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It was a good week for Sloane Roberts 

It was a good week for ...

SLOANE ROBERTS. The 19-year-old Rison native and University of Arkansas communications major won this year's Miss Arkansas pageant. See more about the pageant on page 18.

ZAC WHITE. The Democratic state Senate candidate from Heber Springs has pledged, if elected, to introduce ethics legislation similar to that proposed in a recent ballot initiative. He's challenging incumbent Republican Sen. Missy Irvin of Mountain View, who's been among the Republicans clearly cool to stronger ethics laws.

THE DEMOCRAT-GAZETTE. The editorial page of the state daily somewhat surprisingly added its voice to progressive forces, observing in an editorial praising the failed effort to strengthen state ethics laws, "The attempt to get natural-gas companies to pay a fairer share of the damage their newly intensified production has done to the state's roads could also be considered an ethical imperative." Amen. If only state Democratic leaders, like Gov. Mike Beebe and gubernatorial candidate Attorney General Dustin McDaniel, could be convinced that raising the severance tax on natural gas is an "ethical imperative."

It was a bad week for ...

THE OXFORD AMERICAN. The board of the Oxford American Literary Project, the nonprofit that oversees the Oxford American magazine, fired its founder and editor Marc Smirnoff and managing editor Carol Ann Fitzgerald. Publisher Warwick Sabin said the board voted to fire the pair after a "thorough and fair investigation of allegations" made against Smirnoff and Fitzgerald. Smirnoff told the Times he was never told the specific allegations levied against him, and he and Fitzgerald were in the process of hiring lawyers.

WELSPUN. The pipemaker at the Little Rock Port suffered a major fire that caused more than $1.5 million in damage to plant equipment, but won't affect shipment of pipe to build the controversial Keystone pipeline.

U.S. REP. MIKE ROSS. It was pure theater, but the U.S. House voted again to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Lame duck DINO Mike Ross, whose poor 4th District would reap enormous benefits from expansion of health care coverage, was one of five Democrats who voted against expanding health insurance coverage for Americans.

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