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

Arkansas Legislature

A bill that would remove Arkansas’ unique statute allowing tenants to face criminal charges for not paying rent has failed in the state legislature.

House Bill 1798, sponsored by Fayetteville Democratic Rep. Nicole Clowney, failed to pass in a meeting of the House Insurance and Commerce committee Monday.

Wikipedia

State lawmakers will take an extended break following this year's legislative session. When they return in the fall, they'll begin the process of re-drawing the lines of the state's four U.S. Congressional districts. 

Redistricting happens every 10 years, following the U.S. Census. State lawmakers re-draw lines for U.S. House districts, while the state Board of Apportionment, made up of the governor, attorney general and secretary of state, re-draws state House and Senate districts. 

ACLU / Zoom

A bill banning gender-affirming medical care for Arkansans under 18 is now one step away from becoming law.

The Senate on Monday passed House Bill 1570, which bans transgender youth from obtaining gender transition care, such as puberty blockers and hormone therapy. The bill, called the Save Adolescents from Experimentation, or SAFE, Act, would open physicians up to civil litigation and licensure penalties for providing gender-transition related therapies, including surgery, to minors.

Arkansas Legislature

An effort to override Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s veto of a bill that would return fines to businesses that violated COVID-19 public health guidelines failed in the state legislature Tuesday.

Members of the House of Representatives voted 39 to 40, with 21 members voting present or not voting, not to override the governor’s veto of Senate Bill 301, sponsored by Republican Sen. Dan Sullivan of Jonesboro. The vote followed an abbreviated meeting of the Senate in which members voted 19 to 13 to override the veto.

Arkansas Legislature

Following hours of debate, members of the Arkansas House Education committee narrowly passed a bill that would provide private school scholarships for low-income students.

Lawmakers on Tuesday voted 11 to nine in favor of House Bill 1371, sponsored by Republican Rep. Ken Bragg of Sheridan.

Daniel Breen / KUAR News

As the nation and the world marks one year since the COVID-19 pandemic officially began, Arkansans are remembering the nearly 5,400 residents who have died from the disease since the state saw its first coronavirus case one year ago Thursday.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson joined staff at Jefferson Regional Medical Center in Pine Bluff, where the state’s first coronavirus patient was hospitalized.

Arkansas Legislature

Members of the Arkansas House of Representatives have approved a bill banning gender transition-related medical care for people under the age of 18. Lawmakers passed House Bill 1570, sponsored by Republican Rep. Robin Lundstrum of Springdale, in a meeting Wednesday.

Speaking on the House floor, Lundstrum said people under the age of 18 should not be allowed to receive "irreversible" medical treatment, even if they have the approval of a parent or guardian.

Governor's Office / YouTube

Another 180,000 Arkansans are newly eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccines as the state fully opens up Phase 1B of its vaccination schedule.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced the change Monday, which adds manufacturing workers, transit workers, including ride share and meal delivery drivers, essential government employees, and workers at grocery and other big box stores to the list of those eligible for the vaccine in the state.

uams.edu/aradvocates.org/arkansashouse.org

One year into the coronavirus pandemic, a lot has changed. So what's different, and how are we dealing with it? 

In the latest Issues That Matter forum, we ask our panelists how Arkansas has weathered COVID-19, and what living in this new normal looks like. 

Panelists include: 

Governor's Office / YouTube

Effective immediately, Arkansas is lifting nearly all restrictions on businesses related to the coronavirus pandemic. Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced Friday that all capacity limits on businesses and large gatherings will only be recommendations, and not enforceable by law.

Speaking in a news conference at the state Capitol, Hutchinson said the goal is to give businesses more flexibility to tailor public health guidelines to better fit with their day-to-day operations.

Arkansas Legislature

A bill that would allow healthcare providers to decline certain non-emergency medical services because of their moral opposition has failed in a legislative committee.

Members of the Arkansas House Public Health, Welfare and Labor committee voted not to approve Senate Bill 289 in a meeting Thursday following hours of debate, including an abbreviated public comment period cut short by a motion for immediate consideration.

Arkansas Senate

Members of the Arkansas Senate advanced two bills Monday that would restrict abortion access in the state.

A bill that would ban nearly all abortions in Arkansas is on its way to the House after passing the Arkansas Senate on Monday.

Daniel Breen / KUAR News

Arkansas lawmakers have proposed a bill that would make it illegal for schools to allow transgender girls and women to play on sports teams corresponding to their gender identity.

The legislation, called the Gender Integrity Reinforcement Legislation for Sports (GIRLS) Act, is sponsored by Sen. Missy Irvin, R-Mountain View, and Rep. DeAnn Vaught, R-Horatio. State Attorney General Leslie Rutledge introduced the bill at a news conference Monday.

UA Little Rock

The UA Little Rock Art Gallery is soldiering on with new exhibitions, placing the work of women front-and-center. 

The Arkansas Committee of the National Museum of Women in the Arts presents their 5th exhibition of “Arkansas Women to Watch: Paper Routes.” The traveling exhibit will be at UA Little Rock from Jan. 29 to March 12 in the Brad Cushman Gallery on Level Two in the UA Little Rock Windgate Center of Art and Design. 

Loretta Williams

Two bills aimed at changing the way members of Arkansas’ agricultural regulatory agency are appointed have had varying degrees of success in the state legislature.

