Michael Hibblen

News Director

As News Director, Michael Hibblen oversees daily news coverage for KUAR News. He handles assignments for the 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 DJ for music 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 KARN in Little Rock, WRVA in Richmond, Virginia and WIOD in Miami, Florida. In 2000, Michael became a nationally heard, Miami-based reporter for the radio division of CBS News, covering major stories in the region, including the anthrax attack at a tabloid publisher, an international custody fight over Cuban boy Elian Gonzalez, a plane crash in the Bahamas that killed R&B singer Aaliyah and the 2000 presidential election recount. He was hired by the Miami Herald with the launch of its radio department in 2003, which provides local newscasts for NPR station WLRN. Initially he worked as morning anchor, later becoming department editor, then assistant news director. He also wrote frequently for the newspaper.

Michael 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

E-mail: michael@kuar.org

Ways To Connect

Michael Hibblen / KUAR

Gov. Mike Beebe is calling on Lt. Gov. Mark Darr to resign from office, after Darr admitted to misusing thousands of campaign and taxpayer dollars.

The state Ethics Commission found that Darr likely violated ethics rules by using the money for personal expenditures, while also collecting campaign contributions that exceed legal limits. In all, Darr has admitted to 11 violations, though he refuses to resign.

Bill and Hillary Clinton Airport Sign
Jason Burt / Arkansas Business

Passenger traffic at Little Rock’s Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport is expected to be down about five percent this holiday season compared to last year.

The Transportation Security Administration estimates 40,663 people will fly out of the airport between Friday and January 1.  The busiest day is expected to be Saturday, Dec. 21, when nearly 4,000 people will be departing.

"Traffic is already picking up," airport Spokesman Shane Carter said Friday, "but as we move through the next few days, of course Christmas will be busy for us."

Lt. Gov. Mark Darr leaving the Arkansas Ethics Commission hearing in December.
Michael Hibblen / KUAR

Arkansas Lt. Gov. Mark Darr went before the Arkansas Ethics Commission Wednesday, as a staff report was presented saying that Darr misspent more than $44,000 of campaign and public money.

After allegations were raised earlier this year, Darr self-reported violations against himself, saying he was unaware of mistakes in how the spending was handled.

The meeting was closed to the public.  Afterward, as he left with his attorney, Darr refused to say much, telling reporters "We're going to comment later."

Former Arkansas legislator Jim Hill died Wednesday at his home in the southwest Arkansas town of Nashville.

Hill, a Democrat, served in the state House from 1993 to 1996, then in the state Senate, including one year as the Senate president pro tempore during the 84th General Assembly.

In a statement, Governor Mike Beebe, who served alongside him in the legislature, said:

National Weather Service

An ice storm warning is in effect for much of the state from 6 p.m. Thursday to 6 p.m. Friday. The warning means severe winter weather conditions are expected.

sleet freezing rain
Michael Hibblen / KUAR

The National Weather Service Tuesday issued a winter storm watch for parts of northern, western and central Arkansas. It will be in effect Thursday afternoon through Friday.

A strong cold front will move into the region late Wednesday, bringing much cooler air. An advisory says it will stall out, with several upper level weather disturbances bringing widespread precipitation.

Arkansas Business

Arkansas’ largest investment firm and the state’s top securities regulator are firing accusations back and forth alleging ethics violations.

Stephens Inc. is accusing Arkansas Securities Commissioner Heath Abshure of illegally steering more than $170,000 to his "favorite charities" and of retaliating when Stephens refused to make a similar donation while negotiating a recent settlement.

Arkansas Business has exclusive details in this week’s issue:

Parties involved in the long-running desegregation lawsuit – who have agreed to a settlement – are now working to get the word out and give the public a chance to weigh in. It comes in advance of next month’s “fairness hearing,” where federal U.S. District Judge Price Marshall will listen to any objections.

Pulaski Co. Sheriff's Office

An initial court appearance was made Wednesday morning by a man charged with shooting a Jacksonville Police officer during a drug raid last week.

53-year-old Mark Dodson went before a judge via a video hookup from the Pulaski County Jail. The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports bond was set at a quarter of a million dollars.

A SWAT team was entering his home Friday when Dodson allegedly opened fire, striking one officer in the arm.

Dodson has been charged with seven counts of attempt to commit capital murder and a single charge of first degree battery.

Rosanne Cash Johnny Cash
Michael Hibblen / KUAR

As final work is being completed to open Johnny Cash’s boyhood home in Dyess, Arkansas as a museum, his daughter Rosanne Cash came to Little Rock over the weekend for a sold out show and to be honored for her work in helping to restore the small house.