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The Best and the Worst of the Week 

Touro Infirmary
recently presented 10 portable automatic external defibrillators (AEDs) to the New Orleans Fire Department for use in city fire vehicles. AEDs assess a patient's heart rate and deliver electric shocks to restore the heartbeat in the case of cardiac arrest. The gift is part of Touro's partnership with the American Heart Association and other area hospitals to reduce heart attack fatalities, a leading cause of death in the New Orleans area.

The City of Slidell
was recognized by the Louisiana Municipal Association for exceptional accomplishments for its efforts to rejuvenate the city's Olde Town district. The project -- a $4 million shot in the arm for Slidell's aesthetics, historical preservation, economy, recreation and culture -- won the "Exceptional Achievement in Community Achievement Award" at a recent LMA awards banquet.

BASF Corp.
added insult to injury last week when the company gave 17 employees a scant half-hour notice that they'd lost their jobs at the Geismar plant. A union official said the laid-off workers, who were told they had 30 minutes to gather their belongings and leave, had been working at BASF about two years and drew base salaries of about $50,000. A plant spokesman said the layoffs were the result of rising natural-gas prices.

Honeywell International Inc.-Baton Rouge
again made headlines for another dangerous accident, the chemical plant's third in less than a month. One worker suffered a chemical burn and another experienced respiratory problems after an Aug. 13 hydrochloric acid spill. Honeywell was cited for failure to make a timely report of the incident, state police said. The other two chemical leaks, on July 20 and 29, killed one employee and sent several workers and residents to the hospital.

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