News » Bouquets & Brickbats: local heroes and zeroes

The Best and the Worst of the Week

Ralph Romaguera Sr.,
a veteran local photographer, has been named a Fellow of the American Society of Photographers Ñ only the 98th photographer to earn that honor in the society's 70-year history. Romaguera, a New Orleans native, began his photographic career at the age of 18 while serving in the military, then became an award-winning news photographer for UPI before opening his own portrait studios in the New Orleans area. He also is a 10-time winner of the prestigious Kodak Gallery Award for photographic excellence.

Spanish River Community High School
students in Boca Raton, Fla., hosted a fashion show and raffle this past Saturday (March 17) to benefit the Historic St. James A.M.E. Church in New Orleans, which was badly damaged during Hurricane Katrina's flood, and the church's affordable housing program. The event was put on by the school's Push for Peace Club and featured students as well as professional models. The church, which opened in the 1840s, is on the National Register of Historic Places.

The state Dept. of Culture, Recreation and Tourism,
officially part of Lt. Gov. Mitch Landrieu's office, has won regional and national awards for its tourism advertising campaign featuring Louisiana natives as well as celebrities with ties to the state. The campaign urged visitors to "come fall in love all over again" and featured John Goodman, Allen Toussaint, Wynton Marsalis, Tim McGraw, Emeril Lagasse, Patricia Clarkson, George Rodrigue and David Toms.

District Attorney Eddie Jordan Jr.
continues to baffle citizens and judges with his excuses for failing to prosecute accused violent criminals. Last week, a Criminal Court judge dismissed charges against 53-year-old Rudy Francis, who was arrested for the 2000 murder of 43-year-old Larry Darnell Lawrence, because Jordan's office blew the legal deadline for bringing Francis to trial. That marked the second time in six months that Jordan's sluggish prosecutorial pace caused a murder charge to be tossed out by a local judge.

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