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Bouquets & Brickbats [1/18/11] 

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Jingxuan "Judy" Wang,

a student at Benjamin Franklin High School, was named the High School Student of the Year for Orleans Parish by the Orleans Parish School Board. Wang is vice-president of the student council as well a National Merit semi-finalist. The Student of the Year program was designed to recognize extraordinary elementary, middle school and high school students.

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The New York District Council of Carpenters (NYDCC),

along with Kappa Sigma Fraternity and the New Orleans Fire Department teamed up to restore Digby Playground in eastern New Orleans. The same groups have volunteered to rebuild other playgrounds as well as firehouses since Hurricane Katrina. This year's effort was dedicated to Gerry Crimmins, the NYDCC member who led the carpenters' union to New Orleans and who died in October 2010.

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Barb Johnson

has been awarded the American Library Association's Barbara Gittings Literature Award for her debut collection of stories, More of this World or Maybe Another. Johnson, a Mid-City resident, wrote the book while completing her M.F.A. at the University of New Orleans, and its publication last year led to wide acclaim and several national literature prizes, including the Gift of Freedom Award, a two-year writing grant from the Room of Her Own Foundation.

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The Jefferson Parish Economic Development Commission (JEDCO)

made a misstep with its "Opportunity Lives Here" campaign, which features billboards with questions like "Who Lowered Crime Rates?" Fine — until you get to the Earhart Boulevard billboard with the slogan, "Who builds better levees?" Leaving aside the fact that levee construction is the province of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, you'd think JEDCO would be more sensitive to those who lost loved ones during Hurricane Katrina.

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