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Metairie man booked twice this week on obscenity charge

A Metairie man has been arrested twice this week on allegations he masturbated in public. Gregory Guerin, 51, was booked late Wednesday on one count of obscenity after a resident in the 1100 block of Homestead Avenue spotted him masturbating under his carport, Col. John Fortunato, a Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office spokesman, said in a news release.… Continue reading →

Des Allemands woman charged with BP relief fraud

Federal prosecutors on Thursday charged a Des Allemands woman with making a false claim for disaster relief after the 2010 BP oil spill. Authorities said Melissa Ann Duran, 42, claimed she had worked as a seafood processor for a commercial fisherman for two years before the spill. They said she filed false documentation with the federal government.… Continue reading →

Harvey woman pleads guilty to FEMA fraud

A Harvey woman pleaded guilty Thursday to defrauding the federal government of disaster relief money after Hurricane Isaac. Jennifer Williams, 33, admitted to five counts of theft and one count of disaster fraud. Prosecutors said Williams applied to the Federal Emergency Management Agency in October 2012, claiming she needed rental assistance due to hurricane-related damage. They… Continue reading →

New Orleans City Council members berate water board officials over delay in issuing boil-water advisory

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--Cedric Grant, the executive director of the Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans in New Orleans, La. Thursday, July 30, 2015, speaks about a boil water advisory that was issued last Friday when part of the water

The New Orleans Sewerage & Water Board needs to provide immediate notification to residents when there’s a potentially dangerous problem with the city’s water supply, members of the City Council said Thursday in admonishing the agency for its slow response in issuing a boil-water advisory last week. Council members called the agency’s leaders on the carpet… Continue reading →

Select group of New Orleans residents spend days discussing Confederate monuments at Mitch Landrieu's request

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--A diverse group of streetcar riders pass by Lee Circle in New Orleans, La. Thursday, July 9, 2015 where an 1884 monument to Confederate General Robert E. Lee was placed in what once was Tivoli Circle or Place du Ti

In advance of public meetings to discuss the future of four New Orleans Confederate and post-Civil War monuments, Mayor Mitch Landrieu invited a select group of citizens to two days of private meetings on the topic this week. At Landrieu’s request, about 115 people — out of about 650 invited — spent one day each in… Continue reading →

Hornbeck profit hit by Gulf’s slump

Slumping activity in the Gulf of Mexico dropped Covington-based Hornbeck Offshore Services Inc.’s second-quarter profit to $19.2 million, or 53 cents per share, from $31.2 million, or 85 cents a share earlier. Revenue fell 20.3 percent to $136.4 million. The results still easily beat Wall Street’s expectations. Analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research had forecast earnings… Continue reading →

Report: FBI database that could help nab rapists, ignored in Darren Sharper case, is widely overlooked

File photo of former Saints safety Darren Sharper

. QUANTICO, Va. — More than 30 years ago, the Federal Bureau of Investigation launched a revolutionary computer system in a bomb shelter two floors beneath the cafeteria of its national academy. Dubbed the Violent Criminal Apprehension Program, or ViCAP, it was a database designed to help catch the nation’s most violent offenders by linking together unsolved… Continue reading →

'I’m not concerned with it,' St. Bernard Parish President David Peralta said of dangerous amoeba found in water

The Naegleria fowleri amoeba is alive and well in Arabi. That’s the message that officials with the state Department of Health and Hospitals conveyed late Wednesday after another round of testing confirmed the presence of the rare brain-eating amoeba at three sampling sites for St. Bernard Parish’s water supply. The amoeba turned up in… Continue reading →

Orleans DA seeks Supreme Court review of ruling finding local court’s allotment system unconstitutional

District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro’s office on Thursday asked the Louisiana Supreme Court to take another look at the system for doling out criminal cases to Orleans Parish judges, after an appeals court this month declared it unconstitutional and ordered a new judge for the co-defendants of former Saints safety and confessed rapist Darren Sharper. The… Continue reading →

Jury convicts Tavis Joseph of murder in 2013 deaths of two Southern University students in Harvey

A Jefferson Parish jury took four hours Thursday afternoon to find Tavis Joseph guilty of taking part in the fatal 2013 shooting of two Southern University students in Harvey. Joseph, who will be sentenced Aug. 17, was convicted on two charges of second-degree murder. Each carries a mandatory sentence of life in jail without the possibility… Continue reading →

Head of University Medical Center in New Orleans announces resignation 2 days before new hospital set to open

Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD  -- A glass and metal sculpture by Ray King, which depicts maps of New Orleans through the years, fills the lobby of the Rev. Avery C. Alexander Academic Research Hospital.  The $1 billion new University Medical Center in New Orleans, expected to open later this year, will  replace Charity Hospital, which has been closed since Katrina. The medical center will draw more than 64 percent of its funding from FEMA.  Photographed Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The official who has headed Interim LSU Hospital over the past two years will be leaving to take a new job about a month after the hospital makes its long-anticipated move to the new University Medical Center this weekend, according to a Thursday announcement. The news that Cindy Nuesslein will resign as CEO of UMC to… Continue reading →

Dangerous amoeba found at three sites in St. Bernard Parish water system

The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals on Wednesday reconfirmed that the Naegleria fowleri amoeba is present in the St. Bernard Parish water system. After last week’s positive sample results at two sites, DHH resampled water in the area near the main initial positive finding. All three follow-up samples tested positive for Naegleria fowleri, a potentially… Continue reading →

Two men robbed at gunpoint Tuesday night in Uptown

. Two 23-year-old men were robbed at gunpoint Tuesday while Uptown, according to New Orleans police. The victims were in the 8000 block of Spruce Street just before 10 p.m. when an armed man approached them and demanded their money. The robber fled after they complied.… Continue reading →

Woman carjacked in the Marigny neighborhood on Tuesday night

. A woman was carjacked at gunpoint in the Marigny neighborhood on Tuesday night, according to New Orleans police. Two men approached the 27-year-old woman about 10:30 p.m. as she was getting out of her car at Marigny and Chartres streets and demanded her belongings. Police said the men fled in her 2013 blue Hyundai… Continue reading →

WWL-TV: Trial begins for man suspected in Lundi Gras beating death

. Conrad Blanchard lay on the floor of a 6th Ward home late Lundi Gras 2012, his face and clothes bloodied after a savage beating. Blanchard's roommate, Mark Luzzo, said he wrapped his friend in a blanket, put a space heater next to him and said he would see him in the morning. But Blanchard never… Continue reading →

Residents offer ideas for new uses for vacant Carrollton Courthouse

Advocate staff photo by ELIOT KAMENITZ-- The Carrollton Courthouse  photographed in New Orleans, La. Wednesday, July 29, 2015. The Carrollton Courthouse has been nominated to the list of America's 11 Most Endangered Historic Places. A public forum was held at the Unitarian Universalist Church to discuss the building's future. The forum included presentations from the Orleans Parish School Board, historians and preservation architects about the potential reuse.

The local campus for a French university. A library. A museum. A community center. Those were among the ideas offered by New Orleans residents Wednesday night for redeveloping the vacant Carrollton Courthouse, which is scheduled for auction and, according to preservationists, at risk for demolition. Last month, the Carrollton Courthouse was named to the National… Continue reading →

New Orleans Police Department Superintendent Michael Harrison tells City Council department ranks are no longer shrinking

The depleted ranks of the New Orleans Police Department may not be growing just yet, but they are at least no longer shrinking, Superintendent Michael Harrison told a City Council committee on Wednesday. That’s a departure from the past few years, when the department saw midcareer officers walk out the door and wasn’t able to replace… Continue reading →

Group urges spending on infrastructure, highlighting job losses in New Orleans

Federal and state governments need to boost infrastructure spending to preserve jobs in the flagging construction sector, officials with the Associated General Contractors of America said during an appearance in New Orleans on Wednesday. The group, which represents the construction industry, pointed out that the New Orleans metro area has lost 2,700 construction jobs in the… Continue reading →

UNO to outsource janitorial and grounds work, saving money but putting 80 jobs in jeopardy

Advocate file photo by JOHN McCUSKER -- University of New Orleans students walk the quad. in this file photo.

The University of New Orleans plans to outsource its building services work this fall, a cost-cutting measure that the cash-strapped Lakefront school expects will save more than $1 million in five years at the expense of nearly 80 workers whose jobs are thrown into question. It’s the latest in a series of moves that UNO has… Continue reading →

Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office seeks suspect for shooting in Terrytown last Thursday

Keith Michael Frank of New Orleans is wanted in connection with a shooting in Terrytown.

The Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office is seeking a suspect in a Terrytown shooting that happened Thursday evening, Sheriff Newell Normand said Wednesday. An arrest warrant has been issued for 21-year-old New Orleans resident Keith Michael Frank for the incident, which happened in the 900 block of East Monterey Court. Frank and another person were involved in… Continue reading →

Saints sign long snapper Chris Highland, filling final spot on 90-man roster

WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W. Va. — The New Orleans Saints have filled the roster spot left open by Tuesday’s decision to cut defensive tackle Brodrick Bunkley.

