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March 19-25, 2008 

MARCH 19 - 25

It was a good week for …

STATE HIGHWAYS. The votes promised, Gov. Mike Beebe called a special legislative session to begin March 31 to enact a raise in the severance tax on natural gas, predicted to eventually produce as much as $100 million a year for roads.

DEVELOPERS AROUND LAKE MAUMELLE. Pulaski County ditched portions of a plan proposed by consultant Tetra Tech and approved by Central Arkansas Water to protect the watershed. Residents demanded at a hearing Monday that the county restore the protections to the ordinance.

HOOPS IN CENTRAL ARKANSAS. Sell-out crowds attended first- and second-round NCAA Tournament basketball games at Alltel Arena. (Meanwhile, the Razorbacks were playing in Raleigh, N.C., where they beat Indiana in the first round and lost big to North Carolina, the tournament favorite, in the second.)

BASEBALL AND GENEROSITY. Torii Hunter, an All-Star major league outfielder, committed $500,000 to build a new baseball complex at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, Hunter's hometown.

LINDA WATSON. Black members of the Little Rock School Board outvoted white members, 4 to 3, to hire her as school superintendent.

It was a bad week for …

KEEPING YOUR HEAD ABOVE WATER. Thanks to record rains last week, the worst flooding in 25 years hit much of Arkansas, leaving hundreds homeless, thousands of acres of farmland inundated and two dead. Gov. Beebe declared 35 counties disaster areas.

BOONEVILLE. Hundreds were evacuated after the Cargill Meat Solutions processing plant exploded Sunday. The plant burned to the ground, leaving 800 people in the town of 4,117 without jobs if Cargill decides not to rebuild.

ERMA FINGERS HENDRIX. Alleging inadequate representation, Little Rock residents submitted more than 2,400 signatures at City Hall in an effort to remove the Ward 1 city director from office.

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