Daniel Breen

Morning Edition Host/Reporter

Daniel Breen is a Little Rock-based reporter, anchor and producer for KUAR.

A native of the Natural State, Daniel served as a reporter and editor for Little Rock Central High School’s Tiger Newspaper and later graduated from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock with a B.A. in mass communication. Daniel currently serves as a reporter and news anchor at KUAR, and as the host and producer of the weekly arts and culture interview show Arts Scene.

Daniel's work has been heard on NPR as well as numerous public radio stations in the South. He has earned awards from the Arkansas Society of Professional Journalists, the National Federation of Press Women and the Arkansas-Oklahoma Associated Press Broadcasters contest. He has also done freelance production work for numerous media outlets and podcasts, including Vox, BBC Radio 4 and Malcolm Gladwell's Revisionist History podcast.

In his spare time, Daniel enjoys playing guitar, drinking copious amounts of coffee, and exploring the wilderness of Arkansas.

Phone: (501) 916-6380

Email: daniel@kuar.org

ozarklivingnewspaper.org

To understand more about the present, sometimes you have to look back to the past. 

That's exactly what Whit Barringer and Andy Vaught did, bringing back a form of performance from nearly 100 years ago to tackle the complex social issues of today. 

Now, in collaboration with the Ozark Living Newspaper Theatre Company, Barringer and Vaught are bringing their project "Theater of the Air" to the airwaves in central Arkansas. 

Barringer and Vaught joined Arts Scene to discuss their program's upcoming debut, on Aug. 8 at 4 p.m. on KABF 88.3. 

Daniel Breen / KUAR News

A Democrat has announced his bid to serve as Arkansas' next Secretary of State. Former Pulaski County Election Commissioner Josh Price announced his bid to unseat one-term Republican incumbent John Thurston at an event in Little Rock on Wednesday.

Price touted his experience and accomplishments as a local elections official that he says would serve him well in the new position.

Governor's Office / YouTube

The highly contagious Delta variant of COVID-19 continues to grow in Arkansas, resulting in a new surge in coronavirus hospitalizations.

The state added another 270 cases of COVID-19 Tuesday while another six Arkansans died from the disease caused by the coronavirus. The state currently has 4,645 active cases of COVID-19.

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For multi-instrumentalist Ricko Donovan, the music is half of the experience. 

That's to paraphrase legendary director and screenwriter King Vidor, who said silent film wouldn't be what it is without the musical accompaniment. 

Now, Donovan is bringing his own take on silent film scoring to audiences in central Arkansas with his show "Ricko Meets Garbo." He'll perform his original score to the 1926 silent film "The Temptress" starring Greta Garbo. 

The show runs at the newly-reopened Central Theater in Hot Springs on July 31, August 1, and August 7 and 8. 

npr.org

The 4th of July holiday weekend is expected to be one of the largest on record for the number of cars on the country’s roads and highways.

AAA estimates nearly 48 million Americans will travel over the weekend, including just over 4 million in Arkansas and three neighboring states. AAA spokesperson Nick Chabarria says that’s following a trend of increased road travel since COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted.

Rock Region Metro transit buses CAT central arkansas transit
David Monteith / KUAR News

Rock Region Metro is on track to become the first zero-emission public transit agency in the state thanks to a new grant from the federal government.

The Federal Transit Administration has awarded $4.9 million for the agency to purchase up to five 40-foot battery-powered electric buses.

Daniel Breen / KUAR News

Officials with the state Libertarian Party on Monday delivered signatures to the Arkansas Secretary of State’s office to begin the process of fielding candidates for 2022.

State Libertarian Party Chair Michael Pakko says the party has turned in over 14,000 signatures to the Secretary of State’s office, officially designating them as a political party.

Daniel Breen / KUAR News

City officials say a new sculpture in downtown Little Rock will serve as a symbol of the community moving past the COVID-19 pandemic.

