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The Best and the Worst of the Week 

Darryl Phillips and Jeff Mitchell , of the Phillips and Mitchell law firm, made it possible for Hope House to debut a new computer lab last week so that it can offer advanced job skills training. With other volunteers, the two worked to raise money for the nonprofit advocacy group and sponsored its main fundraising gala, "A Night for Hope," last spring. Hope House offers such programs as adult education, youth activities, after-school tutoring and a transitional housing program.

Publicists for the City of Slidell
won three national awards for various marketing campaigns, including "best in show" honors. The City-County Communications and Marketing Association of Washington, D.C., awarded Slidell's Department of Cultural and Public Affairs its highest honor, the President's Award, for its Arts Evening Marketing Plan. That campaign also won the "Savvy Award," and Slidell's Christmas Under the Stars brochure won an Award of Excellence.

Rev. Norwood N. Hingle III,
invited to deliver an opening prayer at a recent City Council meeting, instead took the opportunity to vilify the Southern Decadence festival held over Labor Day weekend. Hingle, pastor of the Lake Vista United Methodist Church, referred to the popular celebration of gay culture as immoral and criticized its supporters. His opinions were not shared by council members and subsequent speakers, some of whom rebuked Hingle's remarks.

The Mental Health Rehabilitation Service,
a state health program, provides inept care to about 6,000 Medicaid patients who receive its services, says a new report by the nonprofit Advocacy Center. The study was based on court documents, Department of Health and Hospitals records, and patient interviews. The report says private companies hired to provide care to indigent clients are "neither competent nor honest" and that they misappropriate public funds and are poorly supervised by state officials.

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