Alvin Batiste, jazz instructor, performer, composer and author, recently received two honors: the Chair for Jazz Studies at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, and the 2005 Governor's Arts Award in Arts Education from the Louisiana Division of the Arts. Batiste, head of the jazz department at Southern University in Baton Rouge, will perform at 2:50 p.m. Sunday in the BellSouth/Jazz Tent at Jazz Fest.
The Louisiana Public Service Commission wrongly fired an employee who had assisted with a state audit of the commission, a state appeals court decided last week. Harold Lasserre Jr. won back pay and reinstatement to his job two years after the commission ostensibly terminated him over a travel expense. The court sided with Lasserre, who said he was fired for cooperating with the state Legislative Auditor's office.
Terri Smith Morant, a former Orleans Parish Public Schools payroll clerk, pleaded guilty to stealing about $250,000 from the system. Morant received a two-year federal prison stint after admitting she had issued several unauthorized checks to herself. Morant has also admitted she stole from her former employer, Hibernia National Bank.