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The week that was, Jan. 16-22

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It was a good week for …

SHEFFIELD NELSON. The former gas company executive filed a proposal to raise the severance tax on natural gas. If a petition drive is successful, it will be on the 2008 ballot. Unless his action prods Gov. Mike Beebe into a special session on the issue.

ALZHEIMER'S TREATMENT. A drug treatment under testing at UAMS shows promise for reversing some symptoms of Alzheimer's.

THE OBVIOUS. The Democrat-Gazette reported that most drivers ticketed for not having licenses were aliens. Surprise. Aliens are not allowed to get driver's licenses. And without a driver's license, they can't get insurance.

CIRCUIT JUDGE WILLARD PROCTOR. A State Police investigation concluded that there would be no criminal charges arising from the legal conflicts in management of a probation program operated in his court. But there remain clear appearances of conflict of interest, which the state Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission may yet address.

It was a bad week for …

EMPLOYMENT. Unemployment in Arkansas hit 5.9 percent, the highest rate in more than four years.

ARKANSAS. It drew national attention for being one of a handful of Southern states that choose to observe Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday on the same day with a memorial for a certain general on the losing Rebel side in the Civil War.

MIKE HUCKABEE. He lost a primary state he expected to win, South Carolina, and his national poll numbers took a dip, perhaps because of over-the-top rhetoric about putting God's words into the Constitution.

The LITTLE ROCK SCHOOL BOARD. It seems unlikely to address any time soon the need for a new middle school in western Little Rock. That will push more students into private schools.

TOMMY ROBINSON. For the second time, a bankruptcy judge has recommended jail time for the former congressman for contempt of court in his bankruptcy case.

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