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The Week That Was, April 21-27 

IT WAS A GOOD WEEK FOR …

SEN. BLANCHE LINCOLN. She won some brief acclaim for tough legislation to increase regulation of derivatives trading. She also did well in a televised debate Friday night, not so well in an untelevised match with Bill Halter before a news organization.

GOING PRO. Razorback basketball star Courtney Fortson ended his college days (he dropped out of classes, too) by turning pro.


IT WAS A BAD WEEK FOR …

WAL-MART. A federal appeals court signed off on a giant class action lawsuit against Wal-Mart over alleged discrimination in its pay and promotion of women. The suit could cover more than 1 million workers and billions in damages.

NEWSPAPERS. Figures show newspaper readership continued to decline in the six months ending March 31, including the core readership of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. The D-G saw a drop in Sunday circulation despite picking up 15,000 subscribers from a combination of the paper with the former Stephens Media-owned newspapers in Northwest Arkansas. The Sunday D-G's penetration of the city zone continued to decline from 63 percent of households a year ago to 58.2 percent.

COLLEGE STUDENTS. The state Higher Education Department has proposed a sharp increase in the amount that tuition should contribute to the total cost of a college education. This reduces the pressure on the state to subsidize college costs. It will inevitably diminish the value of the new lottery scholarships as rising tuition swiftly negates the benefits.

SOUTHWEST LITTLE ROCK. The state Pollution Control and Ecology Commission blocked an effort to shut the BFI landfill on Mabelvale Pike. The noxious neighborhood irritant can continue to operate under the decision for as much as three more years.

The PULASKI COUNTY SCHOOL BOARD. It invited a teacher strike with a divided vote to continue efforts to end recognition of the Pulaski Association of Classroom Teachers.

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