The Greater New Orleans Youth Orchestra
recently won the Governor's Arts Award for Arts Education and has been named one of 50 semi-finalists for the annual "Coming Up Taller" awards, presented by the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities. Fifteen "Coming Up Taller" finalists receive awards of $10,000 each year and are selected from hundreds of nominees. The orchestra, now in its 13th season, is the official youth orchestra of the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra.
The Preservation Hall Jazz Band
received the National Medal of Arts at a White House ceremony last Thursday. Dedicated to preserving New Orleans Jazz, the band performs traditional New Orleans music and derives its name from the venerable music venue located in the heart of the French Quarter. The band was among 10 recipients honored with the arts medal last week. After Hurricane Katrina, the band embarked on a world tour, bringing attention to the critical needs of New Orleans and its musicians.
Panagiotis "Takis" Kondylis,
a former Abita Springs police lieutenant, was sentenced to five years in prison last week after pleading guilty in state court to various corruption and drug charges. The Kondylis case grew out of a 2003 scandal involving the sale of police commissions in the Abita Springs Police Department. Kondylis pleaded guilty to theft, public bribery, malfeasance, racketeering, extortion, public intimidation, three drug possession charges, obstruction of a court order and possession of stolen property.