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The Best and the Worst of the Week 

State Rep. Charles Lancaster Jr.
has been named Legislator of the Year by the Louisiana Press Association. The association cited the Metairie Republican, who has served nearly 30 years in the House, for his service as chairman of the House Committee on House and Governmental Affairs. Lancaster "is vigilant in protecting the rights of the citizens of Louisiana to an open government," the association said.

Anne L. Foundas,
an associate professor of neurology at Tulane University, has received the 2003 American Academy of Neurology's Norman Geschwind Prize in Behavioral Neurology. Foundas received the honor last week for her research into the biological basis of developmental stuttering, which focuses on brain development and ways in which the brain changes as it matures. Foundas also conducts research on the effects of a stroke on the brain.

Britney Spears
stiffed several creditors when her business venture Pinky Enterprises filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, according to reports. Citing court papers, the Boston Herald says Spears' failed Manhattan eatery, Nyla, owes $350,221 to creditors; in one case, a contractor never received an autographed photo of Spears that he was promised as payment. Spears says she never received money from Nyla and denies responsibility for the debts.

Appellate Judge Randolph Parro
of Thibodaux, who sits on the state's 1st Circuit Court of Appeal in Baton Rouge, improperly intervened in his niece's felony theft case, says the state Judiciary Commission. The panel has asked the state Supreme Court to publicly censure Parro and require that he repay its investigative costs. Parro admitted he contacted the victim's father, the district attorney and presiding judge to seek leniency in the case of Celeste Talbot, who pleaded guilty to embezzling from a former employer.

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