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



Local & Regional News
4:37 pm
Sun May 19, 2013

State Treasurer Martha Shoffer To Have Hearing On Extortion Charges

A mug shot of Martha Shoffner after she was arrested Saturday.
Credit Pulaski County Sheriff's Office

Arkansas Treasurer Martha Shoffner is to go before a federal judge Monday, after being arrested over the weekend on charges of extortion.

FBI spokeswoman Kimberly Brunell says agents arrested Shoffner Saturday at her home in Newport.

The Democrat serving her second term has been under scrutiny because of how her office has handled state investments.

Legislative auditors say that in 2011, 11 bonds were sold from the state’s investment portfolio before they had matured, resulting in a net loss of more than $434,000 worth of earnings.

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Local & Regional News
1:03 pm
Fri May 17, 2013

Judge Grants Injunction In Arkansas Abortion Ban Case

State Senator Jason Rapert, sponsor of the 12-week abortion ban, speaking to reporters after Friday's ruling
Credit Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

A federal judge has granted a request to temporarily block enforcement of a new Arkansas law that bans most abortions 12 weeks into a pregnancy.

U.S. District Judge Susan Webber Wright granted a motion Friday for a preliminary injunction against the ban, set to take effect in August.

The state's Republican-led Legislature enacted the ban in March by overriding a veto from Democratic Gov. Mike Beebe.

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Local & Regional News
5:13 pm
Thu May 16, 2013

Rep. Griffin Ready To Ask Tough Questions Of IRS Official

Congressman Tim Griffin of Arkansas will be among lawmakers with key questions Friday for the top Internal Revenue Service official who resigned this week amid a scandal over heightened scrutiny of conservative groups.

Former acting Commissioner Steven Miller is to testify before the House Ways and Means Committee. Griffin, a Republican from Little Rock, is a member of the committee.

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News About Public Radio
6:42 pm
Tue May 14, 2013

KUAR Wins Seven Awards In Arkansas SPJ Contest

KUAR staff members pose with their awards. From left to right, Nathan Vandiver, Karen Tricot-Steward, Michael Hibblen, Chris Hickey (holding Malcolm Glover's award) and Ann Nicholson.
Credit Doug Steward

KUAR won seven awards for its news and arts coverage at the 2013 Arkansas Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists contest.

During an awards banquet Monday evening, the station learned four were first place winners, two won second place and one was a third place winner.

SPJ is one of the oldest organizations representing journalists in the U.S. Part of its mission is to encourage high standards and ethical behavior in journalism, while promoting and supporting diversity in the industry.

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Local & Regional News
4:00 pm
Sat May 11, 2013

Little Rock Included In National Train Day

People lined up Saturday to tour an Amtrak train on display outside Little Rock's Union Station.
Michael Hibblen/ KUAR News

National Train Day was expanded this year to include Little Rock, with an event Saturday at the city's Union Station.

Families lined up on the platform to tour an Amtrak train that was on display. 

Jerry Driscoll and his family from Beebe had never been onboard an Amtrak train, only riding short tourist lines in recent years, and decided to see what cross country rail travel could be like.

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Local & Regional News
6:41 pm
Tue May 7, 2013

Arkansas AG: Health Issues A Concern After Oil Spill

Attorney General Dustin McDaniel speaking to reporters Tuesday in his office.
Credit Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel says he's concerned about the lingering health implications from the Mayflower oil spill.

It has been about five weeks since the Pegasus pipeline ruptured, spilling hundreds of thousands of gallons of raw crude, but McDaniel says people near the site are still feeling the effects.

“As we met with residents and groups that represent them, like Remember Mayflower, I heard time and time again about their health, especially the health of their children,” McDaniel said at an afternoon news conference.

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Local & Regional News
12:41 pm
Tue May 7, 2013

AG To Give Update On Investigation Into Oil Spill

Credit KARK News 4

Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel will have an announcement Tuesday at 3 pm regarding the Mayflower Oil Spill.

His office has been conducting an extensive investigation into the rupture of a pipeline owned by ExxonMobil. 

McDaniel has said the investigation is a precursor to litigation. There’s no more specifics on what he will discuss.

More than 200,000 gallons of raw crude spilled on March 29th. Since then the oil giant has had a small army of workers cleaning up the affected areas.

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Local & Regional News
11:53 pm
Thu May 2, 2013

Top Political Leaders Debate Best Ways To Help The Delta

Former President Bill Clinton speaking to the Delta Grassroots Caucus Thursday night in Little Rock.
Credit Michael Hibblen / KUAR

Many of the state’s top political leaders – and those aspiring for office – are taking part in a conference considering the best ways to revive the poverty-stricken Delta region.

The two-day Delta Grassroots Caucus started Thursday night with participants hearing from the Republican candidates for Arkansas governor, a freshman congressman and former President Bill Clinton.

“For the first time, literally in a generation, the larger demographic and other forces that are working on the world will help the Delta region,” Clinton said.

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News About Public Radio
8:38 pm
Sat April 27, 2013

KUAR Wins Five AP Broadcast Awards

KUAR's five awards presented Saturday at AP luncheon in Little Rock.
Credit Nathan Vandiver/ KUAR

KUAR is proud to have won five awards at the Arkansas Associated Press Broadcasters Association's 2012 contest.  The awards for radio and TV stations were presented Saturday in Little Rock.

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Mayflower Oil Spill
7:22 pm
Mon April 15, 2013

Ruptured Section of Oil Pipeline Removed From Mayflower

Workers on Sunday, April 7, working to clear the area around the pipeline so soil around it could be dug up.
Credit Michael Hibblen/ KUAR

Workers on Monday removed a 52-foot section of a buried pipeline that ruptured last month in Mayflower, spilling more than 200,000 gallons of raw crude oil.

It’s being sent to an independent lab for analysis, said ExxonMobil spokeswoman Kim Jordan. “We want to learn the cause of the breach.”

Jordan was at the site, describing the process in a telephone interview with KUAR News as workers were cutting the pipe at safe distances from each end of the 22-foot gash.

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