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

Ways to Connect

Broadway Bridge
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

The Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department says the new U.S. Highway 70 Broadway Bridge will open to traffic next week. The Department says it was informed by the contractor Massman Construction Co. that the bridge will be ready at a time "yet to be determined" next week.

The Department is scheduling a “ceremonial first crossing” on Monday, February 27 at 3:30pm. The completion is nearly a month ahead of schedule for the $98.4 million project. The bridge has been closed since late September of last year.

From an AHTD press release:

On this week's podcast the KUAR news team digs into a few of the bigger issues facing the Arkansas Legislature, including guns on college campuses, a bathroom bill and its possible impact on tourism, and abortion restrictions that are advancing. We also talk about some non-legislative matters, including an effort to address crime in the state and details of this year's Johnny Cash Heritage Festival to be held this time in his boyhood hometown of Dyess.

The Arkansas Senate on Thursday voted 21-10 to approve a resolution, SJR8, which places limitations on attorneys’ fees and a $250,000 cap on awards in injury lawsuits. The proposed constitutional amendment also transfers courtroom rulemaking authority from the state Supreme Court to the Legislature.

The measure could end up as one of three the Legislature sends to voters for consideration on the 2018 general election ballot. If passed, it would take effect in 2019.

Rep. Charlie Collins
Jacob Kuaffman / KUAR News

A bill requiring public colleges and universities to allow their faculty and staff to carry concealed handguns on campus easily advanced out of the Arkansas Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday.

Sponsored by Fayetteville Republican Rep. Charlie Collins, the bill, HB1249, now heads to the full Senate. It was approved by the House of Representatives earlier this month.

Chris Hickey / KUAR News

State Education Commissioner Johnny Key has approved Little Rock School District Superintendent Michael Poore’s proposal to close three schools and repurpose a fourth. A group of community activists and parents, meanwhile, is condemning the decision.  

The plan calls for the closure of Franklin Elementary, Wilson Elementary and the Woodruff Early Childhood Center. Under the plan, the alternative school Hamilton Learning Academy would move to the Wilson campus.

The KUAR News team took a look back at the week's top news in the latest installment of the Week In Review Podcast.

Chris Hickey / KUAR News

One lawmaker’s proposal to establish an appointment system for Arkansas Supreme Court justices appears, by his own admission, to be going nowhere.

Republican State Sen. Jeremy Hutchinson’s proposed constitutional amendment, SJR4, calls for a commission that would suggest five names to the Governor for a possible appointment to a 14-year term on the Arkansas Supreme Court. The Senate would have to approve any nominee.

Chris Hickey / KUAR News

State legislators are beginning to consider proposals for constitutional amendments that could eventually go to a vote of the people. Wednesday was the deadline for members of the Arkansas House of Representatives and Senate to file such proposals. In the Senate Committee on State Agencies and Governmental Affairs Thursday, lawmakers discussed two of the nearly thirty proposals filed in both chambers.

Chris Hickey / KUAR News

A bill to require Arkansas political candidates file their campaign finance reports through an online system advanced out of a committee in the Arkansas House of Representatives Wednesday.

The top story this week: Gov. Asa Hutchinson signs his $50 million tax cut for low income Arkansans into law. But a disappointing state revenue report the following day prompts talk of budget  cuts.

We also have a full wrap up of legislative activities, including advancement of a bill that would require colleges to allow firearms on campuses and a debate over Sharia law that came up during consideration of another bill.

We wrap up with the full interview recorded with longtime radio jazz host and preservationist John Cain about his life as he celebrated his 80th birthday.