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

E-mail:

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Local & Regional News
2:33 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Rep. Tim Griffin Considering Run For Arkansas Lt. Governor

Rep. Tim Griffin

U.S. Rep. Tim Griffin, who is stepping down at the end of his current term, says he is considering a run for lieutenant governor of Arkansas.

The 2nd district Republican had cited family concerns when he announced last year he would not run for re-election. In an interview with KUAR, Griffin said the lieutenant governor’s position would be ideal.

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Local & Regional News
4:38 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

Farm Bill Passes In U.S. Senate With Support From Pryor & Boozman

Arkansas’s two U.S. Senators are praising Tuesday’s passage of a five-year farm bill, which now heads to President Obama for his signature.

The vote in the chamber came after extensive negotiations, with much of the debate focusing on the inclusion of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program in the $ 1 trillion bill.

Speaking on the Senate floor, Democrat Mark Pryor said it will be vital for the agriculture industry.

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Local & Regional News
4:05 pm
Tue January 28, 2014

FBI Agents Search North Little Rock Photo Archive Company

FBI agents conduct an investigation Tuesday at the John Rogers Archive in North Little Rock. The FBI also visited Rogers' home in North Little Rock.
Credit Mark Friedman / Arkansas Business

It’s not immediately clear why, but federal agents Tuesday executed search warrants at a North Little Rock company that has become well known for licensing and digitizing the photo collections of notable newspapers around the country. They were also at the expansive home of John Rogers, owner of Rogers Photo Archive.

Reporters were kept across from the locations, as boxes were removed and loaded into vehicles.

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Local & Regional News
10:07 am
Tue January 28, 2014

Light Snow, Chilly Temperatures Impacting Arkansas

Light snow accumulated on a windshield in Little Rock from Tuesday's flurries.
Credit Michael Hibblen / KUAR

Light snow is falling in parts of Arkansas as cold temperatures settle over the state.

The National Weather Service says a dusting of snow occured Tuesday in many areas, with the brunt of the wintry weather hitting south of the state.

Roads are clear throughout Arkansas, except for snow in some areas between Mena and Fort Smith.

An unusual winter system carrying snow and ice is expected to hit coastal areas this week, including Pensacola, Fla., New Orleans and Savannah, Ga.

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Local & Regional News
6:21 pm
Thu January 23, 2014

Officials Considering Additional Cleanup Proposals After Oil Spill

File photo from April 7, 2013 of a drainage ditch that allowed oil to flow from the site of the pipeline break to a cove near Lake Conway.
Credit Michael Hibblen / KUAR

The Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality and other agencies are studying a plan by ExxonMobil to clean up remaining contamination from last year’s rupture of an oil pipeline in Mayflower.

The company  is proposing the removal of soil and sediment about a foot deep from a cove near Lake Conway and drainage ditches leading to it.  The report was submitted a week ago with the goal of reducing the oil sheen in Dawson Cove.

Tammie Hynum, chief of ADEQ's Hazardous Waste Division, says she will touch base with other agencies on Friday to get their initial assessments.

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Local & Regional News
5:55 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

Little Rock Loses Direct Flights To Washington, Gets Non-Stop To New York

Credit Jason Burt / Arkansas Business

American Airlines, which is now merged with U.S. Airways, is discontinuing direct flights between Little Rock and Washington DC, but will soon begin non-stop service to another major airport.

In a statement Wednesday, a spokesman for Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport said officials worked hard to try and keep direct service to Reagan National, but circumstances worked against them.

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Not Necessarily Nashville
11:39 am
Sun January 12, 2014

Runaway Planet Performs Live On Not Necessarily Nashville

Members of Runaway Planet with Not Necessarily Nashville host Flap Jones. From left to right, Greg Alexander, Matt Stone, Flap Jones, Steve Brauer and Michael Proveaux.
Credit Michael Hibblen / KUAR

Little Rock bluegrass band Runaway Planet joined Flap Jones to perform live at KUAR on Saturday night, January 11, 2014. 

The band, which was originally formed in 2001, recently got back together and are performing again to enthusiastic crowds.  They will playing a free show Wednesday, Jan. 15 at South on Main in Little Rock as part of its local live series.

You can read more about the band on its website: RunwayPlanet.net.

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Local & Regional News
6:53 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

Arkansas Lt. Gov. Mark Darr Announces His Resignation For Ethics Violations

Lt. Gov. Mark Darr leaving an Arkansas Ethics Commission meeting last month in Little Rock.
Credit Michael Hibblen / KUAR

After weeks of pressure from members of both political parties since acknowledging ethics violations, Arkansas Lt. Gov. Mark Darr announced his resignation Friday night.

In a written statement, Darr wrote:

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Local & Regional News
6:53 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

Former University of Arkansas Officials Testify About Deficit At Hearing

Current and former University of Arkansas officials testify before the Joint Performance Review Committee Tuesday. From left to right, Vice-Chancellor for Finance and Administration Don Pederson, Associate Vice-Chancellor for Financial Affairs Jean Schook, Chancellor David Gearhart, former Vice-Chancellor of Advancement Brad Choate, former Associate Vice-Chancellor of University Relations John Diamond (behind Choate) and former Advancement Division Budget Director Joy Sharp.
Credit Michael Hibblen / KUAR

As Arkansas lawmakers probe a $4.19 million deficit at the Fayetteville campus of the University of Arkansas, current and former officials testified Tuesday at the Capitol, offering contradictory accounts about who was at fault.

Former employees who were not allowed to testify at a hearing last month, got to give their side of the story to members of the Joint Performance Review Committee.

Brad Choate, who ran the University of Arkansas’s fundraising division, suggested there’s a “culture of cover up” by school officials.

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Local & Regional News
2:55 pm
Thu January 2, 2014

Light Snow Possible In Central Arkansas This Weekend

Much of Arkansas could see wintry weather over the coming weekend.

A cold front moved into the state, bringing much cooler temperatures on Wednesday. John Lewis, senior forecaster with the National Weather Service in Little Rock, says another cold front will move through Saturday.

“It looks like there’s a little bit more moisture with this one so maybe a little bit of light rain initially, changing to maybe a little bit of light snow and we’re looking mainly at the northern half of the state late Saturday night into Sunday morning,” Lewis said.

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