Officials with the City of Little Rock and the Downtown Little Rock Partnership unveiled the new sculpture Friday at the corner of Capitol Avenue and Main Street.

Dr. Hui-Ming Chang is leading the study which aims to limit the heart damage caused by a commonly used chemotherapy.
uams.edu

Researchers at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences are studying ways to help protect the heart health of cancer patients from chemotherapy side effects. Dr. Hui-Ming Chang is leading the study, which will be the first Phase 1 cancer clinical trial done at UAMS.

The study aims to limit the heart damage caused by a commonly used chemotherapy drug known as doxorubicin. Chang says the negative effects of the drug sometimes aren’t felt until well after cancer treatment has ended.

becomingrentable.com

A new television program is being launched by an Arkansas native who aims to educate short-term rental landlords on ways to make their properties more accessible to people with disabilities.

Conway-native Lorraine Berry Woodward is developing the show, called Becoming rentABLE, in partnership with the national Easterseals organization.

judiciary.senate.gov

Arkansas’ Republican governor is voicing his support for federal legislation addressing the disparity in sentencing for crimes related to cocaine and crack cocaine.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson testified Tuesday in front of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, in support of a proposed bill known as the EQUAL Act, sponsored by Sen. Cory Booker, D-NJ.

Daniel Breen / KUAR News

Central Arkansas’ largest art museum is pushing back the grand opening of its brand-new facility in downtown Little Rock.

Officials with the Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts, formerly known as the Arkansas Arts Center, say the new facility in MacArthur Park will now open sometime in fall of 2022 instead of a planned opening next May.

npr.org

More than one in five children in Arkansas continue to live in poverty according to analysis based on Census data from the year 2019.

The annual Kids Count Data Book released by the Annie E. Casey foundation examines data collected by the U.S. Census Bureau measuring several indicators, including economic wellbeing, health and education.

Daniel Breen / KUAR News

Another Democrat has officially entered the race for governor of Arkansas.

Chris Jones, a seventh-generation Arkansan who previously served as executive director of the Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub, announced his bid for the 2022  election Tuesday. Speaking in his hometown of Pine Bluff, Jones said his experience in that job exposed him to many of the challenges facing Arkansans.

Wikipedia

A new program aims to provide low-income Arkansans with financial support for broadband internet access.

State and local officials, including Gov. Asa Hutchinson and Little Rock Mayor Frank Scott Jr., are partnering on a public awareness campaign for the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program from the Federal Communications Commission.

For more than 20 years, Phil Mariage has been attempting to bridge the gap between the generations, all while sharing it with an audience. 

His show "Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow" recently celebrated its 21st year on the air at UA Little Rock Public Radio. 

Phil joins us on this week's Arts Scene to look back at his program's origins, and some of the more memorable moments from the more than 270 episodes recorded. 

LGBTQ Flag
wikipedia.org

A new statewide fund aims to support organizations in Arkansas serving the LGBTQ community.

The Bentonville-based Walton Family Foundation announced Thursday it’s partnering with the Arkansas Community Foundation to distribute $1 million dollars worth of grants to groups working to improve the quality of life for LGBTQ Arkansans.

Walton Family Foundation spokesperson Luis Gonzalez says it’s designed to include members of the community in the process.

Sculptor Benjamin Victor shows a model of what he envisions the Johnny Cash statue would like during a meeting Wednesday.
Arkansas Citizens Access Network

Ahead of an expected decision Monday, five artists who want the honor of making statues of civil rights leader Daisy Bates and music legend Johnny Cash that will be displayed in the U.S. Capitol presented models Wednesday of what they envision their works would look like.

Dicamba damage
University of Arkansas

Arkansas’ highest court has blocked a court order that prevented farmers from spraying a controversial weedkiller.

Cotton and soybean farmers in the state haven’t been allowed to spray dicamba for nearly two weeks since the 16th Division of the Pulaski County Circuit Court issued a temporary restraining order against the Arkansas’ rules allowing the herbicide to be sprayed until the end of June.

