David Wallace

Weekend Edition Saturday Host/Reporter

David Wallace is a reporter and anchor for UA Little Rock Public Radio.

A radio veteran, David began his news and sports reporting career while in college in 1976. These days, it is more of a hobby than a main job. He anchors weekends and is on-call as a reporter-at-large for KUAR. Since moving to Little Rock in 1991, he has won 14 statewide first-place awards for radio journalism. His primary job now is with the state Department of Workforce Services at the Little Rock Workforce Center. David has a black lab named Hagan.

Email: david@kuar.org

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Little Rock Nine Central High
U.S. Army / Wikipedia

A weekend commemoration marked the turbulent integration of Little Rock’s Central High School. The event, held at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, was called “Retracing the Footsteps of History Makers,” with members of the Little Rock Nine talking about what is was like attending the school.

Governor Asa Hutchinson
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

During an election night where many governors’ races across the country were considered toss-ups, Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson enjoyed a comfortable lead going into Tuesday's election. He easily won re-election against Democratic opponent Jared Henderson.

Hutchinson’s victory was declared early in the evening, winning 65 percent of the vote, according to preliminary results from the Arkansas Secretary of State.

In an interview with KUAR News, Hutchinson outlined a few policies he will be focusing on going forward.

Clinton School of Public Service

Former President Bill Clinton brought his co-author James Patterson through Little Rock Saturday on the latest leg of a book tour; one that has generated headlines for reasons unrelated to the book.

Clinton and Patterson, a best-selling thriller novelist, came to the UA Little Rock Jack Stephens Center to discuss their novel “The President Is Missing” in a panel moderated by actress and Arkansas native Mary Steenburgen.

Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola comparing the city to a glass of water half full.
YouTube

Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola is calling for city infrastructure improvements, while likely candidates to challenge his reelection bid this fall say changes should have been made long before now. Stodola delivered his annual State of the City Address Wednesday, which covered everything from the fire department’s new International Accreditation Designation, to new bikeways and outdoor sculptures. 

Panelists (left to right) City Manager Bruce Moore, Moderator Rex Nelson, Mayor Mark Stodola and Police Chief Kenton Buckner take part in "Crime in Little Rock... a Dialogue" at the Ron Robinson Theater.
@Little Rock_rr / Twitter

Little Rock city leaders addressed the spike in violent crime this year in the state's capital city at a forum Thursday night, even while acknowledging that talk is cheap.

"If we have nothing to show, meaning action, after we leave the meeting, we’ve wasted everyone’s time," Police Chief Kenton Buckner said during "Crime in Little Rock... a dialogue" presented by the Central Arkansas Library System at the Ron Robinson Auditorium.

"Our city has too many things going on for us to be meeting with nothing to show as a result of that meeting," Buckner said.

KUAR

Officials with eStem Public Charter Schools, joined by Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola, cut the ribbon Saturday to open their new high school location on the campus of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, perhaps the first charter school on the campus of a public university in the nation.

"The future is here; the future is today," said eStem CEO John Bacon in christening the new, approximately 33,000-square-foot building.

The Cleveland County town of Kingsland is pinning its hopes of parlaying the birth of Johnny Cash there 83 years ago into tourism gold on an upcoming festival and carnival.

A committee known as Kickstart Kingsland, an off-shoot of Kickstart Cleveland County,  will next meet Friday, Aug. 11, to plan the event, tentatively scheduled for September 16th.

"They're trying to work up a little fundraising festival," Kingsland Mayor Charles Crain said, "have live music, get some local groups, and (have) some vendors in."

Election vote
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Voters gave a resounding "No" to the Little Rock School District's proposal to extend a tax millage an additional 14 years to fund improvements to schools and the construction of a new high school in southwest Little Rock. 

The vote was 3,938 (35.5 percent) for, 7,167 (64.5 percent) against.

Only a little more than 11,000 of the 110,676 registered voters in the district went to the polls.

The extension of the 12.4-mill tax from the current expiration date of 2033 to 2047 would have generated $160 million for the improvements.

Arkansas Travelers

A new era dawns for the Arkansas Travelers when baseball returns this week for the 2017 season.

After 16 seasons as the class AA affiliate of the Los Angeles Angels at Anaheim, the Travelers debut Thursday in the Seattle Mariners' organization.

