Arkansas Week

Watch Friday nights at 7:30 p.m. on AETN (Repeats Sundays at 10:00 a.m.)

"Arkansas Week" highlights a dedicated, distinguished group of Arkansas journalists and political scientists who discuss issues in the news.

"Arkansas Week" is hosted by Steve Barnes. Barnes has been on the air in the Natural State since 1968 when he started as a copy boy on weekends at KTHV-TV Channel 11 in Little Rock. His adept hand at leading journalists and others in a discussion of current events complements his encyclopedic knowledge of the state, its players and its past. Barnes has not only become one of the most recognizable and respected people within Arkansas, but has connected with a national audience through work published in the New York Times, fed to the Reuters news service and shown on networks ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN and PBS. He has been a recipient of the University of Arkansas' journalist of the year award, as well as receiving first prize for television documentary awarded by the Society of Professional Journalists.

AETN welcomes viewers to submit suggestions for discussion topics through e-mail, Facebook, and Twitter.

Episode Listing

  • Arkansas Week July 20, 2018
    (Corruption) Another guilty plea in a widening corruption investigation. (Executions) The state halts efforts, for now,to renew its supply of lethal injection drugs. (Marijuana) Approval of emergency rules could speed implementation of medicinal marijuana. (Trump) And Republicans in Arkansas are coming together this weekend as their president backpedals.
  • Arkansas Week July 13, 2018
    (Trade) As a trade war brews, Arkansas industry - and political leaders - are in the crossfire. (Marijuana) Five firms finally get the go-ahead to grow - but how long to the harvest? (Guns) A task force outlines ways to keep Arkansas classrooms safe. (The Court) And in DC, a confirmation battle looms over a Supreme Court pick.
  • Arkansas Week July 6, 2018
    (Downsized) It has laid off some 250 people and eliminated 700 positions but is still state government's largest employer. (Cuts) Tight dollars and tighter budgets have compelled program reductions. (Degrees) Even so, it schools more clinicians and health professionals, and treats more patients, than any other facility in Arkansas. (UAMS) The Med Center, where it stands, where the new man at the top wants to take it.
  • Arkansas Week June 29, 2018
    (Tariffs) Farm markets, with hundreds of millions of dollars at stake, is the biggest about to shrink? (Percentage) Farm credit, two clicks so far, and at least two more to come. (Diesel) Farm fuel, plenty of it, but the cost is rising. (Congress) And the farm bill, when and what will it look like? A half-hour on the business and the politics of agriculture in America and Arkansas.
  • Arkansas Week June 22, 2018
    (Immigration) An emotionally charged issue. A divided Arkansas GOP. (Ethics) Legislative scandal, and efforts by both chambers to address it. (SCOARK) Medical marijuana, has the state's highest court had the final say? (SCOTUS) Internet sales taxes, the nation's highest court gives the go ahead.
  • Arkansas Week June 15, 2018
    (GIFraud) Admitted, adjudicated, accused or implicated, where does the story go from here? (Reform) The upper chamber and ethics, how stringent can any code truly be? (Up in smoke?) Medical marijuana, how and who to penetrate the weeds? (SCOARK) And how much speech is free, how much advisable, how much permissible?
  • Arkansas Week June 8, 2018
    (G-7) May, Macron, Merkel, Abe, Conte, Trudeau and Trump. (South) Pena Nieto, or Obrador, and Trump. (East) Xi, and Kim, and Trump. (Dollars) Tariffs, trade, Trump and Arkansas.
  • Arkansas Week June 1, 2018
    (Trade) Global commerce, tariffs, and business and agri in Arkansas. (Energy) Prices going up, what's the upside, and the down? (Frack-tured?) In Arkansas, in other regions, is there a shakeout underway in the shale? (Abortion) But first, An issue, a legislature, and three federal courts.
  • Arkansas Week May 25, 2018
    (Asa!) Certified by his party for a second term, an incumbent governor wins more than renomination. (Jared?) Winning in November? Can Democrats offer their candidate more than good wishes? (AR-2) A Democrat in another primary takes the hill in a single bound, but lies ahead a far steeper mountain. (Darker?) And also ahead, more money in uncountable, unaccountable sums.
  • Arkansas Week May 18, 2018
    (5/22) Here come the primaries, the first test for both parties. (Asa/Jan) Financially out-gunned, can a GOP challenger wing a popular incumbent? (AR-2) Can a Democrat who wants a shot in November escape without a runoff? ('18) With early voting already underway, a look at the landscape.
  • Arkansas Week May 11, 2018
    (Shadow Smear?) Again, dark money in an Arkansas campaign, again a judicial campaign. (Ballot Proposals) Will there be any? (Capitol Campaigns) Who will lead Arkansas's largest City? The race Changes. (Wind, Solar) And alternative energy, a nod from Arkansas regulators.
  • Arkansas Week May 4, 2018
    A special edition tonight, Opioids, synthetic opiods, other drugs of abuse. We return to the subject because the subject refuses to go away. Probably it never will. But the current epidemic continues to claim lives at a startling rate – even as public policy scrambles to examine the why and how, and public and private institutions search for antidotes. 
  • Arkansas Week April 27, 2018
