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Prisoner allowed to leave New Orleans jail to visit girlfriend’s home; suspected of repeated ‘romantic’ visits

Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER --  Sharon Richard's home in Gentilly where sources say a furloughed prisoner sometimes visited

A state prisoner who was serving part of a 20-year sentence at Orleans Parish Prison illegally visited his girlfriend at a house several miles away from the jail — a rendezvous facilitated by a Sheriff’s Office employee who had been assigned to work alongside the convict. The security breach, discovered about two weeks before Orleans Parish… Continue reading →

Feds want Mother’s Day melee shooters and two more brothers sentenced together

Akein Scott, Mother's Day shooting suspect

Federal prosecutors are asking a judge to sentence the two brothers who admitted spraying bullets through a Mother’s Day second-line parade in 2013 in tandem with two of their other brothers, who have been convicted of other crimes. The prosecutors argue that a combined sentencing will allow federal agents, witnesses and victims from several states to… Continue reading →

One suspect in Bunny Friend Park mass shooting ID'd, to be booked on 17 counts of attempted murder

New Orleans police say Friday that they’ve identified one of the suspects -- Joseph “Moe” Allen, 32 -- in last Sunday’s mass shooting during a block party at Bunny Friend Park.

Joseph “Moe” Allen, the man New Orleans police named Friday as the first confirmed suspect in Sunday’s mass shooting at Bunny Friend Park, has ties to “more than one organization,” NOPD Superintendent Michael Harrison said, hinting at a possible gang motive for the shooting spree that left 17 people wounded as bullets sprayed through a Continue reading →

Loyola University, NASA partner to commercialize Stennis Space Center technology

Photo provided by NASA -- In the front row, from left, are Ashley Francis, director of graduate programs at the Loyola University New Orleans College of Business; Stennis Space Center director Rick Gilbrech; and Bill Locander, dean of the Loyola College of Business. In the second row are Kevin Pollard, executive mentor at Loyola; Stacy Savoie, Loyola MBA student; Duane Armstrong, chief of NASA applied science and technology projects at Stennis; Jon Atkinson, Loyola College of Business professor; Mike Guerrere, Loyola MBA student; and Lauren Underwood, technology transfer partnership manager with NASA's Engineering and Test Directorate at Stennis.

Loyola University’s College of Business is partnering with NASA’s John C. Stennis Space Center in Hancock County, Mississippi, to commercialize a new technology patent, Loyola and NASA announced. Students from Loyola’s Master of Business Administration program will review the center’s patented technologies and choose one to promote. Then, they will work with Stennis engineers to provide… Continue reading →

In response to budget woes, Loyola University president touts $11.5 million savings plan

Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER --  Loyola University.

The Rev. Kevin Wildes, president of Loyola University since 2004, is faced with a daunting, three-part challenge in the months and years ahead. He must cut expenses sharply, attract and retain more students and win the support of disgruntled faculty members, some of whom have lost faith in his leadership. That’s the picture that… Continue reading →

Heads up, downtown New Orleans: Bayou Classic bringing heavy pedestrian, vehicle traffic

With the 2015 Bayou Classic in New Orleans this weekend, heavy pedestrian and vehicle traffic will affect certain parts of the city, officials said. The Bayou Classic, which for 41 years has pitted the football teams of Southern University and Grambling State University, is expected to create big crowds through Saturday. City officials urged the public… Continue reading →

Let there be lights: Check out what's new, different at Celebration in the Oaks this holiday season

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--Celebration in the Oaks is seen in New Orleans, La. Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2015.

It started almost 30 years ago with some Christmas trees and some cocktails. Now the annual Celebration in the Oaks in City Park draws more than 165,000 visitors each year for food and libations among a constellation of a half-million dazzling LED lights strung across 25 acres, including the park’s Botanical Garden, Storyland and Carousel Gardens… Continue reading →

Advocates for criminal justice reform, hot-button issue in governor’s race, hope John Bel Edwards sticks to promises

John Bel Edwards

. The red-meat rhetoric about John Bel Edwards unleashing thousands of “dangerous thugs” upon Louisiana neighborhoods has settled into the campaign dustbin. Now, as the governor-elect moves into transition mode, advocates for criminal justice reform in the state with the nation’s biggest per-capita prison population are hoping he’ll breathe life… Continue reading →

Backyard bounty: Program started by replacing light bulbs now planting vegetable gardens across New Orleans

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--Andreas Hoffmann, founder of Green Light, watches as Demi Simon, runs around the Green Light Edible Teaching Garden as students take a class to learn about making backyard vegetable gardens to provide households with fresh, healthy, local, sustainable food in New Orleans, La. Monday, Nov. 23, 2015.