The Arkansas Supreme Court on Tuesday issued a stay of that restraining order, meaning growers can spray, with some restrictions, until the end of the month.

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Summer is upon us after a year indoors, but the sweet strains of chamber music make a convincing case to go back inside for a brief moment. 

The Chamber Music Society of Little Rock's new season offers four chances to hear some of the biggest names in chamber music, beginning on Sept. 25 with the Harlem Quartet at downtown Little Rock's Ron Robinson Theater. 

Daniel Breen / KUAR News

With life slowly returning to pre-pandemic normal, arts organizations across Arkansas are welcoming patrons back with open arms.

The Arkansas Repertory Theatre has been on hiatus since last year's production of "Ann" written by Holland Taylor and starring legendary actress Elizabeth Ashley. Now, The Rep is turning the spotlight on the stage again, albeit in a slightly more bucolic setting. 

Arkansas' revenue has outpaced expectations for the month of May, while the state's budget surplus has risen to its highest level.

The state's net available general revenue for the month of May totaled just over $655 million, nearly an 80% jump over this time last year and about $263 million above forecast.

si.edu

There's nothing more American than hitting the open road, but for Black Americans in the Jim Crow South, travel was a potentially life-threatening endeavor.

"The Negro Motorist Green Book," commonly known just as the Green Book, sought to ensure the safety of Black travelers, listing the interconnected web of businesses and other safe spaces in the South.

Now for the first time, a Smithsonian exhibit is traveling to central Arkansas, all about that life-saving book.

Governor's Office / YouTube

Arkansas’ current public health emergency will end in just over one week.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced Thursday the state of emergency brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic more than a year ago is set to end on May 30. Arkansas has been under the emergency declaration since March 11, 2020, the day the state saw its first resident test positive for COVID-19.

Wikipedia

And now, the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra presents finale to a season that's been anything but normal. 

One of the most recognizable pieces of the classical music canon, Beethoven's Symphony No. 7, brings a fiery close to the symphony's latest season. 

Also paired with it is Leyendas: An Andean Walkabout. The work by contemporary composer Gabriela Lena Franck conjures images of the high peaks of the Andes Mountains. 

Daniel Breen / KUAR News

The Arkansas Department of Transportation has fired a bridge inspector who failed to notice damage on at least two separate occasions on a now-closed bridge over the Mississippi River.

Department officials said they terminated the inspector Monday over his failure to notice damage to the Interstate 40 Mississippi River bridge during inspections one year apart, in Sept. of 2019 and 2020. This comes after the department identified a contractor's drone footage dating back to May 2019 showing significant damage.

idrivearkansas.net

Road and river travel continues to be affected as the closure of the Interstate 40 bridge over the Mississippi River stretches on.

Transportation officials said repairs could take months after the bridge was closed Tuesday following the discovery of a crack in a steel beam during an inspection.

Preserve Arkansas

Two Little Rock historic sites and one in far southeast Arkansas top an annual list of the most endangered places in the state.

The list, published by the nonprofit Preserve Arkansas, includes the Pike-Fletcher-Terry House in downtown Little Rock and the Dr. Robert George Williams House in Ashley County. It also includes Little Rock’s War Memorial Golf Course, which has been closed since 2019.

Doyle Webb
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

The former head of Arkansas' Republican Party says he is running for lieutenant governor.

Doyle Webb said he will enter the race for lieutenant governor in an announcement Monday morning. Webb is a former state lawmaker from Benton and served as chair of the Republican Party of Arkansas from 2008 to 2020.

Daniel Breen / KUAR News

State agriculture regulators have once again shifted the rules governing a controversial herbicide that’s been blamed for widespread crop damage.

Members of the Arkansas State Plant Board on Monday voted to change the cutoff date for spraying dicamba, an herbicide used on genetically-modified cotton and soybeans.

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