Sarah Kellogg

KUAR Morning Edition Host and Reporter

Sarah Kellogg is the Morning Edition host and a reporter for KUAR.

Sarah was drawn towards radio reporting her freshman year in college at the University of Missouri in Columbia, where she already knew she wanted to be a journalist. Throughout her junior and senior years, Sarah reported and produced stories for KBIA, the NPR member station in Columbia. She received her bachelor’s of journalism in Radio/Television reporting with an emphasis on radio.

Immediately after graduation, she wanted to get more experience in political reporting so she went back to Mizzou for her master’s in public affairs reporting, where she spent her final semester as the Missouri statehouse reporter for KBIA.

Now in Arkansas, Sarah is putting that master’s degree to use, covering the statehouse for KUAR. When she’s not in the newsroom, she’s normally watching a lot of movies, hanging out with her cats and trying out new recipes.

Email: sarah@kuar.org

Newsroom: 501-683-7400

Ways to Connect

Gov. Asa Hutchinson
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

With over 30 states in the U.S. implementing "stay-at-home" orders due to the coronavirus pandemic, Arkansas is in the minority of states without one. However, Gov. Asa Hutchinson says a targeted approach is currently a better way for the state to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Speaking live on the public radio program 1A Thursday morning, Hutchinson said targeting and closing businesses and other areas that pose a threat of coronavirus exposure is working for Arkansas at the moment.

Central Arkansas Library System

While the Central Arkansas Library System’s branches are currently closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, patrons still have access to digital entertainment, with the system planning some new events to accommodate social distancing guidelines. Some services are newer, while other have already been a part of CALS’s services.

Downtown Little Rock
Wikimedia Commons

In an effort to get ahead of any negative economic impact from the COVID-19 pandemic, Little Rock city directors have approved a more than 2% cut to the city’s budget for the 2020 fiscal year. 

During a special meeting Wednesday, board members, many of whom were calling in through phone or video chat, voted to pass an ordinance that cuts the city’s budget by $4,928,545.

Those cuts include:

Pinnacle Mountain State Park
File Photo

While non-essential businesses in Arkansas remain closed due to the coronavirus, state parks are still open for the public to enjoy, though some changes have been made to encourage social distancing. 

Earlier this month, the state Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism announced the closures of its lodges at DeGray Lake Resort, Mount Magazine, Petit Jean and Queen Wilhelmina. That’s in addition to the closures of events at the parks and visitors centers at 13 state parks, with exceptions granted for people checking into camp grounds or cabins.

Arkansas State Capitol
Chris Hickey / KUAR News

The Arkansas Senate spent its first day of the special session debating and not passing an amendment to a bill that establishes a COVID-19 rainy day fund for the state.

Amanda Good / Humane Society

Arkansans with pets could face additional dilemmas as the coronavirus continues to spread, including whether a trip to the veterinarian is necessary.

Dr. Eric Jayne is the medical director for Spay Arkansas and a veterinarian. He says the American Veterinary Medical Association has sent out recommendations for veterinarians to follow. One of those recommendations is to suspend non-essential services such as dental check-up, spay and neuter services or other appointments that could wait.

Stock Photo

As the number of coronavirus cases in the state continues to rise, those involved with political petitions are finding it difficult to gather signatures.

According to the 2020 Initiatives and Referenda handbook from the Arkansas Secretary of State’s office, a total of 89,151 signatures are needed for a petition proposing a constitutional amendment. Furthermore, said signatures must come from 15 counties in Arkansas and be completely turned in by July 3.

ShareAlike 4.0 International / Wikimedia Commons

Despite the growing number of COVID-19 cases in Arkansas, long stretches of wet weather are proving to be more of an issue for farmers, but the virus is having an impact.

Jarrod Hardke, rice extension agronomist for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, says typically, this would be the beginning of the planting season for rice. However, the excess rain has complicated things.

"The overabundance of rainfall throughout the winter and early spring has the majority of our ground still unprepared for planting at this point," Hardke said.

The main campus of the University of Arkansas For Medical Sciences in Little Rock.
UAMS

While the number of positive COVID-19 cases continues to grow across the country and across Arkansas, seasonal illness with similar symptoms are also circulating in the state. Seasonal allergies, the flu and other illnesses that share symptoms with COVID-19 are causing some to believe they could have the coronavirus.

