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The Best and the Worst of the Week 

Darryl Malek-Wiley,
Louisiana Environmental Justice organizer for the New Orleans chapter of the Sierra Club, was honored for a lifetime of environmental activism on behalf of Louisiana residents. Malek-Wiley received the Ramona Stevens Solidarity Award by the Louisiana Environmental Action Network. The award recognized his educational and outreach work for several Louisiana nonprofits.

The Visiting Pet Program,
a metro area organization of about 150 local volunteers who regularly bring their pets to hospitals, nursing homes, and schools, was named the 'Humanitarian of the Year' by the Louisiana SPCA. The program, which started a spinoff 'Reading to Rover' literacy project in 2000, is credited with improving the quality of life for residents and patients in medical facilities.

Lillian Smith Haydel,
an insurance broker and aunt of ex-Mayor Marc Morial, admitted she paid about $20,000 in bribes to the New Orleans school system's former insurance chief, Carl Coleman, from 1997 to 2001. Haydel, who said an unidentified school board member had arranged to hire her, had managed the schools' heath insurance contract. She said Coleman demanded the money in order to uphold the contract. Coleman awaits sentencing for taking bribes in another scheme.

Baton Rouge's Public Safety Complex
again experienced a serious security breach when a second armed-robbery convict in five months escaped from his trusty's job. Officers were unsure how James Sentimore slipped out last week. He remained at large at press time, as did the other escaped prisoner, Kenneth James, who fled in May. Both men had been inmates at a Zachary prison and had reported to work at the complex daily.

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