News » Bouquets & Brickbats: local heroes and zeroes

The Best and the Worst of the Week

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Doris Voitier,
superintendent of St. Bernard Parish Public Schools, is being honored nationally for reopening the St. Bernard Unified School just three weeks after Hurricane Katrina. Cox Communications and Cable in the Classroom, the cable industry's education foundation, named Voitier one of 41 finalists for the 2006 Cable's Leaders in Learning Awards. The awards honor the most inventive classroom educators, administrators, community leaders, or policymakers for their efforts at the kindergarten through 12th grade levels.

Harrah's New Orleans
hosted Bravo's Celebrity Poker Showdown , the nationally televised tournament in which celebrities play for their favorite charities, this past Friday and Saturday (April 7-8). For the "New Orleans edition" of the series, all celebrity winnings were designated for causes benefiting Hurricane Katrina victims. The show features five celebrities competing against each other for the chance to win thousands of dollars for charity. To date, Celebrity Poker Showdown has donated $2,450,000 to charities around the world.

The New Orleans Zephyrs
joined the Frank Foundation and its Magical Builders team, as well as Major League Baseball and MLB.com, to renovate the West Bank Boys & Girls Club of Southeastern Louisiana last week in honor of the Zephyrs 14th opening day. The West Bank club was damaged by Hurricane Katrina and has been closed since the storm. The community that it serves is overwhelmed with children and families that were displaced by the disaster, and the repairs will accelerate the club's reopening schedule.

Andrew Rose and Loyd Holliman,
a pair of Colorado firefighters who came to town after Hurricane Katrina to help with search-and-rescue operations, pleaded guilty last week to federal charges of public bribery in their capacity as FEMA officials. The two men admitted soliciting and receiving bribes from a food contractor while managing a FEMA camp in Algiers. Prosecutors say the two promised to inflate the number of meals provided by the contractor in exchange for kickbacks. They face up to 15 years in jail each, plus a fine.

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