Colleen Mayo

Reporter / Anchor

Colleen Mayo is a reporter and the local host during Weekend Edition Sunday. She joined KUAR as a community intern in March 2014. Prior to that, she spent two years teaching English in South Korea.

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Sign for Ozark National Forest

Forestry officials in Arkansas this week are calling attention to the role of a vulnerable part of the ecosystem—pollinators. Park Planner Steve Duzan said three-fourths of the world’s flowering plants depend on pollinators and they have a big impact on Arkansas agriculture. This makes pollinators like bees, butterflies and a host of other species an important part of the economy.

Hendrix College biologist Matt Moran said while pollinators face 35 percent population declines nationally, Arkansas has fared better than most states because of a large amount of forested land.

Map of UA System Locations

The University of Arkansas System is pushing forward with plans to create an online-only university with three employees beginning work this week.

Their salaries come out of a $2 million General Improvement Funds dispersal from Governor Mike Beebe. The System’s Vice President of Academic Affairs Michael Moore said they’re seeking to raise an additional $7 to $9 million from private sources and grants for start-up costs. But he  said there is no intent to seek additional funding under the state formula.

Pulaski County Jail

The Pulaski County Jail reopened Monday morning more than six weeks after being shut down due to overcrowding. Monday’s population was reported to be 1,126, which is less than 100 beds below the funded capacity.

Lieutenant Carl Minden said inmates who belong at state facilities being housed at county jail has been a recurring problem and an issue Pulaski County Jail has been grappling with for several decades. Minden added it is a relief to have the space now, but it is unclear how long the facility can go before the numbers are too high again.

Executive Director of Our House, Georgia Mjartan
Colleen Mayo

Our House, an organization in central Arkansas that helps the homeless with housing, job training, and youth programs, is celebrating the opening of its new Children's Center. 

Staff there say the new center will allow the organization to serve three times the number of children currently in its programs.

With a grand opening celebration set for Saturday and more than 525 people on the RSVP list, the staff at Our House is enthusiastic about the Children's Center that's been a year in the making.

Upwards of 10,000 people are expected to enjoy this year’s Arkansas Literary Festival, which begins Thursday in downtown Little Rock. The event has expanded significantly since the Central Arkansas Library System took it over six years ago, said Susan Gelé.  

Gelé believes this year continues the Literary Festival’s tradition of hosting a mix of Arkansas and out-of-state authors and presenters, as well as an eclectic range of genres.

ACLU's Rita Sklar
Nathan Vandiver / KUAR

The state’s 2013 voter ID law is being challenged by the American Civil Liberties Union of Arkansas and the Arkansas Public Law Center. The lawsuit argues the act presents an unconstitutional barrier to voting.

ACLU’s Executive Director Rita Sklar said the law targets populations with poor access to resources.

Now that Pulaski County voters have overwhelmingly rejected a measure for a property tax increase to generate $11 million annually for Pulaski Technical College in Little Rock, the school's president says she will be assessing the college's financial future. 

Voters turned back the measure by a 3-to-1 margin.