David Monteith

Reporter

David Monteith is a reporter for KUAR news.

Metroplan / Metroplan

Convoys of cyclists will take to the streets of central Arkansas Friday morning as the kick off event for “Ditch the Keys” week. “Bike to Work” day is a national event, which has been incorporated into a regional campaign to draw awareness to, and improve air quality in Little Rock and the surrounding cities.

Metroplan, Rock Region METRO, Bicycle Advocates of Central Arkansas, and several other organizations are supporting the event by encouraging biking or walking to work.

Wikimedia Commons

A temporary exchange of paintings will bring a Renoir masterpiece to the Arkansas Arts Center. Dr. Ann Prentice Wagner, curator of drawings, says Pierre Auguste Renoir’s “Madame Henriot in Costume” will bring a new perspective to other pieces in the museum's permanent collection.

“Of course, Pierre Auguste Renoir is one of the great impressionist masters and this is a really fabulous full-length portrait,” said Wagner, “and it’s not like anything we have on the wall. We have a small Renoir, still life of dead game.”

David Monteith / KUAR

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock is making a second attempt at a federal grant that would bring an estimated $14.5 million for renovations on University Avenue.

The school's application for a Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant through the U.S. Department of Transportation was unsuccessful in 2015. UALR's chief government relations officer, Joni Lee, said she's hopeful a few changes will yield a positive result this year.

David Monteith / KUAR

City streets in central Arkansas can sometimes be a dangerous place to be a pedestrian. Local leaders hope to reduce the number of accidents between vehicles and people crossing busy streets by promoting Pedestrian Safety Awareness month.

At a press conference Monday near Little Rock's most dangerous intersection to cross, Mayor Mark Stodola said, “More pedestrians were involved in vehicle crashes on a half-mile stretch of Broadway here in downtown Little Rock than any other street in central Arkansas, which is of course why we are here today.”

A handful of Little Rock businesses will be reducing their prices by 25 percent for female shoppers on Tuesday in support of national Equal Pay Day.

Abby Olivier, a member of the Arkansas Equal Pay Coalition, says the idea of charging women less reflects current Arkansas earning statistics.

“The Institute for Women’s Policy Research – they just put out an extensive report on the status of women in the south  – this came out just this past February. According to this report women in Arkansas earn 75% compared to men,” Olivier said.

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.

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