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

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Local & Regional News
12:14 pm
Fri November 22, 2013

School Desegregation Settlement Gets Preliminary Approval

Little Rock School District attorney Chris Heller speaking with reporters outside the federal courthouse.
Credit Michael Hibblen / KUAR

A federal judge has given preliminary approval for a settlement to resolve the long-running desegregation case involving central Arkansas school districts.

During Friday’s hearing, U.S. District Judge Price Marshall questioned representatives of all parties involved, then called it a “fair, reasonable and adequate” proposal.

“It shows hard bargaining with no hallmarks of inside dealing,” Marshall said as he granted the approval.

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Local & Regional News
11:38 am
Thu November 21, 2013

Furniture Maker To Open Factory In Morrilton Creating 75 Jobs

75 jobs are being created with the opening of a furniture manufacturing plant in Morrilton.  Governor Mike Beebe took part in the announcement Thursday morning.

Vinh Long, which is based in Vietnam, says it will invest five million dollars to renovate an existing facility that had housed a Bosch factory.  The company supplies furniture and kitchen cabinets to Ikea and other retailers.

Hiring will begin in the spring, with the plant opening next the summer.

Company officials said Arkansas is a good location because it has a sustainable supply of raw materials.

Local & Regional News
2:10 pm
Mon November 18, 2013

Pulaski County Jail Overcrowded, May Have To Keep Only Most Dangerous

The Pulaski County Detention Center
Credit Pulaski County Sheriff's Office

The Pulaski County jail has become critically overcrowded, Sheriff Doc Holladay said Monday, which could result in it only being able to house the most dangerous offenders.

It comes as Arkansas has made changes to the parole system, stiffening rules for when people must be detained for violating parole.  That has greatly increased the number of violators being detained at county jails, waiting for space to become available in state prisons.

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Local & Regional News
6:35 pm
Fri November 15, 2013

Deal To End Desegregation Payments Nearly Complete Despite Reservations

Attorney General Dustin McDaniel testifies before the Arkansas Legislative Council on Friday
Credit Chris Hickey / KUAR News

The Arkansas Legislative Council on Friday heard details of the agreement reached between the state and central Arkansas school districts to end desegregation payments and approved the terms of the proposed settlement.

Attorney General Dustin McDaniel spoke to lawmakers, calling it a “historic milestone,” and praising efforts by the legal counsels of all school districts involved.

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Local & Regional News
3:14 pm
Thu November 14, 2013

Arkansas School Districts Reach Desegregation Pact

Attorney General Dustin McDaniel explains settlement proposal to a legislative committee.
Credit Brian Chilson / Arkansas Times

While it’s far from a done deal, Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel says the state and three Pulaski County school districts have reached an agreement that would end years of special payments to help desegregate schools.

McDaniel unveiled the new proposal during a legislative subcommittee meeting Thursday, which school boards and the Legislative Council would have to agree to.

“It is a very fair deal for all concerned and in my opinion, that includes Joshua. I hope that they will consent to being a party to it,” McDaniel told reporters after the hearing.

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Local & Regional News
6:27 pm
Wed November 13, 2013

Several Long Days Before Arkansas Teacher Finally Reaches Family In Philippines

After several grueling days of not knowing whether her loved ones were alive or dead from a devastating typhoon in the Philippines, a north Arkansas school teacher finally got some good news.

Mylet Trotter is a native Filipino who immigrated to the U.S. in 1990 and now teaches 6th grade at Pinkston Middle School in Mountain Home.

“My family is still in the Philippines, I have two brothers there. Together they have a dozen children, so we were really worried about them,” Trotter said.

Repeated attempts to reach them failed.

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Local & Regional News
3:58 pm
Tue November 12, 2013

New Ad Targets Sen. Pryor For Supporting Judicial Nominees

A new ad began airing Tuesday in several Arkansas television markets, targeting Senator Mark Pryor for his support of President Obama’s judicial nominees.

In particular, the ad by the conservative Judicial Crisis Network is tying the Democrat, who is up for reelection next year, to the President’s picks to fill out the District of Columbia's Circuit Court of Appeals.

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Local & Regional News
5:10 pm
Mon November 11, 2013

Election Day To Decide Alcohol Sales In NLR's Park Hill

Residents of a North Little Rock neighborhood go to the polls Tuesday to decide whether to allow the sale of alcohol.

The Park Hill neighborhood has been dry since 1966, but business leaders believe allowing the sale of alcohol could revive the area and bring restaurants to the stretch of John F. Kennedy Boulevard, between I-40 and McCain Boulevard.

220 people took part in early voting last week, election officials report.

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Local & Regional News
11:26 am
Fri November 8, 2013

Exhibit From Famed Alfred Stieglitz Collection Opens At NW Arkansas Museum

This weekend an exhibit from the collection of noted early 20th century photographer and art collector Alfred Stieglitz opens to the public at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville.

The highly anticipated showing comes after a protracted legal battle involving the Attorney General of Tennessee, who argued that the collection should stay in his state.

Stieglitz’s wife Georgia O’Keeffe donated the collection to the historic African American college Fisk University in 1949 with the stipulation that it could never be sold.

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Local & Regional News
4:50 pm
Wed November 6, 2013

Task Force Created To Combat Human Trafficking in Arkansas

Attorney General Dustin McDaniel, alongside Arkansas legislators, announcing the creation Wednesday of a task force to investigate human trafficking.
Credit Michael Hibblen / KUAR

Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel announced Wednesday the establishment of a task force to combat forced labor and sex trafficking in the state.

Its creation was part of the Human Trafficking Act, which was passed this year by the Arkansas Legislature.

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