Daniel Breen

All Things Considered 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. His report on deaths at an outpatient surgical center for Arkansas Public Media earned him 2nd place in Enterprise/Investigative Reporting in the 2018 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) 349-7108

Email: daniel@kuar.org

Arts Scene: Collector Juan Rodriguez

Apr 1, 2019
Henry Ossawa Tanner

On Their Own Terms, an exhibit at the UA Little Rock Windgate Center of Art + Design, features black artists from the 1800s to the present day. And it’s the result of years of collaboration.

One collector making his pieces available for the exhibit is Juan Rodriguez, who worked his way up from cleaning art galleries to owning his own gallery in New York City.

Delita Martin's installation The Dinner Table.
Delita Martin

On Their Own Terms, a show of black artists from the mid-1800s to present, was on display at the UA Little Rock Windgate Center of Art + Design from Jan. 17 to March 10, 2019. 

Arts Scene: Composer Michael Fine

Apr 1, 2019

Michael Fine is renowned the world over for his compositions, inspired by his fierce love of nature. But he makes his living as one of the top producers of classical music recordings in the world.

A clarinetist himself, Fine was commissioned by Arkansas Symphony Orchestra Music Director Philip Mann to write a "rather unusual" Triple Concerto for Oboe section. Fine and Mann will debut the piece on May 4 and 5 at Robinson Center in Little Rock. 

Arts Scene's Ann Nicholson reached Fine at his home in The Netherlands, and spoke with him about the new work. 

Arts Scene: Brasil Guitar Duo

Apr 1, 2019

The Brasil Guitar Duo, João Luiz and Douglas Lora, have been making music together since their teenage years. Recently, they've begun composing their own works for guitar duo. 

Luiz and Lora were in concert on Feb. 14, 2019 at Christ Episcopal Church in Little Rock, where they played works by Jean-Philippe Rameau, Egberto Gismonti and Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco. 

Arts Scene's Ann Nicholson spoke with the two Brazilian guitarists when they stopped by the studio for a chat prior to their performance. 

Daniel Breen / KUAR News

Little Rock Mayor Frank Scott , Jr. delivered his first State of the City address of his term Thursday at Horace Mann Arts and Science Magnet Middle School.

Scott began by thanking the city's Board of Directors and the citizens who elected him.

"Every day that I step foot in [City Hall], I do so with great humility knowing that the only reason that I'm there is because you shared my vision of unifying Little Rock," Scott said. "We did this together."

Daniel Breen / KUAR News

Arkansans who receive health insurance through the state's Medicaid expansion program and must comply with a work requirement now have a new resource to get help reporting their hours of work. 

The Central Arkansas Library System is offering assistance with account setup and navigating the online reporting system at each of its 14 branches in Pulaski and Perry counties. 

Daniel Breen / KUAR News

Little Rock Mayor Frank Scott, Jr. has named Norman, Okla. Police Chief Keith Humphrey to lead the Little Rock Police Department. 

Scott made the announcement Thursday afternoon, two weeks after the final forum with the four finalists for the job. 

Humphrey, who has led the force in Norman since 2011, edged out Little Rock Police Assistant Chiefs Hayward Finks and Alice Fulk and retired Los Angeles Police Commander Todd Chamberlain for the position leading the department. 

Jacqueline Froelich / KUAF

The Arkansas Natural Resources Commission would be the sole state agency responsible for regulating livestock waste under a bill passed by the state Senate Tuesday.

The bill, sponsored by Sen. Gary Stubblefield, R-Branch, would shift the responsibility of regulating liquid animal waste to the Arkansas Natural Resources Commission.

Sarah Kellogg / KUAR News

State lawmakers are proposing a $100 million tax cut for Arkansans making less than $22,200 per year. 

The cut would come from a three-part bill proposed by Senate President Pro Tempore Jim Hendren on Thursday. Hendren said the bill, like last month's $97 million cut for the state's top earners, came about through recommendations by the Arkansas Tax Reform and Relief Legislative Task Force. 

Little Rock Police Department

The Little Rock Police Department has released a video of the fatal officer-involved shooting of 30-year-old Bradley Blackshire last month. 

Prior to the video's release, Little Rock Mayor Frank Scott Jr. held a press conference at City Hall, saying he has turned over the investigation into Officer Charles Starks to prosecutors to determine whether criminal charges should be filed. 

Daniel Breen / KUAR News

The fourth finalist for the job leading the Little Rock Police Department is urging Mayor Frank Scott, Jr. to choose her as the city's first female Chief of Police. 