Dr. Robert Hopkins is the chief of the division of general internal medicine at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. He says the presence of the coronavirus has resulted in more people calling and visiting UAMS over health concerns.

Though no new presumed cases of COVID-19 were announced in Arkansas on Tuesday, Gov. Asa Hutchinson said more diagnoses can be expected as the state’s testing capability grows.

Some health insurance companies, such as United Healthcare and Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield have adjusted their policies to cover testing for the coronavirus for its customers. KUAR spoke with Curtis Barnett, president and CEO of Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield on the changes the health insurer has made due to COVID-19. Below is the transcript from the broadcasted conversation.  

UALR sign
Chris Hickey / KUAR News

On Thursday, the same day Arkansas confirmed a total of six presumptive cases of coronavirus in the state, several universities officially switched to online classes in an effort to curb in-person contact and the spread of the virus. Though the University of Arkansas at Little Rock has no presumed cases, it is now conducting its courses online.  KUAR spoke with University Chancellor Christina Drale about the decision. Below is the broadcasted transcript from that conversation.

Governor Asa Hutchinson Greg Bledsoe Coronavirus
Daniel Breen / KUAR News

Gov. Asa Hutchinson says three more people in Arkansas are presumed to have tested positive for the coronavirus, bringing the total number of presumptive cases in the state to nine.

In a news conference at the Arkansas Department of Health Friday, Hutchinson said one case indicates the first instance of community spread of the virus in the state, in Little Rock.

Sarah Kellogg / KUAR News

Arkansans chose Joe Biden and President Donald Trump on Tuesday as their nominees for the presidential election in November.

However, Gov. Asa Hutchinson believes the race that will be most studied in Arkansas is Barbara Womack Webb’s victory over Judge Morgan "Chip" Welch for an Arkansas Supreme Court Associate Justice position. 

Speaking Wednesday during a meeting of the Political Animals Club, Hutchinson said her victory will cause future judicial candidates to rethink their strategies during elections.

Sarah Kellogg / KUAR News

Arkansans joined voters in 13 other states and one territory on Super Tuesday to pick, among other races, the Democratic nominee for president. In Pulaski County, voters are also choosing an Arkansas Supreme Court Justice, a statewide race, as well as certain circuit court judgeship positions and others. 

Outside of Little Rock’s Pulaski Heights United Methodist Church, supporters of at least nine different candidates lined up and waved signs to ongoing cars and to voters entering the building to vote.

Election early vote
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Monday marked Pulaski County’s final day of early voting before Super Tuesday. According to the Pulaski County Election Commission’s website, over 23,800 people cast their ballots early.  Terri Hollingsworth, the Circuit and County Clerk of Pulaski County, says the numbers are a little lower than in previous primary years.  

“It’s just slightly lower than the last few…in 2016 and 2018, but we still want people to urge their family and friends to get out and vote. It’s just such an important part of being a citizen in this state, the city and in this country,” Hollingsworth said.

Daniel Breen / KUAR News

A new app from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs allows veterans to access information on healthcare news, VA health care locations and other functions.

Chris Durney is the public affairs officer for the Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System. He says veterans who are traveling could use the MyVA Info app to find assistance in an unfamiliar place.

Sarah Kellogg / KUAR News

A partnership between the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and Heifer International aims to develop resources and knowledge on urban farming and apply it to UA Little Rock’s Campus Garden.

The collaboration, announced Wednesday at UA Little Rock, will provide students and faculty the opportunity to work with Heifer International though field days, workshops and will also be able to share equipment and work with personnel to further improve the garden.

Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

The year is off to a good start for the Little Rock Port Authority, boasting strong numbers for January 2020. According to a news release, the port’s docks saw a total of 41 barges, which on average equaled to more than a barge each day. Bryan Day is the executive director of the Port of Little Rock. He says the numbers reflect a strong start to the year and should be a foundation for months to come.

Sarah Kellogg

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock debuted a new lab on Thursday focused on Building Information Management. The BIM lab will be used by students studying construction management and engineering.

Dr. Lawrence Whitman is the dean of the Donaghey College of Engineering and Information Technology. He says the technology helps students better visualize the projects they are designing or working on.

