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 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 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

Arkansas Capitol
flickr.com

After planning to vote Friday on a bill to use federal Medicaid funds for a "private option," Arkansas House Speaker Davy Carter said the chamber will wait until Monday.

Many lawmakers had said they wanted to take time to go back to their districts this weekend and talk with constituents before casting their votes.

75 of the 100 members of the Arkansas House would need to approve the bill.

The plan won support from most House members Thursday, but didn't get the 75-vote supermajority needed for an attached budget bill.

Michael Hibblen/ KUAR

Officials say some residents whose houses were evacuated when an oil pipeline ruptured in Mayflower can go home this week.

Federal on-scene coordinator Nick Brescia says residents of four homes could be allowed back Thursday, while residents of another eight or nine homes can return in the coming days.

Crews are still cleaning up the scene with heavy equipment.

The pipeline ruptured nearly two weeks ago, sending hundreds of thousands of gallons of raw crude flowing down a street in what was described by residents as a "river of oil."

Arkansas Attorney General's Office

Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel says investigators are beginning to go through documents related to a pipeline that ruptured nearly two weeks ago.

Late Wednesday more than 12,000 pages of subpoenaed material were delivered to his office.

McDaniel also disclosed during a press conference that the hole in the pipeline is “substantially larger than many of us initially thought,” measuring more than 22 feet long and two inches wide.

As the world mourns the death of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, KUAR is looking back at a visit she made to Arkansas nearly 18 years ago.

Reporter Michael Hibblen covered the speech she gave at Harding University in Searcy in 1995 and has highlights of her remarks.

Thatcher’s visit came five years after she resigned as Prime Minister. She held that post longer than anyone else in the 20th century and was the only woman to serve as Britain’s Prime Minister.

Michael Hibblen/ KUAR

On Sunday, officials with ExxonMobil and local leaders allowed the press to get its first look at an area where an oil pipeline ruptured a week and a half ago, spilling an estimated 5,000 barrels of tar sands.

The tour occurred as workers in yellow hazmat suits continued working to clean up the upscale neighborhood in Mayflower.

Michael Hibblen/ KUAR

While legal action is being promised regarding Arkansas’ new voter ID law, Republicans announced a program Thursday to educate voters about it.

State GOP Chairman Doyle Webb says “Operation Vote Arkansas” is designed to assist people who don’t already have a photo ID.

“Once the Secretary of State’s office and the local counties are prepared to begin issuing IDs, the Arkansas GOP will activate its county level volunteer organizations in all 75 counties to help any voter who contacts us with the need to obtain a photo ID,” said Webb.

Michael Hibblen/ KUAR

As the cleanup of an oil spill continues, Arkansas’ Attorney General says it highlights the need for stricter pipeline standards.

Michael Hibblen/ KUAR

On Wednesday, state investigators are to visit the site of last week’s rupture of an oil pipeline in Mayflower.

Attorney General Dustin McDaniel says his office has also told ExxonMobil, which owns the Pegasus Pipeline, to preserve all documents and information related to the spill and ongoing cleanup efforts.

oil spill
Michael Hibblen/ KUAR

It could be several more days before nearly two dozen residents of a neighborhood in Mayflower will be able to return to their homes.

Crews continue cleaning up after an oil pipeline broke Friday.

Walking through the neighborhood, there’s still the distinct smell of oil, though Faulkner County Judge Allen Dodson says it’s certainly much better than it was.

Malcolm Glover

Interstate 40 was closed in both directions east of Hazen because of an accident mid-morning Thursday near the White River Bridge involving three tractor-trailers and a car.  Around noon police began letting some westbound traffic through.

KUAR’s Malcolm Glover was at the scene and reports an official with the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department told him that a car stopped on the interstate and was struck by one truck, with two others then colliding into the wreckage.

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