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The Best and the Worst of the Week

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State Sen. Paulette Irons
is one of 10 winners of HBO's national "Hearing Her Voice, Telling Her Story" contest, which honors contributions made by African-American women. HBO says it chose the New Orleans Democrat based on her rise to success as a state senator from her difficult beginnings as a teenage mother, and on her commitment to reducing teen pregnancies in Louisiana. The award comes with a $1,000 prize.

Parkway Partners Program Inc.
and its Community Gardens Project has won a 2003 Community Partnership Merit Finalist Award from the Mutual of Omaha Foundation. The national award committee recognized the project -- which helps residents maintain flower and vegetable gardens in former vacant lots -- due to its community value and its distinction as the largest privately funded project of its kind in the country.

New Orleans
was named one of the "Top 25 Cities for Doing Business in America" by INC. magazine. The national business publication listed New Orleans as No. 18 based on ability to nurture small businesses, job growth, and economic diversification. Similarly, Expansion Management magazine ranked New Orleans' Central Business District fourth among hot markets for U.S. downtowns.

Attorney General Charles Foti
should reconsider his choice for head of his general investigations division. The appointee, Les Bonano, was denied licenses by the state Gaming Control Board for past associations with unsavory businessmen, including a Pennsylvania boxing promoter reportedly tied to organized crime. Bonano has said he was unaware of the alleged connection. All the same, this is a poor start for someone entrusted with criminal investigations.

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