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Good week: Lu Hardin

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It was a good week for...

LU HARDIN. The former president of the University of Central Arkansas avoided jail time for his guilty plea to wire fraud and money laundering. Instead, federal Judge James Moody sentenced Hardin to five years' probation on each of two counts, and 200 hours of community service every year for five years and ordered him to continue in Gamblers Anonymous.

A MOON DISCOVERY. In 1976, NASA presented chips of lunar rock as goodwill gestures to the states from the Apollo 17 mission. In recent years, searches have been mounted to find them. Many states, including Arkansas, had misplaced the rocks. An archivist working on the Bill Clinton State Government Project found the missing rock. Bobby Roberts, director of the Central Arkansas Library System, says the rock will be returned to the state soon.

TRANSPARENT PAY IN THE LEGISLATURE. The Arkansas Public Law Center filed suit in circuit court challenging the Arkansas legislative reimbursement scheme wherein legislators submit non-itemized monthly expense claims, often in the name of personal "consulting businesses." (In full disclosure, Times senior editor Max Brantley is a member of the APLC board).

It was a bad week for...

THE ARKANSAS RAZORBACKS. The football Hogs got thumped by Alabama 38-14, gaining only 19 rushing yards and losing star defensive end Tenarius Wright to a broken arm for four to six weeks. That makes Bobby Petrino 0 for 3 against Tide coach Nick Saban.

ARKANSAS TRIAL COURTS. The state's courts face a financial crisis as the Administration of Justice Fund, supported by the state's share of court costs and filing fees, is estimated to be depleted in 60 days. The fund pays the salaries of many employees in the court system. The cause of the decline in the fund is "the million-dollar question," said J.D. Gingerich, director of the state administrative office of the courts.

ANDREW RHEW. Two months removed from being reinstated after being fired for failure to run emergency lights and sirens before a high-speed crash killed an Arkansas motorist, the Arkansas state trooper resigned. He gave no specific reason for his resignation, but the Missouri Highway Patrol reported that Rhew was arrested over the weekend for driving while intoxicated and causing an accident.

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