David Monteith

Reporter

David Monteith is a reporter for KUAR news.

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

Rock Region Metro is joining several other public transit organizations across the nation who hope to help voters on election day.

With candidates from all parties encouraging people to vote, residents of central Arkansas are being offered free bus rides on election day. A handful of cities in the U.S. have tried similar programs, but Jarod Varner, executive director Rock Region Metro, says this is the first time for such a service in central Arkansas.

USGS / USGS

Arkansans are being asked to join others across the country as they participate in an earthquake drill.

The “Great Central U.S. Shake Out”, is one of many regional earthquake drills being held at 10:20 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 20. The organization ShakeOut claims to have had over 43 million participants worldwide for the drills in 2015 and hopes for more this year.

Whitney Green, with the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management (ADEM), said a geological fault line that runs under Arkansas makes it important for the state to practice preparedness.

David Monteith / KUAR

The Robinson Center is eager to show off the expanded capabilities of its new theater once renovations are completed in November.

Ed Payton, CEO of Celebrity Attractions, announced Monday that The Lion King will be in the theater’s lineup of Broadway musicals for the 2017-2018 season. It and Broadway’s longest running musical, Phantom of the Opera, are shows that were not physically possible in the musical hall prior to the Robinson Center’s renovations.

Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance / Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance

Arkansans are being asked to spend the week of September 26-30 feeding themselves on no more than $4 dollars per day to better understand food insecurity in the state.

What used to be known as food stamps is now the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP. In Arkansas, qualified low-income individuals receive an average of $3.74 per day from SNAP to help them afford groceries.

David Monteith / KUAR

Low-wage workers and local leaders are continuing to push for an increase to the minimum wage in Arkansas.

Local protests for a $15 an hour minimum wage were first seen in late 2014 outside fast food restaurants in central Arkansas. Those efforts were part of a nationwide movement known as Fight for 15.

In this election year organizers took their protest to the steps of the state Capitol. Jay Harris, a member of Fight for 15, said there are many reasons for supporting an increased minimum wage.

McPherson Prison Unit in Newport
Arkansas Department of Correction

A campaign aiming to reduce the prison population in Arkansas plans to unveil its legislative goals at a public meeting Thursday.

Arkansas Department of Education / arkansased.org

School bells are ringing and buses are rolling at the start of this new school year for public schools in Arkansas.

Despite the lack of a brick and mortar building, hundreds of families across the state who’ve chosen to home school their children are also marking the beginning of school.

Jacksonville High School
ourowndistrict.com

The Jacksonville North Pulaski School District is getting ready to open its doors to students for the first time.

In September 2014 nearly 95 percent of voters in the Jacksonville area supported creating their own district by detaching from the larger Pulaski County Special School District. It has taken nearly two years to staff the district and make preparations, such as planning bus routes and student schedules.

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

The cost of a bus ride in central Arkansas is under review after voters denied a quarter-penny tax increase to Rock Region Metro earlier this year.

A policy, which will outline if and when to consider fare increases, as well as more clearly defining who qualifies for discounted passes, will be proposed to the board of directors in the coming months.

Becca Green, director of public engagement for the transit system, says no specific fare increases have been proposed yet.

Historic Arkansas Museum / Historic Arkansas Museum

Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola will proclaim Tuesday “Historic Arkansas Museum Day” at a celebration commemorating the museum’s 75th anniversary.

The Little Rock museum, once known as Arkansas Territorial Restoration, officially opened in July 1941. Chris Hancock, spokesman for the museum, said having a day declared as Historic Arkansas Museum Day honors both the museum and the city.

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

Rock Region METRO plans to share details of proposed route and system changes at a series of public meetings beginning Tuesday night. Becca Green, director of public engagement, said the changes proposed appear minor, however it’s hoped they’ll have a big impact.

“They transfer into things that are very meaningful for our riders,” said Green. “In some cases there’s a more direct path to a shopping destination, that’s a major destination on a path, or in some cases there are less transfers, or better stop placement, things like that.”

A U.S. Supreme Court ruling against a Texas abortion law has advocacy organizations in Arkansas evaluating their approach to reproductive rights in the Natural State.

David Monteith / KUAR

Summer vacation sometimes means extra work for a team of search dogs in Arkansas  that are asked to find hikers who've gone missing or people who may have drowned.

A wooded area of Burns Park in North Little Rock is one of several sites used by volunteers dedicated to training their dogs to find missing persons. Present for the training on a hot Sunday afternoon earlier this month were Donna Waugh, Mike Cope, Terri Alpe, Jason Woods and Kimberly and Hugh Wright with their dogs John D, Jude, Brandi, Lucy, and Finn.

Metroplan / Metroplan

Convoys of cyclists will take to the streets of central Arkansas Friday morning as the kick off event for “Ditch the Keys” week. “Bike to Work” day is a national event, which has been incorporated into a regional campaign to draw awareness to, and improve air quality in Little Rock and the surrounding cities.

Metroplan, Rock Region METRO, Bicycle Advocates of Central Arkansas, and several other organizations are supporting the event by encouraging biking or walking to work.

Wikimedia Commons

A temporary exchange of paintings will bring a Renoir masterpiece to the Arkansas Arts Center. Dr. Ann Prentice Wagner, curator of drawings, says Pierre Auguste Renoir’s “Madame Henriot in Costume” will bring a new perspective to other pieces in the museum's permanent collection.

“Of course, Pierre Auguste Renoir is one of the great impressionist masters and this is a really fabulous full-length portrait,” said Wagner, “and it’s not like anything we have on the wall. We have a small Renoir, still life of dead game.”

Pages