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The Best and the Worst of the Week

Teacher Connection,
a homework hotline sponsored by the United Teachers of New Orleans and WDSU-TV, is up and running. The hotline offers help from elementary and secondary school teachers Monday through Thursday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Students, parents and others from 12 parishes and three Mississippi counties can call with a tricky homework question and be matched with teachers certified in math, science, reading, grammar, social studies and other subjects. The New Orleans number is 207-KIDS.

Michael Lewis
a 29-year-old beer-truck driver, survived the final round of team cuts and became a member of the New Orleans Saints last week. Lewis had previously played in the Arena Football League, never giving up on his dream of playing in the NFL. The speedster won over coaches with his dazzling play in preseason and will return punts for the Saints.

The Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ)
is in the spotlight after Secretary Dale Givens' revelation that at least one employee accepted improper gifts or favors from a company regulated by DEQ. Federal agents are examining the relationship between the DEQ and Waste Management, a company currently under fire by Livingston Parish residents for its efforts to expand a landfill there. Givens told reporters that DEQ's ex-waste disposal chief James Brent has played golf with a Waste Management official, and says DEQ is conducting its own probe.

Nina Sue Broyles,
a Baton Rouge attorney who played a role in a baby-trading practice, has been suspended from practicing law and will lose her license, her attorney says. The state Supreme Court suspended Broyles after she admitted lying to the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service about pregnant Russian women. Broyles paid the women $1,000 plus expenses to come to America, deliver their babies and surrender them for adoption. She pleaded guilty to giving false reasons why the women were in the country.

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