Marie St. Germain-Louis walked next door to a garden where a plant with broad leaves was growing. She leaned over and rubbed one of the plant’s long stalks. “See this one here, the collard greens?” she said. “If nobody else picks that, I will make that for Thanksgiving this year.” Odds are, Thanksgiving tables across New… Continue reading →

Six armed robberies in New Orleans area in 10-hour span day before Thanksgiving

. New Orleans police reports six armed robberies occurred across the city Wednesday in about a 10-hour span. Here's a summary of each incident based on preliminary NOPD information: -- Around 2 p.m., two men in their 50s in the 3300 block of Montegut Street in the Desire area were working when they both were… Continue reading →

'Call Waiting' series on New Orleans police response times prompts NOPD to make changes

Much has been made of NOPD’s response time issues and the impact long response times have had on crimes being deemed ‘unfounded’ (UNF). NOPD Chief Michael Harrison responded bychanging NOPD’s policy so that officers arriving on a scene with no victim would mark the incident ‘Gone on Arrival’ (GOA) rather than UNF. A disposition of GOA requires more… Continue reading →

'No one feels safe': New Orleans on edge following Saturday's mass shooting

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — New Orleans officials are quite sure someone knows the identities of the shooters who opened fire on each other in a crowd of hundreds of people during a block party — and they are urging them to come forward. Police Superintendent Michael Harrison says the shootout that wounded 17 people Sunday night was probably gang-related.… Continue reading →

Bayou Classic expected to create crowds, heavy traffic this weekend

Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER -- Grambling head coach  Broderick Fobbs speaks at the  Bayou Classic news conference Tuesday.  Grambling and Southern play Saturday in the 42nd Bayou Classic in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

With the 2015 Bayou Classic kicking off in New Orleans this weekend, heavy pedestrian and vehicle traffic will affect certain parts of the city, city officials said Wednesday. The Bayou Classic, which for 41 years has pitted the football teams of Southern University and Grambling State University against each other, is expected to create big crowds… Continue reading →

NOPD probing fatal shooting in Central City

New Orleans police Wednesday were investigating a shooting that killed a man in Central City. It happened around the intersection of S. Liberty Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, WWL-TV reported. The 47-year-old man died at the hospital. He had been shot multiple times, authorities said.… Continue reading →

Jefferson Parish stepping up seatbelt law enforcement this weekend

The Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office said Wednesday that it will step up enforcement of seat belt laws over the Thanksgiving Holiday using some recently acquired federal grant money. JPSO said motorists caught driving without seat belts will be ticketed. The sheriff’s office said the grant will fund other traffic-safety initiatives in 2016, including campaigns against impaired… Continue reading →

New Orleans police officer found unconscious after SUV overturns in Metairie crash

Scene of a single-vehicle New Orleans police sargeant crash Wednesday afternoon. (Photo courtesy of WWL-TV)

. Update, 2:39 p.m. An off-duty NOPD officer’s SUV overturned on a street in Metairie and struck a pole around 12:35 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon, and he has been taken to University Medical Center in uncertain condition. Jefferson Parish Col. John Fortunato said that the single-vehicle crash involving Sgt. Mike Marziale, 62, occurred in the 2800 block… Continue reading →

Jefferson Transit to scale back service on Thursday

There will be no public bus service on the Metairie Road, Clearview, Gretna Local and Terrytown routes on Thursday because of Thanksgiving. Jefferson Transit said it will operate according to its typical Saturday schedule in observance of the holiday. Anyone with questions can call (504) 364-3450 or visit Jefferson Transit’s website.… Continue reading →

Chevron to cut 350 jobs in Gulf; unknown how Covington office will be affected

Chevron said Wednesday it plans to cut 350 jobs in the Gulf of Mexico next year. The latest round of layoffs to hit the U.S. oil giant comes as Chevron accelerates plans to sell off its shallow-water assets in the Gulf in order to focus on deepwater drilling. The process is set to begin next year… Continue reading →

