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It was a good week for Rep. Davy Carter 

It was a good week for...

REP. DAVY CARTER. A late and surprise entry to the race for Speaker of the House, Carter, of Cabot, was elected in a secret ballot vote over Rep. Terry Rice of Waldron, whose ascendance into the position was widely seen as a formality after Republicans won control of the state House of Representatives.

THE FIGHT FOR EQUALITY. A group called Arkansans for Equality filed incorporation papers this week for a campaign to overturn Arkansas's constitutional prohibition against same-sex marriage.

JEFF HANKINS. As widely expected on campus, the former Arkansas Business publisher was chosen by Arkansas State University President Charles Welch as vice president for strategic communications and development. The job, like that of the system president, is based in Little Rock. It pays $170,000.

JEFF LONG. University of Arkansas Chancellor David Gearhart has proposed significant enhancements in the UA athletic director's existing contract and an extension through 2017. The deal must be approved by the UA Board of Trustees. It would move Long to $900,000 a year, which TV station KFSM reported would put him in the top 10 nationally and 3rd in the SEC, according to a USA Today survey.

THE FAMILY OF VICKIE LYNN FREEMYER. The Arkansas Claims Commission awarded $2.97 million to the family of Freemyer, who was killed by a speeding Arkansas state trooper, Andrew Rhew, who was responding to a call without warning lights or siren and driving 103 miles per hour a second before the crash.

It was a bad week for...

PUBLIC ART. Three sculptures were stolen from the Vogel-Schwartz Sculpture Garden in Riverfront Park, a combined theft of some $20,000 worth of art. Police fear the bronzes may have been stolen for scrap.

ALSO: Little Rock lawyer Chris Mercer, who was an NAACP field secretary during the civil rights struggles of the 1950s and '60s and an advisor to Daisy Bates during the Little Rock school desegregation crisis, died at 88. He was the first black man named to be a deputy prosecutor in a Southern state.

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