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.

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Governor elect Asa Hutchinson's recent announcement that he will appoint State Representative Allen Kerr to be Arkansas's next Insurance Commissioner could weigh significantly on the fate of Arkansas's Private Option.

With a Legislative session less than a month away, speculation about what will become of the private option hasn't included a specific plan from anyone, but there is wide-felt certainty that the new administration will bring changes.

Arkansas Capitol
Ron Breeding / KUAR News

Recent decisions by federal grand juries to not indict police officers in the deaths of unarmed black men in Ferguson, Missouri and New York have stirred protesters around the country.

In Little Rock, a small group of organizers is planning a “silent protest” this weekend. They hope to call attention to and help mend tensions between black communities and the local police.

KUAR's Chris Hickey caught up with Jessica Lawson, who, along with Mondale Robinson, is organizing the event.

 

Lottery Camelot
Chris Hickey / KUAR News

A consulting group says the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery is experiencing from declining revenue because it offers too many games and is negatively perceived by potential customers. UK-based Camelot Global Services presented the analysis to a legislative committee Friday. Richard Bateson,Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Camelot says Arkansas should reduce prize payout and better promote the lottery.

Pig
Chris Hickey / KUAR News

A national animal rights group is pressuring Arkansas-based Wal Mart to stop abusive animal practices by one of its pork suppliers. 

The group Mercy for Animals has been conducting undercover investigations of animal abuse at factory farms throughout North America over the last decade and a half. Their latest takes aim at Wal Mart pork supplier Seaboard Foods. At a press conference in Little Rock, Mercy for Animals spokesman Alan Darer detailed what one investigator found at a Seaboard farm in Yuma, Colorado.

While Arkansas's congressional delegation has expressed a disliking for President Obama's executive order to expand legal rights to unauthorized immigrants, some state groups who've advocated for reform are viewing the order with a mix of excitement and trepidation. Mireya Reith, director of Arkansas United Community Coalition, calls the order a long-awaited “first step forward.”

“For us, more than anything, this is a reaffirmation of family values which we hold dear in our state of Arkansas and an opportunity to really keep families together,” she says.

same-sex marriage traditional family council
Sarah Whites-Koditschek / KUAR News

On the eve of oral arguments before the Arkansas Supreme Court and a federal judge, hundreds of supporters of traditional marriage rallied Wednesday morning at the state Capitol.

The event, organized by the Family Council, featured religious leaders and was designed to show support for the 2004 Arkansas constitutional amendment approved by voters that defined marriage as between one man and one woman.

"We are here today to call on the Arkansas Supreme Court to simply let the people's vote for marriage stand," said Jerry Cox, president of the group.

From AP: Outgoing Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe is warning lawmakers that state employees won't receive a pay raise next year and many state agencies will see their budgets reduced if some tax cuts approved last year take effect.

The two-term Democratic governor presented two budget proposals to lawmakers on Thursday, depending on whether they delay $29.4 million in tax cuts on capital gains and manufacturers set to take effect July 1, 2015. Beebe is leaving office in January due to term limits and is being succeeded by Republican Gov.-elect Asa Hutchinson.

Regnat Populus Facebook page

Increased spending in recent election cycles has propelled some to counter what they see as the disproportionate rise in political influence among special interests and wealthy Americans. In Arkansas, several citizen activist organizations have just teamed up to form the Arkansas Democracy Coalition, seeking to “work towards regaining control over campaign finance spending, eliminating corporate personhood and undoing the damage to our election system this mistaken idea has wrought.”

The Tom Cotton campaign says a consistent message and emphasis on personal history pushed the freshman Congressman ahead with many undecided Arkansas voters. Key members of the Republican Senator-elect's campaign staff spoke with reporters Friday, after a near 17 point victory for Cotton over Democratic incumbent Mark Pryor. Brad Todd is media consultant for the Cotton Campaign. He says, from the time Cotton first announced his run, the campaign's internal polling showed numbers that never improved for Pryor.

Chris Hickey / KUAR News

Most Arkansas voters chose Republican candidates for office Tuesday, with large sections of the state going red, some for the first time. But did that trend carry with minority voters in the state? KUAR's Chris Hickey has a look at what Governor-elect Asa Hutchinson's campaign tried to do attract minorities to his party and whether or not it was effective.

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