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The Best and the Worst of the Week 

Rebuilding Together,
a community revitalization project organized by the Preservation Resource Center, renovated 70 homes in the month of October. Four thousand volunteers participated in the program, once known as 'Christmas in October,' which completed repairs on homes in 14 neighborhoods around New Orleans this year. The program has revitalized more than 800 homes since its inception in 1988.

Local debate sponsors
made it possible for citizens to get a more in-depth look at candidates prior to this fall's elections. Notable underwriters of debates for local races include the New Orleans law firm McGlinchey-Stafford, the Alliance for Good Government, the League of Women Voters, the New Orleans Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Committee for a Better New Orleans, and All Congregations Together.

The City of New Orleans
has received a nearly $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Justice in order to strengthen domestic-violence laws and policies. The money, granted by the federal agency's Office on Violence Against Women, will be used to implement more effective arrest policies and to better enforce protective orders, as recommended by the Mayor's Domestic Violence Advisory Committee.

Louisiana State Penitentiary officials
violated an inmate's rights when they punished him because his mother took out an Internet ad seeking an attorney for him, a federal judge has ruled. Shannon Dale Cassels was put in disciplinary lockdown and forced to work without pay after his mother took out the ad. He says she placed the ad after he told her the prison had denied him adequate medical treatment. Months later, prison officials noticed the ad and punished Cassels for "spreading rumors."

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