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The Week That Was, July 28-August 3, 2010

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It was a good week for ...

SWELTERING. A string of 100-degrees on top of an already hot summer presented the possibility that the summer of 2010 might prove the hottest on record for Little Rock. Lucky us.

A WEDDING. Former first daughter Chelsea Clinton, who was born and spent the first 12 years of her life in Arkansas, was the subject of national attention for her marriage to Marc Mezvinsky in Rhinebeck, N.Y. It was a lavish affair, apparently, but short of celebrities and long on friends and relatives. Somehow, the Clintons managed to keep the press hordes at bay.

CLEAN AIR. A new state law banning smoking anywhere on the campus of state-owned colleges and universities went into effect Aug. 1.

NOSTALGIA. Browning's, the Tex-Mex restaurant, ended a run of more than 60 years in the Heights. It prompted an outpouring of nostalgic memories. Too bad a lot of those people with happy memories weren't still eating there; Browning's might still be in business.

It was a bad week for ...

GAS INDUSTRY CHEERLEADERS. It turns out the economic boon of the Fayetteville shale hasn't extended to the increased severance tax, which is producing a puny $30 million or so a year, not nearly enough to pay for all the damage drill rigs are doing to county roads.

The PULASKI COUNTY SCHOOL BOARD. Bickering with the teachers' union continued unabated as a narrow board majority sprinted to strip the union of power before September elections that could change the balance of power on the School Board.

GOV. MIKE BEEBE. He blew off the Democrat-Gazette's reporting on the state vehicle fleet as not that big a deal. He's probably right, strictly speaking. But in today's climate he'd have done better by producing an even more detailed accounting than what's been provided so far. There are some abuses, however relatively small the number may be.

RICK CRAWFORD. The Republican candidate for First District Congress a balance-the-budget deficit hawk. Oops. The Democrat-Gazette reported that he once declared bankruptcy to skate on some credit card and medical bills. You betcha. He opposes health care reform, too.

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