Little Rock Assistant Police Chief Alice Fulk concluded her presentation with a nod to her status as the only woman out of four finalists to lead her department. 

"Mr. Mayor, more than anything I just want to remind you this is March, it's Women's History Month. It's time to make some history," Fulk said. 

Daniel Breen / KUAR News

The third of four finalists for Little Rock Police Chief spoke with members of the public Monday at Little Rock's Philander Smith College. 

A thinner crowd greeted Norman, Okla. Police Chief Keith Humphrey than what retired Los Angeles Police Commander Todd Chamberlain and Little Rock Assistant Police Chief Hayward Finks had to contend with. And though Humphrey comes from outside of the department, he tailored his presentation to the city whose police force he hopes to lead. 

Daniel Breen / KUAR News

Assistant Little Rock Police Chief Hayward Finks, the second of four finalists and the first internal candidate for the job of chief of police, went before members of the public at Little Rock's Philander Smith College Thursday.

Finks, a 33 year veteran of the department, emphasized his roots in Little Rock, getting emotional while telling an anecdote about growing up in the city.

"I will tell you, never in my wildest dreams would I have ever thought that I would be standing before you as a candidate to be the Chief of Police for the City of Little Rock," Finks said.

Daniel Breen / KUAR News

The first of four forums with the finalists for Little Rock Police chief introduced members of the public to retired Los Angeles Police Commander Todd Chamberlain. 

Chamberlain is hoping to take over from former Chief Kenton Buckner, who left the job in November after four years leading the department. On Monday, city officials, lawmakers and residents heard from Chamberlain; the other three finalists, Little Rock Police Assistant Chiefs Alice Fulk and Hayward Finks, as well as Norman, Okla. Chief Keith Humphrey, will hold forums over the next two weeks.

Loretta Williams

Following months of consideration, the Arkansas Plant Board has voted to loosen its ban on the controversial herbicide dicamba.

In an eight-hour meeting Wednesday, the board voted to move the cutoff date for spraying the herbicide from April 15 to May 25. A group of farmers had been seeking to push the date back to as late as June 15, but at the outset of Wednesday's meeting board members had been considering May 20 as a compromise.

Daniel Breen / KUAR News

After passing the Arkansas House of Representatives last Thursday, Gov. Asa Hutchinson officially signed his plan to cut taxes for the state's top earners into law on Tuesday. The third and final part of his signature tax cut plan, the law will lower the state's top marginal income tax rate from 6.9 percent to 5.9 percent over a two-year span.

Hutchinson told reporters and Republican legislators gathered at the Capitol the $97 million plan will achieve its goal of making Arkansas more competitive to neighboring states.

Arkansas Senate
Sarah Whites-Koditschek / KUAR News

Teachers in Arkansas are now a signature away from getting annual pay raises for the next four fiscal years, eventually reaching a new minimum of $36,000. 

House Bill 1145, known as the "Teacher Salary Enhancement Act," passed unanimously in the Arkansas Senate Thursday with a vote of 35-0. 

Though the bill passed with unanimous support, questions about the bill's economic impact on schools after the four-year period raised some concerns among lawmakers. 

Cody Hiland violent crime
Brian Chilson / Arkansas Times

Federal law enforcement officials on Tuesday unsealed an indictment of 54 members of an alleged white supremacist gang operating in Arkansas. Charges range from kidnapping and drug trafficking to murder.

At a press conference in Russellville, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas Cody Hiland said the federal grand jury indictment against the New Aryan Empire, or NAE, represents a major blow to the criminal enterprise.

Sarah Kellogg / KUAR News

The new speaker of the Arkansas House of Representatives says the chamber is on its way to achieving two big goals as the Regular Session of the 92nd Arkansas General Assembly enters its fifth week.

House Speaker Matthew Shepherd (R-El Dorado) told reporters at the Capitol Thursday that despite concerns from fellow Republicans, he remains optimistic that Gov. Asa Hutchinson's $97 million tax cut plan will pass the chamber.

Daniel Breen / KUAR News

Arkansas's statewide public television network is launching a new service that will live-stream meetings of the state legislature and governmental agencies.

At a press conference Monday, Courtney Pledger, executive director of the Arkansas Educational Television Network, joined Gov. Asa Hutchinson and state Sen. Jason Rapert (R-Conway) in announcing the online-only service, called the Arkansas Citizens Access Network, or AR-CAN.

