KUAR's Week In Review Podcast

Journalists from the KUAR and Arkansas Public Media news departments review the week's news. Contributors include Michael Hibblen, Jacob Kauffman, Chris Hickey, Karen Tricot Steward, Bobby Ampazzan and Sarah Whites-Koditschek.

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On this week's podcast: As questions about possible collusion between the Donald J. Trump White House and the Russian government swell to a fever pitch in Washington, we talk Arkansas’s congressional reaction to the firing of the FBI director, the appointment of a special prosecutor and more.

-A look toward the 2018 general election. Gov. Asa Hutchinson and other incumbents are in a strong position. What are the big issues? What challenges lie ahead? Who will emerge as the potential challengers?

-And we look at the economic impact of spring flooding on Arkansas farmland.

Three big topics on KUAR’s Week-In-Review Podcast:

-Record flooding in northern Arkansas prompts a big response to save lives and property. We talk with KASU reporter Johnathan Reaves about what he has seen and calls for improvements to the state’s levees after another failure leaves a town flooded.

-The Arkansas General Assembly hold a special session approving changes to the state’s Medicaid expansion program and talking about impeaching Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen for demonstrating against the death penalty.

-And reaction to news that former evangelist Tony Alamo, convicted of sexually abusing children at his compound in southwest Arkansas, has died in prison. Sabrina McCormick with KTXK has been talking with many in southwest Arkansas, while we’ll air segments of a 1982 interview former KUAR news and program director Ron Breeding recorded with Alamo and his beliefs.

On this edition of KUAR's Week-In-Review Podcast we sit down with Bobby Ampezzan and Sarah Whites-Koditschek of Arkansas Public Media to talk about the story that has consumed the state this week: the first execution carried out in 12 years. We discuss the night of the execution, the legal developments leading up to it — including decisions by state and federal courts — and have a look ahead to next week when three more executions are scheduled.

A federal judge temporarily blocks the execution of one man who’s among eight to die over a 10-day timetable this month. What does the state’s clemency process have to do with it?

-While a federal appeals court says Ohio can’t use a controversial lethal injection drug, we explore the issues surrounding midazolam—part of Arkansas’s three-drug cocktail.

-What’s Arkansas’s congressional response to President Trump ordering airstrikes against Syria’s Assad regime?

This edition of KUAR's Week In Review podcast tackles the winding down of the legislative session. Lawmakers retread the concealed carry debate and carve out an exception for athletic events, UAMS, and the state hospital despite NRA opposition. The online sales tax finally gets past a committee hurdle and the bathroom bill gets pushed aside for another time as does highway funding.

On the program:

-Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson signs a law to eventually bring concealed firearms into college campuses, the state capitol, stadiums and bars. How will the state adapt and who’s raising alarm?

-The Governor also puts pen to paper on a law officially separating Robert E. Lee and Martin Luther King.

-As planned executions for eight state inmates over ten days draws closer, we look at failed efforts to outlaw or limit capital punishment in Arkansas.

On this week's podcast, two bills are awaiting the governor's signature.

One got final approval late Friday afternoon, capping years of debate about whether the state should end the practice of having dual recognition of Confederate General Robert E. Lee and civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. on the same day.

The other greatly expands where concealed handguns can be carried.

We also discuss how two Congressmen from Arkansas helped advance a Republican proposal to repeal and replace Obamacare. And we have the latest on eight executions scheduled over a 10-day period next month.

On this week's podcast the KUAR News team tackles the emerging overhaul of healthcare at the both federal and state level. The Speaker of the House is moving forward with the repeal of the Affordable Care Act but Arkansas's congressional delegation has plenty of reservations about the replacement plan.

On the same as the national GOP plan unveiling, Governor Asa Hutchinson released his plan to seek new changes to Medicaid Expansion. The Republican governor's proposed waivers to the Affordable Care Act enabled plan could cost 60,000 low-income residents insurance coverage. 

On this edition of KUAR's Week-In-Review podcast, we explore the state's decision to schedule execution dates for eight inmates over a period of ten days. The Death Penalty Information Center says that's an unprecedented timetable for executions since the U.S. resumed capital punishment in 1977.

Why the hurry?  What’s the status of execution drugs, and do the inmates have any appeals left?

Arkansas Times

Chris Hickey and Karen Tricot Steward take a deep-dive into some of the top stories in Arkansas this week, including angry constituents at town hall meetings and a Supreme Court decision to strike down a local anti-discrimination law.

Plus: Why KUAR interim general manager Nathan Vandiver, once champion of a beard-growing contest, has reservations about entering again. 

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