News » Bouquets & Brickbats: local heroes and zeroes

The Best and the Worst of the Week

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Lalita Estes ,
a participant in the Big Brothers/Big Sisters program, has been named "Big Sister of the Year" by the organization's Southeast Louisiana chapter. Estes, who is Director of Recruitment and Programs for Dillard University, is also a member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority. She has been a "Big Sister" to Wendy Ratcliff, an 11-year-old student at Jean Gordon Elementary School, for two years.

Teen members of the Catholic HEART Workcamp
spent the week of July 22-26 painting, repairing, landscaping and cleaning the homes of several senior citizens in Mid-City, Carrollton, Lakeview and Seventh Ward neighborhoods. The program, sponsored by state Sen. Paulette Irons and the Catholic archdiocese, spends more than $1,500 to refurbish each home.

The Governor's Program on Abstinence ,
headed by Dan Richey, violated the U.S. Constitution when it gave grants to religious groups such as the Lafayette and the Houma/Thibodaux archdioceses in its efforts to promote abstinence, a federal judge ruled last week. The judge noted that state money was used to buy Bibles and to sponsor prayer groups at abortion clinics. Gov. Mike Foster promised to comply with the ruling.

The Orleans Parish School Board
earned low marks from education specialists assigned by the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education to evaluate the progress of low-performing local schools. The year-end report cited unqualified teachers and principals, inadequate facilities and communication problems as major factors hindering the district's progress.

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