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The Best and the Worst of the Week 


Chef Emeril Lagasse
raised more than $2.5 million recently at his foundation's annual Carnivale du Vin to benefit children in the New Orleans area. The sold-out event featured a live auction that garnered more than $1.6 million of the night's proceeds. In addition, the foundation announced more than $320,000 in grants to New Orleans charities, including a $250,000 initial grant towards the Café Reconcile Capital Campaign to create the Emeril Lagasse Foundation Culinary Learning Center.

John Deveney,
a local advertising and public relations executive, has been named one of five "agency executives of the year" by PR News, a leading trade publication for communicators. Deveney officially received the honor last week at a PR News luncheon in Washington. Among his noted accomplishments was setting up and manning the city's first media center after Hurricane Katrina. The center provided accurate information and images about New Orleans in the days after the storm.

Harry Connick Jr.
and Longines raised more than $300,000 to benefit the Ellis Marsalis Center for Music in the New Orleans Habitat Musicians' Village and Operation Love Thy Neighbor, two Habitat for Humanity programs, at a recent fundraiser in Houston. Almost half the money came from an auction of five Longines limited-edition Swiss watches bearing Connick's signature on the timepieces' gold cases. Connick has been among the most active national celebrities in the cause of rebuilding his hometown.

Chris Jean,
a Slidell businessman, owns several companies that have been hit with large fines recently for environmental violations. Last week, one of Jean's companies was fined $500,000 and placed on three years' probation for violating the federal Clean Water Act. The company pleaded guilty to one felony violation of the act as well as several other violations in 2004. Last month, another Jean company agreed to pay a state fine of $100,000 for more than a dozen environmental violations, including a fish kill.

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