David Monteith

Reporter

David Monteith is a reporter for KUAR news.

David Monteith / KUAR

Representatives of Arkansas’s agricultural community and political leaders will be discussing state and national policies impacting farmers at the Farm Policy Summit in Little Rock this week. Randy Veach, president of the Arkansas Farm Bureau, says policies which have increased costs to farmers are among the topics to be covered.

Rock Region Metro transit buses CAT central arkansas transit
David Monteith / KUAR

Rock Region METRO, formerly known as Central Arkansas Transit, is asking voters to approve a quarter-cent sales tax increase which would generate a projected $18 million, all earmarked for public transit. According to Executive Director Jarod Varner, the additional revenue would allow the organization to be more responsive to current passenger needs and attract new riders.

“Our system is anchored in a funding structure that was developed in 1986 and so it's very difficult to make major service changes. We want to modernize what we do,” said Varner               

Arkansans without health insurance have until the end of the month to apply for health insurance or face financial penalties.

Under the Affordable Care Act, those without coverage will be charged nearly $700 per adult, $300 per child, or 2.5 percent of the household's income if they don’t have coverage in 2016. According to the most recent 2014 Census Bureau statistics approximately 1 in 10, or nearly 300,000 Arkansans remain uninsured.

Bruce Donaldson with Arkansas Health Insurance Marketplace said there are several reasons Arkansans remain uninsured.

Angelsharum / Wikimedia

The Arkansas Public Service Commission will meet Tuesday to consider a settlement with Entergy Arkansas over a rate increase.

The agreement could result in an 8.3 percent increase to the monthly bills of the utility's customers. Entergy says the rate hike would allow it to improve its electrical infrastructure and purchase one-fourth of the Union Power Station natural gas plant near El Dorado. 

TheRep.org

The artistic director at The Arkansas Repertory Theater is resigning after 17 years in Little Rock.

KUAR's David Monteith spoke with Bob Hupp who is currently in New York conducting auditions for The Rep’s upcoming production of Windfall, which is being directed by Jason Alexander.

Windfall, scheduled for June 10-26, will close The Rep’s 40th season and also be the final production under Hupp’s leadership at the theater.

Metroplan

According to the 2015 Economic Review and Outlook report released by Metroplan, central Arkansas is showing signs of economic growth.

“During most of the year we were growing jobs at a faster rate than the northwest Arkansas region,” said Metroplan researcher Jonathan Lupton. “And normally they outperform us. This is the first year since 1998 that we’ve actually had faster job growth in central Arkansas than they’ve had in northwest Arkansas.”

David Monteith / KUAR

On Monday Habitat for Humanity opened the doors to the 15th home it's built this year in central Arkansas.

“Wow! Are you serious,” asked Horace Grant as he walked into his new home for the first time.

Most recipients of Habitat for Humanity’s zero-interest loans spend a portion of their time working on the home they will eventually move into. Mr. Grant was a rare exception, who instead spent his time volunteering on homes intended for others.

David Monteith / KUAR

Arkansas’ three living survivors of the bombing of Pearl Harbor were honored at the Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum. The ceremony also served to welcome the newest addition to the museum, the ex-US Navy tugboat Hoga.

“The survivors from Arkansas who were in Pearl Harbor will be cutting the ribbon to allow access to the general public to the main deck of the Hoga today,” said Allison Hibblong, the museum's Director of Operations.

Hoga
Brian Chilson / Arkansas Times

The Hoga, a World War II tugboat, became the newest addition to the Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum Monday, two weeks before the 74th anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

Ship horns greeted the arrival of the boat, officially classified a Navy yard tug. “That is our honorary submarine welcoming our lovely tugboat,” said Allison Hibblong, the museum’s director of operations.

Arkansas Arts Center / Arkansas Arts Center

Little Rock city leaders will hear details Tuesday night of a proposed $60 million improvement plan for the Arkansas Arts Center. The facility, which recently committed to remaining in Little Rock after speculation about a move to North Little Rock, is exploring options for making expansions and improvements.

Mayor Mark Stodola supports the plan being presented to the city’s Advertising and Promotions Commission because he says the Arts Center could lose accreditation without renovations to its theater and the rest of the facilities.

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