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The Best and the Worst of the Week

NEWS-BOXES 10-09-07

BOUQUET New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation has awarded $350,000 to 97 local arts and education projects through its Community Partnership Grants program. The $350,000 donation more than triples the amount awarded during the previous grant cycle in 2004, which provided money to 49 applicants. Initially, the foundation had committed $250,000 to the grants program, but the foundation's board of directors increased that to the current amount to fund more applicants.

BOUQUET WRBH Reading Radio 88.3 FM is celebrating its 25th anniversary of broadcasting in the greater New Orleans area. Dr. Robert McLean, a blind mathematician, founded the station in 1982, and it is the only full-time reading radio station on the regular FM frequency in the country. More than 200 volunteers contribute to the 24/7 reading service, turning the printed word into the spoken word so that the blind and print handicapped can receive current information.

BOUQUET Ann Rolfe, founder of the Louisiana Bucket Brigade (LABB), a pollution-control advocacy group, recently received a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation 2007 Community Health Leaders Award. The $125,000 award will allow Rolfe to continue her work mitigating the impact of polluted air and contaminated soil in Louisiana. Under Rolfe's leadership, LABB developed the largest collection of community-gathered air samples in the U.S. and documented hundreds of violations of state and federal air quality standards.

BRICKBAT BRICKBAT The Nagin Administration has once again missed a deadline — and had to ask for another extension — for submitting its 2006 audit to the Legislative Fiscal Office. The blown deadlines mean more delays in the delivery to the city of hundreds of millions of dollars for recovery programs. The Legislative Audit Advisory Council, comprised of state lawmakers who oversee the auditor's office, has understandably run out of patience. All other parishes have filed their audits. The latest extension gives the city until Dec. 1.

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