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The Best and the Worst of the Week 

Katherine Williamson,
a dance student at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, was accepted for the international summer program of the renowned Royal Ballet School, Covent Garden in London. Williamson, who also attends Mandeville High School, will take part in the rigorous classical ballet training July 25 through Aug. 6 with other promising young dancers from around the world.

Robert W. Merrick,
chairman and CEO of Latter & Blum Inc. Realtors, has been named 'Humanitarian of the Year' for 2005 by the American Red Cross' southeast Louisiana chapter. Merrick received the organization's highest honor for his service on the chapter's Board of Directors, and is credited with strengthening the nonprofit's programs and finances. Merrick was named 'Philanthropist of the Year' by the organization in 2003.

New Orleans School Board members
are reneging on their pledge to reform the unprofessional image the board has perpetuated over the years, slinging barbs at one another during their meetings and in the media. Board members need to take a tip from their colleague, Phyllis Landrieu -- apparently the only one on the panel not engaging in childish political infighting -- and focus on our schools, not on their personality conflicts.

recently asked state regulators to approve a consumer rate hike to pay for, among other expenses, $5 million in bonuses for the utility company's executives. The Public Service Commission rejected the appeal, with Commissioner Foster Campbell castigating the request for "a rate increase on the backs of people who cannot afford it" in order to benefit wealthy executives.


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