Paul J. Frick,
a psychology professor at UNO, has been named a Champion for Change in juvenile justice reform by the Louisiana Models for Change initiative. He received the honor for collecting data detailing why youths enter the juvenile justice system and the effectiveness of the interventions they receive — with the goal of developing a foundation for reform in that system. Because of his work, UNO has been awarded a $600,000 Models of Change grant to fund Frick's research through June 2011.
Zurich Financial Services,
which sponsors the PGA's Zurich Classic of New Orleans each year, made the holiday season brighter for 220 low-income families in the New Orleans area by giving each family a $100 gift card to Toys"R"Us. The Fore!Kids Foundation identified the families in need, and Zurich Financial Services treated them to a reception outside the Toys"R"Us store in Metairie. Saints head coach Sean Payton showed up at the event on behalf of his Payton's Play It Forward Foundation, as did several local officials.
J. Robert Ates and Madro Bandaries,
attorneys working on rival class-action lawsuits regarding slow settlement of insurance claims, apparently forgot they were in a courtroom and not a barroom as they brawled during an Orleans Parish Civil District Court hearing last week. Ates, a Laplace attorney, was handcuffed and jailed on contempt of court charges, but he contends Bandaries provoked him with rude remarks. Later Ates was released so he could represent his clients in the suit against Louisiana Citizens Property Insurance Corporation.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
is once again demonstrating a tin ear toward its critics. Levees.org founder Sandy Rosenthal recently learned that computers at local Corps offices had been used to post messages attacking her group on several blogs. The Corps issued a terse statement calling this an "isolated incident" involving "only one" of its 1,600 local employees. Rosenthal, however, traced the messages to more than one computer. On Thursday, Col. Alvin Lee of the Corps issued a formal apology for the "unprofessional comments."