Policy shift causing New Orleans police to record dramatic drop in ‘unfounded’ incidents

New Orleans police have dramatically curbed their practice of deeming a high percentage of calls for service “unfounded” if officers could not find anyone at the scene when they arrived, no matter how many hours might have passed since the call. The change followed a policy shift ordered by Superintendent Michael Harrison, an analysis shows.… Continue reading →

Krystal Burgers on South Claiborne, Discount Zone on Esplanade robbed at gunpoint Tuesday night, early Wednesday

. The Krystal Burgers on South Claiborne Avenue and the Discount Zone on Esplanade Avenue were robbed at gunpoint Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning. According to New Orleans police, the robbery at Krystal occurred around 9 p.m. Tuesday in the 2700 block of South Claiborne. A man estimated to be about 50 years old placed… Continue reading →

Showing little emotion in court appearance, man accused of shooting Tulane medical student ordered held without bail

Euric Cain (Photo from New Orleans Police Department)

The man police accuse of shooting and attempting to murder a Tulane Medical School student who had tried to keep him from robbing a woman last week appeared in court for the first time Tuesday, looking stone-faced and impassive as a magistrate ordered that he be held without bail. Police say that Euric Cain, 21, shot and… Continue reading →

Federal judge turns back Marlin Gusman’s bid to force jail expansion; what's next?

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--Sheriff Marlin Gusman speaks at a press conference before the first Orleans Parish Prison buses transport prisoners to the new $150 million parish prison built in part with FEMA money in New Orleans, La. Monday, Sept. 14, 2015.

A federal judge dealt a serious blow Tuesday to Orleans Parish Sheriff Marlin Gusman’s bid to increase the size of the city’s new jail, declining to order city leaders to build a multimillion-dollar expansion that the sheriff has insisted is needed to keep New Orleans safe and accommodate its large inmate population. After months of negotiations… Continue reading →

Proposed Moxy Hotel gets another setback from Historic Committee Tuesday

Rendering from John T. Campo & Associates Inc.-- The Moxy Hotel, center, a proposed five-story, 45,000-square-foot Marriott-branded hotel, hit a setback Tuesday when the Historic District Landmarks Commission’s Architectural Review Committee opposed the latest version of the project in the 700 block of St. Charles Avenue in the Central Business District.

Plans to build a Moxy Hotel in the 700 block of St. Charles Avenue in the Central Business District hit another setback Tuesday when the Historic District Landmarks Commission’s Architectural Review Committee opposed the latest version of the project. The proposed building would be a five-story, 45,000-square-foot Marriott-branded hotel. The property is owned by… Continue reading →

Behind the numbers: Stolen cars in New Orleans are being recovered more often

This blog typically highlights negative trends in policing, so I like to take the opportunity when it’s there to evaluate a positive trend (such as falling gun violence patterns). One such trend is with the ratio of auto thefts ending in a vehicle being recovered. Auto thefts (defined here as signal 67A incidents) have occurred at relatively stable levels since… Continue reading →

A day early? Check out when New Orleans-area stores will swing doors open for Black 'Friday' shoppers

Associated Press file photo -- Retalers are ready fo the nearly 136 million consumers expected to participate nationally in the busiest shopping weekend of the year. Many of them are making more if not all of the same Black Friday deals available online as in stores.

Lured by the promise of deep discounts on hot-ticket items such as home appliances, big-screen televisions and video game consoles, plenty of people will put away the leftovers and head to the store on Thursday as more retailers begin opening their doors on Thanksgiving rather than waiting for Friday. Nearly 136 million consumers may participate in… Continue reading →

Sign outside Tic Toc Cafe in Metairie: 'Peter Gold ... you saved a woman's life ... get well soon'

Tic Toc Cafe in Metairie displays a sign supporting Tulane medical student Peter Gold. (Photo courtesy of Tulane University)

. Tic Toc Cafe in Metairie is using its outdoor sign to express his support Peter Gold, a Good Samaritan who was shot last week. The sign reads... Peter Gold
Tulane Med Student
You saved a woman's lief without using a stethoscope.
You're gonna be a great doctor!
Get Well Soon! Police say that Euric Cain, 21, shot… Continue reading →