New Orleans has signed Chris Highland, a long snapper from Illinois State, according to Highland’s agent. Highland fills the final spot on the 90-man roster before the first training camp practice Thursday morning.

Highland… Continue reading →

Update: New Orleans police report body of unidentified male found in Mississippi River; swimmer had gone missing Tuesday

UPDATE: New Orleans police reported that around 11:30 p.m. Wednesday, the body of an unidentified male was found floating in the Mississippi River. The body was found near St. Peter and Decatur Streets. The Coroner's Office will conduct an autopsy to determine the cause of death and will release the identity of the victim after notification… Continue reading →

Woman carjacked at gunpoint in the Marigny

A woman was carjacked at gunpoint in the Marigny on Tuesday night, according to New Orleans police. Two men approached the 27-year-old woman about 10:30 p.m. as she was getting out of her car on the corner of Marigny and Chartres streets and demanded her belongings. Police said the men fled in her 2013 blue Hyundai Elantra… Continue reading →

Teen in critical condition after being shot in the back

A teenage boy was critically injured after being shot in the back Tuesday evening at an apartment complex in New Orleans East. Police said the 16-year-old was walking in the 8500 block of North I-10 Service Road about 6 p.m. when he was approached by a group of men. The teen’s attacker then grabbed him… Continue reading →

Inspector general: Give City Council budgetary control over New Orleans Traffic Court

Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER -- New Orleans Inspector General Ed Quatrevaux

Inspector General Ed Quatrevaux is calling upon city leaders to seek changes to state law that would return budgetary authority over New Orleans Traffic Court to the City Council, saying that a series of legislative amendments years ago has produced a judicial body with “no fiscal oversight.” Quatrevaux, in a report published early… Continue reading →

WWL-TV: New Orleans Police Department homicide detective numbers are down while number of homicides has increased

. The New Orleans Police Department lost two active members of its homicide unit over the weekend, one because a detective shot a suspect in the 9th Ward, another when a detective was arrested for driving while intoxicated. With manpower in the NOPD at a historic, 40-year low, the families of murder victims wonder what will… Continue reading →

Federal judge: Authorities too slow to warn target of planned hit job in 2014 indictment of Tosh Toussaint

Tosh Toussaint might have appreciated a simple heads-up. Instead, he was arrested in 2013 and indicted by a federal grand jury after running from Jefferson Parish sheriff’s deputies who were supposed to warn Toussaint that he was the target of a hit job. An FBI agent listening on a wiretap heard Robert “Lil Rob”… Continue reading →

Narrow the neutral ground on Napoleon Avenue? Some residents say eliminate traffic lanes instead

Drawings of possible reconfiguration of Napoleon Avenue neutral ground., top and a drawings of possible reconfiguration of Napoleon Avenue neutral ground.

To preserve the wide expanse of the Napoleon Avenue neutral ground, scheduled to be significantly slimmed to make way for bike lanes when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers wraps up construction of an underground drainage canal, nearby residents are pitching a counter-proposal: Keep the green space the same width and cut a lane of traffic instead.… Continue reading →

State medical director doubts amoeba got into St. Bernard water because of faulty equipment

Advocate staff photo by ELIOT KAMENITZ-- Department of Health and Hospitals State Medical Director  Dr. Jimmy Guidry talks at a community meeting in St. Bernard Parish at Nunez Community College to discuss the latest incident of the Òbrain-eatingÓ amoeba found in the public water system in Chalmette, La. Tuesday, July 28, 2015. Morrell hosted the event.

The state health department’s medical director said Tuesday that he is not convinced that a potentially deadly amoeba that turned up in St. Bernard Parish’s water system last month was the result of faulty equipment, as one parish leader has speculated. Dr. Jimmy Guidry said further testing is necessary. Parish President David Peralta said… Continue reading →

City Planning Commission opposes Maple Street zoning restrictions backed by councilwoman

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--Phillips Restaurant and Bar at Cherokee and Maple Street, which neighbors several residences close to Tulane University, has recently been updated but has been around since the Great Depression seen here in New Orleans, La. Tuesday, July 28, 2015. The City Planning Commission will soon decide whether or not to make a portion of Maple Street into an overlay district, where selling alcohol and having live music would require a conditional use permit.

The New Orleans City Planning Commission voted Tuesday to oppose a request to amend the city’s new comprehensive zoning ordinance to create an overlay district along Maple Street to prohibit the sale of alcohol and live entertainment at restaurants where those are not already allowed by a conditional-use permit. The City Council will have final say on… Continue reading →