Karen Tricot Steward

Content Development Director

As Content Development Director, Karen Tricot Steward oversees the creation of news and cultural programming and helps set standards and best practices. She manages content on our website and social media. Karen also coordinates the internship program and collaborates with journalism professors at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock to teach students, helping fulfill public radio’s goal of serving the community by being a place of learning.

She started at KUAR in 2001 as a news reporter. She has also served as local host and news anchor for Morning Edition and All Things Considered.

For her news reporting, she has received several awards from the Arkansas Associated Press for stories on topics like the Little Rock mayoral race and Iraq War veterans in Arkansas. She also won a first place award from the Society of Professional Journalists for investigative reporting. Karen has a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

Phone: 501-569-8491

E-mail: karen@kuar.org

Ways to Connect

Tesla

A high-powered charging station for Tesla electric cars is under construction in Little Rock.

It's meant to fill a large gap in the company's network of Supercharger stations around the country.

Teresa Hendrix, the general manager of the Outlets of Little Rock where the charging station will be housed, says it will finally enable routes through Arkansas.

Sarah Whites-Koditschek / Arkansas Public Media

The execution of inmate Kenneth Williams on Thursday night has prompted calls for an investigation after reports that he was lurching and convulsing about 3 minutes into the lethal injection process.

Williams is the fourth convicted killer put to death in Arkansas over a period of 8 days.

What happened last night, and how is it linked to a controversial drug used in the deadly three-drug cocktail? We'll explain.

A spokesman for the governor, J.R. Davis, and a spokesman for the Arkansas Department of Correction, Soloman Graves, update the media on the status of the execution.
Sarah Whites-Koditschek

Arkansas has carried out its final execution for the month of April.

Eight death row inmates were scheduled to die in less than two weeks in Arkansas in four double executions. Ultimately, four inmates were executed, including one double execution.

Death row inmate Kenneth Williams, 38, was pronounced dead at 11:05 p.m.  The lethal injection began at 10:52 p.m.

Williams' execution, which had been scheduled for 7 p.m., was on hold while the U.S. Supreme Court reviewed legal challenges. It ultimately denied all claims.

Arkansas has carried out its first execution since 2005, just four minutes before the inmate's death warrant was set to expire.

Ledell Lee's execution was scheduled for 7 p.m., but an evening of appeals kept him alive longer. The U.S. Supreme Court nearly halted his execution at one point in the evening but ultimately decided, 5 to 4, that the state could proceed.

"A lethal injection was administered at 11:44 p.m. and the coroner pronounced Ledell Lee dead at 11:56 p.m.," announced Soloman Graves, a spokesman for the Arkansas Department of Correction.

On Friday, a judge in Arkansas halted the scheduled executions of seven death row inmates. The executions were scheduled to begin today and be carried out over 11 days. The men had been fast-tracked because the state's supply of the controversial drug, midazolam, is set to expire at the end of the month.

Governor Asa Hutchinson
Karen Tricot Steward / Arkansas Public Media

Governor Asa Hutchinson spoke to the media for an hour Thursday, saying he has visited with officials at the Arkansas Department of Correction and now has great confidence that the seven executions set for this month will be carried out successfully.

"I reviewed the protocols, procedures and training. But, obviously there's contingency plans. That's why we have communication directly from the chambers there to my office," said Hutchinson.

Seven Arkansas inmates are scheduled to be executed over 11 days this month, starting Monday.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson is to talk with reporters Thursday morning about the pending executions of seven death row inmates. The governor scheduled the lethal injections over a 10-day period before the state's supply of one of the drugs used in the process expires.

On Wednesday, April 5, NPR launches Up First, a daily 10-minute morning news podcast available by 5am CDT each day. The podcast is available on NPR One, iTunes, Alexa and other podcast platforms. 

NPR's Up First is the news you need to start your day. Expect the biggest stories and ideas, from politics to pop culture. The podcast is hosted by David Greene, Steve Inskeep and Rachel Martin, with reporting and analysis from NPR News.

Arkansas is set to conduct four double executions over ten days this month. That's already an unprecedented rate and in some states, like Oklahoma, double executions aren't even allowed.

In part two of our conversation with Sean Murphy, who covers executions for the Associated Press out of Oklahoma, Karen Tricot Steward talks to him about witnessing the highly publicized botched execution of Clayton Lockett. That execution used the same controversial sedative Arkansas will use and put an end to back-to-back killings in that state. 

Controversy continues over Arkansas's rush to conduct four double executions in four days this month.

One issue raising concern is the use of the common sedative midazolam, marketed under the trade name Versed. The drug has been tied to botched executions where inmates wake up during the procedure. Some states have stopped using it altogether for lethal injections.

KUAR News spoke with Sean Murphy in Oklahoma, who covers executions for the Associated Press. He witnessed the highly publicized botched execution of Clayton Lockett in 2014.

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