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The Best and the Worst of the Week 

Henry Butler,

the renowned jazz pianist and composer, helped organize and performed at the "Eyes on You Benefit Show," held at Rock 'n' Bowl this week to raise money for a music camp for visually impaired teenagers. Butler, who is blind, is working with the UNO Training, Resource and Assistive-Technology Center to create the Eyes on You Jazz Camp. The camp is scheduled to open in the summer of 2003.

Local colleges and universities

are partnering with Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Southeast Louisiana to expand its school-based mentoring program. Students from Delgado Community College, Dillard, Loyola, Tulane, Xavier, Our Lady of Holy Cross, Southern University at New Orleans and the University of New Orleans will serve as mentors at 16 public and parochial schools in New Orleans.

Kaiser Aluminum and Chemical Corp.

and two electrical companies working at the Kaiser plant in St. James were responsible for a 1999 blast that injured 29 people, a jury ruled last week. U.S. Department of Labor officials had previously determined that Kaiser did not train workers correctly and did not properly maintain the plant. The other companies at fault were Power and Control Systems Inc. and Excel Group Inc., both of Baton Rouge, the St. James Parish jury decided.

David Wayne Eccard,

former civilian director of the U.S. Defense Department's Automated Printing Service, admitted he embezzled more than $591,000 from the federal department over a two-year period. Prosecutors said Eccard, of Baton Rouge, used government credit cards to pay for goods and services that did not exist. He faces a 10-year prison sentence and $250,000 fine when he is sentenced in February.

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