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

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Pinnacle Mountain State Park
File Photo

A greater than average amount of rainfall in Arkansas has led to flash flooding and other hazards in the state. It also could lead to potentially risky hiking conditions in state parks.

Imam, Mosque
Sarah Kellogg / KUAR News

May 6 marked the beginning of Ramadan, the ninth month on the Islamic calendar observed by Muslims across the globe. This year’s holy month also comes after attacks on Muslim communities in Sri Lanka and in Christchurch, New Zealand. Imam Muaaz Kalla of the Madina Institute in west Little Rock, says the attacks have prompted the institute to install extra security throughout the center.

healthcare
File Photo

While no cases of measles have been recorded in Arkansas so far, residents can expect the illness to reach the state eventually. In a telebriefing yesterday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported a total of 704 cases of measles in 22 different states. According to the CDC, three bordering states: Missouri, Tennessee and Texas have reported cases.

Dr. Gary Wheeler, Chief Medical Officer for the Arkansas Department of Health, says the upcoming travel season could put some Arkansans at risk.

Sarah Kellogg - KUAR News / KUAR

 

Thursday marks the start of this year’s Arkansas Literary Festival. Though this is the festival’s 16th year, festival coordinator Brad Mooy says the years of experience does not necessarily make the planning process any easier.  

"Right at the top of my head as far as what’s been easier this year...nothing comes to mind." Mooy said. What’s been more difficult, according to Mooy, is implementing new features for the festival.

Legislature Matthew Shepherd
Sarah Kellogg / KUAR News

After 88 days in session, the Arkansas legislature officially adjourned sine die on Wednesday. Session unofficially ended two weeks prior on April 10. Wednesday’s meeting was scheduled for any possible last minute bill changes or to override any vetoes. However, no bills were vetoed by Gov. Asa Hutchinson this year, and no other business was scheduled in the House.

Sarah Kellogg - KUAR News / KUAR

Freezing all future new hires is on the list for potential solutions to overcome a budget shortfall for the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. UA Little Rock Chancellor Andrew Rogerson spoke on this and other potential solutions during a forum on Monday.

Ben Carson
Sarah Kellogg / KUAR News

While touring a housing development complex in Little Rock, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson said the proposed budget for the department in the year 2020, which faces an 18 percent cut, is likely not to change. 

Sarah Kellogg - KUAR News / KUAR

The Little Rock Police Department is moving forward to acquire body cameras for its officers. During a news conference Thursday, Chief Keith Humphrey addressed this issue as well as other topics and what he said was his vision for the department. Humphrey said the department would soon start receiving bids for the cameras, although the department will take some time to make a decision.

Sarah Kellogg / KUAR News

Little Rock officially has a new police chief. Keith Humphrey gave his oath of office on Monday at Little Rock City Hall. Humphrey was one of four finalists for the position after former Chief Kenton Buckner left to become the chief of police in Syracuse. Each finalist held a public forum where they gave a presentation and took questions from the audience. Mayor Frank Scott Jr. announced his decision to hire Humphrey in March.

At Monday’s ceremony, Scott called Humphrey a “man of integrity” and that Humphrey will help strengthen the department’s connection to the public.

Sarah Kellogg / KUAR

The Arkansas House has passed legislation that prohibits state municipalities from adopting "sanctuary policies." Legislators voted 71-24 on Wednesday, the final day of the 2019 session. The vote comes one day after the House City, County and Local Affairs Committee passed the bill and two days after the same committee failed to advance it.

Sarah Kellogg / KUAR

Arkansas’s budget for the next fiscal year is a few steps away from passing. The Arkansas House passed two budget bills on Tuesday. The first bill, HB1865 establishes a total of $54 million for the state’s rainy day fund. It also allows for additional funding to be available for state agencies and other purposes. Also, up to $30 million would be set aside for the governor’s office to approve.

Rep. Lane Jean, R- co-chair of the Joint Budget committee, R-Magnolia, outlined some of the allocations the bill establishes.

Sarah Kellogg / KUAR News

 

A bill that would lower the charge for possessing one ounce or less of marijuana to a penalty instead of a misdemeanor in Arkansas failed to advance in committee in favor of studying it more. Rep. Charles Blake, D-Little Rock, pulled his bill on Thursday in response to the House Judiciary Committee’s request to research it more as opposed to passing it.

Little Rock District Court

 

Throughout the month of April, people with outstanding warrants for misdemeanor charges in the Little Rock District Court will have the opportunity to have those charges dismissed. This is under a leniency court program overseen by Judges Melanie Martin and Mark Leverett. The program is a way to get people in court and removing the possibility of arrest. 

You can read the transcript of the entire interview below. 

 

Sarah Kellogg / KUAR News

An Arkansas House committee has advanced a bill that would increase the penalty for robocalls and makes the act of spoofing a phone number illegal in the state. Current law charges someone behind a robocall with a Class B misdemeanor. Under the proposed legislation, both robocalls and spoofing would be a Class D felony.

The House Insurance and Commerce Committee heard the Senate bill on Wednesday. The legislation defines spoofing as "the predominant means by which a robocaller protects their identities and entices customers to answer the telephone."

Sarah Kellogg / KUAR

Another attempt at changing the symbolism of the Arkansas flag has failed in committee. The House State Agencies and Government Committee voted to not advance the proposed legislation on Wednesday. The bill, sponsored by House Minority Leader Charles Blake, D-Little Rock, would change the designation of the blue star above the state’s name to represent the United States as opposed to the Confederacy. The bottom three starts would represent France, Spain and Native tribes of Arkansas.

