Jacob Kauffman

Reporter / Anchor

Jacob Kauffman is a reporter and anchor for KUAR. He primarily covers the state legislature and politics beat while juggling anchoring All Things Considered Monday through Friday afternoons. 

Jacob is a long-time Little Rock resident who started out working with Hendrix College's KHDX and the Arkansas Legislative Digest. His work (or portions of it) has appeared on NPR, our other wonderful public radio stations across Arkansas, TalkBusiness.net, Arkansas Money & Politics Magazine, and ArkansasBlog.com.

He regularly appears on Arkansas Educational Television Network's (AETN) weekly roundtable politics program Arkansas Week. Jacob also serves on the board of the MacArthur Military History Museum. If you see him you should ask him about the experience of German-Arkansans during World War I.

Phone: 501-683-7393

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Local & Regional News
2:27 pm
Thu August 15, 2013

New Arkansas Law Requires Drivers Move Over For Expanded List of Vehicles

Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department
Credit arkansashighways.com

A new law is taking effect Friday requiring drivers to move over if they spot Highway Department vehicles, utility trucks, and tow trucks on the side of the road. The law adds to the familiar list of emergency vehicles like police cars.

It asks motorists to move over to the farthest possible lane, this requirement makes Arkansas’s law one of the toughest in the nation. Only three other states require that.

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Local & Regional News
3:54 pm
Wed August 14, 2013

Board Tells Clarksville Superintendent He Can't Arm Teachers and Staff

Dr. David Hopkins, Superintendent
Credit csdar.org

A license to allow some teachers and staff in the Clarksville School District to carry concealed handguns and work as armed guards was suspended Wednesday. The vote by the Arkansas Board of Private Investigators and Private Security Agencies came in the wake of an opinion by Attorney General Dustin McDaniel that using the licensing law to arm staff violates state law.

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Arkansas Education
4:59 pm
Mon August 12, 2013

School Choice Law Leaves Parents and Board Frustrated

Upset parents turned to the Arkansas Board of Education Monday to try to get school transfer requests that were denied overturned.

The newly enacted Public School Choice Act of 2013 allows for transfers unless a district annually claims exemption due to involvement in desegregation court cases. The previous school choice act, of 1989, was overturned by a 2012 court claiming racial demographic formulas, aimed at desegregating schools, were unconstitutional.

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Local & Regional News
12:36 pm
Mon August 12, 2013

Veterans Cemetery Recieves $4.5 Million in Federal Grants

Governor Mike Beebe at the Arkansas Veterans Cemetery
Credit Jacob Kauffman

The Arkansas State Veterans Cemetery, in North Little Rock, was the recipient of nearly $4.5 million in federal grants Monday. While on the grounds Governor Mike Beebe also spoke about the future site of a Veterans Home, making it clear that options are not limited to four sites previously outlined by a legislative task force.

George Eisenbach, the federal director in charge of the grants, formally recognized the award and said it will be used to add 3,800 pre-placed crypts, a memorial wall, and more efficient irrigation systems.

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Local & Regional News
4:08 pm
Fri August 9, 2013

Arkansas Health Care Plan Discussed in Washington D.C.

Arkansas Surgeon General Joe Thompson
Credit healthy.arkansas.gov

Arkansas’s plan to expand health care coverage was at the center of a panel discussion in Washington DC Friday.

Arkansas’s approach toward implementing the Affordable Care Act by bypassing expanding Medicaid and instead providing premium subsidies for private plans is unique in the nation.

Dr. Joseph Thompson, Arkansas’s Surgeon General, said during the hearing, which was broadcasted by C-SPAN, that the state’s compromise approach was driven by a divided political climate.

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Local & Regional News
2:47 pm
Thu August 8, 2013

Flooding in NWA Destroys Bridges and Requires Rescues

Most of the damage was in Benton County.
Credit encyclopediaofarkansas.net

Some areas in north Arkansas lost residences, bridges, and electricity as a result of heavy rains and flooding Wednesday night and early Thursday morning. Much of the damage is limited to Benton County where the County Judge has declared it a disaster area.

Arkansas Department of Emergency Management Information Officer Tommy Jackson said multiple rescue efforts were needed.

“Those were around residences. There were some swift water, some successful swift water rescues, pulled off during the night and early morning in north Arkansas,” said Jackson.

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Local & Regional News
4:18 pm
Wed August 7, 2013

American Cancer Society Starts Decades Long Study in Central Arkansas

Credit www.cancer.org

The American Cancer Society is enrolling participants in Central Arkansas for a decades long study this week. This is the third major undertaking since the 1960s.

Greg Broy, a spokesman for the American Cancer Society, said one focus is on changing lifestyles.

“We understand people are sitting more in their jobs, people are more obese in their lives, and their diets have changed. What about people’s lifestyles, their diet, what they’re doing, may cause cancer?” said Broy.

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Local & Regional News
3:02 pm
Mon August 5, 2013

Task Force Mulls Considerations for New Veterans Home

The Little Rock Veterans Home that closed last November.
Credit flickr.com

A 22 member legislative task force is crafting recommendations for a new Arkansas Veterans Home to replace one that closed down in Little Rock last November due to disrepair. Four cities were named as possible sites: Fort Smith, Russellville, Jacksonville and Benton. Little Rock was not on the list.

The group met at the Capitol Monday to review criteria such as size, location, and funding. Several members brought up assisting veterans who might not fall under existing funding structures. 

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Local & Regional News
4:58 pm
Thu August 1, 2013

Sec. of Agriculture Vilsack Says Farm Bill Crisis Looms

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack
Credit minnesota.publicradio.org / Minnesota Public Radio

Congress will recess for the rest of the month Friday and the fate of the Farm Bill still has not been settled. Both chambers passed separate versions, but the House broke with a 40 year tradition and removed SNAP funding, commonly referred to as food stamps, from their version of the legislation.

Not a single Democrat supported that version. Republican Tom Cotton was the only member of the Arkansas delegation who voted against previous incarnations of the bill containing SNAP funding.

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Local & Regional News
4:39 pm
Thu August 1, 2013

Quapaw Satisfied With Handling of Artifacts at Big River Steel Mill

Quapaw Tribe Flag
Credit quapawtribe.com

Quapaw leaders and state officials appear to have reached an amicable solution to the presence of artifacts at the proposed location of the $1.1 billion dollar Big River Steel Mill. The site in eastern Arkansas contains a burial mound, a village with 14 structures, and numerous other artifacts. The news came after a closed meeting Wednesday in Osceola. 

John Berrey, Chair of the Business Committee for the Quapaw, says he was pleased that state officials share his concerns.

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