Michael Hibblen

As News Director, Michael Hibblen oversees daily news coverage for KUAR. He handles assignments for the news staff, helps develop story ideas and edits copy. Michael is responsible for starting a news-sharing partnership between public radio stations in Arkansas in 2009 which laid the foundation for what became Arkansas Public Media. He is also a regular panelist on AETN's Arkansas Week, where journalists discuss issues in the news.

A native of North Little Rock, Michael started in radio in 1988, spending his first five years as a DJ for music stations in central and northeast Arkansas. After a 1993 internship at the C-SPAN Cable Network in Washington, DC, he transitioned to news, working for commercial radio stations KARN in Little Rock, WRVA in Richmond, Virginia and WIOD in Miami, Florida. In 2000, Michael became a nationally heard, Miami-based reporter for CBS Radio News, covering major stories in the region, including the anthrax attack at a tabloid publisher, an international custody fight over Cuban boy Elian Gonzalez, and the 2000 presidential election recount. He was hired by daily newspaper the Miami Herald in 2003 when it partnered with NPR station WLRN, initially working as morning news anchor. Later Michael became department editor, then assistant news director. He also wrote frequently for the newspaper.

Michael returned home to Little Rock in 2009 to work for KUAR. At that time he also resumed taking classes at UALR to finish his Bachelor of Arts degree in Mass Communication, graduating in May of 2013.

Phone: 501-683-7386

E-mail: michael@kuar.org

Tim McKuin

The Arkansas Supreme Court heard a case Thursday that may foreshadow legal battles over LGBTQ protections between state and local governments nationwide.

A 2015 state law banned anti-discrimination ordinances on any basis not already included in Arkansas law. Now lawyers for the state are suing the City of Fayetteville to invalidate its municipal ordinance protecting LGBTQ citizens.

Oral arguments on both sides pivoted on what constitutes an existing protected class in the state constitution.

The months leading up to Thanksgiving Day are a busy time for poultry companies that process turkeys. A new report by Slate Magazine says it also adds to an already disturbing amount of pressure for those who work in turkey plants, including one in northwest Arkansas.

The first performance at the newly renovated Robinson Center Performance Hall will take place Saturday. A key goal of the $70 million project has been to improve the acoustics of the Little Rock-owned venue that was built in 1939. Those attending the show by the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra will get to judge for themselves.

Election Day dominates this week's podcast, with a discussion on the races for president, U.S. Senate, medical marijuana and the Arkansas Legislature. We also note how Veteran's Day was observed in Arkansas.

You can listen to the podcast above or Subscribe on iTunes.

After a $70 million renovation, funded by a two percent rededicated advertising and promotion tax approved by voters in 2013, on Thursday the doors of an iconic Little Rock performance venue were reopened to the public.

After nearly two and a half years of work, a ribbon cutting ceremony is set for Thursday at 10 a.m. for Little Rock's Robinson Center. A $70 million renovation is being completed on the auditorium which first opened in 1939.

Free tickets will be handed out Tuesday at 10 a.m. on the steps of the newly renovated Robinson Center in Little Rock for a thank you concert later this month by the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra. It comes as final work is being done before next week's grand reopening and ribbon cutting ceremony.

The pending election dominates this week's podcast, with the KUAR news staff talking with voters, discussing the last minute invalidation of one of two medical marijuana proposals, and taking an in-depth look at issues 1 and 3.

We also have Gov. Asa Hutchinson on funding cuts for Little Rock's War Memorial Stadium and talk with a lawmaker proposing his own budget cuts that he wants considered in next year's legislative session.