Arkansas Week Tonight: McDaniel, Shoffner, #ARLEG, Medicaid & Wal-Mart

Arkansas Week on AETN

8 p.m. Friday.

A packed, fast-paced show tonight on AETN’s “Arkansas Week.” I join host Steve Barnes and Michael Hibblen, news director of KUAR-FM, 89.1, in Little Rock and Dr. Price Dooley of the political science department of the University of Central Arkansas.

On the agenda, Dustin McDaniel’s “meet-the-press” moment, more woes for Martha Shoffner, the coming legislative session, the great Medicaid expansion debate, the week in Wal-Mart and Tom Cotton’s first days in Congress.

Lots to cover! You can watch at 8 p.m. tonight or right here as soon as the video is available.

Incremental Change: Tuesday’s Good Reads

A few of the recent online news stories, analysis and blog posts crossing the radar:

Making Online News Work in Small-town Arkansas

It’s happening. Someone people are doing it. We’ve noted the Fayetteville Flyer, Ozarks Unbound, the CityWire and others. And this week, Arkansas Business media writer Sam Eifling checks in with two other online-only news sites: the MagnoliaReporter.com and MonticelloLive.com,

which has received 1.7 million page views during the past year. Its growth tickles Joe Burgess, who has owned and run the site since October 2007.

After three years on MonticelloLive.com, Burgess is convinced his style of coverage is sustainable, and here to remain as a competitor to the local paper (the Advance Monticellonian, in this case). “Convenience stores, instant coffee and faster information,” he says. “It’s all the same concept.

Right now, they’re small operations. But they’ve got the right idea: covering intensely local news intensely, offering readers news they can’t find anywhere else, even in the competing print paper.

Also

TolbertReport.com teams with InsideSaline.com and MySaline.com to present a day of debates by candidates in local elections.

Republicans Square Off Now in Debate for U.S. Senate

Last night, the three Democratic contenders for an Arkansas U.S. Senate seat squared off, and now it’s the 8 Republican candidates’ turn.

Some Saturday commitments keep us from attending the forum, taking place at today’s meeting of Arkansas newspaper editors at the DoubleTree Hotel in Little Rock. So we recommend you watch via an A-team of Twitter correspondents on the ground downtown:

Andrew DeMillo, AP – @ademillo

John Lyon, Arkansas News Bureau – @johnlyon09

Dave Catanese, Politico – @davecatanese

Jason Tolbert – @TolbertReport

John Brummett – @johnbrummett

Update – The debate’s over: See DeMillo’s first AP write-through, available here.

Snow: We Have Some!

This is the scene outside our window in Calico Rock, Arkansas today. This north Arkansas city always holds the distinction of being the hottest or coldest part of the state, depending on the season.

Today, it’s one of the snowiest parts of Arkansas, with about three inches on the ground. Snowmen and snowball fights sure to come.