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Good week: Arkansas

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March 30-April 5, 2011

It was a good week for ...

ARKANSAS. The legislature mostly came to a close. Given the increased Republican contingent, the damage done was remarkably slight.

RETIREMENT. Col. Winford Phillips retired as director of the Arkansas State Police.

MCCAIN MALL. The 38-year-old granddaddy of Arkansas regional shopping malls announced a $5.5 million renovation plus return of a multi-screen movie theater.

PURPLE. The University of Central Arkansas announced it was switching from a grass football field to artificial turf done in alternating stripes of purple and gray, the school colors.

It was a bad week for ...

KUAR. A suspicious fire, likely an arson, destroyed the public radio station's transmitter. It resumed broadcasting on low power with an improvised backup.

PARTY DISCIPLINE. Internal Democratic disputes stymied approval of a congressional redistricting plan. Nobody ever accused a Republican of lacking party discipline.

MOUNT HOLLY CEMETERY. An out-of-control SUV smacked into the stone and iron fencing of the historic graveyard. It's unclear if insurance will cover the damage, in the tens of thousands of dollars.

PHILANDER SMITH COLLEGE. Its popular and dynamic president, Dr. Walter Kimbrough, is on the short list of candidates for chancellor of the much larger Southern University in Baton Rouge.

ALSO:

H. Maurice Mitchell, one of Little Rock's legal giants, died at 85. He was a founding partner of Mitchell, Willliams, Gates, Selig and Woodyard, one of the state's biggest law firms, a progressive Democrat and a gentleman.

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