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The Best and the Worst of the Week


Ruth Fertel,
New Orleans-based owner of the international Ruth's Chris Steakhouse franchise, received the Ella Brennan Savoir Faire Award during the recent Louisiana Culinary Gold Classic fundraiser held by the local chapter of the American Culinary Federation. The award recognizes excellence and leadership in the hospitality and restaurant industries.

Allan Kolsky,
a New Orleans clarinet player with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, has won the annual Faux Faulkner contest, sponsored by the University of Mississippi's Center for the Study of Southern Culture. The tongue-in-cheek competition invites parodies of William Faulkner's dense, lyrical prose, and receives entries from around the world. Kolsky has entered the contest three times, placing second last year.

Derric Wayne Prater,
the former head of security at the Jena Juvenile Justice Center, received a nine-month prison sentence last week for beating a shackled teenage inmate with a mop handle. The sentence -- which includes a $3,000 fine -- came after Prater pleaded guilty to the charges and was fired from his job. The 17-year-old victim suffered injuries to a hand and arm.

State lawmakers
enacted anti-telemarketing legislation so riddled with loopholes that it's unenforceable, says the state Public Service Commission. The bill lets citizens pay $5 to sign a telemarketer "do not call" list. The PSC says the list allows several exceptions from certain types of telemarketers and out-of-state callers. Gov. Foster, who signed the bill, expressed exasperation with the PSC's criticism, saying PSC officials helped write the legislation.

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