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Oct. 7-13, 2009 

It was a GOOD week for …

WILL PHILLIPS. The West Fork fifth grader declined to say the Pledge of Allegiance because he said he didn't believe the U.S. provided justice for all, particularly gay people. His free exercise of the First Amendment should have been the end of it. He was disciplined, however, for telling a substitute teacher who tried to coerce him into the recitation to jump off a bridge. But that proved the kernel of a new story that circulated worldwide.

 

FOOTBALL. The Razorbacks thumped 17th-ranked Auburn in Fayetteville, 44-23.

 

It was a BAD week for …

 

CURTIS VANCE. The Marianna man charged with murdering TV anchor Anne Pressly lost his bid to have multiple confessions and critical DNA evidence stricken from consideration at his Nov. 2 trial. Might he now seek a plea bargain for life without parole rather than death?

 

ARKANSAS SCHOOLS. The number of Arkansas public schools failing to meet No Child Left Behind targets for student achievement on standardized tests grew to more than 400. Questions linger about the methodology that determines this list, but it's the only one we've got.

 

PULASKI COUNTY. The Quorum Court scheduled votes on two pay raises for themselves and county employees — one this year and one to start next year. Haven't they heard there's a recession? (See Max Brantley's column.)

 

AARON JONES. The lawyer and developer who claimed his $1.8 million Chenal Circle mansion was torched after he was tied up in his home by intruders, was indicted for setting the home on fire in an insurance fraud scheme.

 

LITTLE ROCK NATIONAL AIRPORT. A new study said LIT is the 18th-worst in the country for on-time flight performance. The airport's status as a feeder to hub airports with short-hop planes is a big part of the problem.

 

The STATE FAIR. Rain and cooler temperatures put a damper on opening weekend festivities and the gloom threatened to last most of the week.

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