The club has almost upgraded Dickey-Stephens Park in North Little Rock to enhance fan safety. The protective netting behind home plate has been extended 70 feet down each foul line.

Travs General Manager Paul Allen said the ubiquitous smart phone is to blame.

Little Rock Fire Truck
City of Little Rock

The Fire Prevention office of the Little Rock Rock Fire Department is initiating the "Keep the Wreath Green" campaign to raise awareness of the danger of house fires during the holidays.

The campaign centers around five wreaths with green light bulbs scattered at various locations around the city.

"We want to give our community the visual of how well they’re doing with fire prevention during the holiday season," says Bo Hagar, Little Rock firefighter and Fire Prevention educator.

Talk Business and Politics

Greater, the long anticipated story of former Arkansas Razorback All-America Brandon Burlsworth, opened this weekend to generally good reviews.

"He probably was, as portrayed, just a very good, decent young man," says Little Rock-based film critic Philip Martin of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. "The genre is sort of one of these Christian inspiration movies, but it's really better than most of those."

Almost 20,000 marshal-arts aficionados in their brightly colored uniforms have once again descended on downtown Little Rock for the 26th annual American Taekwondo Association World Expo. 

Jenny O'Conner of ATA International estimates up to 20 nations are represented at the organization's biggest event of the year, which includes the crowning of champions for the just concluded competition year and the opening competitions of the new year.

Photo by Jared Rickman

Little Rock's Bike Polo club is hosting its third Summer Solstice Slam at McArthur Park this weekend, featuring 22 teams from around the region, including four from Little Rock.

Bike polo is just like it sounds—the classic game played by aristocracy on horseback converted to bicycles on a hard surface.

Jared Rickman, one of a core group of players who have made Little Rock something of a hub of bike polo events over the last few years, said the public is invited to watch the tournament, which was expected to run into the early evening Sunday.

Trump campaign plane
Facebook/Donald J. Trump

  

Donald Trump used a northwest Arkansas rally three days in advance of the Arkansas primary to throw verbal hand grenades at Republican presidential adversary Marco Rubio.

“I will address little Rubio,” the New York billionaire told a large crowd at Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport.

“I thought (Ted) Cruz was a liar, but Rubio is worse.”

Trump’s 58-minute unscripted speech seemingly covered whatever topic popped into his mind.

Governor Radio
Office of the Governor

The following is a transcript of Gov. Asa Hutchinson's Radio Column for the weekend of Jan. 15, 2016:

This afternoon I will be visiting three schools in Gravette, a small town in Northwest Arkansas. As a Gravette native, I am excited to get back to the place where I grew up on a farm on the Spavinaw Creek south of town.

A two-percent increase in Little Rock's hotel tax will fund improvements to McArthur Park and two of the city's cultural centers housed in the park, provided voters approve designating the revenue from the tax increase accordingly.

The Little Rock Board of Directors Tuesday night (Dec. 1) approved two separate one-penny hotel tax increases and a Feb. 9, 2016 special election related to the increase.

Thanksgiving table
crafthubs.com

When you sit down to that Thanksgiving meal later this week, among the things to express gratitude for is the cost of the meal itself.

An Arkansas Farm Bureau survey shows it will cost about a dollar less than last year to prepare that meal. For a family of ten, that’s down from $46.23 a year ago to $45.25 this year.  

Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee entered the first presidential primary debate of the 2016 race in fourth position in a Fox News aggregate of national polls. 

Judging by reaction to his debate performance, he likely solidified--if not improved--his position Thursday night.

Huckabee was one of 10 Republicans on the Quicken Loans Arena stage in Cleveland, Ohio, chosen out of a field of 17 for the prime-time debate because of their positions in the most recent polls. The other seven candidates took the same stage a few hours earlier.

On this week's podcast, KUAR news staffers discuss cancelations to Arkansans covered by Medicaid or the private option, a potential defense for justices of the peace who don't want to conduct same-sex weddings, how former Governor Mike Huckabee fared in the Republican presidential debate and reaction to final rules for the Clean Power Plan.

QVS Photography/Roger Robinson

Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton struck a familiar campaign theme in a speech to partisans in North Little Rock Saturday night.

