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The Week That Was, Aug. 18-24, 2010

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It was a good week for ...

NORTH LITTLE ROCK. The "urban cool" of the city's Argenta Arts District was given a warm write-up, with photos, in the New York Times Sunday travel section. Dogtown has never had it so good.

LOTTERY TICKET SALES. Despite objections mostly of the religious variety, the state Lottery Commission gave the go-ahead, subject to legislative review, to lottery vending machines. Like it or not, they'll rake in more dollars from the mathematically challenged and irrationally optimistic.

UALR. The college hit its $75 million fund-raising goal 18 months early and so decided to increase the goal to $100 million.

It was a bad week for ...

The PULASKI COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT. It started school with dreadful new schedules that extended the school day for little kids because the school board's ruling majority wanted to punish union teachers. Now the Board, in the face of angry parents, is stumbling as it tries to correct its error. Maybe voters will correct some of those error-prone board members next month by voting them out of office.

The ARKANSAS STATE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE. It shilled for major gas producers by joining in their trashing of Josh Fox, the documentary filmmaker who showed his "Gasland" in Little Rock and talked about the dangers of new methods of gas extraction.

The LITTLE ROCK POLICE DEPARTMENT. Its headquarters is a health hazard because of a leaky roof, whose maintenance has long been deferred on account of city budget woes.

CIRCUIT JUDGE MIKE MAGGIO of Conway. He's become a poster child for how judges should not behave if they want to build public confidence. First there was reporting on a bundle of tax liens filed against him. Then came news that he was in arrears on his home mortgage, to the point that a courthouse sale was scheduled (and later cancelled). Then came State Police footage of Maggio's production of a trumped-up badge to flash at a state trooper who promptly gave the judge a pass on a speeding violation.

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