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Bouquets & Brickbats 

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Newcomb Department of Music at Tulane University

is celebrating its 100th anniversary as the first music school connected with a liberal arts college. When the department first opened its doors in 1909, it included coursework in music theory and harmony, general history of music, sight singing and ear training as well as piano, organ, voice and violin lessons. As part of its centennial, there will be a weeklong series of free concerts for the public beginning Nov. 2.

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Rebuilding Together New Orleans,

a local nonprofit organization that preserves and renovates homes for low-income elderly homeowners, recently received the Preservation Honor Award from the National Trust for Historic Preservation. In the four years following the flood of 2005, RTNO has leveraged volunteer labor with public and private sponsorships to make a $7 million impact in the local community and rehabilitated 217 properties, which has aided 443 residents. The award was one of only 23 bestowed by the National Trust.

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Women Religious,

a group of more than 100 Catholic nuns from across the United States, gathered in the New Orleans area recently to take part in the St. Bernard Project, the post-Katrina nonprofit organization that has rebuilt more than 241 homes. Calling it the first annual "Nuns' Build Week," the sisters worked on 10 New Orleans homes hanging drywall, painting and installing floors, doors and windows.

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Maria May,

a former vice president at Metairie Bank & Trust Company, will serve 27 months in prison for embezzling $395,000 in bank funds. Over the course of nearly 15 years, from September 1993 until June 2008, May operated her scam by authorizing the transfer of bank credits into supposedly overdrawn accounts, balancing the accounts and then moving the funds into other accounts to which she had access. On top of May's jail sentence, U.S. District Judge Sarah Vance fined the disgraced bank officer $6,000.

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