Sarah Whites-Koditschek

Reporter / Anchor

Sarah Whites-Koditschek is a reporter and anchor for KUAR 89.1.

She was a production assistant and reporter for WHYY in Philadelphia. She also interned at NPR’s Morning Edition in Los Angeles.

Sarah is a graduate of Smith College, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in American Studies. She was a student at the Stabile Center For Investigative Journalism at Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism.

KUAR's news staff reviews the week a little early, in advance of the extended 4th of July holiday weekend.

Arkansas has ended its fiscal year above forecast. The state’s net available gross revenue is $5 billion, with a surplus of $191 million for 2015.  That’s a 4.5 percent higher surplus than last year, according to a revenue report published by the Department of Finance and Administration on Thursday.

According to John Shellnut, an economist with the department, the improvement represents a new stage of recession recovery for Arkansas.

Sarah Whites-Koditschek / KUAR

  Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson signed a memorandum of understanding with officials and business leaders from Vietnam Monday. 

"We've already had some discussions and I love the interest they've expressed in terms of commodity purchasing, but we'll also look for continued points of commerce between us," said Hutchinson. 

he said Dong Nai Province, a rural region in Vietnam, plans to develop an on-going business relationship with the state.

Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson says the state is reviewing drug options for lethal injections following the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling Monday morning.

The court ruled 5-4 to allow Oklahoma to continue to use Midazolam, a sedative that inmates had argued may not prevent pain in lethal injections because it is not a barbiturate.

Hutchinson spoke to press at the Capitol shortly after the ruling.

Two major rulings this week by the U.S. Supreme Court dominate the discussion on KUAR's Week-In-Review podcast this week. 

On Thursday, the court let stand a major provision of the Affordable Care Act, saying federal subsidies can go to states like Arkansas which did not set up state-run exchanges, but instead partner with a federal exchange. The news staff discusses the ruling and has reaction from state legislatures.

same-sex marriage 6-26-15
Sarah Whites-Koditschek / KUAR News

Same-sex couples are getting married in Arkansas after the U.S. Supreme Court issued a landmark ruling Friday that state same-sex  marriage bans are unconstitutional. 

The 5-to-4 decision has LGBT people in Arkansas rejoicing and state conservative groups lambasting the decision.

Little Rock Assistant Fire Chief Greg Summers spoke as a witness in a Pulaski County Court hearing Thursday in a discrimination suit against the City of Little Rock and former Little Rock Police Chief Stuart Thomas.

The suit, brought by Little Rock Police Department Captain Patrice Smith, an an African American, alleges the department employed discriminatory hiring practices in its selection of an assistant police chief.

prison jail department of correction
Sarah Whites-Koditschek / KUAR

Arkansas Corrections officials say they are working to turn back rules that led to a steep increase in inmate numbers beginning in 2013. Projections indicate the state's inmate population will grow by almost 26,000 by the year 2025.

According to Department of Community Corrections spokeswoman, Dina Tyler, both the parole board and the correction board are preparing proposals for upcoming meetings to roll back stricter probation rules, with the goal of shortening the stay of low-risk re-offenders.

Sarah Whites-Koditschek / KUAR News

After several days of political wrangling over which assessment to use for public schools students in Arkansas, Little Rock School District Superintendent Baker Kurrus declined to weigh in on the debate.

Tom Cotton
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas says he is returning a contribution from the head of a white supremacist group linked to last week’s shooting at a church in South Carolina.