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The Best and the Worst of the Week 

Tulane University Health Sciences Center
marks its 170th anniversary as a research leader in gene therapy and regenerative medicine, neuroscience and infectious diseases. To celebrate, the center held a 'Doors to Discovery' medical-education and public-health symposium last weekend. The program featured 15 renowned speakers, including Andrew Scharry and Louis Ignarro, who won Nobel prizes for research conducted at Tulane.

"Angels in Adoption,"
Congressional awards given to exceptional citizens who promote adoption, went to five Louisiana residents recently. State 'angels' were: Catholic Community Services Adoption Director Janice Allen of Baton Rouge, Civil District Court Judge and Child Advocacy Program founder Madeleine Landrieu of New Orleans, adoptive/ foster parents Patrick and Amanda Curdy of Slidell, and outstanding volunteer Dr. Linda Pendergast of Baton Rouge.

Maj. Henry Saacks,
head of the Jefferson Parish Street Crimes Unit, resigned last week amid accusations that he knew some officers in his division had destroyed evidence to thwart a probe into their illegal steroid use. Sheriff Harry Lee disbanded the unit, saying the actions of Saacks and some officers had irreparably tarnished the unit's reputation. Six of the unit's 30 officers resigned, with four pleading guilty to criminal charges.

New Orleans Public Schools Superintendent Tony Amato
claims he wasn't aware school-system workers would be ordered to board up his house prior to Hurricane Ivan, on the taxpayers' dime. Amato -- who asked facilities chief Steve Freeman to help him find private contractors to do the work -- should have been well aware that most of the contractors at Freeman's disposal were school employees. The workers were later asked to alter their time sheets and take checks from Amato instead. Freeman has been transferred.

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