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Bouquets & Brickbats 

They get what they deserve

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Center for the Study of New Orleans,

housed in Loyola University's College of Social Sciences, hosted its first official event, "An Evening of Jazz and History," on Sept. 3 to a standing-room-only crowd. Leslie Parr, a professor in the university's School of Mass Communication, directs the center, which will serve as a cross-disciplinary resource hub, promoting research and reflection on the history, politics, culture and environment of New Orleans. The center will host three more public events during the 2009-10 academic year.

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Xavier University and New York University

have received a $3 million grant from the National Science Foundation to bolster diversity among materials scientists from the two universities through collaborative research and curriculum development. Under the grant, the universities will produce research projects that will boost Xavier's research infrastructure, and Xavier undergraduates will work in their school's research lab during the semester as well as spending summers conducting studies in NYU labs.

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Desmond Shorty,

a New Orleans Police Department officer, allegedly stole a $3,500 wristwatch from a purse while investigating a disturbance at a New Orleans East apartment. A week later, Shorty was spotted in Harrah's Casino wearing the wristwatch. He was subsequently arrested for theft and possession of stolen goods and has resigned from the police force. Shorty, who joined the NOPD in 2007, was cited on prior occasions for crimes including domestic battery, public intoxication, public intimidation and resisting an officer.

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Shawnzell Venson

pleaded guilty to one federal count of conspiracy to steal more than $600,000 in Road Home money. Venson and her fiance, Willie Smith (who will face trial in federal court later this month), along with a title insurance agent, Derrick Beaulieu (who has pleaded guilty), were charged with allegedly doctoring Road Home applications from five elderly applicants so that the checks would be wired into Venson's or Smith's bank accounts. Venson faces up to five years in prison and $250,000 in fines.

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