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The week that was May 16-22

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It was a good week for …

JERMAIN TAYLOR. The Arkansas boxer defended his middleweight title with a split decision over Cory Spinks in Memphis. A win’s a win. But most observers, including his handlers, were underwhelmed by Taylor’s performance.

The ARKANSAS DEMOCRAT-GAZETTE. It got tons of mentions worldwide for religion editor Frank Lockwood’s interview with former president Jimmy Carter, who said George W. Bush was the worst president in history when it comes to foreign relations.

BUYOUTS:

• First came news that Acxiom, the data management company, had struck a $3 billion deal to be purchased and taken private by hedge fund investors.

• Then, Sunday night, came word that Alltel Corp. had agreed to a $27.5 billion purchase by two investment firms. This could produce a windfall for Alltel executives. CEO Scott Ford said the deal means the company will remain based in Little Rock. For the time being, at least.

HISTORY. The U.S. Mint issued a silver dollar coin to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the school crisis.

It was a bad week for …

MOTORISTS. Gasoline prices nationwide hit a record, with regular in Arkansas rising over $3.15 a gallon.

GOV. MIKE BEEBE. He made a great show of proclaiming transparency about use of his new $4.4 million aircraft (it’s nominally a State Police plane but the governor is the major user). But one of the first items of business was his announced intention to get an FAA waiver so he can use the plane for other than official business. And, while he said he’d disclose who flew the plane and where, he also said he’d reserve the right not to reveal that information. Transparent, that ain’t.

CHARLES MORGAN. The leader of Acxiom has nominally moved to Dallas in an effort to avoid state income taxes on the windfall he’ll reap from selling his Acxiom stock. State tax officials will be watching to see if he really is a resident of Dallas. Does sleep there? Work there? Or just (not) pay taxes there?

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