Nathan Vandiver

General Manager

Nathan Vandiver is General Manager for UA Little Rock Public Radio.

As General Manager, Nathan oversees the quality of our on-air sound and is responsible for developing and maintaining programming policy, supervising programming staff, and selecting programs for UA Little Rock Public Radio.

Phone: 501-569-8485

E-mail: nathan@kuar.org

Ways to Connect

Nathan Vandiver / KUAR

The state’s Division of Legislative Audit will conduct a special report for lawmakers to assess the early days of enrollment into Arkansas’s Private Option Medicaid expansion plan.

The Legislative Joint Auditing Committee approved the special report Friday.

Supporters of the Private Option, including Representative Reginald Murdoch, asked whether the audit report of such a new program was meant to hamper its implementation.

This weekend, KUAR is bringing two new programs from NPR to its airwaves with the TED Radio Hour and Latino USA.

Ira Glass, host of Public Radio International's This American Life, will be in Memphis October 5 for an event at the Orpheum Theatre.

Congratulations to the lucky listeners and members who won tickets. If you still want tickets, you can purchase them at the Orpheum's website.

The event is presented by Memphis public radio station WKNO. 

npr.org

Beginning Tuesday, Sept. 10, KUAR will add NPR's All Songs Considered to its Tuesday evening schedule.

All Songs Considered is hosted by Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton. Along with occasional guests, they curate the best of what's new in popular music for the public radio audience.

Ari Daniel Shapiro / Burn: An Energy Diary

This Fourth of July, KUAR FM 89 will air 'The Switch: The Story of Our National Power Grid' from the program 'Burn: An Energy Diary.'

Host Alex Chadwick and the producers at Burn take a look at the nation's aging power grid, how it works and how it doesn't, Thursday, July 4 at 3 p.m.

The program will cover smart grids, alternative energy and the people who keep the grid running all on a day when the grid will be humming to keep up with the nation's energy demand.

Kalman Zabarsky for Boston University Photography / WBUR/NPR

A note to listeners from Interim Program Director Nathan Vandiver:

As announced earlier by NPR, Talk of the Nation leaves the air as of Thursday, June 27 and though it will be missed, its departure gives KUAR the opportunity to bring the voice and perspective of a new show to the central Arkansas airwaves.

A report from the CDC and the National Center for Health Statistics says teen birthrates are dropping in the US in all but two states.

Arkansas is among the states where the rate is dropping, but it has one of the highest rates.

Arkansas had a 16 percent decline in overall teen births between 2007 and 2011.

Brady Hamilton, a statistician with the National Center for Health Statistics, says the study can help shape public policy regarding teen pregnancy.

As the citizens of Moore, Oklahoma work to clean up the damage and rebuild following the tornado that destroyed part of the town this week, help is pouring in from surrounding areas.

One person on the University of Arkansas at Little Rock campus is helping.

Leanna Payton, who works in student housing is gathering odds and ends like toiletries, diapers and cell phone chargers to take to Moore. She plans to fill a van with the items.

Robert Nelson / Flickr.com

Thursday the University of Arkansas System Board of Trustees is scheduled to meet and vote on whether to allow permitted faculty and staff to carry concealed handguns on its campuses throughout the state.

The Arkansas State University Board is also expected to vote on the matter Thursday.

The state legislature recently passed a law that gives colleges the choice, though all schools that have voted so far have opted out of allowing concealed weapons on campus.

Nathan Vandiver / KUAR

US Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas Chris Thyer said Monday that allegations against state Treasurer Martha Shoffner are grave.

He spoke to reporters after Shoffner made her initial court appearance on charges she accepted money from a broker in return for investing state money with that broker.

Nathan Vandiver / KUAR

State lawmakers met briefly this morning to formally adjourn the legislature, making for a quiet end to an otherwise action packed legislative session.

Arkansas Department of Higher Education Logo.
adhe.edu / Arkansas Department of Higher Education

Arkansas Department of Higher Education Director Shane Broadway says expected cuts to state scholarship programs will affect students applying for those awards for this coming school year and beyond.

He says during the recent legislative session the Department didn’t get a requested additional $7 million to shore up estimated shortfalls, but did get $2 million to save the Governor’s Distinguished Scholarships. That scholarship goes to 300 high-achieving students.

A bomb threat made via twitter to the Clinton Presidential Center in Little Rock Tuesday didn’t disrupt activities.

Captain Edwin Wolf of the Little Rock Fire Department says a search of the building didn’t turn up any explosives.

He says bomb threats for the presidential library are rare.

"We get this occasionally for schools, high schools, things like that, but not for the Clinton Library, it's not very common," Wolf said.

cals.lib.ar.us

The Central Arkansas Library System is set to take part in a worldwide event beginning Wednesday called the “Big Library Read.”

It’s a giant book club of sorts where participants all simultaneously check out the same book via e-readers.

Carol Coffey with CALS said it’s a pilot program to promote libraries e-book offerings.

Nathan Vandiver / KUAR

The Little Rock Technology Park Authority Board is putting off selection of a site for the city’s tech park in order to discuss the specific types of research businesses that might be attracted to it.

