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Lifestyles of the Rich 

Lifestyles of the rich

Mary Anne Shula, wife of former pro football coach Don Shula and ex-wife of the late financier Jack Stephens, made a brief court appearance in Little Rock this week. It was a continuation of her effort to force better security for the Stephens trust fund from which she's been paid $1 million a year in alimony. Shula, a Coal Hill native, married Stephens in 1981 and divorced in 1991. Stephens died in 2005.

Shula, 64, wanted a bond on top of the promissory note Warren Stephens, executor of his father's estate, has given the Bank of America in support of the alimony because assets of the estate itself soon will be distributed. Circuit Judge Ellen Brantley ruled, as a federal judge had earlier, that Shula's interests were adequately protected. (If Warren Stephens can't tote a note ... .)

The case, thanks to reporting by Arkansas Business, dredged up an interesting tidbit about Shula's life in Indian Creek Village, an exclusive enclave near Miami, where Shula lives in a house also provided by Stephens in the divorce. According to the New Times of Miami, Shula's 13,000-square-foot house is worth $4.4 million. A new levy to pay for local security in the small community will cost her an additional $3,400 a year. Wrote the New Times about a local hearing:

“There was the stately Mary Anne Shula, Don's wife, earnestly pleading poverty. ‘My husband is 80 years old... He's on the back nine of his life. Don is unable to do talks and signings like he used to. If our taxes go up, he'll suffer ... What gives you the right to do this?' ”


School hours

It's always something in the troubled Pulaski County School District. The latest something for teachers, board members, patrons, children, etc., to fuss over is the length of the school day. It's maybe about to get longer.

The school board has voted to stop recognizing the Pulaski Association of Classroom Teachers (PACT) as the bargaining agent for the district's teachers. The teachers have sued contending their contract is still in effect. The administration says that because it is no longer bargaining with a teachers' group, it now must abide by a state law that says the planning time allowed teachers must come within the student day. Some Pulaski County schools have given the planning time before or after the student day. The administration says it's adding 40 minutes to the school day for the planning period. This will mean in some cases that parents won't be able to drop their children off at the hours they're accustomed to. Some secondary schools won't let out until after 4 p.m. – which means, one critic says, that buses will be running at the height of the rush hour.

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