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Porn video meets community standards 

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A jury in Forrest City recently acquitted two men and a corporation of obscenity charges for selling sexually explict videos at the Adult World store in Widener near Interstate 40. Church groups have targeted the store for years. Jurors watched two films in their entirety — "Reality" and "Grudgefuck," and apparently decided they did not violate community standards, the requirement for upholding an obscenity prosecution. That standard is a locally determined thing, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled, and materials must be viewed as a whole in reaching such a judgment, not just objectionable individual scenes. According to coverage on Legal Satyricon, a First Amendment blog, the movies' contained explicit sexual acts, including "double penetration," but the verdict might have been helped by inclusion of documentary trailers with the explicit material. One juror reportedly clapped after the showing of a movie. Such a juror would undoubtedly be welcomed by the X-Mart Adult Supercenter in Clarksville, another I-40 porn purveyor, which faces a coming obscenity prosecution urged by some unhappy locals.

Mr. Huckabee, about that homestead

Former Gov. Mike Huckabee will be guest of honor Sept. 19 at an Arkansas Republican Party fund-raiser for the 2010 election campaigns. He comes as a legal Florida resident, which happens to raise a question related to tax issues that have dogged Jim Keet, the Republican nominee for governor. Keet, a resident of Florida for several years, was discovered to have erroneously reaped a $350 annual homestead tax exemption for Arkansas real property during several years he was in Florida. He's now repaid the money. And what of Huckabee, who continues to own a $500,000 home on Silverwood Trail in North Little Rock? The county assessor says Huckabee received a $350 credit on his real estate property tax bill this year. County records when last checked also showed he still qualified for a homestead exemption. The credit was legal for this year's bill because it was based on taxes owed for 2009, when Huckabee was an Arkansas resident. But next year? Huckabee will need to get his affairs in order.

Familiar leaders in National Merit

Little Rock Central High School again led Arkansas in National Merit Scholarship semifinalists, with 15 this year. Next came Fayetteville (12), Cabot (11), Conway (10), Pulaski Academy (9), Arkansas School for Mathematics, Science and the Arts (8) and Rogers Heritage (7). One-third of the state's 142 semi-finalists came from Pulaski County and more than 10 percent came from Central.

In Pulaski County, in addition to Central and PA, semi-finalists included Little Rock Christian (5); Mount St. Mary Academy (3); Catholic High (3); Episcopal Collegiate (3); Parkview Magnet (2); Mills Magnet (2); North Little Rock Senior High (2); Central Arkansas Christian (1), and home-schooled (1). The students came statewide from 47 of the state's almost 300 public and private high schools.

Also noted: The same scores are used to compute winners in the National Achievement Scholarship competition for African-American students. Winners will be announced later this month, but expect the Little Rock School District to be the dominant winner.

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