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

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. 

The Arkansas Attorney General’s office announced Tuesday a $7 million settlement has been reached with internet search giant Google over allegations it collected data from unsecured wireless networks.

The AG’s office says the information was collected by Google’s Street View cars, which took images for geolocation services.

Google acknowledges information gathered may have included addresses of requested web pages, email communications, as well as confidential or private information transmitted as the Google Street View cars were passing.

Nathan Vandiver

As Arkansas lawmakers consider an expansion of health care under the federal health care law, hundreds turned out Thursday for a bi-partisan rally on the steps of the state Capitol in favor of an expansion. 

Republican Sen. Jonathan Dismang of Beebe, who had been skeptical, told the crowd that members of his party are keeping an open mind and working to reach to reach an agreement.

"The interest exists and people are willing to dive into this and make sure they’re making truly informed decisions," Dismang said. 

Gov. Mike Beebe issued his second veto of this year’s legislative session Monday and again it was an abortion-related bill.

Lieutenant Governor's office

With Gov. Mike Beebe out of state attending a National Governors Association meeting in Washington, Lt. Gov. Mark Darr Friday signed into law a bill that makes private a list of people who can carry concealed weapons in Arkansas.

Gov. Beebe had said he would not sign the bill, but also would not veto it, which would allow it to become law five days after reaching his desk.

But in his role as Acting Governor, Darr signed it into law, saying in a written statement that he felt there should be no delay.

Rogers Photo Archive

With this year marking the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, 120 rare photos of the president will be on display next month in central Arkansas.

"The JFK 50 Years Later" exhibit will highlight rare and never before seen photos of John F. Kennedy and his family," said John Gaudin, chairman of the Board of Directors for the Argenta Arts Foundation.

The exhibit will be held at various arts locations and will be free to the public.

Michael Hibblen

A major new employer will be coming to east Arkansas IF the legislature approves start-up funding for the project.

Governor Mike Beebe announced Tuesday that a much talked about super-project involves a steel mill in Osceola.

"It is a $1.1 billion investment.  It is 525 direct, immediate jobs with an average salary of $75,000 a piece," Gov. Beebe said to applause in a packed conference room at the Capitol.

About 2,000 temporary construction jobs would also be created as the mill is being built.

Michael Hibblen

A former state lawmaker, who has led efforts concerning state highways in previous years, was appointed Thursday to the Arkansas Highway Commission.

Former House Speaker Robert Moore was named to a 10-year term, replacing commission Chairman Madison Murphy, whose term is expiring.

Moore said he realizes the significance and challenges of maintaining good highways and will look for innovative new ways to meet the challenges of funding needed work.

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