a life. FM 89's Malcolm Glover filed this report, as part of KUAR's Impact of War Series.

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