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The Best and the Worst of the Week


'Beach Sweep' volunteers
who picked up trash in and around Lake Pontchartrain last week included about 10 scuba divers and snorkelers and more than 1,000 volunteers circling the shoreline around the entire lake. The Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation, which organizes the annual event, has encouraging news: volunteer numbers remain strong, while the amount of trash collected each year is dropping.

Matilda Stream ,
an active volunteer for numerous arts and preservation societies, has won the 2002 Save Our Cemeteries Founder's Award. Stream, who also has received accolades for her work from the New Orleans Museum of Art, the Louisiana Museum Federation and the Louisiana Preservation Alliance, was honored for her efforts to preserve and protect the city's notable cemeteries.

The Ochsner Clinic Foundation
is one of 29 medical clinics throughout the United States chosen to participate in the National Lung Screening Test, a prestigious cancer research experiment sponsored by the National Cancer Institute. The largest lung screening survey ever conducted, the study seeks to determine if testing 50,000 current and former smokers with either chest X-rays or spiral computerized tomography tests can reduce lung-cancer deaths.

State Department of Insurance employees
were suspended without pay after an audit released last week by Legislative Auditor Dan Kyle showed they signed time sheets without working the hours shown. The audit says the practice has become a pattern at the agency, an allegation the department denies. The workers are attorney John Fontenot, secretary Deborah Poirrer, assistant director of business licensing Michael Boutwell and Barry Karns, director of the Office of Receivership.

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