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The Best and the Worst of the Week 

Priscilla Lawrence,
executive director of The Historic New Orleans Collection, recently was awarded the title of Chevalier in the Order of the Arts and Letters by the French Minister of Culture. The award is granted to individuals who have contributed significantly to furthering the arts in France and throughout the world. It recognizes the work of Lawrence and The Historic New Orleans Collection to educate the public about French heritage in Louisiana, particularly for the 2003 celebration of the bicentennial of the Louisiana Purchase.

Rev. William E. Rogers,
pastor of the historic Grace Baptist Church in the Ninth Ward, recently marked his 30th anniversary as leader of the 102-year-old congregation. Dr. Rogers is the longest-serving pastor of a church in the Baptist Association of Greater New Orleans — a role he filled while also serving as a full-time probation and parole officer for the state of Louisiana for more than 20 years. In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, Dr. Rogers led the congregation's and helped coordinate the neighborhood's recovery efforts.

Texas Roadhouse employees
have launched a local Habitat for Humanity initiative called "home in a box." The initiative allows volunteers to package an entire home in their hometown and then ship the pieces to New Orleans for on-site assembly, which takes just one or two weeks. The first two "homes in a box" arrived in the Upper Ninth Ward last week. Texas Roadhouse volunteers from North Carolina, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Texas and Oklahoma began assembling the first two homes on Clouet Street. They hope to build 100 such homes.

Some Chicago Bears fans
stooped to new lows in taunting Saints fans during the NFC championship game in Chicago on Jan. 21. One Chicagoan waved a sign that read, "What Katrina didn't finish, we will tonight." Saints fans reported widespread verbal taunts relating to the storm, such as one Bear fan telling a visiting New Orleanian, "Too bad you didn't drown" during Katrina. Chicago's nastiness contrasts sharply with the heartfelt thanks that many Saints fans extended to visiting Philadelphia Eagles fans a week earlier in New Orleans.

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