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The Best and the Worst of the Week 

Benjamin Amoss, Jackson Rawlings, Catherine Worley and Becca Lapeyre
first- and second-graders at Metairie Country Day School, have placed in the semifinals of the national ExploraVision Science and Technology Award, presented by Toshiba Corp. and the National Science Teachers Association. The kids' project "The Cavity Zapper" -- a fiber-optic toothbrush that detects cavity-causing bacteria -- is one of 24 semifinalists from 4,000 entries across the U.S. and Canada. Final judging will be May 8.

Louisiana State University Press
has won its first National Book Critics Circle Award in Poetry for Carolina Ghost Woods, by Salt Lake City resident Judy Jordan. The NBCC is composed of 750 reviewers from around the country judging books in the categories of criticism, fiction, general nonfiction, biography / autobiography, and poetry.

Herbert Nailor
principal of Myrtle Banks Elementary School, has been placed on administrative leave after his arrest last week on charges he grabbed two 9-year-old students by the neck and shoved them against a wall. An NOPD Child Abuse Unit detective says Nailor had assaulted one of the children twice that day. Nailor has drawn complaints from parents and community members in the past for allegedly aggressive behavior toward some students' mothers.

David Thompson
a teacher at John McDonogh No. 32, is also on administrative leave following his arrest for assaulting a special education student twice in one day, leaving the child with a bloody nose, facial bruises and broken glasses, investigators say. Witnesses told police that Thompson struck the student repeatedly with a wooden ruler until it broke, and shoved him into a table. Thompson saw the boy later in the hall and assaulted him again, they said.


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