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The Best and the Worst of the Week 

The National Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod youth contingent ,

which gathered in New Orleans recently with 35,000 participants aged 14 to 17, taught locals a lesson in leaving an area a better place than the way in which one finds it. While in town for the gathering at the Louisiana Superdome, thousands of teens took on service projects that ranged from painting Tad Gormley Stadium to landscaping city property to picking up trash.

Mauthe Dairy

of Folsom scored a coup recently when its Creole cream cheese became the first Louisiana product inducted into the Slow Food Ark of Taste. The Ark is akin to an endangered species list for traditional foods; the International Slow Food Movement was founded in Paris in 1989 "for the protection of the right to taste." At a Crescent City Farmer's Market ceremony last week, the dairy received its first batch of official Slow Food stickers to place on cream cheese packages.

U.S. Filter and the Sewerage and Water Board

both share responsibility for the recent fire at the East Bank Sewage Treatment Plant. U.S. Filter, which manages the city's two treatment plants, has been cited for various violations by federal and S&WB officials. It was only after the fire -- which caused raw sewage to be dumped into the Mississippi River for hours -- that officials began to demand accountability from the private firm.

Straight and Narrow ,

a youth drug treatment center associated with East Baton Rouge Parish Juvenile Court, has maintained its books so poorly that auditors can't render an opinion on its financial state, according to an audit completed by a private firm and turned over to the state legislative auditor. The report cites numerous concerns with the center, saying it has less than $60,000 left from a $500,000 budget funded by public grants. The money was intended to fund the center from 1999 until June 2002.

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