co-founder of the nonprofit St. Bernard Project, has been named 2008 CNN Hero of the Year. McCartney, a former teacher, and Zack Rosenberg founded the organization in 2006 to help rebuild homes in St. Bernard Parish for senior citizens, the disabled and families with children who cannot afford a contractor. Since launching the program, the group has rebuilt 155 homes, and 34 more houses are currently under construction. McCartney received $100,000 from CNN to continue her work.
famed New Orleans chef, raised $1.7 million through his foundation's annual Carnival du Vin, a charity wine auction. The money will benefit children's education, culinary and education programs in the Gulf South. Lagasse also awarded a $200,000 grant from the foundation to chef Alice Waters, who is creating the new Edible Kitchen & Cafeteria at Samuel J. Green Charter School in Uptown. The kitchen program is an extension of Green's Edible Schoolyard, which grows fruits and vegetables on the school's grounds.
Raymond Boutin Jr.,
a cyclist and activist, has raised $9,000 so far from his 5,000-mile Ride to Rebuild New Orleans, a cross-country journey, which will benefit the nonprofit Rebuilding Together New Orleans (RTNO). Boutin began the ride in Salem, Mass., on May 31 and has completed 1,500 miles. He arrived in New Orleans on Nov. 19 and will spend 10 weeks volunteering with RTNO, which is a Preservation Resource Center program that rebuilds homes for the elderly and disabled.
Judge Julian Parker
of Orleans Parish Criminal District Court had a sheriff's deputy handcuff Assistant DA Fred deBlanc to keep the prosecutor from leaving Parker's court on Friday, Nov. 21. Parker was about to hold a status hearing on a case that deBlanc was handling. Fellow Judge Camille Buras came into Parker's court looking for deBlanc because he was also the key prosecutor in an ongoing murder trial in her court. Instead of letting deBlanc continue prosecuting the murder case, Parker had the assistant DA cuffed, detaining him and delaying the murder trial.