announced last week, include Marcia Ball, Buddy Guy, Sonny Landreth, Paul McCoy, Tim McGraw, Aaron Neville, Nicholas Payton, Tom Piazza, Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys, and Lucinda Williams -- all of whom are Louisiana natives, residents or have longstanding ties to the state. The winners will be named Feb. 8.
Producers of Home of Phobia,
an independent film made in New Orleans, have been asked to screen the comedy at the Sundance Film Festival. Written and directed by newcomer Ryan Shiraki, the film focuses on a teenage boy who pretends to be gay so he can get close to a female crush. It was produced in part by the Louisiana Institute of Film Technology in New Orleans.
a student at St. Martin Episcopal School, is celebrating her bat mitzvah -- the Jewish rite for 13-year-old females -- by raising money to buy police dogs for the New Orleans Police Department. So far, O'Donnell has raised $11,000 of the $17,000 cost of two trained K-9 dogs with help from contributors, including Pat Taylor, Whole Foods Market, Temple Sinai and her school.
ExxonMobil Pipeline Co.
is responsible for an oil leak from an underwater pipeline that dumped about 15,000 gallons of crude oil into Barataria Bay last week, officials say. A Coast Guard flight crew spotted the oil spill north of Grand Isle and alerted ExxonMobil. The company, which says it pipes about 3.5 million barrels of crude oil per day through 21 states, says it has shut down the pipeline and is investigating.