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Bouquets & Brickbats 

They get what they deserve

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Amanda Kruse,

a 2012 graduate of Mount Carmel Academy in New Orleans, has received the Congressional Award Gold Medal from the U.S. Congress. The award is given to people between 14 and 23 years of age who volunteer, excel in physical fitness, work on personal development and undertake a major expedition or exploration. Kruse is the only Louisianian to receive the award this year. She begins classes at Louisiana State University in the fall.



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The 610 Stompers

presented a check for $15,610 to the Roots of Music Marching Crusaders, which will send six of the youth band members to the Tournament of Roses parade in Pasadena, Calif., on New Year's Day 2013. The Stompers raised the money at their annual "Uptown Throwdown," at which the all-male marching troupe solicited donations as they danced from bar to bar.



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FestiGals,

a women-oriented festival founded by New Orleans business owner Diane Lyons, raised $23,650 at its Bodacious Bras auction, which featured brassieres designed and decorated by celebrities and artists. Among the bra designers were Gayle Benson, NBC News' Hoda Kotb (who emceed the event) and zydeco legend Rockin' Dopsie Jr., whose unique "washboard bra" fetched $7,200 at auction. All funds raised were donated to the Cancer Association of Greater New Orleans.



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The New Orleans City Council

voted unanimously July 12 to extend the hours of school zones in the city, meaning the maximum speed limit near a school will be 20 mph from 7-9 a.m. and 2:45-4:45 p.m. The ostensible reason? Safety, of course — but extending school zone times into afternoon rush hour is nothing but a naked grab for red-light camera cash.

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