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It was a good week for medical shopping 

It was a good week for ...

MEDICAL SHOPPING. The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services released, for the first time, a database of how hospitals nationwide charge for 100 selected procedures and what Medicare reimburses for the procedures, revealing that the cost of procedures has little to do with what hospitals bill for them.

TECH PARK BOARD REALITY CHECK. Board members, thrown by their consultant's flip-flop on what a tech park site should look like and chastised by Mayor Mark Stodola for their poor handling of the process so far, decided to regroup and review what it is they are trying to achieve with $22 million in taxpayer dollars.

HOMICIDE. There were five homicides in Little Rock between May 6 and May 11, and another in North Little Rock May 6. Road rage was cited as the cause of the May 11 homicide, in which a man — who had a conceal-and-carry permit for his gun — shot the other motorist to death in front of the motorist's 4-year-old son. The homicide was the 13th in Little Rock since the beginning of the year. The man charged in the shooting said he pulled his gun because he was afraid of the other man.

A NEW CANDIDATE. After prayerful consideration, Rep. Debra Hobbs, Republican of Rogers, announced that she plans to run for governor. She's term-limited, so what the hey?

A SHOOTER. Dr. Charles Stearns, the Pine Bluff doctor who decided to play policeman and fire his gun at a getaway car driven by a man who robbed Arvest Bank, but hit a different car instead, will not face charges. Instead, he's surrendered his gun and permit and will make restitution to the (innocent) owner of the damaged car in an arrangement worked out with the Pulaski County prosecutor.

It was a bad week for ...

PULASKI COUNTY SPECIAL SCHOOL DISTRICT. The state Board of Education extended its control over the district for a third year in a row, using a newly-passed law, and Jacksonville and North Pulaski residents are pushing to separate from the district.

COLLEGE STUDENTS. The University of Central Arkansas will raise its tuition 3.59 percent and other state universities are expected to follow suit. Meanwhile, the Arkansas Lottery scholarship, $5,000 at the outset three years ago, is now down to $2,000 for entering freshmen.

SCHOOLTEACHERS. The state insurance fund for teachers reported a $60 million shortfall.

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