"Democrats are in the future business," the Democratic front-runner in the 2016 presidential race said. "(Republicans) may have fresh faces, but they are a party of the past."

Clinton spoke before a crowd of close to 2,000 at the state Democratic Party's annual Jefferson-Jackson Dinner at Verizon Arena. The $200-a-plate dinner was expected to raise about $450,000 for the state party.

 The library tax for the Central Arkansas Library System (CALS) will both decrease and go on longer after voters approved a bond refinancing plan by an 86-14 percent margin.

The week-long voting period ended yesterday. Only about 4,400 went to the polls.

The library tax will drop by one-tenth-of-one-mil to .9 mil, but revenue is expected to increase by $15 million to $17 million because the life of the tax is extended by four years.

Sen. John Boozman of Arkansas delivered the national Republican Radio Address on June 27, 2015. The following is a transcript:

Hi I’m Senator John Boozman from Arkansas.

 

In an era where we face growing challenges from China and Russia as well as the persistent threat of terrorism, Republicans and Democrats alike say they want the United States to maintain its military dominance.

Twitter/Bridget Spencer

The seemingly never-ending rainfall and the rising water levels caused by it have gotten the attention of the state Department of Emergency Management.

Governor's Office

The following is a transcript of Gov. Asa Hutchinson's weekly column and radio address for the weekend beginning May 1, 2015:

In 1993, doors opened at the Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences and the Arts in downtown Hot Springs. One of its required courses from the very beginning was computer science. Or as its current director, Corey Alderdice, says, “computer science was baked into the school.”

Back then, it was rare for any school to have a computer lab or Internet access, much less offer a credited class on computer coding.

 Drivers who use their cell phones for texting, email or surfing the internet while driving will be targeted by the Arkansas State Police beginning Monday.

ASP is taking part in a national law enforcement campaign called, "U Drive. U Text. U Pay." 

Stepped-up, intense patrols will use "low-pro," unmarked vehicles. Officers will look for the effects of distracted driving, such as crossing the center line or following too closely.

They'll try to ease up beside motorists exhibiting those traits to see if they're using their phones or hand-held devices. 

Travelers who access or exit the Broadway Bridge from the south side of the river will have to adjust their travel plans, starting Monday. 

The ramps to and from the bridge on that side—as well as a portion of the Arkansas River Trail—are being closed in preparation for replacement of the bridge.

The work is just part one of the first parts of a project to replace the venerable structure that will take until late 2016 to complete at an estimated cost of $98.4-mil. 

New speed limits for big-rig trucks take effect Monday when Highway Department crews fan out around the state to take down the old signs.

The speed limit for trucks will now be the same as it is for cars in Arkansas—70 miles-an-hour on most interstates. Since 1996, trucks traveling in Arkansas have had a speed limit of 65 miles-an-hour, five miles-an-hour slower than passenger vehicles. 

Highway Department Spokesman Danny Straesle said that caused congestion because trucks were unable to pass one another, stacking up cars wanting to go faster behind them. 

David Wallace/KUAR

A crowd estimated at more than 500 crowded into the Jacksonville Community Center Mon. night to kickoff the campaign for a new school district independent of the Pulaski County Special School District. 

A special election Sept. 16 will determine whether the northern Pulaski County town will have its own district after years of sharing school governance with many other communities in the state's most populous county. 

littlerock.com

The Federal Aviation Administration is making an installment payment of nearly $2-mil. to Clinton National Airport to reimburse the purchase of land for future development.

The purchase of property north of Dassault Falcon Jet began in 2006 and totaled $10.6-mil. The payment is just one installment in what will amount to a total reimbursement of $8.7-mil.

Tom Cotton
David Wallace / KUAR News

Using the Arkansas Vietnam Veterans Memorial on the state Capitol grounds as the backdrop, Congressman Tom Cotton unveiled the Veterans for Cotton Coalition Sat.

The coalition boasts more than 400 Arkansas veterans from every corner of the state, according to the campaign.

"Washington, D.C. would be a better place if it had more people that more people who reflected the values of leadership, duty, courage, service," Cotton said in announcing the coalition.

"If we had leaders who would do what my drill sergeant taught me to do--the hard right over the easy wrong."

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