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The Best and the Worst of the Week 

The Louisiana Leadership Institute Marching Band
has only been in existence for a year, but recently won national acclaim -- a first-place award at the prominent U.S. Army All-American Bowl Band Competition. The band's 160 members are enrolled in the Baton Rouge-based Louisiana Leadership Institute, a nonprofit youth program that teaches excellence in academics, athletics, extracurricular activities and civic responsibilities.

Anne Rolfes,
founder and executive director of the New Orleans-based Louisiana Bucket Brigade, has won a prestigious two-year fellowship from the Environmental Leadership Program. The national group chose Rolfes for the extensive training based on her grassroots work with communities to hold industrial plants accountable for toxic pollution and accidents. Rolfes is the first Louisiana resident to win this honor.

Greater New Orleans Inc.,
fulfilling a pledge to turn promising local research into economic development, has awarded its first two research grants. Paul Schilling of the University of New Orleans College of Engineering received $8,500 to create epoxy coatings for marine use, and Zhijun Liu and Eugene Woltering, researchers in the Louisiana State University system, received a $10,000 grant to develop a cancer-fighting drug.

Sen. Sherri Cheek, R-Shreveport,
claims that state police's game-day relay of Sugar Bowl tickets from Shreveport to New Orleans was just another public service provided by troopers. When Cheek's husband left his tickets at home, the senator-elect got state police to quickly ferry them across the state. Cheek, sworn in Jan. 12, didn't violate state ethics rules since she was not yet in office. Still, she shouldn't use her position to treat troopers as a courier service.

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