Election early vote
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

1,095 Pulaski County voters showed up at the polls for the first day of early voting for the election on March 3, according to numbers from the Pulaski County Election Commission. According to Joshua Price, an election commissioner for the county, that number is lower than expected.

Create Bridges

A new pilot program from the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service is seeking the input and information from employees in certain sectors.

Create Bridges is a project studying rural economic development, in particular the retail, tourism, accommodations and entertainment industry.

election vote
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Arkansans visiting the Clinton Presidential Center on Monday will have the opportunity to register to vote, thanks to a partnership with the Pulaski County Circuit and County Clerk. According to a news release, volunteers will help Arkansas residents complete their registration and check registration status.

Terri Hollingsworth is the Pulaski County Circuit and County clerk. She says the county selected this day because the Clinton Center offers free admission on President’s Day and tends to get a lot of visitors.

Salfalko via Flickr, Creative Commons

People with outstanding warrants for a failure to appear in Faulkner County District Court or the city of Conway will have the opportunity to have those warrants dismissed during an amnesty court event on Friday.  

According to a news release, those with any failure to appear issues with citations from the Faulkner County Sheriff’s office or from Conway are able to appear from 8:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. at the Faulkner County District Court to have their case added to District Judge Chris Carnahan’s docket. Carnahan said having a failure to appear warrant can create obstacles.

Butler Center for Arkansas Studies

The Vietnam War book “The Things They Carried,” is the focus of the Central Arkansas Library System’s "NEA Big Read: CALS" program, with events slated to run between March 16 and  April 26. However, one project, the Arkansas Vietnam War Project, has for years collected the stories from veterans about their experiences.

Sarah Kellogg / KUAR News

Farmers in the Jefferson County area had the opportunity to hear advice and predictions on the 2020 planting season during a crop production meeting held by the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture.  

Beginning in early January, the Division of Agriculture has held production meetings at its county extensions across the state. This particular meeting, held Wednesday in Pine Bluff is the 16th so far, with twelve more to go this February. It focused on corn, soybeans and rice as well as presentations on weeds and insects. 

Stock Photo

Arkansas’s economy continues to improve according to the latest numbers from the state Department of Finance and Administration.

According to the most recent revenue report, released Tuesday, the state has a net available revenue of $594.6 million. That’s a 7.3% increase compared to this time last year and .2% above forecast.

Sarah Kellogg - KUAR News / KUAR News

A campaign led by leaders in politics, faith and medicine in the state urges people not to sign two petitions currently circulating in favor of legalizing recreational marijuana. Members of the “Just Don’t Sign” campaign held a press conference at the state Capitol Thursday.

Republican Sen. Cecile Bledsoe, R-Rogers, urged supporters gathered at the State Capitol not to sign either of the two petitions currently circulating to place a proposed constitutional amendment on the ballot. Sen. Bledsoe said legalizing the drug’s recreational use would have adverse effects on the state.

The Arkansas Repertory Theatre
www.therep.org

The play Ann begins its run at the Arkansas Repertory Theatre this week, with two preview performances before opening night on Friday, January 31.  The play, which originally ran on Broadway in 2013, is about the life and legacy of Ann Richards, the 45th governor of Texas.

Will Trice is the Executive Artistic Director for the Arkansas Repertory Theatre. He spoke with KUAR about the play. A transcript of the aired conversation is below.

Sarah Kellogg - KUAR News / KUAR

Arkansas Shakespeare Theater’s production of Romeo and Juliet differed from last year’s other productions in a few ways. As the designated “family-friendly’ show of the season, the play was shortened to an hour and toured across Arkansas through the months of June and July. This particular production also went through another round of modifications, to make it accessible to those on the autism spectrum and others who are sensory sensitive.

Sarah Kellogg / KUAR News

Starting in the next school year, first-year students attending Little Rock’s Hall High School can choose from three coursework tracks focusing on science, technology and the arts.

Officials with the state Department of Education and the Little Rock School District on Tuesday announced plans for re-designating Hall as a magnet school focusing on STEAM, or science, technology, engineering, the arts and math.

LRSD Superintendent Michael Poore told the audience that students from all attendance zones are welcome to apply for the 2020- 2021 school year.

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