    (R) Still riding high in a state still red, will there be a Trump effect In Arkansas? (D) To what extent and where can the loyal opposition copy their gains in other states? (L) Still searching for success in Arkansas, can a third party shape the mid-term outcome? (Parties) A half-hour with the chairs. 
  • Arkansas Week April 20, 2018
    (Dollars) With primaries fast approaching and November in mind, who has how much money as of now? (AR-2) The marquee congressional race, the dollars, as of now, and the landscape. (Medicaid) Numbers of a different sort, though they involve money as well. (Biz) And Cuba, China, Saudi Arabia -- and Arkansas.
  • Arkansas Week April 13, 2018
    (THC) At long last legalized, in part, but how much has gone up in smoke? (SCOARK) The judge who set that fire figures in another case, one of his own, while the plaintiffs blow out the whistleblowers' candle. (Election '18) One of those plaintiffs, among other candidates, is getting a push she does not want. (K-12) But first, report cards for kids and their schools, where are they?
  • Arkansas Week April 6, 2018
    (Trump v. Xi) Two heavyweights, but in this sort of ring can there be a winner? (Metals) For some of our industries the immediate upshot would seem fine. (Agri) But for another component of our economy, the downside would seem obvious. (Tariffs?) The stakes for Arkansas in a trade war.
  • Arkansas Week March 30, 2018
    (THC) Nobody said it would be quick and easy, and medical marijuana is proving all of them right. (Casinos) The stakes are just as high or higher for some other entrepreneurs, but theirs is a taxing path. (Primary) The Republican nomination, the incumbent has a healthy lead in the polls, but is his challenger resonating? (C.C.I.) But first: is a new approach needed to bring jobs to Arkansas?
  • Arkansas Week March 23, 2018
    (Asa?) The favorite, clearly, but how clear is the path to four more years? (1, 2, 3, 4?) Our delegates to D.C. if two more years. Not without a campaign. (Comeback?) The minority party, can there be a resurgence? If so, how strong? (Trump?) Can could all politics be local once again? 
  • Arkansas Week March 16, 2018
    (Session) Back-to-back meetings of the General Assembly, the last of the year? (Post-op) What got done, at what cost, and what’s went un-done? (1/19) The coming session, closer than one might imagine… (Agenda) …so we'll take it up with the leaders of both chambers.
  • Arkansas Week March 9, 2018
    (27/79) The governor needed three of four in each chamber and got it and his budget. (529) The treasurer got his budget minus a rider that couldn't ride. (Next?) That language and much more will, however, get a second chance in the days ahead. (Session(s)) But first, where we've been and where we're going.
  • Arkansas Week March 2, 2018
    (Guns) Legislation to make Arkansas schools safer, what to propose, and what can pass? (GOP) Guns, how big a role in the politics of '18, the big race especially. (WMT) Guns, Arkansas's premier retailer raises the sales bar. (Marijuana) And the awkward embrace, the state and a substance that's officially illegal.
  • Arkansas Week February 23, 2018
    Panelist: Dr. Cheryl May - Director, Arkansas Center for School Safety, Criminal Justice Institute; Officer Phil Blaylock - School Resource Officer, Morrilton Police Dept.; David Hopkins - Superintendent, Clarksville School Distric.
  • Arkansas Week February 16, 2018
    (Arkansas Works) Counting votes, bending elbows, a budget in the balance. (Rx Dollars) Can that budget be kept and keep pharmacies in the fold? (200 Billion) Another proposed budget in a another capitol. Can Arkansas highways expect any capitol improvements? (AR-3) And an Arkansas congressman deep in the budget weeds, keeping his own counsel.
  • Arkansas Week February 9, 2018
    Steve Barnes discusses the fiscal session with panelists Rep. Mathew Pitsch of Fort Smith, Rep. David Whitaker of Fayetteville, Sen. Jim Hendren of Gravette, and Sen. Will Bond of Little Rock.
  • Arkansas Week February 2, 2018
    (DFandA) The latest numbers from the Arkansas treasury, we have them. (FY 2018) They arrive just days before lawmakers write a budget for the coming year. (Pros, cons) Can we spot the strengths as well as the weaknesses? (Tax reform) And how will the new federal tax code impact each?
  • Arkansas Week January, 26, 2018
    Steve Barnes visits with PBS NewsHour Foreign Correspondent Nick Schifrin.
  • Arkansas Week January 19, 2018
    (Budget) A unanimous Arkansas delegation but it may not make the difference. (Cotton) Arkansas's junior senator and presidential rhetoric: ridicule and applause. (NAFTA) The president's rhetoric and the governor's high wire act. (CHIP) But first, the stakes for the kids whose parents make too much and too little.
  • Arkansas Week January 12, 2018
    (5.6 Billion) It's for the executive to propose a budget, and for the legislative to dispose. (Health) So, how will the General Assembly decide an issue that's as practical as fiscal, and philosophical? (And…) Close behind, funding for public schools, prisons and higher ed. Enough? (Asphalt) And can there be consensus on the highway program everyone agrees Arkansas needs?
  • Arkansas Week January 5, 2018
    (12/17) The new year begins with a bang from the bucks. (Asa! Jan?) For a governor already campaigning, it also brings a challenge from the right. (Dems?) The party out of power,  how many challengers, and for what? (THC?) And medical marijuana, will Washington limit Arkansas’s legislation?
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