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The Best and the Worst of the Week


The Tulane Xavier National Center of Excellence in Women's Health
got a big boost this month when it received a five-year, $2.3 million grant from the National Institutes of Health. The money is slated to support mentoring opportunities for researchers doing work in women's health. The grant is part of a program by the NIH to support researchers at the beginning of their careers. The center is one of 12 educational facilities nationwide to carry out the NIH program.

The University of New Orleans' College of Education and Human Development
received a U.S. Department of Education grant aimed at increasing the number of quality teachers in the New Orleans metro area. The federal Transition to Teaching program gave UNO a $1.8 million grant for its local program, which helps career professionals to become certified teachers in their area of expertise. The money will provide tuition and book costs for 320 program participants.

Courtland Crouchet,
the city's longtime chief revenue collector, retired abruptly when an internal City Hall investigation revealed he and four subordinates illicitly allowed businesses to forego paying taxes, interest and penalties. The Office of Municipal Investigation launched the probe after City Hall staff discovered more than $11 million in sales-tax payments to the city were missing. Crouchet had recently been demoted for other improprieties.

Louisiana's juvenile justice system
must revamp the way it handles young offenders, especially its reliance on jailing kids for even minor crimes, according to a study by the nonprofit Annie E. Casey Foundation. Locking up youths diverts resources from the juvenile system and ignores better options, says the foundation, which also advocates closing the state's most criticized youth prison -- Swanson Correctional Center for Youth in Madison Parish, known as Tallulah.

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