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The Best and the Worst of the Week 

Mona Lisa Saloy,
associate professor of English and director of the creative writing program at Dillard University, has won the 2005 T.S. Eliot Prize for Poetry for her manuscript Red Beans and Ricely Yours. The annual award is given to the author of the best unpublished book-length collection of poetry written in English. Saloy's work will be published and she will receive a $2,000 prize from Truman State University Press.

America's WETLAND
brought a timely message to Mardi Gras this year in its campaign to save the vanishing coastline. The environmental group's 'Krewe of Estys' -- nine costumed characters representing Louisiana wildlife threatened by coastal erosion -- joined several Mardi Gras parades to throw white bands embossed with 'Save America's WETLAND.' The campaign also delivers its message on television and radio, on billboards and on the Internet.

Frank A. Rawle
principal of Allen J. Ellender Middle School in Marrero, was named the Louisiana Principal of the Year for middle schools by the Louisiana Department of Education. Rawles has been principal at the Jefferson Parish school since 1997. Other honorees included Tereatha Chisley in Monroe (elementary) and Ronnie G. Waites in Natchitoches (secondary).

Non-voters
outnumbered voters nearly nine to one in a special election held Saturday, Jan. 29, to fill an empty state House seat in District 96. Only 11 percent of registered voters cast a ballot in the special election held to fill the position vacated by Edwin Murray, who won a recent election to the state Senate. Juan LaFonta and Michael McKenna will face off in a Feb. 26 runoff.

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