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.

Arkansas Capitol
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

A subcommittee of the Arkansas Legislature has given final approval to a rule allowing counselors to refer clients to another provider if they have religious objections to treating them. But critics say it could allow the denial of mental health services for LGBT people.

The Legislative Council's Rules and Regulations Subcommittee approved the proposal Tuesday by the Arkansas Board of Examiners in Counseling, which regulates about 2,800 counselors and therapists in the state.

KUAR Week-In-Review Podcast.
Michael Hibblen

Arkansas, like the rest of the nation, had an emotional reaction to the police shootings of young black men this week, then five officers being killed by a gunman in Dallas. We feature comments from a rally at the state Capitol Friday and Gov. Asa Hutchinson offering his thoughts.

We also advance a trip by the governor and economic development officials to Europe to nurture the state's aerospace industry, have Hutchinson's thoughts on Donald Trump's presidential campaign and discuss proposals likely to go before voters in November which were submitted before a deadline Friday.

Sarah Whites-Koditschek / KUAR

Little Rock’s Central High School National Historic Site is joining with other civil rights sites across the south to seek international recognition.  Officials announced Tuesday it has applied to be a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  

Joe David Rice, tourism director for the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism, says the goal is to draw new visitors and international attention to Little Rock. He says while the integration crisis was a mistake, the visitor’s center reflects how much the state has evolved.

Several dozen Little Rock residents aspiring to have a leadership role in local schools will make their case before the Arkansas Board of Education Monday.

Applicants for slots on the Little Rock School District Community Advisory Board are giving three minute pitches for themselves. State Board member Jay Barth says the group is statutorily mandated as part of the state takeover of the district.

He says the board will have authority over hiring and firing appeals, along with a larger mandate to speak for Little Rock residents.

Sarah Whites-Koditschek / KUAR

Imam Mahmoud Hassanein says members of the Islamic Center of Little Rock may send a delegation to Florida in solidarity with victims of Sunday’s deadly massacre at a gay bar in Orlando.

He expressed regret about Sunday’s killing and says his community is grieving the incident.

"This is the killing of innocent people who had done nothing," he said. 

According to Hassanein, Islam teaches that homosexuality is wrong, but it is up to God to judge and respond, not individual people. 

@RiverMarket / Twitter

Arkansans are joining with the rest of the nation in grieving for victims of Sunday’s mass shooting in a gay nightclub in Florida. 

Human Rights Campaign state Director Kendra Johnson says at a vigil Sunday night in Little Rock, there was a wide-shared sentiment that daily fears of many LGBT people were realized and magnified in the attack.

“Many people who walk down the street and are holding their partner's hand face violence,” she said.  

On KUAR's Week-In-Review Podcast the news team discusses the state convention by Democrats to choose delegates to the national convention, Republicans condemn recent comments by presumptive presidential nominee Donald Trump, after a 60 day review, the head of the Arkansas Department of Human Services announces a reorganizaiton and the Little Rock School District's outgoing superintendent says goodbye, while saying he'll still be around to help.

Soon-to-be-former LRSD Superintendent Baker Kurrus giving a progress report on the district to the state Board of Education.
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

Outgoing Little Rock School District Superintendent Baker Kurrus bid farewell to the State Board of Education Thursday, while touting testing evidence of academic improvement. 

The district’s first and second graders increased national percentile ranking on the Iowa Assessment by 15.79 percent in the first grade and 13.95 in the second.

“Look at those math scores," said Kurrus. "It's even more dramatic when you look at second grade math," he said. "We broke the 50 percentile,” he added, about the district's national math percentile rank of 54.

Logo of the Democratic Party of Arkansas
washcodemocrats.org

Members of Arkansas’s Democratic Party will be meeting this weekend to select the state’s 32 delegates to head to the nominating convention in Philadelphia in July.

State party chair Vincent Insalaco says beyond picking 10 delegates to represent Senator Bernie Sanders, and 22 for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the nominees are required to represent the diversity of Arkansas itself.

"That includes everything from gender, age, race, sexual orientation and so forth," including veterans with disabilities, he says. Over 150 people are vying to be delegates.

On this week's podcast: accountability and technology in the Little Rock Police Department two years into the chief’s service, a snapshot of state revenue and unemployment, Libertarian hopes in the era of Trump, and Jason Alexander sheds Seinfeld to direct at the Arkansas Reparatory Theater.

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