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The Best and the Worst of the Week 

Margie Richard,
a schoolteacher-turned-environmental activist from Norco, is the first African American to win the prestigious international Goldman Environmental Prize. The honor, which has been bestowed for 15 years and includes a $125,000 award, lauded Richard's tireless community organization in demanding fair relocation offers from a nearby plant owned by Shell Chemical.

The New Orleans Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau
has been heralded as the best of its kind by ConferenceDirect, a Los Angeles-based meeting resources conglomerate. The worldwide corporation gave NOMCVB its '2004 Convention Bureau of the Year' honor based on superior organizational and customer-service skills. Last year, the NOMCVB helped generate an influx of 8.5 million visitors to New Orleans.

"Constellation Award" winners
named by a panel of local judges and sponsored by Harrah's New Orleans Casino, include 'Outstanding Senior Citizen' Ruby C. Sumler; 'Outstanding Non-Profits' the Pro Bono Project, Angels' Place, and God's Vineyard; and 'Outstanding Business' the House of Blues. The winners were cited for outstanding community contributions and honored at a luncheon in which Harrah's also bestowed its annual COPE Grants to 19 area nonprofits.

U.S. Navy Information Technology Center officials
engaged in questionable or wasteful spending to the tune of more than $1 million and couldn't account for $240,000 worth of equipment at the New Orleans center, according to a recent federal audit. The report, which was central to a recent U.S. Senate hearing on government waste, blamed administrators at the center for either ignoring or failing to catch obvious problems.


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