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The Best and the Worst of the Week 

Robin Dallafior,
a producer at Cox Communications New Orleans, has won a 2004 Gracie Allen Award from the Foundation of American Women in Radio and Television. The 'Individual Achievement for Best Producer' honor recognizes Dallafior's 13 years' experience in producing local shows such as Louisiana Jukebox and Get Fit With Leslie as well as special events including the annual live broadcast of the Endymion parade.

Area state senators,
who voted to protect their legislative 'slush funds' at the expense of public education, proved their priorities lie with safeguarding the much-maligned $16 million in 'urban and rural development funds' granted at their discretion, often as political rewards. Every Orleans and Jefferson Parish senator (save Sen. Paulette Irons, who didn't vote) rejected a plan to use $10 million in slush-fund money for educational supplies.

The Orleans Parish School Board's payroll office,
in what has become a pattern over the years, again burned public school employees when it recently failed to send out paychecks on time. The school system blamed a federal holiday and a computer error for the snafu, which affected dozens of employees. The school system has made numerous similar payroll mistakes over the years.

The Orleans Parish Child Support Enforcement Division,
under former District Attorney Harry Connick, misspent about $24,000 and couldn't account for another $33,000 in state funds, according to the state legislative auditor. The audit also turned up more than $9,000 in improperly documented travel expenses. Most of the misspent money went toward perks such as holiday parties, expenditures Connick defended as rewards to low-paid workers.

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