Man shot multiple times, killed Monday night in Harvey

. Update, 11 a.m. Tuesday: The man shot and killed in Harvey Monday has been identified as Bruce Lutcher, 34, of 1620 Ute Drive in Harvey, JPSO spokesman Col. John Fortunato said Tuesday morning. Original story: A 34-year-old man was shot multiple times and killed Monday night on Ute Drive in Harvey, officials said.… Continue reading →

Man killed in shooting Monday night in New Orleans East

. A 48-year-old man was shot and killed Monday night in New Orleans East, officials said. Around 8 p.m. Monday, New Orleans police found the victim fatally shot inside an apartment on the 14000 block of Peltier Drive, the New Orleans Police Department said in a news release. The name of the victim is being withheld pending notification of… Continue reading →

'Will likely spend the rest of his life in jail," Mitch Landrieu says of man who shot Tulane med student

Euric Cain (Photo from New Orleans Police Department)

U.S. marshals and New Orleans SWAT team members on Monday arrested the suspect in the shooting of a Tulane University medical student who has been hailed as a good Samaritan for trying to stop an abduction. Police said the man quickly confessed to the crime. Police said they arrested Euric Cain, 21, about 11:30 a.m. Monday… Continue reading →

Witnesses describe frantic scene at Bunny Friend Park mass shooting that injured 17; see video from just before shots fired

Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER -- A police officer walks the scene of a shooting in the Upper 9th Ward that left 17 people wounded on Sunday. People fled Bunny Friend Park as over 50 shots rang out Sunday evening, leaving hats, drinks and other personal items.

Unknown attackers who fired wildly into a huge crowd at Bunny Friend Park on Sunday night left 17 people wounded, including a 10-year-old boy and one victim who may never walk again — an outburst of violence that authorities said Monday likely was gang-related. The hail of bullets started about 6:15 p.m. in the park, a… Continue reading →

Daniel Becnel blames loss to Natalie Robottom in St. John Parish on racially divisive campaign

Danny Becnel jr

Daniel Becnel Jr., the brash trial lawyer who made an unsuccessful attempt to oust St. John the Baptist Parish President Natalie Robottom in Saturday’s election, is apparently not ready to hang it up. In a note to supporters on Monday, Becnel blamed his loss on national civil rights leader Al Sharpton’s involvement in the… Continue reading →

Orleans judge takes no action on claim of excessive public defender workloads

After an Orleans Parish judge called a special hearing at which experts testified that the city’s Public Defenders Office is stretched so thin that it can’t do justice to its poor clients, the judge ruled Monday that he won’t do anything about it, at least for now. In a one-page ruling, Criminal District Court Judge Arthur… Continue reading →

Exclusive: Letter intercepted from Orleans Parish jail gives instructions for execution of witness in grisly murder case

Thayon Sansom

Authorities attempt on a daily basis to glean intelligence from jailhouse communications, monitoring inmates’ telephone calls and screening their mail. The eavesdropping can be a mundane task. But in one recent case, watchful eyes at the Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office may have saved the life of a witness in an already shocking murder case.… Continue reading →

North shore gold buyer with links to former DA Walter Reed accused of possessing stolen goods

Yancie Moseley Jr.

Yancie H. Moseley Jr., a well-known Washington Parish jeweler whose son opened a controversial gold business with former 22nd Judicial District Attorney Walter Reed, has been booked with possession of stolen property after authorities said he bought purloined jewelry at a separate Bogalusa gold-buying business. Washington Parish Sheriff Randy Seal said in a news release Monday… Continue reading →

Namesake of Warren Easton High School honored on 167th birthday

A small gathering of people at a Lakeview cemetery one morning last week paid tribute to a man who had a big effect on public education in Louisiana. On Thursday, on what would have been Warren Easton’s 167th birthday, students, alumni and faculty dedicated a new marker at the grave of the Canal Street high school’s… Continue reading →

New Orleans’ 5-year-old recreation commission has made strides but still faces challenges, report says

New Orleans’ experiment with a public-private model for providing recreation programs is still going through growing pains, for while the New Orleans Recreation Development Commission has made strides in opening facilities and garnering resources, it still faces challenges with staffing and defining a vision for the organization going forward, according to an independent report. The report,… Continue reading →