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Bouquets & Brickbats 

They get what they deserve

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Porgy Jones,

renowned New Orleans trumpeter, has been named an Ambassador for Louisiana Culture and Tourism by Lt. Gov. Mitch Landrieu. Jones' music career spans more than 50 years. He has led his own groups, played with legendary New Orleans musicians (including saxophonist Alvin "Red" Tyler), and was a part of bands that backed up headliners such as Marvin Gaye and Ray Charles. Jones also has taught workshops at local schools and led his own production company.



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Eddie Price

pleaded guilty in federal court Friday to mail fraud and tax evasion, charges that could carry as much as 25 years in prison and a $500,000 fine for the former Mandeville mayor. Prosecutors allege Price misused campaign funds for personal expenses and gambling debts. Price, who also faces a state charge of perjury in a separate matter, remains free on $50,000 bond and has had to surrender his passport and agree not to drink alcohol. His sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 28, 2010, before Mandeville holds its mayoral election in March.



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Keith Bardwell,

a Tangipahoa Parish justice of the peace for 34 years, embarrassed Louisiana when he told the Associated Press he refused to issue marriage licenses to interracial couples. "I'm not a racist. I just don't believe in mixing the races that way," Bardwell said, adding he had "piles and piles" of black friends. Bardwell added his concern was for any possible children of an interracial marriage. Ironically, this all surfaced the day Barack Obama, America's first president from an interracial marriage, was appearing in New Orleans.



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Michael O'Keefe Jr.,

son of the disgraced former state Senate president, was sentenced to 18 months in prison for his part in a New Orleans mortgage-flipping conspiracy. O'Keefe admitted giving false statements to U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in order to secure loans for unqualified borrowers. O'Keefe's father, Michael O'Keefe Sr., resides in a federal prison after his 1999 conviction for insurance fraud and money laundering.

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