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.

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Local & Regional News
1:44 pm
Thu October 30, 2014

Lawmakers To Hear Preliminary Report on 911 Systems Statewide

The Legislative Arkansas Blue Ribbon Committee on Local 911 Systems will hear an update on early findings of a statewide report on emergency call systems Friday. The committee aims to set quality standards and address issues with 911 systems around the state.

In its preliminary report, the committee identified issues, including funding gaps for certain counties that have not passed a local surcharge for 911 service.

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Arkansas Ballot Measures
8:44 am
Thu October 30, 2014

Arkansas Voters To Consider Issue 3, Proposing Ethics Reforms

SLIDESHOW: Tachany Evans, Democratic candidate for house district 68 with Save Arkansas Term Limits' Trojan horse.
Sarah Whites-Koditschek KUAR News

Ballot Issue 3 would add restrictions on lobbyist spending, loosen term limits for state legislators, create a two year gap between leaving the legislature and becoming a lobbyist and form a new commission to set legislator salaries.

Despite its ethics reforms, some are calling the measure a Trojan horse, or a power grab by the legislature disguised as a gift.

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Local & Regional News
8:45 am
Tue October 28, 2014

Education Committee Recommends Higher Base Pay For Teachers

Some Arkansas teachers at the bottom of the pay scale could get a raise in the next fiscal year. The state's joint committee on education completed recommendations its 2014 adequacy report Monday.

It advanced a two percent minimum salary increase which would bring teacher’s base pay amount to $31,000 a year over the next two years.  Teachers with a bachelor's degree would then receive an annual $450 salary increase and those with a master's degree would get an extra $500 in salary each year.

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Lt. Governor's Race
7:40 pm
Mon October 27, 2014

With Few Explicit Job Duties, Lt. Gov. Candidates Campaign On Job Creation

Arkansas's lieutenant governor presides over the state Senate, casts tie-breaking votes and stands ready to serve as governor should the need arise.
Credit Arkansas.gov

The future of Arkansas’s lieutenant governor’s office is unclear. After Mark Darr resigned the post amid charges of ethics violations earlier this year some called to abolish the office altogether.

Despite talk of its demise, three men are running to fill the seat. U.S. Congressman Tim Griffin, a former federal prosecutor and republican national committee staffer, is the Republican candidate. 

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Arkansas Minimum Wage
4:58 pm
Mon October 27, 2014

Minimum Wage Hike To Stay On November Ballot

Gloria Smith canvasses to get out the vote.
Credit PBS NewsHour

Arkansas' highest court says the November ballot can include a proposal to gradually increase the state's minimum wage.

The Arkansas Supreme Court's ruling on Monday rejects a challenge by a Little Rock businessman who wanted to block a ballot question that asks voters to raise the state's minimum wage from $6.25 an hour to $8.50 gradually by 2017.

Arkansas is one of the few states with a minimum wage below the federal level of $7.25 an hour.

Democrats had pushed for the issue to be on the ballot.

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Local & Regional News
3:28 pm
Tue October 21, 2014

Arkansas AG Announces New School Safety Initiative

Attorney General Dustin McDaniel

Attorney General Dustin McDaniel announced a school safety initiative as part of the state’s Special Investigations Division at a press conference Tuesday.

McDaniel said the program is to increase preparation for school shooting incidents around the state. He says teachers, law enforcement officers and first responders need to know what steps to take in a school emergency.

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Local & Regional News
6:34 pm
Mon October 20, 2014

Arkansas Community Corrections Proposes Nearly $9 Million In Reentry Funds

Prisoners play basketball near the Arkansas Correctional School in Pine Bluff.
Credit Sarah Whites-Koditschek

Arkansas Community Corrections presented a proposal for transitional  centers for ex-offenders to a legislative joint committee Monday. The plan would provide 800 transitional beds statewide over two years at a total cost of nearly $9 million. 

Sheila Sharp of the Community Corrections said that could help ease prison crowding as it looks to release inmates and avoid recidivism.

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Local & Regional News
2:54 pm
Mon October 13, 2014

Study Says 77 Percent Of Arkansas 3rd Graders Read At Grade Level

Authors of a study on the importance of 3rd grade literacy presented their findings to legislators today. They say, according to state benchmark exams, 77 percent of the state’s third graders read at grade level and that’s a pivotal measure of their future success.

The legislative interim study, complied by the Winthrop Rockefeller foundation and Arkansas Advocates for Children and families made several recommendations to the state legislature Monday.  Recommendations including high quality Pre-k and afterschool programs and improved school attendance.  

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Local & Regional News
5:08 pm
Tue October 7, 2014

Arkansas Supreme Court Must Now Decide Constituionality of Marriage Ban Alone

The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear cases appealing same-sex marriage bans in five states. In May, the Arkansas State Supreme Court suspended a judge’s decision to void a 2004 constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage in the state. 

The state Supreme Court has not yet issued a ruling. Jay Barth is a political scientist at Hendrix College. He says some experts speculate state justices have been awaiting a decision on the matter from the nation’s highest court.

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News About Public Radio
6:56 am
Mon October 6, 2014

Storm Causes KUAR And KLRE Power Outage

KUAR and KLRE were off the air for several hours Monday morning due to after an outage caused by an overnight storm. The stations were without power since 3:16 this morning until shortly before 7 a.m.

General Manager Ben Fry said the University of Arkansas Little Rock Facilities Management worked to get the stations' power back on the air. 

“There have been several power outages on campus. One of them [affected] the power that comes into the control rooms for KUAR and KLRE. It’s [turned] off the power for our vital systems,” he said.

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