Both bills would alter the appointment process for members of the Arkansas State Plant Board, which oversees licensing and regulations for agriculture in the state. Currently, the majority of the board is appointed directly by groups representing various industries like timber, seeds and livestock.

The sights and sounds of classical music are even more welcome after months without in-person concerts. 

The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, while still abiding by public health guidelines, is taking full advantage of that with their new Masterworks concert, titled "A Lyric Return." 

ASO interim artistic director and associate conductor Geoffrey Robson returns to the Arts Scene to talk about the show, which includes works by Claude Debussy, Ralph Vaughan Williams, George Walker and Jessie Montgomery. 

The show is Jan. 30 at 7:30 p.m. at the Robinson Center. 

Daniel Breen / KUAR News

One of the state’s constitutional officers tasked with redrawing Arkansas House and Senate districts has announced her picks to help with the task.

Attorney General Leslie Rutledge announced Tuesday former state Republican Party chair Doyle Webb will lead the effort, alongside former Republican state lawmakers Andy Davis and Doug House.

npr.org

Arkansas businesses can now apply for a second round of loans through the Paycheck Protection Program, or PPP.

The second set of loans from the federal program opened to businesses getting loans from lenders with under $1 billion in assets late last week, and will open for all other businesses Tuesday.

Lines of cars with people being tested for COVID-19 stream through a garage at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences on July 13, 2020. On Monday, hospitalizations reached a new high.
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

As Arkansas continues to see record numbers of patients hospitalized with COVID-19, the state's healthcare system is feeling the strain. 

An additional eight Arkansans were hospitalized with COVID-19 Wednesday, for a near-record total of 1,362. That also includes 255 total patients who are on a ventilator, an increase of four on Wednesday. 

Stock Photo

Business, healthcare and service industry jobs have seen the steepest downturn in Arkansas as a result of the coronavirus pandemic according to a new report by central Arkansas planning agency Metroplan.

The biannual Economic Trends and Outlook Report shows a drop of roughly 11% in leisure and hospitality jobs between April 2019 and April 2020, as well as just under 7% for education and healthcare and about 5% in business.

Planned Parenthood Great Plains

A federal judge has blocked four laws restricting access to abortion in Arkansas just hours after they took effect.

U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker on Tuesday granted the request from abortion rights groups, issuing a two-week restraining order against the laws. Baker had previously put a halt to the laws in 2017, though a federal appeals court later vacated that ruling.

In a statement, the American Civil Liberties Union of Arkansas said clinics were forced to cancel appointments and only provide medication abortion while the laws were temporarily in effect.

Governor's Office / YouTube

Arkansas continues its upward trend of COVID-19 cases and deaths as officials fear another surge related to holiday gatherings.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced Tuesday the state added 1,941 new coronavirus cases as well as 43 more deaths due to COVID-19. That brought the state’s death toll since the pandemic began to 3,338, and the total number of cases over 205,000.

Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

An upcoming case going before the U.S. Supreme Court could permanently halt Arkansas’ first-in-the-nation work requirement for some Medicaid recipients.

Daniel Breen / KUAR News

Arkansas is the most pro-life state in the nation according to a national anti-abortion advocacy group.

The designation comes from the Washington, D.C.-based Americans United for Life, which ranks each state based on laws and policies aimed at restricting access to the procedure.

Speaking in a news conference at the state Capitol on Wednesday, Americans United for Life president and CEO Catherine Glenn Foster said states have more leeway to restrict the procedure as federal courts tilt more conservative.

npr.org

A new report grading over 500 cities in the U.S. on LGBTQ equality shows Little Rock leading the eight Arkansas cities surveyed.

The Human Rights Campaign’s annual Municipal Equality Index scores cities on policies, such as non-discrimination laws and transgender-inclusive healthcare benefits, on a scale of zero to 100.

Xavier Persad is senior legislative counsel with the Human Rights Campaign. He says the report looks at several indicators to gauge the overall state of equality in individual cities.

Laura Bridges

North Little Rock voters will decide who will serve as their next mayor in a runoff election Tuesday. The two candidates, former mayor Terry Hartwick and former Democratic state lawmaker Tracy Steele, failed to get more than 50% of the vote in what was a four-person contest on Election Day. Steele says he’s confident he’ll emerge victorious from the runoff.

State Sen. Jason Rapert (file photo).
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

A new bill would make nearly all forms of abortion a crime in Arkansas, punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a $100,000 fine.

Senate Bill 6, sponsored by Sen. Jason Rapert, R-Conway, and Rep. Mary Bentley, R-Perryville, allows abortion to be performed legally only when the mother’s life is threatened or to remove an ectopic pregnancy.

asc701.org

Just south of Little Rock, a whole new world of arts, culture and heritage awaits. 

The Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas, located in downtown Pine Bluff, has been a cornerstone of the arts in the city for years. 

Now, like all museums and performance spaces, they've had to adjust their strategy to reach their audience safely during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The center's executive director, Dr. Rachel Miller, joins the Arts Scene this week to talk about the current exhibitions on display at the center. 

Governor's Office / YouTube

Arkansas lawmakers will soon vote on whether to require all high school students to take a computer science course.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced Wednesday the state legislature will take up a bill creating the requirement sponsored by Sen. Jane English, R-North Little Rock, in the January general session.

nbcnews.com

Arkansas’s Republican Governor says President Donald Trump should begin the transition process to the administration of president-elect Joe Biden.

Speaking on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday, Gov. Asa Hutchinson said he expects Biden to be the next president of the United States.

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