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
5:02 pm
Tue November 25, 2014

Federal Judge Says Arkansans Have Right To Same-Sex Marriage

A federal judge has struck down Arkansas’s ban against same-sex marriage. 

U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker has ruled same sex-couples have a fundamental right to marry in Arkansas. She ruled that the state’s 2004 ban against same-sex marriage is unconstitutional under the 14th amendment.

A Pulaski County judge had struck down the marriage ban in May and about 500 couples were married before his ruling was stayed.

The Arkansas State Supreme Court is considering a similar case but has not yet issued a ruling.

Local & Regional News
5:06 pm
Mon November 24, 2014

Arkansas Lawmakers Review Report On Prison Overcrowding

Arkansas lawmakers are considering how to address prison overcrowding in the state. A legislative committee met Monday to discuss a report which proposes the construction of a 1,000 bed maximum-security prison funded by a 30-year, $231 million “wrap around” bond issue paid for with a $2 increase on car tags.  

 

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Local & Regional News
1:28 pm
Wed November 19, 2014

In Advance Of Hearings On Same-Sex Marriage, Rally Held At Capitol

Supporters of traditional marriage rally Wednesday morning on the steps of the Arkansas State Capitol.
Credit Sarah Whites-Koditschek / KUAR News

On the eve of oral arguments before the Arkansas Supreme Court and a federal judge, hundreds of supporters of traditional marriage rallied Wednesday morning at the state Capitol.

The event, organized by the Family Council, featured religious leaders and was designed to show support for the 2004 Arkansas constitutional amendment approved by voters that defined marriage as between one man and one woman.

"We are here today to call on the Arkansas Supreme Court to simply let the people's vote for marriage stand," said Jerry Cox, president of the group.

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Local & Regional News
2:46 pm
Tue November 18, 2014

Budget Committee Declines $14 Million Increase For Arkansas Pre-K

The Joint Budget Committee reviews the Department of Education's Budget Tuesday.
Credit Sarah Whites-Koditschek / KUAR

Arkansas lawmakers decided against a $14 million funding increase for pre-K programs Tuesday. The Joint Budget Committee reviewed the Department of Education’s budget plan in advance of the upcoming legislative session. Sen. Joyce Elliot, D-Little Rock, asked for a vote on an appropriation for extra funding to address cost of living increases since the program last received a funding increase in 2008.

She says her goal was simply to keep the program running at a basic level and the decision reflects a troubling set of priorities in the legislature.

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Local & Regional News
5:41 pm
Mon November 17, 2014

Report Shows Dire Need For More Pre-K Funding In Arkansas

Arkansas lawmakers review a Pre-K report released Monday.
Credit Sarah Whites-Koditschek / KUAR

A new report presented to a legislative committee Monday says $14 million is needed to raise state funding for pre-K programs to meet cost of living increases. The study also says only about half of eligible children are being served by Arkansas’s early childhood education programs.

State Representative David Kizzia joined Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families to share details of the study with members of the Education Committee. Lawmakers from Alabama and Oklahoma dialed in to discuss the successes of their pre-K programs following increases in funding.

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Local & Regional News
4:28 pm
Thu November 13, 2014

Governor-Elect Hutchinson Likely To Present Own Budget Plan To Legislature

Governor-elect Asa Hutchinson speaking to reporters Thursday in North Little Rock.
Credit Sarah Whites-Koditschek / KUAR News

Governor-elect Asa Hutchinson says he'll likely have a different approach to the budget than priorities outlined Thursday by outgoing Governor Mike Beebe.

Beebe is encouraging legislators to delay $29.4 million in tax cuts on capital gains and manufacturing in order to meet the needs of the educational system, Medicaid and state prisons.  Beebe warned that state employees won’t get pay raises next year and agencies will lose funds if tax cuts approved in 2013 go into effect.

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Local & Regional News
4:06 pm
Wed November 12, 2014

Civil War Exhibit Tells African American Story In Arkansas

The United States Civil War Timeline begins in 1788 when the U.S. Constitution was ratified allowing for the institution of slavery to continue.
Quantia Fletcher Mosaic Templars

An exhibit on the role of African Americans in the Civil War in Arkansas will open Friday to mark the sesquicentennial anniversary.

The exhibit by the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center challenges historical narratives casting the Union Army as a savior of the state’s passive African American population, says spokeswoman Quantia Fletcher.

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Local & Regional News
7:02 am
Wed November 12, 2014

HRC Ranks Little Rock 13 Out Of 100 In Equality Measure

The Human Rights Campaign has measured the state of equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered Arkansans in five cities across the state 

While Fayetteville scored a 42, Little Rock received a score of 13. According to Cathryn Oakley of the HRC, Little Rock's score was helped by statewide anti-bullying laws and by non-discrimination in city employment.

"Thirteen points is not amazing, on the other hand, it's 13 points more than other cities have," said Oakley. 

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Civil Rights Movement
5:01 pm
Tue November 11, 2014

Ernest Green Of Little Rock Nine To Speak On Daisy Bates's 100th Birthday

Credit Wikipedia.org

Daisy Bates, mentor to the Little Rock Nine, who desegregated Little Rock's Central High School in 1957 amid the opposition of an angry mob would have been 100 years old Tuesday.

At 6 p.m. Tuesday, Ernest Green, one of the Little Rock Nine, will give a speech at the Clinton School of Public Service for an event commemorating Bates.

Bates, who died in 1999, was born in Huttig, Ark. on November 11, 1914. She also served as president of the state chapter of the NAACP and was a speaker at the march on Washington in 1963.

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Local & Regional News
3:24 pm
Mon November 10, 2014

Department of Community Correction Innovates To Reduce Prison Population, Combat Recidivism

Arkansas's Department of Community Correction is developing new strategies for reducing recidivism and decreasing the state's overflowing prison population.

One plan includes releasing offenders into supervised transitional homes early.  On Monday, the legislature reviewed the Parole Board's procedures for releasing prisoners.

Dina Tyler, deputy director at the correction department said these transitional environments are necessary to help offenders leave prison and stay out.

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