Michael Hibblen

News Director

As News Director, Michael Hibblen oversees daily news coverage for KUAR News. He directs activities of the news staff, helps develop story ideas and edits news copy.  Michael is responsible for starting a news-sharing network between public radio stations in Arkansas. He is also a regular panelist on AETN's Arkansas Week, where journalists discuss issues in the news.

A native of North Little Rock, Michael started in radio in 1988, spending his first five years as a music DJ for stations in central and northeast Arkansas.  After an internship in 1993 at the C-SPAN Cable Network in Washington, DC, he transitioned to news, working for commercial radio stations in Little Rock, Richmond, Virginia and Miami, Florida.  During his 12 years in Miami, Michael became a nationally-heard reporter for CBS Radio News and later served as Assistant News Director for the NPR station WLRN, which worked out of the newsroom of daily newspaper The Miami Herald.  He returned home to Little Rock in 2009 to work for KUAR. At that time he also resumed taking classes at UALR to finish his Bachelor of Arts degree in Mass Communication, graduating in May of 2013.

Phone: 501-683-7386



Federal Government Shutdown
2:01 pm
Mon September 30, 2013

Governor Beebe: Federal Government Shutdown Would Hurt Arkansas

Governor Mike Beebe

Governor Mike Beebe says if the federal government shuts down, it will have dire consequences for Arkansas, leaving many without a paycheck and putting children at risk.

In a statement released Monday afternoon, Beebe said:

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Local & Regional News
3:17 pm
Fri September 27, 2013

Arkansas Senators Split On Budget Bill

Arkansas two senators have split on legislation that continues funding government after it was stripped of a House-backed effort to defund the federal health care law.

Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor on Friday voted for the measure intended on keeping the federal government operating through Nov. 15, while Republican John Boozman voted against the measure.

The Senate passed the continuing resolution on a 54-44 vote after voting by the same margin to remove from it a House proposal to defund the federal health care overhaul.

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Local & Regional News
12:22 pm
Fri September 27, 2013

Arkansas Private Option Gets Formal Approval From Feds

Gov. Mike Beebe

The bi-partisan plan crafted by the Arkansas Legislature this year to use federal Medicaid dollars to buy private health insurance got a formal approval Friday from the federal government.

It came directly from the head of the Department of Health and Human Services, says Matt DeCample, a spokesman for Governor Mike Beebe.

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Local & Regional News
2:14 pm
Tue September 24, 2013

Little Rock Considers Renovation Plan For Performance Hall

Robinson Center Music Hall
Credit Flickr

Little Rock city leaders are to decide next Tuesday on whether to allow voters to decide a proposal to fund the renovation of Robinson Center Music Hall.

Tuesday evening the Board of Directors heard a presentation detailing upgrades to the facility.  Earlier in the day advocates for the project detailed it for reporters.  You can view a PDF of the presentation here.

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The Affordable Care Act
1:50 pm
Mon September 23, 2013

Arkansas Releases Rates For Insurance Exchange

Rates were announced Monday for the 71 health insurance plans that will be sold through the exchange created by the Affordable Care Act.

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Guns In Schools
2:55 pm
Wed September 11, 2013

Arkansas Panel Says Schools Can Arm Staff For Two More Years

The Arkansas Board of Private Investigators and Private Security Agencies meet Wednesday.
Credit Michael Hibblen / KUAR

School districts that had been allowed to use teachers and staff as armed guards are getting a two year reprieve.

Wednesday a state board reversed itself and said it will not immediately revoke permits so that it will  to give lawmakers a chance to change state laws.

The Arkansas Board of Private Investigators and Private Security Agencies heard concerns from the Attorney General’s office as well as school administrators.

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Arkansas Music
1:11 pm
Thu September 5, 2013

Book Looks At Notable Arkansas Musicians And Events

A new book now on sale looks at the history of music in Arkansas.

Encyclopedia of Arkansas Music was put together by the same folks responsible for the online Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture.

It features profiles of well known Arkansas natives like Johnny Cash, Al Green, Levon Helm and Glen Campbell, as well as lessor known, but significant musicians like southern gothic artist Tav Falco and the sombrero-wearing couple Elton and Betty White, who were known for their graphic sexual lyrics.

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Local & Regional News
3:24 pm
Wed September 4, 2013

Former President Clinton Defends Federal Health Care Law

Former President Bill Clinton speaks Wednesday at his presidential library in Little Rock.
Credit Michael Hibblen / KUAR

The White House is enlisting former President Bill Clinton to help build support for the federal health care law as a key phase of the reform nears.

He made a detailed argument in Little Rock for why it needs to be implemented.

Speaking to an invitation-only crowd at the Clinton Presidential Center, the former president said opponents of the Afford Care Act have been effective at building opposition to the law.

"I’m still amazed at how much misunderstanding there is about the current system of health care," he said.

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Local & Regional News
10:05 pm
Wed August 28, 2013

School Superintendents Defend Programs To Arm Staff

Members of the Arkansas Joint Judiciary Committee listen to testimony during Wednesday's hearing.
Credit Michael Hibblen / KUAR

With an appeal to be heard next month, the superintendents of two Arkansas school districts are defending programs to arm teachers and staff.

Wednesday a legislative panel heard arguments about whether having guns on campus is the best way to protect students.

Lake Hamilton Superintendent Steve Anderson told members of the Joint Judiciary Committee that in addition to two full-time armed security officers, his district has had several staff members, including himself, who have quick access to firearms if the need arises.

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Kids With Disabilities
4:56 pm
Tue August 27, 2013

Improved Playgrounds And Ball Fields Allow Disabled Kids To Play

The Miracle League baseball diamond in Little Rock.
Michael Hibblen KUAR

New federal requirements that are part of the Americans With Disabilities Act went into effect last year and are changing the face of playgrounds, requiring they be accessible to children with disabilities.

NPR is looking at this from a national perspective, while KUAR’s Michael Hibblen has more on what Little Rock is doing so that all kids can get the chance to play.  You can hear his report above.

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