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.


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Rock Region Metro transit buses CAT central arkansas transit
David Monteith / KUAR News

As Arkansas continues to roll back its prior restrictions on businesses due to the coronavirus pandemic, Rock Region Metro is preparing for an increase in ridership as people return to the workplace.

Since March, Little Rock’s public transportation service has modified both its routes and its policies in response to COVID-19, such as the temporary suspension of certain bus routes.

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The South Central Telehealth Resource Center has received over $800,000 in federal funding to expand its efforts in telehealth education.

The center, housed at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, but a part of the National Consortium of Telehealth Resource Centers, received $825,000 from the Health Resources and Services Administration as a part of the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relieve and Economic Security or CARES Act. 

Almost one year since the opening of the first dispensary in the state, Arkansans are continuing to buy medical marijuana, with some dispensaries reporting record sales over the past few weeks.

According to the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration, approximately 11,000 pounds have been sold in total. Those sales amount to $73 million.

Scott Hardin, director of communications for the department, says purchasing habits of medical marijuana have changed since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.

Arkansas Arts Center

The Arkansas Arts Center is making many adjustments due to the coronavirus pandemic. Though their Riverdale location remains closed because of social distancing guidelines, the center moved classes online for a four-week block. Additionally, the 62nd annual Delta Exhibition, which features 63 works of art from artists across Arkansas as well as from neighboring states, will open for online viewing beginning on June 19. 

Downtown Little Rock
Wikimedia Commons

In order to further combat the coronavirus pandemic, the City of Little Rock is launching a series of services, including a testing site this Saturday at the Southwest Community Center off of Baseline Road.

Announcing the initiatives during a news conference on Wednesday, Mayor Frank Scott Jr. said while the city continues its effort to contain COVID-19, it’s also important to focus on how the virus is impacting minority communities and to provide needed assistance.

Arkansas Cinema Society

While movie theaters remain closed due to social distancing measures brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, the Arkansas Cinema Society is partnering with several local organizations to present a series of documentaries for patrons to watch online.

Little Rock Port Authority Port of Little Rock
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

The Little Rock Port Authority is seeing a decrease in shipping volume not only because of the coronavirus pandemic, but also due to record low oil prices.

Bryan Day is the executive director of the Little Rock Port Authority. He says the port authority itself as well as other private businesses have seen an impact in the past few months.

Stock Photo

Shoppers looking for certain groceries like beef or eggs might have had trouble buying those products during the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. However, the lack of food in aisles is due to a change in the supply chain and not a shortage.

John Anderson is the head of the Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness Department at the University of Arkansas. He says the abrupt closings of restaurants due to the outbreak caused a major shift in where food was delivered.

"We went virtually overnight to no restaurant trade, no food service trade," Anderson said.

Little Rock Zoo Playground
Little Rock Zoo

With Arkansans practicing social distancing, and unnecessary travel discouraged,  Arkansas tourism has taken a hit due to the coronavirus pandemic, with many tourism destinations shut down indefinitely. 

Travis Napper is the director of Tourism for Arkansas and says tourism has "screeched to a halt" due to the pandemic.

"That’s for, right now the safety of our visitors, the safety of our locals. That comes first before any recovery of tourism," Napper said.

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Heavy storms featuring high wind speeds swept through Arkansas this past weekend, killing one person and leaving thousands without power.

According to Dennis Cavanaugh, Warning Coordination Meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Little Rock, the storms that hit the state were a part of  the second of two storms systems that hit the southern part of the country this weekend, with the first wave of storms mainly hitting Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama.

USDA - McKeand

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to impact the economy, sectors involving forestry industry are no exception.

According to research from the University of Arkansas at Monticello’s College of Forestry, Agriculture and Natural Resources, changes in housing, manufacturing as well as consumer goods are also shifting the forest products industry. 

Dr. Matthew Pelkki is the chair of forest economics at the University of Arkansas at Monticello. He says paper products are seeing varying demands depending on the products themselves, with most seeing a decline.

File photo. Attorney General Leslie Rutledge (R).
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

As Arkansans continue to change their routines and lives due to the coronavirus pandemic, some are finding new ways to take advantage of the situation and of  others for their own gain.

KUAR spoke with Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge about some scams that are emerging due to COVID-19. 

Below is a transcript of the aired conversation.

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.

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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.

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.