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The Best and the Worst of the Week 

Orleans Parish
is of the top 25 cleanest counties/parishes in the nation for ozone, according to the American Lung Association's "State of the Air 2004" report. The study names several areas in the state that showed improvement in ozone pollution. Other Louisiana parishes, especially St. Bernard, were cited for low particle pollution. On the flip side, East Baton Rouge Parish received a grade of "F" for ozone.

Richard Carman,
a junior at Benjamin Franklin High School, is the state winner for the 2004 U.S. Stockholm Junior Water Prize competition. In June, Carman will represent Louisiana at the contest in Denver, Colo., with his project, "The Effects of Storm Activity on Water Quality in Lake Pontchartrain." The winner of the prestigious competition goes on to compete in an international science contest in Stockholm, Sweden.

Greg Meffert,
chief technology officer for the City of New Orleans, was named a 2004 Computerworld Technology Laureate, an international honor recognizing outstanding leadership in technology. Meffert was cited for vast improvements to the city's Web site that lets New Orleans residents conduct more transactions online with City Hall, and for his office's efforts to enhance technology in public schools.

Louisiana
has one of the nation's unhealthiest populations, due to few health-care options for low-income residents; a low high school graduation rate; a huge discrepancy in salaries between men and women; and an economy largely dependent on jobs without health benefits. A recent federal study called Louisiana women No. 49 in the U.S. in overall health status, and another recent report by a private foundation ranked Louisiana No. 2 in states with uninsured residents.

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