Chris Hickey

Reporter / Anchor

Chris Hickey was born and raised in Houston, Texas, spending his teenage years in Camden, Ohio. He graduated from Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas, majoring in English. He got his start in public radio working as a board operator at WMUB in Oxford, Ohio during his summer and winter breaks from school. Since graduating, he has made Little Rock home. He joined KUAR in September 2011 as a production intern and has since enjoyed producing, anchoring and reporting for the station. He is the composer of KUAR's Week-In-Review Podcast theme music and the associate producer of Arts & Letters

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Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department

In the coming weeks, the regional transportation policy agency Metroplan will open up a public comment period on the proposed widening of Interstate 30 in Little Rock and North Little Rock near the Arkansas River. The project, expected to cost more than $600 million, has attracted much public debate over the last year for the significant changes it could bring to the downtown area.

The floor of the Arkansas Senate.
Arkansas.gov

The Arkansas Senate has given final legislative approval to a bill that allows for the prohibition of guns at collegiate sporting events, UAMS, the Arkansas State Hospital and public daycare facilities. The vote was 23-7. The bill was delivered to Gov. Asa Hutchinson, who has said he would sign it.

The Arkansas House of Representatives passed a bill Thursday allowing state universities to prohibit concealed carry license holders from bringing handguns into “collegiate athletic events.” SB724 would also allow the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and the Arkansas State Hospital to prohibit firearms. The bill passed the House on a 71-20 vote.  A previous version already passed the Senate.

Arkansas Capitol
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

On a second try, the Arkansas House of Representatives successfully passed the appropriation for the state Department of Human Services Division of Medical Services. The Division oversees the state’s expanded Medicaid program, which includes the health coverage of more than 300,000 low-income adults.

The Arkansas House of Representatives has again failed to pass a proposal calling for a U.S. Constitutional Amendment that defines a marriage as between one man and one woman. The proposal, sponsored by Republican Sen. Jason Rapert of Bigelow, received 50 votes in the House, one vote shy of passage. SJR7 had passed out of the 35-member Senate on a 18-9 vote.

State Sen. Gary Stubblefield (R-Branch) after his primary move-up bill failed to advance out of committee.
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

The Arkansas Senate has given final legislative approval to a bill that exempts certain personal information about law enforcement officers from the state’s Freedom of Information Act. The bill, sponsored by Rep, Robin Lundstrum (R-Springdale) allows law enforcement officers in the state to submit a request to their county assessor, recorder or clerk asking for their personal property records or tax records to be confidential for a two-year period.

Representative Congressman Rick Crawford
crawford.house.gov

Republican First District Congressman Rick Crawford says in a statement to KUAR that he fully supports President Donald Trump and Speaker Paul Ryan’s decision to take additional time “to get health care reform right instead of right now.”

Arkansas’s unemployment rate dropped from 3.8 percent to 3.7 percent in February. The Arkansas Department of Workforce Services reported Friday that the drop from of a tenth of a percent to the February level means a new all time unemployment low for the state. About 1.3 million people were employed in Arkansas in February.

The DWS says the business and professional sectors added 6,300 jobs last month. Government jobs grew by 5,000. The educational and health services, leisure and hospitality, and construction sectors also showed modest job gains. 

On the program:

-Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson signs a law to eventually bring concealed firearms into college campuses, the state capitol, stadiums and bars. How will the state adapt and who’s raising alarm?

-The Governor also puts pen to paper on a law officially separating Robert E. Lee and Martin Luther King.

-As planned executions for eight state inmates over ten days draws closer, we look at failed efforts to outlaw or limit capital punishment in Arkansas.

Governor's Office / YouTube

Gov. Asa Hutchinson has signed into law a high profile bill that greatly expands where concealed carry license holders can bring handguns.

The Republican governor made his announcement flanked by several GOP lawmakers and an executive with the National Rifle Association, all of whom helped shape the new law. Hutchinson said the final legislation wasn’t perfect but the group around him balanced the need for safety and Second Amendment rights.

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