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The Best and the Worst of the Week 

Norris Henderson,
founder of the local group Voice Of The Ex-offender (VOTE), has been named a 2005 Soros Justice Fellow by the Open Society Institute. The prestigious fellowship comes with a stipend. Henderson founded VOTE last spring around the idea that the vote is 'the highest form of rehabilitation that a guy can experience' and has helped implement voter-registration drives and get-out-the-vote efforts.

The Crescent City Farmer's Market
has begun accepting food-stamp cards at its four neighborhood markets. Each market now has a wireless device to process all Louisiana Purchase cards; food-stamp customers then use wooden tokens to make purchases with local farmers, bakers and fishers. The market hopes to give all residents access to fresh produce and other items often not available in low-income neighborhoods.

Mayor Ray Nagin's
administration tried to sneak a pay raise to 12 members of his 'all-star' management team after passing over hundreds of underpaid city workers. Once exposed as part of a Times-Picayune-initiated public records request, the administration claimed that all 12 appointees reached the same decision to return their pay hikes due to their concerns over the city's budget crunch. Yeah, right.

New Orleans
ballooned from No. 22 to No. 7 on the Men's Fitness annual survey of America's Fattest Cities. Nearly six of 10 local residents risk health problems due to excess weight. Some key factors cited in the survey included diet and lack of exercise. New Orleanians watch more TV than any other city in the survey, and only 16 percent eat the recommended daily servings of fruits and vegetables.

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