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The Best and the Worst of the Week 

Music Rising and Gibson Foundation
were presented a "Heroes of the Storm" award by Friends of New Orleans at the Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colo. Music Rising was established in 2005 as a charity to help professional musicians in the Gulf Coast replace instruments lost or destroyed during Hurricane Katrina. Gibson Foundation is the main sponsor of the fund. So far, Music Rising has assisted more than 2,700 musicians as well as 50,000 students by replacing instruments needed for musical education programs.

Ronald Joseph,
a 17-year-old local pianist, recently performed at Carnegie Hall as part of the "From the Top" program, which features performers 8-18 years old. Joseph, a Benjamin Franklin High School graduate who also studied at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, aptly chose to play "Mardi Gras," which is the second movement from Richard Danielpour's "The Enchanted Garden." He is now attending Syracuse University in New York.

Loyola University
was ranked fifth out of 83 schools for master's degree programs in U.S. News & World Report's "America's Best Colleges 2009" edition. This marks the second year in a row that Loyola has moved up in the rankings, from sixth in 2007 and seventh in 2006. The magazine commended the university for its quality academic programs, combined with its comparatively low cost for students who receive need-based financial aid. The Princeton Review also included Loyola in its annual list of the "Best 368 Colleges."

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
paid $2.7 million to renovate 94 temporary apartment units slated for demolition in the Lafitte public housing complex, according to an article in The Times-Picayune. Because the units will only be open for seven months, HUD will end up paying $4,103 per unit per month, which adds up to $130 a day, or about what some of the city's finer hotels charge per night.

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