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Bouquets & Brickbats 

They get what they deserve

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Bob Marshall,

the Pulitzer Prize-winning outdoors columnist at The Times-Picayune, received a Wetland Conservation Achievement Award from Ducks Unlimited, a leading international conservation group. The award is given to individuals who make outstanding contributions to America's wetlands and waterfowl. Marshall was writing about the importance of conserving Louisiana wetlands years before Hurricanes Katrina and Gustav brought the issue to national public attention.



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Sean Hicks, Brandon Cross and Catherine Leberg

were the top finishers in the annual George Rodrigue Foundation of the Arts student art contest. The competition, open to all high school seniors in the state, provides college scholarships and art supplies for young artists. The winners were announced at a luncheon March 27, and the winning artwork will be on display for three weeks at the George Rodrigue Gallery in New Orleans before going on to Natchitoches and an exhibit at the governor's mansion in Baton Rouge.



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Jon Stinchcomb,

a star offensive lineman for the New Orleans Saints, will don a different kind of helmet later this spring when he travels to several Middle Eastern military bases on a USO tour with actors James Gandolfini and Tony Sirico from The Sopranos. In a statement, the Saints' right tackle said, "So many of my fellow teammates and friends have gone out on entertainment tours and told me about how great their experience was visiting and uplifting troops." Also going on USO tours this summer: Saints Drew Brees and Billy Miller.



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Mayor Ray Nagin

vetoed an ordinance passed unanimously by the City Council to prohibit the awarding of city contracts to persons convicted of a public corruption felony in the past five years. Nagin's explanation — that banning felons could subject the city to lawsuits — was specious on its face. Small wonder that a poll last week found Hizzoner with record low approval ratings — lower than those of Presidents George W. Bush and Richard Nixon when they left office. For those who are counting: less than 30 days remain in his term.

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