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The Best and the Worst of the Week 

Satchmo Summer Jazz Camp supporters
are keeping the worthwhile but cash-poor youth program afloat -- in the midst of political sniping about who deserves credit for raising the private funds. Several entities gave money to the three-week camp, which had a third of its needed operating costs when it opened last week with 150 students. Donors include the Essence Corp., Festival Productions, Liberty Bank, Crescent Crown Distributing and the New Orleans Brass.

Dr. Cheryl Nickerson,
a researcher in Tulane University's graduate school, was recently awarded a 2001 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers by President George W. Bush. Nickerson, an assistant professor of microbiology and immunology, was nominated by NASA for her research into the effect of space flight on disease-causing bacteria. Nickerson was one of 60 researchers nationwide to receive the honor.

Al Davis,
the former superintendent of New Orleans Public Schools, was fined $500 by the state Ethics Board for improper involvement in the hiring of his sister. The board says that although the woman was qualified for the job in the school system -- and although Davis disclosed his role in her hiring process after the fact -- he still violated state ethics regulations. It's the second charge of nepotism for Davis, already under fire for an overtime flap concerning his father.

The state Office of Women's Services
faces more charges of waste and mismanagement. A recent report by Legislative Auditor Dan Kyle lists several transgressions, including using state money for office Christmas cards, allowing men to benefit from a federally funded program earmarked for women, and lacking documentation for paid leave time and proof that a contractor's services were needed. The office has faced criticism in the past by Kyle and the state inspector general.

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