Kelly Connelly

Intern, KUAR News

Kelly Connelly was a KUAR News intern in the fall of 2019. She covered a broad range of topics, including civil rights, education and health issues, and even filed a report aired nationwide by NPR News about a strike by Little Rock teachers. Kelly is on track to graduate in May 2020 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mass Communication from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. She is interested in news reporting, freelance writing and copy editing. 

The Arkansas-made independent film Antiquities will launch the Arkansas Cinema Society's Movies on Main Street Program.
Arkansas Cinema Society

The Arkansas Cinema Society’s new series Movies on Main Street will screen independent films at downtown main street theaters throughout Arkansas, bringing such films to areas where screenings are rare. The ACS has partnered with inVeritas, Landmark, Mid-America Arts Alliance, the National Endowment for the Arts and state arts agencies to fund the program.

Little Rock School District students, educators and parents picketing outside Central High during a teacher strike.
Chris Banks

Little Rock School District teachers took part in a one-day strike Thursday and were joined on the picket lines by parents and students. Picketers are objecting to the district no longer recognizing the teacher’s union and the district still being under state control.

Outside of Central High School, there were chants of "What do we want? Local control! When do we want it? Now!"

Chris Dorer, the school’s History department chair, said that the district being under state control equates to systematic racism and oppression.

Michael Bloomberg
Kelly Connelly / KUAR News

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has not officially announced his candidacy for the Democratic nomination for United States president, but on Tuesday he visited the Arkansas state Capitol to file paperwork to have his name appear on the ballot.

"It doesn’t mean we’re going to run, but we do have to make sure we’re on the ballot if we do run," Bloomberg said. Talking with reporters, Bloomberg said he will support the Democratic nominee regardless of whether he decides to run.

Relatives of the Elaine 12 participated in the induction ceremony.
Kelly Connelly / KUAR News

Twelve African-American men wrongly accused of murder during the 1919 Elaine Massacre and later exonerated were inducted into the Arkansas Civil Rights Heritage Trail. Each man has a trail marker dedicated in his honor. U.S. Rep. French Hill, the Chancellor of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock Dr. Christina Drale, Little Rock Mayor Frank Scott, Jr., along with community members and family members of the Elaine 12 spoke at an induction ceremony for the trail Tuesday.

Friday is the first observance of an Arkansas state holiday honoring publisher John H. Johnson. He created Ebony magazine in 1945 and Jet magazine in 1951. Johnson was the founder, chairman, and CEO of Johnson Publishing Company, which at one time was the largest black-owned publishing company in the world.

Kandi Hause, victim services program supervisor for the Little Rock Police Department, inside the soft interview room at the 12th Street Substation.
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

A police station can be an uncomfortable place for victims of violent crimes to be questioned after a traumatic incident. But a newly-furnished room at the Little Rock Police Department’s 12th Street Substation is designed to make people feel as relaxed as possible given the circumstances.

The "soft interview room" has features that are more like what would be found in a living room. It includes a large leather couch, soft arm chairs, sound proof curtains and paintings on the wall. Police Chief Keith Humphrey says the comfortable setting can aid investigations.

Samantha Hagler feeds one of her Nigerian Dwarf goats. Hagler is one Arkansas teen that uses much of her time and resources to participate in livestock showing.
Sarah Kellogg / KUAR

Over 470,000 people visited the Arkansas State fair this year, with many coming for the food and rides. However, one thing that attracts the attention of many competitive youth in the state is livestock showings.

Last week at the state fair, Future Farmers of America students, members of agricultural clubs, and independent farmers competed against one another to show premier animals from around the state. Many competitors are young people who sacrifice their time and resources to take part in livestock showing.

Real ID cards are marked with a star at the top of the card. The DFA encourages Arkansans to obtain a Real ID soon if they plan on boarding a plane or entering a federal facility.
Arkansas Driving Tests

Arkansans have less than a year to get a Real ID that will comply with an Act passed by Congress in 2005. The enhanced identification will be required to board a flight or enter a federal facility on October 1, 2020. Congress passed the Real ID ACT in response to the 911 Commissions Report to improve security in both airports and federal buildings.

An abandoned convent burning in Massueville, Quebec, Canada.
Sypecom / Wiki Media Commons

With the coolest weather so far this fall, many Arkansas residents are turning their heaters on for the first time this season. This is timely because Oct. 6 to Oct. 12 is National Fire Prevention Week. This year’s campaign encourages people to develop a fire escape plan for their home.

Lindsay Fox /

Arkansas’s first vaping summits are being planned for this week in partnership with the Arkansas Attorney General’s Office, the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and Arkansas Children’s Hospital. Attorney General Leslie Rutledge will host the two events, with the first scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. Monday at Children’s Hall on the Arkansas Children’s Hospital campus.

Little rock school district
KATV-Channel 7

The Arkansas Board of Education’s new plan for a partial return of local control to the Little Rock School District is raising concerns from many. It divides the district into three separate categories that will be afforded varying degrees of local control.

Lower performing schools will be placed in Category 3, receiving the least amount of local control. The curriculum and personnel decisions of these schools will remain under state control.

Pulaski County Judge Wendell Griffen

A hearing was held Tuesday to consider a request by Arkansas's attorney general that a judge not be allowed to hear cases involving her office. Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen responded by playing an audio recording of a Sept. 13th hearing after Attorney General Leslie Rutledge alleged he displayed inappropriate behavior toward a member of her staff.

Christina Shutt, executive director of the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, with some of the artifacts featured in the "Hateful Things" exhibit.
Kelly Connelly / KUAR News

The Mosaic Templars Cultural Center in Little Rock will open its newest exhibit, "Hateful Things," on Thursday. It features what is considered to be racist memorabilia that has been collected by Dr. David Pilgrim, the founder and director of the Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia at Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Mich. He has spent a lifetime researching, collecting, and understanding racist objects.

Standing inside the exhibit space, MTCC Executive Director Christina Shutt said viewing these items collectively makes a powerful statement. 

Vaping / Wikimedia Commons

Clinicians are being urged to report any cases potentially involving vaping-related illnesses to the Arkansas Department of Health. Nationwide, 450 possible cases of vaping-induced illnesses are being investigated, including six deaths, according the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In Arkansas, the ADH says as of Thursday there are eight possible cases. Two have been confirmed, two are probable and four are under investigation.

U.S. Geological Survey

A 3.7 magnitude earthquake was felt early Thursday in north Arkansas. The U.S.Geological Survey says the epicenter was located 19 kilometers southeast of Gassville and felt by residents in Baxter and Marion counties.

No damage was reported, according to USGS geophysicist Julie Dutton. She says 387 people within a 100 kilometer radius contacted the agency to report feeling the quake.

Baxter County resident Carol Eberhard says she was awakened by the earthquake.

Deborah Baldwin
Sarah Kellogg / KUAR News

The Winthrop Rockefeller Charitable Trust has pledged $2.25 million to the UA Little Rock Center for Arkansas History and Culture. The funds will be managed by the University of Arkansas Foundation.

During a news conference on Tuesday, University of Arkansas System President Donald Bobbitt announced that the gift is to support the Winthrop Rockefeller Collection and its other activities and collections in an effort to perpetuate continual support.