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Notice anything different at ‘First Arkansas News?’

By: 26 May 2013 No Comment

UpdateAs our tens of fans have no doubt noticed, First Arkansas News has gone through a few changes lately. The most noticeable development is that we’re actually updating the site again.

Yes, from July 24 last year through March 12 this year, there were no new posts at First Arkansas News. What happened? Site founder/owner/editor/etc. Ethan C. Nobles (that would be me) got sick around November 2011 and wound up shifting priories — as I do a lot of freelance writing, I concentrated on what actually paid well. Believe it or not, this site doesn’t exactly make a whole lot of money. In fact, I’ve seen a profit of about $35 this year after hosting fees and domain name reservations were covered.

That probably has a lot to do with my sophisticated approach to buying ads — “Hey? Wanna buy an ad? No? OK…”

Considering how I’m not making any real money off this project and I was dealing with an illness, I considered shutting the site down on June 1. That’s not going to happen. Why? Running First Arkansas News is too much fun, my health improved greatly after my doctor hit me with a ton of perscriptions and I got an idea or two about the future of the site. Specifically, Jason Ferguson — the pastor of 1st Christian Church of Sherwood — called and asked if he could submit some columns. Those worked out well, so I got agreements from a couple of other pastors — Brad Evans of First Baptist of Benton and Fr. James Melnick with Conway-St. Joseph’s and Danville-St.Andrews to submit some columns from time to time. Also, the Mena Star has agreed to share its religion columns with First Arkansas News.

The reasons to expand our religion coverage are pretty straightforward. For one thing, I love the notion of having a site where people can go and read up on the musings of pastors with various denominations on faith in general and how they view various social issues of the day. Second. there was a time when religion sections in newspapers were about as mainstream as regular news. All that regular news migrated to the Internet, but religious coverage has generally stayed with print newspapers. Simply put, I do believe there’s room for more religious coverage on the Internet and this site will do what it can to help provide it.

Click here to head on over to our religious coverage. Yes, we’ll still cover general news, of course.

Here’s another major development — as of June 1, First Arkansas News will have no ownership interest in the Lum and Abner comic strip series that’s been running since June 2011. We’ve made arrangements to continue running the strip every Sunday, but my days of trying to get sponsors and convince newspapers to pick up the strip have come to an end. Donnie Pitchford does a great job on the strip and I do hope our gracious sponsors will continue to support this project. Those of you who live in Mena can read the strip in the Mena Star and folks in Amity can check it out every week in The Standard.

Again, you can check out the strip here every Sunday and the new home for the strip will be Once the strip moves to its permanent home, you’ll find an archive and audio versions of it over there.

Finally, we’ve converted Wikipedia Brown to a serial format. Click here to learn about that.

So, we’re expanding religion coverage, giving up all ownership interest in the Lum and Abner strip and have gone back to the old habit of posting several new articles a week.

As always, we encourage people to keep up with our updates. Click here for our RSS feed, here for our Facebook page, here for our Facebook page, here for our Twitter account or here to subscribe to updates through email.

Stay tuned as more changes will come in the months ahead.

About: Ethan C. Nobles:
Benton resident. Rogue journalist. Recovering attorney. Email =

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