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It was a good week for the University of Arkansas

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It was a good week for...

THE UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS Athletic Director Jeff Long received nothing but plaudits from local and national media for firing football coach Bobby Petrino. Long was also honored for his "courage" in handling the controversy by $1.25 million in gifts to a facility for university athletes. The Donald Reynolds Foundation has given $1 million and Board chair Fred Smith has given a separate $250,000 in support of the planned Student-Athlete Success Center, a study center and dining hall for athletes. Smith's gift also went to rename an existing program the Jeff Long Student-Athlete Development Program.

ICE CREAM FANS Schulze and Burch Biscuit Company, the new owners of Yarnell's Ice Cream, announced that it will celebrate the ice cream coming back into production with an event at the State Capitol on Thursday.

It was a bad week for...

THE LITTLE ROCK TECHNICAL PARK AUTHORITY BOARD Pressed by State Sen. Joyce Elliott to study the demographics of potential locations for the proposed $50 million park, board member Mary Good suggested that the authority commission a study after the location was chosen.

JOHNSON & JOHNSON A jury found the company and a subsidiary liable for deceptive trade practices and Medicaid fraud in dispensing the anti-psychotic medication Risperdal in Arkansas without adequate warning of side effects. Judge Tim Fox set a $1.1 billion penalty.

MARK PRYOR Needing 60 votes to stop a filibuster, the Obama administration could only muster 51 and thus failed on the Buffett rule to put a higher tax on millionaires — 30 percent minimum on those making that amount in taxable income, which means a good deal more income for most after deductions and adjustments. Pryor was the lone Democrat in the Senate to vote with Republicans. By way of explanation, he said, "There is no disputing that the wealthy should pay their fair share in taxes. This inequity should be fixed as part of broad tax reform, not as a political ploy meant to score points."

ALSO: William "Casey" Laman, former North Little Rock mayor, died at 98. He served four terms as mayor, his last ending in 1980. But that didn't end his political involvement. A library bears his name and an unparalleled park system, the crown jewel being Burns Park, also bears his indelible stamp.

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