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

Lottery Camelot Global Services
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

A proposal to hire an outside consulting firm to evaluate the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery is to go before the Arkansas Legislative Council Friday. Lawmakers are concerned that lottery revenue has been declining for the last couple of years and have been pushing for the assessment.

Executives with Camelot Global Services, which lawmakers are considering hiring without taking bids from other companies, spoke Thursday before the lottery's legislative oversight committee.

Not Necessarily Nashville
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Three stalwarts of the Little Rock music scene are performing together in a new band called The Wildflowers.  Bonnie Montgomery, Mandy McBryde and Amy Garland began playing as a trio this past weekend, in advance of a show Thursday, Sept. 18, opening for country music legend Billy Joe Shaver.

They also joined Not Necessarily Nashville host Flap Jones live in the studio at KUAR to perform and talk about some of their own songs.  You can listen to segments of the show above.

Conway City Attorney Michael Murphy has been named to serve the remainder of the term of Circuit Judge Mike Maggio, who was removed from office last week by the Arkansas Supreme Court for misconduct.

Gov. Mike Beebe’s office announced the appointment Monday.

Robotics Governor Mike Beebe
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

About 3,000 high school students from around the region will take part in a massive robotics competition next year in Little Rock. Details of the event, designed to make key subjects more engaging for young people, were announced Wednesday at the Capitol.

In the governor’s conference room, a robot named Nighthawk sped around, tossing a large ball toward Gov. Mike Beebe and Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola. They joined with officials involved in the Arkansas Rock City Regional FIRST Robotics Competition, to be held March 4-7, 2015 at Barton Coliseum.

Governor Mike Beebe
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Gov. Mike Beebe dismissed concerns over a report this week by the Government Accountability Office saying Arkansas’s private option plan will cost the federal government more than had been estimated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which approved the program.

Auditors had said the state’s alternative Medicaid expansion program will not be “revenue-neutral” compared to a standard Medicaid expansion under the federal healthcare law.

Conway airport
Conway Area Chamber of Commerce

After three years of construction work, Conway’s new airport is opening this week. A dedication ceremony is set for Friday, but planes will begin using the new facility in the city’s Lollie Bottoms area Monday.

It's on 430 acres and replaces an airport in the center of town that was about a third that size and had opened 1928. But as Conway grew around it, space was severely limited, with officials long considering a new location.

vietvet.org

The Butler Center for Arkansas Studies is launching the Arkansas Vietnam War Project, with the hopes of documenting the stories of people who were in the war, or knew someone who was. The Center hopes to record oral histories as well as collect letters, photographs and diary entries from willing participants.

Brian Robertson is manager of the Research Services Division at the Butler Center and is leading the project. He says at the time of U.S. involvement, Arkansans largely supported the war effort.

Tom Cotton Mitt Romney
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney says unseating incumbent U.S. Senator Mark Pryor of Arkansas is critical to the future of the nation.

Speaking to reporters in North Little Rock after headlining two fundraisers for Republican candidate Tom Cotton, he didn’t talk much about the candidates, but said it’s about the balance of power.

"This will make a difference. This could well be the race that determines who will have the majority in the Senate," Romney said.

Arkansas Education Commissioner Tony Wood
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

As part of an ambitious $265 million plan to completely remake the North Little Rock School District, the first new school is now open. A ceremony was held Tuesday to dedicate the rebuilt Meadow Park Elementary, with three other schools to open in December.

Students patiently waited through a series of speakers, before the ribbon-cutting and students and faculty shouting in unison "let's go to school."  It's the first new school to open in the district in 44 years.

Tom Cotton Reince Priebus
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

The Chairman of the Republican National Committee is in Arkansas, promising the state will be ground zero in the battle to seize control of the U.S. Senate this fall.

Speaking to volunteers at Tom Cotton’s campaign office Tuesday, Reince Priebus said incumbent Senator Mark Pryor lied when he said people would benefit from the president’s healthcare plan.

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