The Committee for a Better New Orleans (CBNO)celebrated its 50th anniversary of advo-cating for community engagement and open and effective govern-ment on Aug. 19. CBNO merged with the Metro- politan Area Committee (MAC) in 2002. The CBNO recently received a $16,000 grant from the Partnership Grant Program of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas and Gulf Coast Bank and Trust Company to support its Big Easy Budget Game and the Lower 9th Ward Participatory Budgeting programs.

The University of New Orleans (UNO) was awarded a grant for $232,559 from the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration to design a device to prevent sea turtles from getting caught in shrimping nets. The grant benefits the Nekton Research Laboratory at UNO's Pontchartrain Institute for Environmental Sciences' ongoing research on required "turtle excluder devices." Accidentally being captured in shrimp nets is among primary causes of death for sea turtles.

Dawn Foret, a former Terrebonne Parish Sheriff's Office detective, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court Aug. 24 to stealing more than $14,000 from a federal grant meant to curb underage drinking. Foret's reports implied she was present for nearly every operation and billed full time for every hour of operation as other officers did the work. She faces up to 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release when she's sentenced Dec. 14.