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The Best and the Worst of the Week


Sen. Paulette Irons
has been named one of Good Housekeeping magazine's "Ten Women in Government" for 2001. The New Orleans Democrat received a $2,500 award and will be profiled in the July issue of the national women's magazine, currently on newsstands. The Good Housekeeping awards go to public officials "who have improved the lives of others through innovative programs and dedicated public service." Irons is known for her work in teen pregnancy prevention and other women's and children's issues.

Boozoo Chavis,
the legendary zydeco pioneer who died in May, was honored with a 2001 National Heritage Fellowship Award from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). The prestigious fellowship is the country's highest honor for traditional artists and comes with a $10,000 award. Although the award is usually only given to living artists, the NEA made an exception for Chavis, who was selected as an honoree before his death. The money will go to his wife, Leona Chavis.

The Saints and Gov. Mike Foster
are continuing their negotiations to keep the NFL franchise in New Orleans, despite passing a self-imposed deadline for a new deal last week. Foster, who admits he's not a big football fan, has gone the distance in attempting to mollify Saints owner Tom Benson, who says his team faces a cash crunch. The Saints, meanwhile, have put together a new proposal in response to the state's latest offer.

State lawmakers
continued to squabble over "slush funds" in the final days of the annual legislative session. Rural lawmakers griped because their "development" funds (which lawmakers dole out individually and with little oversight) remained cut while the urban slush funds, which initially had been cut as well, were restored in the Senate. The infighting proved that lawmakers care more about their own pork than pressing statewide problems.

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