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Bouquets & Brickbats 

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NoLA Rising,

the local grassroots public artwork group, was the subject of a festival in New York City that raised funds for Young Audiences, a nonprofit arts-in-education organization that annually serves 200,000 children in Louisiana. The festival — produced and curated by SLIGHTLY Askew, a NYC art organization — featured "A Tag of Two Cities," showcasing the graffiti artwork of NoLA Rising's Michael Dingler, NYC street artists and art created at NoLA Rising paint parties, which were held at various NYC public parks.

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Wendy DeMers,

a teacher at Edward Hynes Charter Elementary School, has been named "Louisiana Middle School Teacher of the Year" by the Louisiana Department of Education and the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education. DeMers attended New Orleans public schools and graduated from the University of New Orleans with a degree in elementary education. She has served as an educator for 32 years — 8 years as a preschool teacher, 12 years as a kindergarten teacher and the past 12 years as a middle school teacher.

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Bryan White,

attorney for the late restaurateur Al Copeland, has been disbarred by the Louisiana Supreme Court. White was convicted in 2003 and sentenced to a year in prison for concealing knowledge of a felony in which Judge Ronald Bodenheimer, who was overseeing the divorce between Copeland and his then-wife Luan Hunter, sought to intimidate and threaten Hunter, denying her the constitutional right to a trial by an impartial judge.

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State Rep. Jim Fannin,

chair of the House Appropriations Committee, refuses to accept responsibility for violating Louisiana's open meetings law. According to a report by WWL-TV, Fannin and a majority of the committee's members, led by LSU Health Care Services Division officials, toured Charity Hospital last week to examine Hurricane Katrina damage — but news media and others were blocked from entering the building. Fannin tried to blame the ban on LSU, but as committee chair he is responsible for upholding the open meetings law.

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