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March 5-11, 2008 

It was a good week for …

ARKANSAS. Gov. Mike Beebe announced he's struck a deal with gas producers to go along with an increase in the state's almost non-existent severance tax. Can he get 75 percent of the legislature to go along?

SHEFFIELD NELSON. Without the former gas executive's prodding and threat of an initiated act, there'd have been no severance tax deal or even a meaningful discussion of same.

CONGRESSIONAL INCUMBENTS: Not a single member of Arkansas's congressional delegation drew an opponent when political party filing closed Monday.

LITTLE ROCK SCHOOL BOARD PRESIDENT KATHERINE MIT-CHELL and INTERIM SUPERINTENDENT LINDA WATSON. Prosecutor Larry Jegley said they'd broken no laws by working in the summer for a state-funded education program whose money was administered by the school district. Jegley decried the acrimony in the district. It led to this baseless charge and other dissension.

SNOW. Most of Arkansas got an unusual March snow last Friday — up to 18 inches in the Ozarks.

The LITTLE ROCK CATHOLIC DIOCESE. It reversed a stand against support for Susan G. Komen for the Cure after it was persuaded it had relied on inaccurate information about how the breast-cancer-fighting charity spent its money.

It was a bad week for …

PUBLIC INTEGRITY. Dwayne Dobbins, who resigned as a North Little Rock state representative in 2005 as part of a plea bargain that gave him a reduced charge for fondling a teenager, filed for the legislature at the last minute after his wife stood aside from seeking re-election to the seat. Democrats say they will try to find a write-in candidate to run against him. For the good of the party and the legislature, Dobbins should withdraw. If he is seated, the House should vote to remove him. Or else lock up the pages.

HARMONY GROVE. The Saline County School District asked its voters for a tax increase. For more teachers? More academic courses? No, for a football stadium and football equipment.

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