Sarah Whites-Koditschek

Reporter, Arkansas Public Media

Sarah Whites-Koditschek is a Little Rock-based reporter for Arkansas Public Media covering education, healthcare, state politics, and criminal justice issues. Formerly she worked as a reporter and producer for WHYY in Philadelphia, and was an intern and editorial assistant for Morning Edition at National Public Radio in Los Angeles and Washington D.C.

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.

She has won awards from the Associated Press in Arkansas as well the Public Radio News Directors Inc.

Contact Sarah at sarah@arkansaspublicmedia.org or 501-683-8655.

Arkansas Times

The Arkansas Times turns 40 this year. The publication’s playfulness, its literary and investigative ambitions, have survived a battle between two daily papers, arson and a crisis in the journalism industry. The Historic Arkansas Museum is currently showing an exhibition on the paper’s history. 

The first edition of the Union Station Times, later to become The Arkansas Times, told readers, "When muck arises it will be raked." In 1974, 22- year-old Alan Leveritt published the first edition with a $200 donation.

The Little Rock School District's school board election is Tuesday, September 16. Joy Springer is challenging incumbent Norma Jean Johnson in the downtown area and Jim Ross is running against incumbent Jody Carreiro in West Little Rock.

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Early voting is underway in the Little Rock School District board election. Voters will decide on two of the board's seven seats by Tuesday, September 16. 

Joy Springer is challenging incumbent Norma Jean Johnson in the downtown area and Jim Ross is challenging incumbent Jody Carreiro in West Little Rock.

Here are transcripts from interviews with candidates Ross and Carreiro:

JIM ROSS

Q.) What should be done about issues of illiteracy in the district?

UALR

Civic and religious leaders from Little Rock spoke on racial inequality and conflict in the city at a forum Monday night at the University of Arkansas in Little Rock.  The meeting was organized as a response to the recent shooting of teenager Michael Brown and subsequent civil unrest in Ferguson, Missouri.

Religious leaders at the event spoke to the crowd about their role in helping with reconciliation between the races. Assistant pastor of Second Presbyterian Church, Lindy Vogado, said primarily white congregations need to do more to raise consciousness about issues of race.

Members of the Little Rock School District board running for election on September 16 responded to questions at a community forum at the Willie Hinton Neighborhood Resource Center Thursday night.

Incumbent Norma Jean Johnson is running against Joy Springer in the downtown area. Johnson told the crowd she wants to foster a more positive dialogue about the district to encourage families to stay, while looking for ways to cut wasteful spending.

Dassault Falcon Jet
wikicommons.org

Dassalt Falcon Jet held a groundbreaking ceremony Tuesday for a $60 million dollar expansion and improvement of its business jet competition facility near Little Rock's Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport.

Andrew Ponzoni, communications manager at Dassault Falcon Jet said his company considered investing in other cities but decided on Little Rock because of the company's history in the city.

arkleg.state.ar.us

State legislators continue to look for a solution to the long beleaguered retirement program for public school employees.

A task force led by Republican Senate Majority Leader Jim Hendren heard remarks Tuesday from an array of education and benefits officials in a preliminary discussion about merging the school employee plan with a state employee plan. Hendren says after the meeting, he doesn’t expect the legislature to pursue merging the two.

Sarah Whites-Koditschek

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mike Ross said today he wants to empower the state's veterans commission, push for tax exemptions for retired military members and increase funding for treatment courts for veterans.

Ross announced his plan for serving Arkansas veterans today. He said with a national average of 22 veteran suicides a day, the state's next governor can't be complacent in his attention to the needs of the nearly 260,000 veterans living in Arkansas.

Sarah Whites-Koditschek

The Little Rock School District board held its annual retreat on Friday evening to brainstorm about raising funds for needed school improvements costing up to $500 million. The board also wants to make a plan for improving six schools the state has categorized as being in distress.

According to school board president, Greg Adams, the board has a lot to parse out at the start of this school year.

Sarah Whites-Koditschek

State lawmakers are looking into problems with 911 systems across Arkansas. On Thursday, a legislative committee reviewed technological and staffing discrepancies between county systems.

State Senator Missy Irvin from Mountian View said some 911 call centers are run by police or fire departments. Others are run by volunteers that can’t consistently track the locations of incoming callers.

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