News » Bouquets & Brickbats: local heroes and zeroes

The Best and the Worst of the Week


Muriel Funches,
Vice President and market manager of Clear Channel Radio New Orleans, was recently named one of the '50 Most Influential Women In Radio' by Radio Link magazine. Funches, who was also on the magazine's 'Top 35 African-American Women in Radio' list, was cited for her 25-year career in radio as well as her leadership in community and professional organizations.

Joe Daschbach,
an engineer and physics/robotics teacher at the New Orleans Center for Math and Science, recently won the Dell Technology Award for Teacher Excellence, a new honor granted by the computer giant. Daschbach, the first-ever recipient of the national award, was recognized for introducing a robotics program to his school and for working to establish similar programs in other area schools.

Desire Community Housing Corp.
and its chief administrative officer, Ara Jean Jackson, misappropriated more than $1 million in federal money and should repay the government, according to a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development audit. The nonprofit did not renovate low-income apartments with money allotted to do so, said the HUD audit, which also blasted the oversight of former Mayor Marc Morial.

Melville Borne Jr.,
a former nursing home owner from Mandeville, admitted he stole $2.4 million in federal Medicare money and used employees' pension payments to meet business and personal expenses. Borne pleaded guilty to federal health-care fraud for failing to provide care to residents. The indictment against him alleged that he withheld basic services as well as air conditioning, soap and towels.

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