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Good week: Alice Stewart

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June 8-14

It was a good week for...

ALICE STEWART. The former news reporter and Huckabee operative left her job as press secretary for Secretary of State Mark Martin to become the national press spokeswoman for U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, who recently announced her presidential candidacy.

THE LITTLE ROCK ZOO. Two retired female circus elephants arrived to keep Ellen company. The arrival won't end complaints of animal rights groups that elephants shouldn't be housed in zoos, but it does end the argument that it was cruel to keep an elephant, a social animal, alone for an extended period. Ellen's former companion, Mary, also a former circus elephant, died last month.

It was a bad week for...

ARKANSAS VIRTUAL ACADEMY. The state Board of Education denied a request from the school, which receives state funding to provide education support by computer to home-schooled students, to grow from 500 to 1,500 students. Board members questioned the virtual school's relatively high administration budget and complained that it doesn't take bids for competing suppliers of its education software.

UNDEREDUCATED LEGISLATORS. A new study from the Chronicle of Higher Education ranked Arkansas legislators ahead of only New Mexico, Maine, Delaware and New Hampshire in collegiate attainment. According to the study, 60.4 percent of Arkansas legislators have a college degree.

PULASKI COUNTY SCHOOL BOARD. The Legislative Joint Auditing Committee recommended abolishing the embattled board, which has voted for fancy perks for itself while the district suffers and on which Tim Clark, who reportedly masterminded a failed video sting of another board member, sits. At a special school board meeting on Monday, a motion to fire Superintendent Charles Hopson was defeated.

THE CROSS-DRESSING, CAKE-STEALING ROBBER. Police arrested a man accused of robbing a USA Drug while dressed as a woman and later robbing a Baskin-Robbins and leaving with an ice cream cake.

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