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The Best and the Worst of the Week 

Hibernia National Bank
has introduced Louisiana's first "talking" automatic teller machine for visually impaired bankers at its downtown branch on Carondelet Street. Customers use headphones for privacy as an audio voice guides them through transactions. Hibernia plans to install more talking ATMs in New Orleans as well as in Baton Rouge and Shreveport.

Richard Richardson
admitted he sold the "date rape drug" GHB while serving as a Louisiana state trooper. The New Orleans man pleaded guilty last week to selling more than two pounds of GHB, commonly used by sexual predators who slip it into drinks to incapacitate women. Richardson faces a maximum of 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine.

Lois Hawkins and Joseph Young Jr.
president and executive board member, respectively, of the New Orleans Opera Association, sang the wrong tune last week when they issued a mailout asking NOOA members to support Mayor Marc Morial's third-term effort -- just days after Morial promised to help raise up to $300,000 for the nonprofit. Tax-exempt organizations such as NOOA are barred from participating in politics. Though Hawkins and Young wrote the letter on NOOA stationery, it was not officially sanctioned by the association.

preying upon public insecurity after the Sept. 11 terror attacks have cost Louisiana thousands of dollars and have added to widespread jitters. Recent arrests connected to terror scares include an Avondale Shipyards worker who allegedly scattered sugar at the company to simulate anthrax; a Jeanerette man who allegedly slipped an envelope filled with salt into a state welfare office; and a bomb threat that cleared the Lafayette Parish courthouse last week.


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