Kim A. Gandy
a former New Orleans attorney and one-time head of the Louisiana division of the National Organization for Women (NOW), has been elected president of the national organization. Gandy, a Bossier City native, had been serving as NOW's executive vice president. Gandy replaces incumbent president Patricia Ireland, who has been outspoken in NOW's support of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion.
Officer Olivia Fontenot
a 16-year veteran of the New Orleans Police Department, is being honored this week by the National Association of School Resource Officers at the group's annual conference in Miami. Fontenot has served as the only school resource officer for 19 city public schools for the past nine years. She also has worked at New Orleans Recreation Department summer camps.
The Exxon-Mobil refinery
in Chalmette last week had to perform emergency repairs on a benzene tank that had leaked about 15 barrels of the chemical, a flammable, cancer-causing agent produced by the burning of natural products. Exposure to benzene, which can be absorbed through the skin, can cause dizziness, respiratory problems, unconsciousness and, at high levels, death. St. Bernard Parish authorities alerted the refinery of the leak.
Raphael P. Poirrier
a Gonzales, La., attorney, has been disbarred by the state Supreme Court for abandoning his clients and his Louisiana law practice and moving unannounced to Texas. The high court says Poirrier accepted money to represent clients and then moved to Texas without notifying them. Poirrier ignored his clients' requests to return their fees and jeopardized their legal actions, according to the high court.