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It was a good week for downtown Little Rock

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It was a good week for ...

DOWNTOWN LITTLE ROCK. The Chi Hotel Group, one of the entrepreneurial, Little Rock-based Chi family's enterprises, announced an $18 million plan to turn the historic Boyle Building at Capitol and Main into a 12-story Aloft Hotel. Jacob Chi, principal in the group, said he believed it might be the first hotel built on Main Street in 80 years. The hotel is scheduled to open in the first quarter of 2016.

WASTING STATE MONEY. Sen. Jason Rapert and Family Council president Jerry Cox announced that the state will appeal a federal judge's ruling that declared Act 301, to prohibit abortion after 12 weeks gestation, unconstitutional. Attorney General Dustin McDaniel, surely aware of precedent set by California's attorney general refusing to appeal the Prop 8 case, has agreed to appeal the decision after being assured that it won't affect the budget of the Arkansas State Medical Board, the defendant in the lawsuit. State legislative leaders have promised to find money to pay for the litigation through a separate appropriation.

A LONGSHOT. Danza, with odds of 41-1, took home the $1 million Arkansas Derby in front of 63,186 people at Oaklawn Park to close horse racing season in Hot Springs.

DIGGING FOR DIAMONDS. Tana Clymer, 14, of Oklahoma City, sold a 3.85-carat yellow diamond she found at Crater of Diamonds State Park in Murfreesboro last October. The price tag: $20,000.

It was a bad week for ...

LIVING IN THE WRONG PLACE DOWNTOWN. A really, really drunk driver with eight empty cans of Colt 45 on board hit cars on Dr. Martin Luther King Drive and another couple on Scott Street before he smashed into a house at 1417 Cumberland St., backed up, and drove into 1421 Cumberland. At the police station, suspect Paul Sonny, 55, of Camden decided to punch and kick an officer at the Pulaski County Sheriff's Office where he was taken for a breathalyzer test; she gave him a dose of pepper spray and threw him into a cell. Blood alcohol level: .247. Legally drunk level: .08.

MIKE HUCKABEE. The former Bro Guv. put his foot in his mouth for the 5 zillionth time at the New Hampshire Freedom Summit, where after a vague rant about free speech being under threat, leaving "only a few forms of speech protected by the radical left," he let out this doozy: "My gosh, I'm beginning to think that there's more freedom in North Korea sometimes than there is in the United States."

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