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The Best and the Worst of the Week 

Jim LeBlanc,
president and CEO of Volunteers of America Greater New Orleans, was recently honored as "executive of the year" by The NonProfit Times, a nonprofit management business publication. LeBlanc was featured on the cover of the publication with national VOA President and CEO Chuck Gould, who shared the award with LeBlanc. VOA was cited for its efforts to rebuild and supply affordable housing and for implementing new initiatives to meet human needs in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

Nechama,
the Jewish community's disaster-relief organization, has deployed hundreds of volunteers from across the country to assist in ongoing house-gutting efforts in New Orleans' hardest-hit neighborhoods. Between Dec. 17 and Jan. 13, volunteers worked in the Ninth Ward and other devastated areas of the Gulf region. That came after a whole summer of work by Nechama volunteers across New Orleans. The volunteers partnered with Operation Blessing in Slidell, which set up a camp inside a converted warehouse.

Baptist Community Ministries,
the largest private foundation in Louisiana, has awarded a $170,000 strategic grant to St. Tammany Parish Hospital for its Nurse Family Partnership initiative. The program will match specially trained nurses with low-income, high-risk expectant mothers for in-home consultations during their pregnancies and until their newborns are 2 years old. The goal is to improve health and nutrition, teach early parenting skills and help each mother reach her individual educational and employment goals.

District Attorney Eddie Jordan
finally admitted last week that his office dropped the ball in failing to locate a retired NOPD officer who was a key witness in an armed robbery case. The officer wasn't that difficult to find Ñ a news reporter for WWL-TV found him in an hour. Instead of using the telephone directory to locate the retired cop, who had not moved in years and who had received subpoenas at his residence before, the DA's office dropped the charges against the accused robber and released him from jail.

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