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.

City of Little Rock

A Little Rock Community Programs Advisory Committee is reviewing input for an updated Youth Master Plan this Thursday. 

The Community Programs office has held 30 community meetings to update its plan, first drafted 20 years ago, in an effort to fight crime and create opportunities for Little Rock youth in disadvantaged neighborhoods.  

Mosaic Templars Cultural Center
Arkansas Times

A forum on desegregation in Little Rock Saturday will cover past events to present-day patterns.

The Mosaic Templars Cultural Center is hosting the gathering as part of Black History Month. Key speakers on contemporary desegregation issues include attorney John Walker, former school board member Dr. Jim Ross, and longtime teacher Felicia Hobbs.

British Broadcasting Corporation

The City of Little Rock is launching a five-year sewage-line upgrade, called Project Renew, to its 1,400 miles of municipal pipes.

Greg Ramon, CEO of Little Rock Wastewater, said certain neighborhoods, Leawood, Briarwood, and Wingate, are priorities for improvements. It is a routine upgrade to the systems to replace old pipes to Keep rain and groundwater out of homes, and avoid sewage backups.

“The goal is to provide a reliable, cost effective system that will meet the need today, as well as for future generations," he said.

Doyle Webb
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

An earlier primary this year has encouraged presidential candidates to invest significantly more effort in wooing Arkansas voters than in past elections, according to state Republican Party Chairman Doyle Webb.

He said he has no guess as to which Republican will take Arkansas when voters go to the polls on March 1. 

"With Gov. Huckabee withdrawing from the the race, Arkansas is up for grabs," he said. "I anticipate seeing many of our candidates coming to the state, trying to make the case, close the deal, and pick up Arkansas delegates," Webb said.

An economic forecast report for next year shows an anticipated $106.8 million dollar budget increase from 2016.

The 2 percent increase is a result of tax cuts from last year’s legislative session.

The state currently has $551 million in net available revenue. In January revenue was $31 million dollars above forecast for the month.

The report shows all major collection categories were higher than expected. According to State Economist John Shellnutt, the positive results were due mostly to increased corporate and individual income taxes.

Sarah Whites-Koditschek / KUAR

City of Little Rock leaders are encouraging low to middle-income residents to check their eligibility for tax credits as the spring approaches. 

A coalition of city, business, and non-profit leaders are encouraging low-income residents in Little Rock to find out if they qualify.

W.J. Monagle, Executive Director of the Little Rock Workforce Development Board, spoke at City Hall Monday as part of an effort to get the word out about Earned Income Tax Credits.

January was wrapped up with a violent last day of the month in Little Rock. Three people were killed in the on Sunday in separate incidents.

Mayor Mark Stodola says he and Police Chief Kenton Buckner are doing everything they can to address the flare-up.

But, he said, a weekend of violence isn’t an indicator of a significant rise in crime. "I wish there was a way to stop speeding bullets," he said, adding he believes the city is doing everything it can.

On this week's program:

--Some shake-ups at DHS: The state Child welfare director announces she’s resigning. A report shows negligence at a Booneville Human Development Center. And when will the agency get new leadership at the top?

--The politics of sentencing: How do Arkansas’s U.S. Senate candidates stand on mandatory minimums? 

---The Arkansas Medical Board changes some key terms in the state’s regulations on abortions. We’ll examine the reasons behind the decision and how it might sit with Republican lawmakers.

Sarah Whites-Koditschek / KUAR

Educators from the around the world toured Hall High School’s English as a Second Language program Monday. The visiting teachers included representatives from Taiwan, Oman, China, Bulgaria, and Afghanistan.

It’s part of a U.S. State Department effort that brings international visitors to observe U.S. educational practices.

Hall High School was selected for part of the program by the State Department. It has 290 ESL students that are bused from around the Little Rock School District.