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The Best and the Worst of the Week 

Hibernia National Bank
has purchased 2,500 children's books, all winners of the Louisiana Young Reader's Choice Awards, to be distributed to all 65 public library systems across the state. It's the second year in a row the bank has partnered with the State Library of Louisiana to help nurture a love of reading among children.

Three New Orleans-area hospitals
made U.S. News and World Report's annual ranking of best hospitals in the country. From a Top 50 list, West Jefferson Medical Center in Marrero ranked 35th in the specialty of respiratory disorders and 49th in rheumatology. Touro Infirmary in New Orleans ranked 47th in pulmonary disease, and Ochsner Foundation Hospital in New Orleans ranked 48th in digestive disorders.

Louisiana lawmakers
have repeatedly caved in to the nursing home lobby, to the detriment of the state's senior citizens. U.S. Sen. John Breaux blasted Louisiana last week for not spending more money on home- or community-based care for seniors, opting instead to place them in costlier nursing homes. Breaux says Louisiana ranks 49th in the nation in seeking federal money for assisted living instead of institutionalization.

Donald Verden Lee ,
a former supervisor for the state Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, has admitted using taxpayer money to buy personal items. Prosecutors say Lee spent about $85,000 on hunting equipment, power tools, cameras and other gifts to himself. He pleaded guilty in federal court recently to creating false invoices for the objects when he served as an inland fisheries administrator for the state from 1996 to 2000.


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