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Bouquets & Brickbats 

They get what they deserve

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The Rev. Fred Luter Jr.,

popular pastor of the Franklin Avenue Baptist Church in New Orleans, last week became the first African-American president of the Southern Baptist Convention. The 167-year-old organization held its annual meeting in the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. The 55-year-old Luter was nominated by the Rev. David Crosby, pastor of New Orleans' First Baptist Church.

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"Matt's Trees"

held a fundraiser in Wilmington, N.C., over the June 23 weekend to continue planting trees across areas of New Orleans that were devastated by Hurricane Katrina and the federal floods. The program is named in honor of Matt Sloan, a Wilmington resident who had moved to New Orleans to rebuild when he died suddenly in 2010. His family has continued his work. Find out more at

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is a new fund to assist employees of The Times-Picayune who will be laid off at the end of September. On Thursday, June 28 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., a St. Charles Avenue pub crawl will raise money to support the fund. Participating venues include the Avenue Pub, Mia's Balcony Restaurant and the Irish House. The event is sponsored by NOLA Brewery.

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Minnesota State Rep. John Kriesel,

a self-described motivational speaker, went off on New Orleans last week on Twitter while grumbling about the Saints bounty scandal. "Your city is the dirtiest, nastiest city I've ever visited," tweeted Kriesel, a Republican from Cottage Grove. He added, "Please don't tell me about Hurricane Katrina. New Orleans was a dump before the hurricane hit." Once again, an outsider is the first to bring up Katrina while simultaneously accusing New Orleanians of doing just that. And this guy calls himself a motivational speaker?

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