received the 2012 National Medal of Arts from President Barack Obama at a ceremony at the White House on July 10. Overseen by the National Endowment for the Arts' National Council on the Arts, the award recognizes Toussaint's "contributions as a composer, producer, and performer," according to a White House statement.
The Coca-Cola Foundation,
one of the sponsors of Essence Festival, awarded a $25,000 grant to Cafe Reconcile on July 4 to help train 165 young people in its culinary arts and hospitality program. Since 2000, Cafe Reconcile has helped place more than 900 at-risk young people in restaurant and hotel jobs around New Orleans.
aka Jivin' Gene on WWOZ-FM, was named On-Air Volunteer of the Year by the station before his final show on July 9. Mark was host of a '50s R&B show every Tuesday evening, showcasing New Orleans pioneers and forgotten hits. Mark has been a volunteer and host for more than 30 years.
which operates the Ascension Parish facility where a June 13 explosion fatally burned two people and injured 114, was slammed by the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality in two recent compliance reports that counted more than 30 air quality violations from 2007 to 2013, as well as numerous water contamination violations.