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Bouquets & Brickbats: Local Heroes and Zeros [1-4-11]


Pierre Thomas,

the New Orleans Saints running back, appeared on the NBC game show Minute to Win It in September, where he played for New Orleans Children's Hospital. On Dec. 28, Thomas went to the medical center to present hospital administrators with his winnings: $37,500. "A lot of people hailed us as heroes this year," Thomas said, "but the people at Children's Hospital are my heroes" — which is why "Frenchy" is our hero.


John Raphael,

pastor of New Hope Baptist Church in Central City, spent the week after Christmas sleeping, praying and fasting in the neutral ground at Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and South Claiborne Avenue. Raphael, a longtime advocate for nonviolence, is asking for a truce between warring factions in the city as well as for local radio stations to drop all songs with violent lyrics. He also asked that no one shoot guns in celebration on New Year's Eve.


Anthony Jones,

the city's chief technology officer under former mayor Ray Nagin, pleaded guilty in federal court last month to conspiracy to commit bribery concerning programs receiving federal funds. In a factual basis submitted to the court with his plea, Jones said he conspired with computer vendor Mark St. Pierre to funnel the payoffs. Jones will be sentenced on March 30. He faces a possible five years in prison as well as criminal forfeiture and fines.


Steven Godfrey,

an Atlanta Falcons fan and guest columnist at the football website, trash-talked the New Orleans Saints and their fans last week, writing "New Orleans has exploited every iota of their 2005 disaster to better celebrate a Super Bowl win." He added his belief that the city chooses to "capitalize upon Hurricane Katrina as a means of fabricating a redemption narrative for their football team." After furious Who Dat backlash, SB Nation removed the essay — and the Saints beat the Falcons on MNF.

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