The main topic of discussion for the Little Rock Tech Park Board has focused on site selection, but at its meeting Wednesday, members began delving into the basic purpose for the park and whether they need to consider two sites rather than one.

Nathan Vandiver / KUAR

A power transmission company says it will locate a regional hub in Little Rock, a move that company officials say will bring between 30 and 50 high paying jobs to the state in the near future.

Governor Mike Beebe and Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola joined state economic development officials as well as representatives from Midcontinent Independent Systems Operator, or MISO, at the state Capitol to announce the new jobs.

MISO handles power transmitted on the nation’s electric grid and Beebe said the mostly-high tech jobs would pay an average of $85,000 a year.

Nathan Vandiver / KUAR

Both Democratic Candidates for Governor in Arkansas say the private option of Medicaid expansion was the best deal available to the state but disagree on the bulk of the federal health care overhaul.

Former Lt. Gov. Bill Halter and former Fourth District Congressman Mike Ross spoke to members of the Delta Grass Roots Caucus Friday at the Clinton Presidential Center in Little Rock.

Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, the current Democratic leader and former Speaker of the House of Representatives in Washington, will participate in a lunchtime Clinton School discussion of current political issues Thursday.

Nicolai DiPippa, director of public programs at the Clinton School, says to expect a wide range of topics of current importance.

Arkansas Congressman Tom Cotton has been in Washington representing the Fourth District for four months now, but he's already getting national press on his stance on the country's foreign policy.

A report out Tuesday from Politico says Cotton's stance is reminiscent of the post 9/11 foreign policy of former President George Bush and could win him points with the Washington Republican political elite.

ExxonMobil as well as federal, state and local officials are still working to clean up from the oil spill in Mayflower that happened one month ago.

The Pegasus Pipeline ruptured spilling about 5,000 barrels of oil into the Northwoods subdivision. Residents from the neighborhood still have not returned to their homes.

Arkansas is moving forward with a new plan to implement part of the Affordable Care Act to pay for health insurance for the state’s working poor now that the legislature has wrapped up its business.

Governor Mike Beebe used his weekly radio address to highlight the benefits of the state’s new “private option” of expanding health insurance with money intended for Medicaid.

Nathan Vandiver / KUAR

The daughter of former President Bill Clinton and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is urging kids to use social media and technology to encourage their peers and parents to participate in community service.

Chelsea Clinton visited with students from several Little Rock High Schools during a lunchtime panel discussion Friday. The topics ranged from health and technology to her likelihood of running for political office. Clinton said not now.

One suspected car thief is dead after a shootout this morning with Little Rock Police near North University Avenue and H Street.

LRPD Spokeswoman Sergeant Cassandra Davis said police responded to a call at about 5:41 Thursday morning at 416 N. Pierce St. She said three individuals were reported breaking into cars.

During the legislative session that wrapped up this week, Twitter was used more than ever before by lawmakers to share opinions and debate ideas. KUAR’s Nathan Vandiver has more with Roby Brock of Talk Business Arkansas.

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville will get to display works of modernist American Art from the famed Alfred Stieglitz collection after years of court battles kept its purchase of the works on hold.

The museum owns a 50 percent stake in the collection with Fisk University in Tennessee. The state’s attorney general sued to keep the collection in the state.

Spokeswoman for Crystal Bridges, Diane Carroll, the museum will allow members of the public who would not otherwise have been able, to view the works.

Legislators have a few weeks before they come back to officially wrap up the session, but Tuesday was likely the last day of business for Arkansas lawmakers as they approved the budget and Governor Mike Beebe signed into law a health insurance expansion that many lawmakers agree was the biggest issue of the session.

Nathan Vandiver/ KUAR

Governor Mike Beebe on Tuesday signed into law a plan for federal Medicaid funds to be used to buy private health insurance for Arkansas adults who earn up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level.

The Governor signed the bills that make up the state’s Private option expansion plan into law at a ceremony in his conference room at the state capitol.

“This is a victory for all of Arkansas in my opinion, and no one person or one group of people deserve all the credit for this,” Beebe said.

Arkansas Capitol
flickr.com

Lawmakers in both the Arkansas House and Senate will wrap up with their final vote on the state’s budget on Tuesday. Each chamber voted on identical versions of the budget today Monday.

The state’s budget for its fiscal year that begins July 1st and ends June 30th of 2014 is 4.9 billion dollars and includes increases for the state’s Medicaid program and education, as well as a 2 percent cost of living raise for state employees. It passed by a vote of 80-15 in the House.

Arkansas voters will get to decide whether to toughen the requirements to place a constitutional amendment on the ballot through the petition process after the state House gave final approval to the measure Friday.

Senate Joint Resolution 16 would require that signatures be 75 percent correct for petitioners to receive additional time to collect the full, required number of signatures.

Representative Jeremy Gillam, R-Judsonia, said the amendment is needed in light of a high number of fake or incorrect names that were turned in on petitions before the last election.

Warwick Sabin
Nathan Vandiver / KUAR

A proposed constitutional amendment that would, among other things, prohibit state legislators and constitutional officers from accepting gifts from lobbyists is closer to being on the 2014 ballot after passing the Senate Thursday.

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