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Terence Blanchard was awarded a fellowship and $50,000 grant by the Chicago foundation United States Artists to pursue his musical career. The trumpeter and New Orleans native, who has won five Grammy Awards, also works as a composer and music educator. Deana Haggag, president of the foundation, said in a statement the awards "are a reminder of the beauty produced by hardworking artists on a daily basis, too much of which is often overlooked."


Craig Taffaro, former chief deputy of the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office, was found guilty of six counts of tax evasion, five counts of filing a false tax return and one count of failing to file a return in a business he owned with former Sheriff Newell Normand. The U.S. Attorney's office said Taffaro could face a maximum of five years for every count of tax evasion and three years for every count of filing false returns. He will be sentenced in April by U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman.


Louisiana once again came in dead last in POLITICO's ranking of U.S. states and the District of Columbia at the time of the president's State of the Union speech. POLITICO makes its ranking based on wealth markers, health, public safety, homeownership rate, employment, infant mortality rates, life expectancy and other factors. The Pelican State came in 51st, behind Mississippi and Arkansas.

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