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The Best and the Worst of the Week


Hans A.B. Jonassen
was saluted last week as the United Way of Greater New Orleans' most exceptional volunteer. The New Orleans man received the organization's highest honor, the Alexis de Tocqueville Award, recognizing his leadership and fund-raising activities. Jonassen, a 13-year volunteer, has served as chairman of the local chapter's board of trustees and as its campaign chairman. Under his leadership, the nonprofit raised millions of dollars.

Southwest Airlines security
allowed a Mississippi man carrying a loaded handgun to board a plane at Louis Armstrong International Airport last week. The passenger discovered he had accidentally brought the weapon in his briefcase while the plane was en route to San Diego, and immediately surrendered the weapon to a flight attendant. Airline officials fired security employees who let the gun slip through a security checkpoint.

Karen Barnes and Donald Jones,
two Jefferson Parish officials, have been fined for alleged campaign finance abuses. The state ethics board found last week that School Board member Barnes had received over $100,000 in illegal contributions for her 1998 campaign from Jones, a parish councilman. The maximum donation permitted for that campaign cycle was $5,000. The board fined Barnes $16,000 and Jones $4,000.

Flag thieves
who tore the Stars and Stripes down from Tulane University's Alumni House made off with more than just a patriotic symbol. The flag had been used to cover the coffin of Tulane alumnus and philanthropist William Hobson Spaar, and had been donated to the university as part of Spaar's estate. University officials prized the banner as a cherished gift.

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