Pledger said the new service is designed to boost civic engagement in the state.

Oaklawn.com

With the passage of November's constitutional amendment legalizing casino gambling in Arkansas, two of the state's mainstays of gaming are taking markedly different approaches to expansion. 

Oaklawn Racing & Gaming in Hot Springs and Southland Park Gaming & Racing in West Memphis both announced multi-million-dollar expansion projects in the wake of the casino amendment's passage. But Oaklawn, a horse racing track that has operated since 1904, is choosing to downplay its new casino offerings as just another complement to its racetrack. Southland, a greyhound dog racing track, is embracing casino gaming whole-heartedly as public opinion shifts away from dog racing. 

UA Little Rock

Little Rock's only four-year public research university is preparing to expand its presence in Arkansas's capital. 

A grand opening for UA Little Rock Downtown is set for Wednesday at noon at the center's location on President Clinton Ave. in Little Rock's River Market district. It will offer meeting space, faculty lectures and a series of extended education courses not for college credit. 

Daniel Breen / KUAR News

The five members of the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission voted unanimously Wednesday to accept an outside consulting group's scores for marijuana dispensary applications. 

With two new commissioners present, the commission effectively ended two years of regulatory setbacks that waylaid the implementation of the state's medical marijuana amendment, which Arkansas voters approved in Nov. 2016. 

With cultivation licenses already awarded, officials say medical cannabis will likely be available for purchase by the state's nearly 7,000 approved patients by April of 2019. 

Daniel Breen / KUAR News

Federal, state and local law enforcement agencies are partnering to fight package theft in Arkansas this holiday season.

Dubbed "Operation Porch Pirate," police forces in Little Rock, Sherwood and Fort Smith are teaming up with federal prosecutors and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service to seek federal charges for mail thieves.

That could mean up to five years in federal prison with no parole, according to U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas Cody Hiland.

Daniel Breen / KUAR News

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge is asking for an investigation into a settlement that would result in the shutting down of the state's two largest coal-fired power plants.

In a statement, Rutledge said she would like the Arkansas Public Service Commission to review the pending settlement agreement between the Sierra Club, the National Parks Conservation Association, and Entergy Arkansas, which co-owns the two plants.

Governor Asa Hutchinson DHS director Cindy Gillespie
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

The Arkansas Department of Human Services says it's expanding an existing "helpline" to allow certain recipients of the state's Medicaid expansion program to report their 80 hours of work or work-related activity per month. 

DHS announced the change Wednesday after more than 12,000 enrollees in the program, known as Arkansas Works, lost their health insurance coverage for failing to comply with the work requirement for three consecutive months. 

Beginning Dec. 19, beneficiaries can report work hours and seek help with reporting by calling (855) 372-1084.

marijuana
npr.org

Companies selected to grow medical marijuana in Arkansas are on track to have their product ready for consumption by next April.

Representatives of the five companies approved to cultivate medicinal cannabis spoke to members of the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission at a commission meeting Wednesday. Of the five companies, two say they expect to harvest their first batch of marijuana by early spring.

Governor Asa Hutchinson  Arkansas Works Medicaid expansion
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

In March 2017, Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced his intention to seek a waiver allowing a work requirement for certain recipients of the state's expanded Medicaid program, known as Arkansas Works. The requirement, because of which over 12,000 Arkansas Works recipients have lost coverage so far this year, is the first of its kind in the country. 

Steve Inskeep
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

When he's not on the air as co-host of the country's most-listened-to radio news program, NPR's Steve Inskeep is something of a historian.

His 2015 book Jacksonland: President Andrew Jackson, Cherokee Chief John Ross, and A Great American Land Grab focuses on the contentious relationship between Cherokee leader John Ross and the nation's seventh president, all while analyzing the conditions leading up to the Indian Removal Act of 1830 and the subsequent Trail of Tears.

A Guide To The 2018 Little Rock Mayoral Race

Oct 19, 2018
The first mayoral forum on economic opportunity.
Michael Hibblen/KUAR News

The information in this guide is taken directly from the candidate’s answers to the moderator’s questions in five forums presented by The Central Arkansas Library System, The League of Women Voters of Pulaski County, American Association of University Women of Little Rock and KUAR 89.1 - UA Little Rock Public Radio.

October 22 is the start of early voting in Arkansas, and November 6 is when the residents of Little Rock will have a chance to elect a new mayor for the first time in 12 years.

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