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The Best and the Worst of the Week

Ralph Brennan
was named a "2003 Employer of Choice" by the National Restaurant Association. The honor, bestowed annually to employers in six categories, was presented last weekend at the organization's Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show in Chicago. The Ralph Brennan Restaurant Group won in the Fine Dining category. Brennan was selected based on employee essays praising RBRG's attention to quality of life, benefits and training for managers.

The Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities
has won the 2003 Advancement of Literacy Award from the American Library Association. The prestigious national honor recognizes LEH's family literacy program, "Prime Time Reading Time," a six- to eight-week reading, discussion and storytelling program designed to encourage parents and children to read together. It also helps low-income, low-literacy parents to continue their education and to enter the workforce.

Louisiana legislators
have failed to enact policies or allot funds to support using clean, renewable energy sources to generate electricity, says a recent report by the Union of Concerned Scientists, which gave Louisiana's energy policies a "D" grade. The study says only 4.2 percent of the state's energy needs are derived from renewable sources, in the form of solar energy and bioenergy -- using agricultural or timber waste to fuel power plants.

Wayne A. Fletcher,
a Slidell contractor, is headed to jail after a federal jury convicted him of cheating the government out of nearly $1 million through contract scams. Fletcher, owner of Johnny F. Smith Truck and Dragline Service, was hired to clean up debris from Hurricane Fran in North Carolina in 1996. He was also found guilty of taking $300,000 in kickbacks from subcontractors, and attempting to bribe a whistleblower and tamper with a grand jury.

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