Sarah Kellogg / KUAR

Under a proposed bill, minors in Arkansas who are victims of sex trafficking would no longer be charged with prostitution. The House Judiciary Committee passed the legislation on Tuesday.

Rep. Jamie Scott, D-North Little Rock, is the sponsor of the bill. She told the committee she did not know of any opposition to the legislation, and believes this bill is "a step forward with the juvenile diversion that we’re trying to say we’re champions for in the state."

Sarah Kellogg / KUAR

A bill that establishes a statewide warranty of habitability for residential rental properties in Arkansas has stalled in a House committee. 

The House Insurance and Commerce committee failed to pass the bill by a slim margin on Monday, coming up one vote short of the 11 needed to pass. Currently, Arkansas is the only state in the country without an implied warranty of habitability.

Sarah Kellogg / KUAR News

State lawmakers are proposing a $100 million tax cut for Arkansans making less than $22,200 per year. 

The cut would come from a three-part bill proposed by Senate President Pro Tempore Jim Hendren on Thursday. Hendren said the bill, like last month's $97 million cut for the state's top earners, came about through recommendations by the Arkansas Tax Reform and Relief Legislative Task Force. 

Sarah Kellogg / KUAR

An Arkansas House committee has passed legislation allowing students who meet the requirements for state residency or have lived in Arkansas for a certain period of time to qualify for in-state tuition at a state-supported university.

In order to qualify, the person must be an Arkansas resident under current code or have lived in the state for three years at the time of applying for the college, and either graduated from a public or private high school in Arkansas or received the equivalent of a high school diploma in the state.

Arkansas Legislature

An Arkansas House committee failed to take action on a bill would allow physician-assisted suicide for terminally ill patients. The proposal would have allowed patients who have a disease verified by the appropriate physician as life ending, the option to seek medication that would kill them.

Rep. Dan Douglas, R-Bentonville, presented the bill to the House Public Health, Welfare and Labor Committee on Tuesday. He said it would just give another option of care for patients who are suffering.

Sarah Kellogg / KUAR

Aspiring or current young women filmmakers in the Little Rock area will have the opportunity to work with and learn from professionals in the industry as they create a short film, as a part of a new free program.

Sarah Kellogg / KUAR

A bill that would bar Arkansas prosecutors from seeking the death penalty for those convicted of a crime and with a diagnosed serious mental illness failed in the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday.

According to the legislation, qualifying medical conditions would include symptoms of delusions, hallucinations, extremely disorganized thinking, and mania.

Sarah Kellogg / KUAR

An Arkansas House committee postponed voting on a bill that would establish a Warranty of Habitability for rented residential properties in favor of making some changes to the legislation.

The House Committee on Insurance and Commerce dedicated the majority of its meeting Wednesday on HB1410, which establishes minimum standards that landlords must maintain for their rented properties. Arkansas is currently the only state in the country without a law placing the burden of repairs and maintenance on landlords as opposed to tenants.

Sarah Kellogg / KUAR News

A House committee cleared legislation that allows schools to give surplus food to students. While the practice was not previously prohibited, this bill gives explicit permission to do so.

Previously pending for a fiscal impact evaluation, the House Education Committee re-referred the bill to the agenda on Tuesday. According to Rep. Jim Dotson, R-Bentonville, the bill’s sponsor, the legislation would not have a fiscal impact on the state.

Sarah Kellogg / KUAR

Part of Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s highway plan needs one final vote to fully pass in the legislature. The House Committee on Revenue and Taxation approved the bill on Tuesday.

The proposed highway plan is split into two parts. The first part, a permanent extension of the half-cent sales tax on fuel, requires approval by constituents on the 2020 general election ballot. An extension of the tax is predicted to raise $205 million annually for the Arkansas Department of Transportation.

Downtown Little Rock
Wikimedia Commons

More than 6.4 million people visited Pulaski County according to a new report by the Little Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau. While this number is comparable to how many tourists came to the county last year, it does continue an increasing trend in annual visitors over the past ten years, according to the report. 

According to Gretchen Hall, CEO of the Little Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau, Pulaski County visitors make up a considerable percentage of total visitors to Arkansas. 

Sarah Kellogg / KUAR

An Arkansas House committee has passed legislation that would create a list of people required to notify authorities if they believe there is a serious threat to a school. The bill also makes it a misdemeanor if someone fails to report a perceived threat.

HB 1437 lists over 35 occupations that would qualify a person as a mandated reporter. Those include teachers, licensed nurses, foster care workers and many others.

Sarah Kellogg / KUAR

A state Senate committee failed to pass a bill that would have granted nurse practitioners in Arkansas the authority to write prescriptions without the necessity of a collaborative practice agreement with a licensed physician.

Currently, nurse practitioners who want to operate independently, need a practice agreement to treat their patients at the same level as a physician, including the ability to prescribe medication. The bill would have removed this requirement. Some other states in the country have removed this demand. 

Sarah Kellogg / KUAR

A bill that would expand the procedures optometrists in Arkansas could perform on a patient, including some surgery, failed in committee after a close vote. The legislation allows optometrists to use ophthalmic lasers for some surgical procedures, an action that is currently prohibited.

The House Committee on Public Health, Welfare and Labor, did not pass the legislation on Tuesday, after hearing people speak for and against the bill. The committee limited testimony to 30 minutes to each side, with each side taking the entirety of that time.

Interstate highway big rock interchange interstates 630 430
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

While Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced a $300 million plan for the state’s highways, that total does not include the additional funding the plan will provide to cities and counties. It relies on both an increase in the existing tax rates for gasoline and diesel, as well as an extension of the existing half-cent sales tax. 

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