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

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.

US Senator Mark Pryor
pryor.senate.gov

Sen. Mark Pryor, the sole Democrat remaining in Arkansas' congressional delegation, is bringing in the big guns as he formally kicks off his re-election campaign this weekend.

Former President Bill Clinton is among those expected at fundraisers Saturday evening in Little Rock. 

Three events are planned.  A dinner at the Peabody Hotel, a cocktail reception at the Statehouse Convention Center and what’s being called an Arkansas Celebration, also at the Statehouse. 

Governor Mike Beebe and former Senators David Pryor and Dale Bumpers are also expected. 

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