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

KUAR Week-In-Review Podcast.
Michael Hibblen

On this week's podcast, the news staff discusses calls for the state to return the Little Rock School District to local control, a proposed merger advancing for Pulaski Technical College to become part of the University of Arkansas System and a look at the status of legislation to be considered at a special session set to begin next week.

You can listen to the podcast above or Subscribe on iTunes.

National Institute for Early Education Research

An annual study shows Arkansas dropped from a ranking of 13 to 22 among states in the nation devoting resources to pre-kindergarten education. The National Institute for Early Education Research found that spending increased for pre-K nationwide in 2015 compared to the previous year, but Arkansas saw about a $1,255 decrease in spending per child despite having about 3,400 more kids enrolled in a pre-K program.

Pulaski Technical College - North Little Rock Campus

The Pulaski Technical College Board of Trustees voted unanimously Wednesday to enter into a partnership agreement with the University of Arkansas System. The UA System Board of Trustees must also vote on whether to approve the merger. 

The decision comes after UA System Donald Bobbitt presented merger plans to the Pulaski Tech Board at its March 28 meeting.

After Wednesday’s vote, Pulaski Tech Board Chairman Donald Redman said the identity of the school should be left in place with a merger.

KUAR Week-In-Review Podcast.
Michael Hibblen

As the Arkansas Legislature prepares to adjourn the fiscal session on Monday, the KUAR news staff looks at this week's passage of a state budget for the coming year. 

We also share the governor's concerns about non-budgetary items being taken up and plans for a special session later in the month on highway funding.

Arkansas Senate
Sarah Whites-Koditschek / KUAR News

The Arkansas legislature gave final approval Thursday to the state's $5.3 billion budget for the coming fiscal year that included over $142 million in spending increases.

House Minority Leader Democrat Michael John Gray said afterward he considers spending increases to education, human services and libraries to be victories, albeit compromised ones.

“I think there are some good parts in it," he said, citing rainy day funds allotted to libraries and senior citizen centers.

--After overcoming a hurdle for Medicaid, the Arkansas Legislature chugs along in its fiscal session. We have a look at various proposals from the week.

--The state announces a Chinese paper company plans to locate a plant in Arkadelphia. We’ll have some details on the new plant and some critical context on how other Chinese companies have adapted to the South.

--New plans are drawn up on expanding Interstate 30 through Little Rock.

Chris Hickey / KUAR News

Last week, incoming Little Rock School Superintendent Michael Poore met with community members, visited schools and did media interviews. He attempted to reassure people upset over Arkansas Education Commissioner Johnny Key’s recent decision to replace Little Rock Superintendent Baker Kurrus. 

UALR sign
Chris Hickey / KUAR News

Three candidates are being considered for the position of chancellor at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. The university announced Thursday that UA System President Donald Bobbitt made the selections from a pool of candidates recommended by a search committee. 

Chris Hickey / KUAR News

A commission that oversees building developments and land-use projects in around the state Capitol and Little Rock’s Governor’s Mansion neighborhood could be dissolved. The Arkansas legislature is considering special language to an appropriations bill that would end the Capitol Zoning District Commission and transfer its duties to the Department of Arkansas Heritage.

Parkin Archeological State Park

This week, archeologists will likely learn more about a wooden post thought to possibly originate from the first Christian ceremony held in Arkansas. The finding could be a cross erected at the site of a Native American village by an expedition led by Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto.