News

George Takei
Malcolm Glover / KUAR News

Actor and activist George Takei, best known for his role as Hikaru Sulu on Star Trek, is in Little Rock this week to perform with the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra.

While the orchestra plays, Takei will narrate A Survivor from Warsaw, a piece written by Austrian composer Arnold Schönberg in 1947. As narrator, Takei takes on the persona of Jewish concentration camp survivor.

Michael Hibblen / KUAR

55 years ago, a modest home on West 28th Street in Little Rock was where the Little Rock Nine would meet to coordinate efforts to integrate Central High School.

During the days when National Guard troops kept them out of the school, it’s also where they would meet with tutors in the basement to keep up with their studies.

Today the home of L. C. and Daisy Bates is restored to the way it looked in those days and is available for tours from the National Park Service.

Nathan Vandiver / KUAR News / KUAR

Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola met with members of the Arkansas Livestock Show Association Thursday to personally present four plans to expand the State Fairgrounds should it remain in its Little Rock location.

 

Stodola says the city wants the fair to stay. Little Rock recently passed a sales tax which included $3 million specifically for the fair.

Dr. Gary Wheeler
Malcolm Glover

  Next month, a Little Rock doctor will complete a yearlong project to help women in Belize get necessary medical care. Dr. Gary Wheeler with the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences has been working with the Belize Family Life Association and its network of clinics on an educational video that encourages Belizean women to get annual checkups to prevent cervical cancer.

KUAR’s Malcolm Glover Reflects On Pippin Role

Oct 14, 2011
Malcolm Glover performing in the Weekend Theater's production of Pippin.
Liz Clarke

After a little over three weeks of intense rehearsals, the Weekend Theater’s production of Pippin is underway with performances and a plot that are both entertaining and enlightening. I must admit, I’m a little biased, because I’ve been a part of the phenomenal team of cast and crew who have labored day and night to bring this musical to life.

My long journey from auditions, to practices, and even to the bows during curtain call on opening night has been an awesome experience that I shall always treasure.

Arkansas Gazette
Arkansas Gazette

It was the oldest newspaper west of the Mississippi River and an institution in Arkansas. This weekend former employees of the Arkansas Gazette will gather to mark the 20 year anniversary of the newspaper’s death.

The last issue of the Gazette hit the streets on October 18, 1991, capping a fierce battle between it and the Arkansas Democrat.

Rock Island Clinton Presidential Park Bridge Bill Clinton
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Former President Bill Clinton led a dedication ceremony Friday in Little Rock for a new $10.5 million pedestrian and cycling pathway over the Arkansas River, which was built inside an old railroad bridge. He was joined by his wife, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, daughter Chelsea, and the mayors of Little Rock and North Little Rock.

"This bridge is important because first, it keeps the promise we made," Clinton told the crowd. "We came up with the money that turned out to be two and a half times what the original estimate was to complete this trail loop.  It’s important.  I’m proud of it."

It was originally hoped that work to renovate the bridge, which was built in 1899, would be completed in time for the dedication of the Clinton Presidential Center in 2004.  But increasing costs led to it being repeatedly delayed.

Little Rock University Alumni Come Back To UALR

Sep 26, 2011
Alfred Williams
Malcolm Glover

State-of-the-art science facilities, new dorms, and the construction of a $13 million student services center are just some of the noteworthy changes on the campus of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

For over 80 years, the institution’s alumni have witnessed similar transformations and some of them will return to UALR this weekend to reconnect with former classmates, remember shared experiences, and reunite with an Alma matter that once carried a different name.

The killing of Osama bin Laden back in May and the continued dismantling of several jihadist networks are widely considered victories, but military officials warn that the road to rebuilding Afghan communities is rocky and the path to a peaceful exit is still uncertain.

Johnny Cash Festival
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

A sold out show at Arkansas State University raised more than $310,000 for the restoration of the boyhood home of music legend Johnny Cash in the east Arkansas town of Dyess.

Four generations of the Cash family, including daughter Rosanne Cash, son-in-law Rodney Crowell and son John Carter Cash were on hand to pay homage to Cash, as were many of his longtime friends like Kris Kristofferson.

Two Rivers Park Bridge
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Hundreds of people came out Friday, many with their bicycles, for the dedication of the new Two Rivers Park Bridge.

"Welcome to your new bridge!” Pulaksi County Judge Buddy Villines said to a cheering crowd. 

The $5 million pedestrian and bicycle bridge crosses the Little Maumelle River where it meets the Arkansas River and links the Arkansas River Trail with Two Rivers Park. Construction of the bridge, which took a year build, was funded with 80 percent federal dollars and Pulaski County paying the rest. 

Dogpatch USA
wikipedia

It was once a big attraction in north Arkansas, but Dogpatch USA, a hillbilly theme park based on the Li'l Abner comic strip, closed in 1993.

Nearly two decades later, the property has now ended up in the hands of a 23-year-old who nearly died there. Pruett Nance and his family are considering what to do with the land, located between Jasper and Harrison.

In 2005, Nance was riding an ATV through the grounds when he was struck by a throat-high cable stretched between two trees.

The KUAR transmitter building on Shinall Mountain west of Little Rock, which authorities say was intentionally set on fire Saturday.
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

After a suspicious fire that heavily damaged KUAR's transmitter Saturday night, authorities say it now appears more likely that the blaze was intentionally set.

“At this point in time we’re looking at it like an arson,” said Grover Crossland, Resident Agent in Charge of the Little Rock office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

UAMS

A state-of-the-art facility at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences will give nursing, pharmacy, and medical students’ hands-on training with computerized life-like manikins. The new Simulation Center also has trauma bays, hospital bedrooms, and special treatment rooms that can be converted into a public place, like a cafeteria, so students hone their skills. Michael Manley runs the center.

Women In Combat

Feb 27, 2011
Military Women
Malcolm Glover

For many years, conventional wisdom and Pentagon policy barred female soldiers from direct ground combat, but the nature of modern warfare often puts them in the heat of battle.

At an event in North Little Rock, Sergeant First Class Jennifer Broach fixes her fatigues, clutches her rifle and helps her fellow soldiers prepare for the Presentation of Colors, displaying the flag for the Pledge of Allegiance. Broach completed two combat missions in Iraq with the Arkansas Army National Guard.

Johnny Cash
Columbia/ Legacy Records

More than seven years after the death of Arkansas-native Johnny Cash, a new collection has just been released of rare, vintage recordings.

As FM 89's Michael Hibblen reports, “Bootleg II: From Memphis to Hollywood” spans the first 15 years of Cash's music career, and includes his first radio broadcast, when Cash and the Tennessee Two got a weekly show on West Memphis station KWEM.

KUAR's Malcolm Glover Wins Gracie Award

Feb 22, 2011
Malcolm Glover
Kara Conlon

Malcolm Glover, a reporter and KUAR's local host during Morning Edition, has won a Gracie Award for his reporting on female veterans.

Malcolm and the pyramids at Giza.
Malcolm Glover

Today marks the one month anniversary of my return to the U.S., after a whirlwind trip to Egypt. Over the course of 10 days, I immersed myself in the unique history, vibrant culture, and delicious cuisine of that captivating country. My journey was simply amazing and the experience unforgettable, but I had no clue that during my time there I would witness the dawning of a democratic revolution throughout Northern Africa and the Middle East.

Michael Hibblen

The radio program Beaker Street, which debuted 45 years ago playing progressive rock on Little Rock powerhouse KAAY-AM 1090 and had regular listeners around the country, could be coming to an end.  It's being canceled by its current broadcast home, KKPT-FM, The Point 94.1.

Things haven't changed much over the decades.  Listeners of Beaker Street still hear records fade out, strange background sounds come up and then the mellow voice of Clyde Clifford. But while doing his show Sunday, Clifford acknowledged the end is coming, at least at the show's current home. 

Female veterans seek support from VA

Nov 11, 2010
Retired Army Colonel, Diann Chatterton Terry
Malcolm Glover

As the nation pauses today to honor veterans for their sacrifice, more women are speaking out about life in the military and getting help from the VA.

The VA reports that 1 in 5 women seen by the Veterans Health Administration say they've experienced military sexual trauma, or abuse. Diann Chatterton Terry is a 27-year Army veteran. She arrived at the VA women's health center in Little Rock using a cane to maneuver around the hallways. Terry says military women also have to fight deep-seated stereotypes.

Singer-songwriter James McMurtry sat down with KUAR's Michael Hibblen to talk about his music and play a couple of songs.

For more than two decades he's been releasing albums with often bleak lyrics, developing a loyal following.  Author Stephen King has called him "the truest, fiercest songwriters of his generation.

McMurtry came by KUAR for the interview July 20, 2010 before a show that evening at Juanita's in Little Rock.   You can learn more about him at: www.jamesmcmurtry.com.

Michael Hibblen

An Arkansas singer is hoping to show how the childhood of Bill Clinton helped shape the future president. She is putting together an opera that is a day in the life of the then 14-year-old Clinton growing up in Hot Springs.

The production is to be called Billy Blythe, which is the name Clinton went by until he adopted his step-father's last name in high school.  It's the brainchild of 30-year-old Bonnie Montgomery.

Arkansas vets rediscover the art of war

Jun 14, 2010
Dr. Reinaldo "Dito" Morales, Jr.
Malcolm Glover

Many Veterans wrestle with feelings of depression and loneliness when they return home from battle. The agony of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), amputations and Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) can at times be unbearable.

In order to help these servicemen and women overcome physical and mental injuries, a professor from the University of Central Arkansas started a lecture series that inspires vets by connecting them with art from ancient warrior cultures. FM 89's Malcolm Glover filed this report on an innovative program that's changing lives.

  

Michael Hibblen / KUAR

Includes personal reflections by KUAR's Michael Hibblen.

Work is finally getting underway to renovate the 111-year-old Rock Island Bridge adjacent to the Clinton Presidential Center in Little Rock. Former President Bill Clinton is to lead a groundbreaking ceremony Friday morning at the bridge, which at one time was slated to be torn down.

The pledge to renovate the railroad bridge was made nine years ago, but beginning the work was repeatedly delayed, prompting some to wonder if it ever would happen. Now, after securing funding from numerous sources, the $10.5 million project is finally ready to get underway.

“We are standing at the foot on the south side of the Rock Island Bridge, now known as the Clinton Park Bridge.  It was renamed last week by Little Rock City Board of Directors," said Clinton Foundation spokesman Jordan Johnson.

It will serve as the eastern end of the 14 mile river trial.

“This will be a ramped pedestrian bridge, completely ADA compliant," said Jordan.  "We're looking at the trusses here and there will be, in essence, a bridge built inside the existing structure.  So we're going to preserve the existing structure, but also build a footpath through it that will level off at the lift span and then gradually go back down to the North Little Rock side."

Arkansas VA speeds up vets' claims process

Apr 22, 2010
Iraq War vet Jacob Mitchum
Malcolm Glover

As a wave of veterans returns from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the backlog of disability claims continues to mount. The tangled process of ensuring veterans get financial compensation for their injuries leaves many vets feeling like their twisting in the wind. A program underway at the Veterans Administration in Little Rock aims to tackle that perception.

Michael Hibblen / KUAR

The nine African-Americans who integrated Central High School in 1957 are being featured in this week's issue of the New Yorker that looks at civil rights icons.

Standing in front of the school, the nine posed for the renowned photographer known as Platon, who has taken portraits of presidents and world leaders and was brought to Little Rock by the magazine for the assignment.

Members of the Little Rock Nine are now in their late 60s.  Only three live in Arkansas today, with the rest spread out around the world.

Soldier with Arkansas Guard becomes U.S. citizen

Dec 17, 2009
Specialist Phanarat Somkuan
Malcolm Glover

Every year an increasing number of immigrants earn U.S. citizenship by joining the Armed Forces. Currently, The Arkansas National Guard has about 25 Soldiers going through that long naturalization process and this fall eight became citizens.

Phanarat Somkuan is originally from Thailand and recently became an American citizen by serving in the military. FM 89's Malcolm Glover has details.
 

Arkansas National Guard's Agricultural Development Team
Malcolm Glover

As President Obama escalates the war in Afghanistan, some members of the Arkansas National Guard will soon deploy to that war-torn country to help the Afghan people bolster agribusiness.

Army veteran overcomes adversity and finds home

Nov 10, 2009
Barbara Minyard and her son Kyle
Malcolm Glover

For every member of the Armed Forces who fights abroad in war there are countless others, who never enter a battle zone and face their own trials here at home.

FM 89's Malcolm Glover has the story of a single-mother who created a better life for her son by relying on the skills she learned in the Army and the support she received from a Little Rock homeless shelter.

Click here to learn more about the Our House shelter and its programs for homeless families.

An Arkansas soldier's story

Oct 29, 2009
PFC Kenny Hill's basic training picture.
Malcolm Glover

Retired Army Staff Sergeant Kenny Hill is a disabled veteran and a Purple Heart recipient, who grew up in small town Arkansas.

Every soldier has a story and Kenny Hill's service in the military is a fascinating tale of courage, reported death, and the transformation of a life. FM 89's Malcolm Glover filed this report, as part of KUAR's Impact of War Series.

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