Michael Hibblen

News Director

As News Director, Michael Hibblen oversees daily news coverage for KUAR. He handles assignments for the news staff, helps develop story ideas and edits copy. Michael is responsible for starting a news-sharing partnership between public radio stations in Arkansas in 2009 which laid the foundation for what became Arkansas Public Media. He is also a regular panelist and fill-in host 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 a 1993 internship 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 CBS Radio News, covering major stories in the region, including the anthrax attack at a tabloid publisher, an international custody fight over Cuban boy Elian Gonzalez, and the 2000 presidential election recount. He was hired by daily newspaper the Miami Herald in 2003 when it partnered with NPR station WLRN providing its local news. Michael initially worked as a morning news anchor and reporter, later becoming the department's 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 the University of Arkansas at Little Rock to finish his Bachelor of Arts degree in Mass Communication, graduating in May of 2013. Michael also enjoys researching radio and railroad history in the state and is author of Rock Island Railroad in Arkansas, which was published by Arcadia Publishing in April 2017.

Phone: 501-683-7386

E-mail: michael@kuar.org

Ways to Connect

Department of Human Services Director Cindy Gillespie and shows a progress chart to reporters alongside Division of Children and Family Services Director Mischa Martin.
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

A year after Arkansas reached an alarming record in the number of children in foster care – and the governor said the system was in crisis – the state’s top child welfare officials say significant improvements have been made. But in a meeting with reporters Wednesday, they acknowledged there’s still much more work to be done.

Former President Bill Clinton
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Former President Bill Clinton is to deliver the keynote address at a ceremony next month that will cap four days of events commemorating the 60th anniversary of the integration of Little Rock’s Central High School. The eight surviving members of the Little Rock Nine, who integrated the formerly all-white school in 1957, are also expected to take part.

Arkansas Department of Transportation

UPDATE: Tuesday afternoon, the Arkansas Department of Transportation announced stationary traffic cameras can now be viewed on the traveler information website www.idrivearkansas.com. Visitors to the website will have to click on the traffic light image on the right side of the screen, make sure "traffic cameras" is clicked, then can select any camera to view from a map of the state.

ORIGINAL STORY:

Deputy Timothy Braden
Drew County Sheriff's Office

An Arkansas sheriff’s deputy has died after an accident that  authorities say occurred during a police chase. Arkansas State Police identified the deputy as 29-year-old Timothy Braden who was with the Drew County Sheriff’s office.

A report says he tried to stop a vehicle early Thursday near Monticello, with the driver refusing to stop. Both vehicles were then involved in an accident.

Michael Hibblen
Governor's Office

Gov. Asa Hutchinson shared his thoughts with a national audience on President Trump's response to violence at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville. In an interview Friday on NPR's All Things Considered, the Arkansas Republican said the president needs to send a clear message that "white supremacy, neo-Nazism has no place in American values."

But Hutchinson also spoke against the removal of Confederate statues and monuments, saying it would be dismantling history.  

Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

An attorney for an Arkansas death row inmate is asking Gov. Asa Hutchinson to deny Attorney General Leslie Rutledge’s request to set a date for his execution. Jack Gordon Greene was sentenced to death for the 1991 murder of Sidney Jethro Burnett at his home in Johnson County.

Greene’s court-appointed attorney is John C. Williams with the office of the Federal Public Defender. He argues that Greene’s declining mental state could render his execution unconstitutional.

Planned Parenthood
Brian Chilson / Arkansas Times

A three-judge panel of the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday that Arkansas can block Medicaid funding for healthcare services conducted by Planned Parenthood. The 2-1 decision lifts preliminary injunctions issued by U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker after a class-action lawsuit was filed suit over the state's 2015 decision. She had ruled Medicaid rules allowed recipients to choose among any qualified provider.

The following is a statement from the Broyles family regarding the death of former University of Arkansas football coach, athletic director, ABC commentator, and Alzheimer’s advocate Frank Broyles. Coach Broyles, 92, died from complications of Alzheimer’s Disease, on August 14, 2017. 

“It is with profound sadness that we announce the passing of Coach Frank Broyles. He passed peacefully in his home surrounded by his loved ones.

Christopher Columbus Pinta Nina
Great Lakes Today

Replicas of two ships used by explorer Christopher Columbus, which led to the European colonization of the Americas, are to visit Arkansas in October and November. The replicas of Niña and Pinta are traveling together around the U.S. to help people learn more about the voyage in 1492 that led to the discovery of what was called the New World.

But a recent stop along Lake Ontario in north-central New York drew protests from Native Americans who say the ships only tell half of the story.

Interstate 40 Interstate 55 West Memphis
peggydavis66 / Wikimedia Commons

A study is to be completed by the end of summer on whether Arkansas should raise the speed limits on interstates in rural areas to 75-miles-per-hour.

One of the new state laws going into effect Tuesday, which was passed earlier this year by the Arkansas General Assembly, opens the possibility.

"It doesn’t mean we will go out and do it, it just enables us to," said Danny Straessle, spokesman for the department that on Tuesday will become known as the Arkansas Department of Transportation.

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