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The week that was April 12-18 


IT WAS A GOOD WEEK FOR …

FREE SPEECH. An itinerant street preacher won a federal court appeal of a lawsuit against the University of Arkansas. The UA can no longer limit outside speakers such as the preacher to five appearances per semester on the mall outside the student union.

AUTO PLANT FEVER. Now it’s the New York Times saying Arkansas is in the running for a new Toyota assembly plant.

OAKLAWN PARK. A record crowd of more than 72,000 filled the track on a glorious spring day to see Lawyer Ron win the Arkansas Derby and become a leading contender for Triple Crown horse races.

TOLL ROADS. The state Highway Commission authorized building the state’s first — for a Bella Vista bypass.

SKIP RUTHERFORD. The public relations executive and chair of the Clinton Foundation was named dean of the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service.


IT WAS A BAD WEEK FOR …

The REPUBLICAN PARTY OF ARKANSAS. It used tax filing day to open its long-awaited barrage on gubernatorial candidate Mike Beebe for his tax votes during 20 years in the Senate. They used voodoo math to pump the numbers, tallying the cumulative effect of tax increases over the years. The party also ignored Republican Gov. Mike Huckabee’s complicity in this taxing, not to mention the services those taxes provided, like prisons, schools, nursing home care, etc. What would they cut? Minor detail.

GUN LOVERS. Wal-Mart, the nation’s largest retailer, is phasing out gun sales at about a third of its stores because of declining demand (even in Sheridan, near the heart of the deer woods).

STATE TROOPER LARRY NORMAN. He was indicted on a misdemeanor charge of negligent homicide in the shooting of a disabled man he mistook for a prison escapee. A grand jury, after viewing video of the incident, decided he’d acted rashly in shooting the surrounded youth, who was lying on the ground.

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