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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Mike Pirnique/ Arkansas Business

State Economic Development officials say Hewlett Packard no longer fulfills a benchmark that allows them to receive the same incentives established when its Conway facility opened in 2010.

Grant Tennille, director of the Arkansas Department of Economic Development, told KUAR News that after laying off 500 employees, HP no longer has the 1,000 workers at its service center which was a requirement for the computer company to receive its full-incentive package from the state.

He said the state will work with HP to determine how much money needs to be returned.

Senator John Boozman of Arkansas says Congress should reach a bipartisan solution to lowering student loan interest rates by tying them to U.S. Treasury rates, which are now at historic lows.

After interest rates for subsidized Stafford student loans doubled last week, Congress so far has not been able to reach an agreement to keep rates low for students applying for aid for the upcoming fall semester.

Boozman says tying rates to financial markets would be a better long term solution than a temporary extension of the loan rate subsidy.

Senator Mark Pryor of Arkansas
AP/Photo

A new ranking compiled by the nonpartisan “Center for Responsive Politics” shows that in the first quarter of 2013, Senator Mark Pryor is third in the nation for members of Congress receiving donations from lobbyists.

Arkansas’s lone congressional Democrat, who is seeking reelection, has amassed $85,100 from lobbyists so far this year, putting him behind Democrats Max Baucus of Montana and Ed Markey of Massachusetts.

hrc.org

As supporters of same-sex unions around the country celebrate recent rulings by the U.S. Supreme Court, activists are continuing the fight to legalize gay marriage in all 50 states.

At the Clinton School of Public Service Monday, Hope native Chad Griffin of the Human Rights Campaign spoke of his organization's efforts to challenge laws banning gay marriage.

He called for Arkansas' elected officials to support a civil right he says would mean equal treatment for more citizens.

Students on the University of Arkansas at Little Rock campus
UALR Facebook page

After interest rates on new Stafford student loans for low income applicants doubled this week, many wonder if Congress will be able to arrive at a solution to keep rates low. On the campus of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, some students reacted to news of the rate hike.

“It’s sort of the sacrifice you make if you’re going to do years of education. You know, there’s those years of income you don’t get a lot of times and so you [ask yourself] which one is going to put you further,” said H.L. Moody, who has been going to college off and on for the past ten years.

As an immigration reform bill is expected to be debated and amended in the U.S. Senate this week, a local immigrant advocacy group is settling into its own office for the summer.

El Zócalo Immigrant Resource Center assists families who need to navigate processes like getting proper medical care or other services.  

flickr.com / Defence Images

With the Department of Higher Education confronting a shortfall in its budget for granting post-graduate students money to pursue specialties not offered in-state, Governor Mike Beebe is requesting that lawmakers use rainy-day funds to cover the program for one more year.

The department normally grants tuition money for Arkansas students who pursue degrees in fields like veterinary medicine, optometry and dentistry. The financial needs of these and similar grant programs have lately exceeded the 28 million dollars allocated by lawmakers.

A new exhibit focusing on the lives of Arkansas-born entertainers who went on to make a name for themselves in Hollywood will soon open at the Old State House Museum in downtown Little Rock.

Lights! Camera! Arkansas! will review the careers of movie stars and directors who all had their origin in the state. Jo Ellen Mack, the museum’s curator, says recent stars and filmmakers like Mary Steenburgen, Lisa Blount and Jeff Nichols will be featured, as will entertainers from the silent movie era.

After a series of earthquakes has shaken a region just northwest of Morrilton over this past week, geologists and researchers continue to assess the area. Scott Ausbrooks of the Arkansas Geological Survey says his agency and the Memphis-based Center for Earthquakes Research and Information have installed an additional seismic station to follow activity in the area.

Ausbrooks says that although the cause of the temblors is likely natural, his team is looking at a possible connection with nearby injection wells, used in hydraulic fracturing for natural gas.

flickr.com

Filmmakers from around the country are gathering in Little Rock this week to attend the Little Rock Film Festival. The success of the festival, now in its seventh year has grown into a bellwether of the film scene around the state.

As KUAR’s Chris Hickey explains, local filmmakers have entered a new era, eschewing the Hollywood model and embracing a localized, independent and regional approach as more talented storytellers choose to stay in Arkansas and develop the resources they need.

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