the non-profit arts-in-education organization, is celebrating its 10th anniversary. The husband-and-wife team of Campbell Hutchinson and Alison Stewart founded the program when they heard that New Orleans Public schools no longer could afford to offer arts in its curriculum. The pilot program was launched at Fisher Elementary School with 20 students participating. KIDsmArt has teaching artists in 11 schools throughout New Orleans and serves more than 3,400 children.
James Washington Jr.,
founding partner of the local firm Hewitt-Washington & Associates Architect-Planners, has been elected to the American Institute of Architects College of Fellows. He graduated from Southern University's School of Architecture in 1970 and worked for the U.S. Army and architectural firms in Houston and Hawaii before starting his own firm in 1978. Washington has contributed to a variety of local projects, including the New Orleans Sports Arena, and has served as principal architect for several public schools.
Benjamin Franklin High School's Riverbend Review,
a student literary magazine, was given a Gold Crown award for overall excellence by the Columbia University Scholastic Press Association. The award is the highest recognition handed out by the CSPA, which judges scholastic publications based on writing and editing, design, content, concept, photography, art and graphics. The Riverbend Review was one of only eight high school magazines in the country to receive the honor.
Michael O'Keefe Jr.,
owner of Citywide Mortgage Co., pleaded guilty in federal court to making false statements to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. O'Keefe's admission was part of a plea deal arranged after his indictment by a grand jury in 2007. He was charged with swindling HUD into guaranteeing more than $600,000 in mortgage loans to unqualified borrowers. O'Keefe is required to pay HUD more than $686,000 in restitution. He will be sentenced in June.