News » Bouquets & Brickbats: local heroes and zeroes

The Best and the Worst of the Week

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The NBA
Hornets gave New Orleans fans their most exciting and productive NBA season ever. With 56 wins during the regular season, the team broke its previous record for success and then proceeded to celebrate with a fist-pumping, first-round playoff demolition of the Dallas Mavericks. Although CP3 and Company came up a few hoops short against defending champions, the San Antonio Spurs, they still left fans with plenty to be thankful for after an inspiring season.

Walter "Wolfman" Washington,
the howling bluesman and funk guitarist extraordinaire, was the first musician to play in the city after the levee failures. A week after the storm, with his guitar powered by a generator, Washington performed for a very appreciative crowd at the Maple Leaf Bar. Recently, Washington was back up on that same stage when Jazz Fest founder Quint Davis surprised him with a Gibson ES 137 guitar from Music Rising, a charitable group that replaces musical instruments lost or destroyed when the federal floodwalls failed.

Henry St. Paul Jr.,
an engineer, decided in 1955 to take a short break from working on a master's degree in business administration at Tulane University so he could start his own engineering company. At its peak, his business, Service Engineering Co., employed 69 people with offices in New Orleans and Mobile. Last year, Paul went back to school. Now 81 years old and 53 years after he left Tulane, Paul walked across the McAlister Auditorium stage to receive his diploma after completing the final credit on his MBA.

National Automobile Dealers' Charitable Foundation,
the philanthropic arm of the National Automobile Dealers Association, donated $400,000 to the Brees Dream Foundation, a charity founded by Saints quarterback Drew Brees. The Brees foundation will use the funds — plus additional funds of its own — to renovate Lusher High School's athletic fields. The total cost of the renovation is $670,000. NADA will hold its 92nd annual convention in New Orleans next year.

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