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.

Talk Business & Politics

Attorney General Leslie Rutledge testified before a U.S. Senate committee Tuesday on the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed rule to broaden its authority over waterways nationwide under the Clean Water Act.

Rutledge told the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry that Arkansas’s economy would be devastated by the proposed changes, and that farmers in the state's Delta region would be crippled.

 The Arkansas House approved a bill Monday, 62-to-14, to allow a candidate to run for two federal offices at the same time.

The bill’s author, Republican Senator Bart Hester of Cave Springs,  said he had the political future of U.S. Republican Senator Tom Cotton in mind when he wrote the bill.

Fellow Republican representative Nate Bell of Mena, spoke in favor of the bill on the House floor.

state board of education little rock school district takeover
Brian Chilson / Arkansas Times

An injunction hearing began Wednesday in a lawsuit challenging the Arkansas State Board of Education’s January 28 dissolution of the Little Rock School Board.

An attorney for the plaintiffs, Rickey Hicks, said his team’s initial examination of school board members is  meant to establish they have experienced irreparable harm as a result of their dismissal from duty. 

Brian Chilson / Arkansas Times

The Arkansas Times reports State Rep. Justin Harris, R-West Fork, and his wife Marsha, gave their two young adopted daughters away to a 38-year-old employee of their preschool, Growing God's Kingdom, named Eric Francis. Francis was fired from the preschool and was eventually convicted of sexually assaulting one of the girls.

KUAR’s Sarah Whites-Koditschek spoke with Benji Hardy of the Arkansas Times about his story on the little known practice of “rehoming.”

The Arkansas Senate passed a bill Thursday to add drone surveillance to the state’s voyeurism laws. The legislation would make it illegal to use a drone to photograph or view someone underneath their clothing, or in private.  

Sen. Jon Woods, R-Springdale, spoke in favor of the bill, which passed 27-1. He said the Arkansas State Police had issues with the original language of the bill, but that this version would not interfere with their duties.

Nate Bell
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR News

The House Judiciary Committee has approved a bill that would define an unborn child as a person in the case felony assault and battery cases.

The new definition would allow prosecutors to try drug addicted mothers for harm against their infants. Rep. Nate Bell, R-Mena, sponsored the bill which he said is meant to give prosecutors extra tools.

Sarah Whites-Koditschek / KUAR

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson has announced a $64 million plan to address overcrowding at the state’s prisons. At a press conference Wednesday, Hutchinson said he would open nearly 800 prison beds, hire new probation and parole officers and create alternative sentencing and reentry programs for some of the state’s roughly 2,500 inmates held in county jails.

The governor described his plan as a mix between an investment in prison space and an effort to reduce the state’s recidivism rate of 43 percent. 

Larry Jegley
Sarah Whites-Koditschek / KUAR

The Arkansas House Judiciary Committee postponed a decision on a bill  Tuesday that would end life sentences without parole for crimes committed by juveniles.  The bill was pulled down for amendments following nearly two hours of discussion.

House Bill 1197 would end life without parole for individuals convicted of committing murder  before the age of 18 and allows for parole eligibility after a 20 year sentence if there was no intent to murder and 28 years for an intentional killing.

Arkansas Legislature House Floor
Chris Hickey / KUAR

The Arkansas General Assembly passed a bill Friday that would prohibit municipal and county ordinances requiring businesses to serve Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgendered people.  The House also approved a bill to apply strict scrutiny standards to all religious beliefs, allowing pastors to abstain from marrying LGBT individuals if same-sex marriage is legalized in Arkansas.

The Arkansas House Committee on Education voted on several bills Tuesday, including Governor Asa Hutchinson’s proposed statewide computer science class, state certification of yoga teachers schools, and expanding class sizes in public schools.

The bill bill on class sizes would have added two extra students to classrooms on a temporary basis. 

“I believe school districts are just being non compliant with (current) law. I don’t think it’s a realistic expectation they’re going to hire a school teacher seven weeks into school,” said Rep. Jim Dotson-R.

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