Michael Hibblen, news director for UA Little Rock Public Radio, will be the next speaker in the Arkansas State Archives’ Pen to Podium: Arkansas Historical Writers’ lecture series on Tuesday, Aug. 21.
Hibblen will discuss his 2017 book “Rock Island Railroad in Arkansas” from 6:30-8 p.m. in the Diamond Room at the Department of Arkansas Heritage, 1100 North St., Little Rock.
For nearly 80 years, the Rock Island was a major railroad in Arkansas, providing passenger and freight services. A decline in rail travel after World War II and an increase in trucks hauling freight over government-subsidized interstates were among factors in the railroad’s struggles and eventual closure in 1980. Most of the tracks that traversed the state were taken up, but a few relics, like the Little Rock passenger station and the Arkansas River bridge, remain as monuments to this once great railroad.
A native of North Little Rock, Hibblen started in radio in 1988. After a 1993 internship at the C-SPAN Cable Network in Washington, D.C., he transitioned to news, working for commercial radio stations KARN in Little Rock, WRVA in Richmond, Virginia, and WIOD in Miami, Florida.
In 2000, Michael became a Miami-based reporter for CBS Radio News. He was hired by the Miami Herald daily newspaper in 2003 when it partnered with NPR station WLRN providing its local news. Michael returned to Little Rock in 2009 to work for KUAR, where he is currently its news director.
The Arkansas State Archives is a division of the Department of Arkansas Heritage and is responsible for collecting and maintaining the largest collection of historical materials on Arkansas in the world.