Karen Gadbois and Sarah Lewis,
grassroots activists and local bloggers, first broke the news of the scandal surrounding the New Orleans Affordable Homeownership program, which contracted with the city to remediate homes for the elderly and low income residents. The two began posting in June (at www.squanderedheritage.com) about houses NOAH claimed to have worked on houses slated for demolition and others whose owners were neither poor nor elderly. The story has broken wide open, but it might never have been detected were it not for these tireless bloggers.
and the Dinerral Shavers Education Fund, teamed up to host the third annual "Speak Up," an event that showcases performances and readings by students from the Teen Center for Non-Violence and SilenceIsViolence's Programs for Peace. SilenceIsViolence is an anti-violence campaign established in 2007 following the murders of Shavers, a drummer and educator, and local filmmaker Helen Hill. The education fund was set up to provide for the welfare of Shaver's son, Dinneral Jr. and to support music education programs.
Erin and Dennis Earls,
a California couple, are providing a duplex in Gentilly to two needy families with assistance from UNITY of Greater New Orleans and Salvation Army. The families will be able to live rent-free in the duplex for the next year. Erin, a New Orleans native, and her husband realized they had to do something for the homeless after reading Gambit Weekly's "Under the Bridge" story by Greg Thomas, which presented the plight of those living in tents under the Claiborne overpass.
former St. Charles Parish sheriff and assessor, entered the parish courthouse, where other parish offices are also located, and while waiting to see Parish President V.J. St. Pierre Jr., allegedly pulled out a pistol and made disparaging remarks about St. Pierre. After a sheriff's deputy emptied the bullets from Sellers' gun, St. Pierre arrived and Sellers verbally abused him. Sellers was arrested for disturbing the peace and violating a concealed handgun permit by carrying the weapon into the courthouse.