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Chlorine level in St. Bernard Parish water system to remain high for another week or longer

St. Bernard Parish residents must endure high chlorine levels in their water for a while longer as the state performs tests to confirm a brain-eating amoeba no longer is plaguing the parish’s water system. Just how much longer is not clear. At a meeting of the Parish Council’s Water and Sewer Committee on Tuesday… Continue reading →

New Orleans gang racketeering case nears end as three ‘Taliban’ members plead guilty

A state gang racketeering case against eight members of a Pigeon Town street crew known as “The Taliban” all but wrapped up on Wednesday with guilty pleas from three of the four remaining defendants. Jerome “Sookie” Toliver, Cornie “Porch” Jones and Darryl “Dino” Bannister all stood before Orleans Parish Criminal District Court Judge Karen Herman to… Continue reading →

Judge hints at possible contempt judgment if city doesn’t make overdue payments to firefighters pension fund

For the second time in two months, New Orleans officials on Tuesday found themselves trying to persuade a judge not to hold them in contempt for failing to pay millions of dollars the court has ruled the city owes to its firefighters. And once again, they’ve been given an ultimatum: Resolve the situation or, as Civil… Continue reading →

Algiers Point-Canal Street ferry extending hours

Starting next week, the Algiers Point-Canal Street ferry will run later into the evening Friday through Sunday as a test to see if an extended schedule will translate into more riders. The new hours will go into effect Oct. 16 and last until Feb. 14, according to Transdev, the private company that operates New Orleans Regional… Continue reading →

Inmate vandalizes sprinkler system in new $150 million Orleans Parish Prison last week

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--Orleans Parish Sheriff Marlin N. Gusman gives a tour of the new  $145 million dollar Phase II Orleans Parish jail in New Orleans, La. Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2014.

Bored and often angry, inmates are notorious for damaging their surroundings, from backing up toilets to sabotaging light fixtures. Those awaiting trial in New Orleans are no exception. But one recent episode of vandalism has raised questions about the sprinkler system in the city’s new $150 million jail, a facility in which, unlike the recently shuttered… Continue reading →

Research group backs French Quarter tax hike aimed at improving security

A nonpartisan research group has endorsed a quarter-cent sales tax increase in the French Quarter to support an ongoing State Police presence in the city’s No. 1 tourist neighborhood. But the Bureau of Governmental Research also cautioned that although the tax measure on the Oct. 24 ballot specifies that the money would go to support public… Continue reading →

White pickup used in LaPlace murders Monday found torched

Photo provided by St. John the Baptist Sheriff's Office -- This pickup truck, used in a triple shooting in LaPlace, was found burning in Reserve on Tuesday morning, Oct. 1, 2015.

A white pickup that was used in a triple shooting Monday that killed two LaPlace residents and wounded another was found burning Tuesday morning in Reserve, St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff Mike Tregre said. A sheriff’s deputy spotted it about 5 a.m. while on patrol, Tregre said. There still are no… Continue reading →

Man robbed of his clothing, vehicle in Lower Ninth Ward Monday afternoon

. A man was robbed of his clothing and vehicle at gunpoint Monday afternoon in the Lower Ninth Ward, police said. The man was sitting on his porch in the 1400 block of Tupelo Street around 4 p.m. Monday when two men approached him and demanded his property, according to the New Orleans Police Department preliminary offense log. The suspects… Continue reading →

DEA collects about 50,000 pounds of pills as part of nation-wide effort targeting prescription pill abuse

. A recent prescription drug “take-back day” collected nearly 50,000 pounds of expired or unwanted prescription drugs, according to the New Orleans field division of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. The event was part of a nationwide effort targeting prescription pill abuse. “Prescription drug trafficking and abuse is our nation’s fastest-growing drug problem and destroys… Continue reading →

Third suspect arrested in shooting that killed 17-year-old, injured 4-year-old in New Orleans East

New Orleans police on Monday arrested a third suspect in the fatal shooting this summer of 17-year-old Gerald Morgan. Joseph Dixon, also known as Joseph Davis, 18, was taken into custody at a home on Coventry Street in New Orleans East. He was booked on second-degree murder and five counts of attempted second-degree murder. Morgan was gunned down July 21 in front… Continue reading →

Shootings in New Orleans dropping in 2015; see chart of gun violence by neighborhoods

There were 32 shooting incidents in September 2015, 11 of them fatal (34.3 percent). September’s total represented a rise from August’s 23 shootings, but the 32 shootings was just one below 2015’s monthly average of 33 shootings per month through September. Annualized Pace of Shootings, 2015. Source: NOPD. There have been 300 shootings (39.3 percent fatal) through September 2015, a 5.6 percent… Continue reading →

Projection: New Orleans police likely to report major crime on the rise in past 3 months, but it's not all bad news

Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER -- New Orleans Police Chief Michael Harrison and Mayor Mitch Landrieu take questions after a press conference on the department's sex crimes unit. A 9-month internal probe of the embattled Sex Crimes Unit has determined that the troubles in the detective squad werenÕt nearly as horrifying as Inspector General Ed Quatrevaux described last year in a blistering report on the output of five detectives.

I introduced a method in July of using Calls for Service data to estimate Uniform Crime Reports (UCR) numbers in near-real time. This method predicted 4,524 person and property crimes in the second quarter of 2015, good for an estimated 3.7 percent rise in UCR from the first quarter. In August, the NOPD reported4,570 such crimes over the… Continue reading →

Federal monitors find some use-of-force investigations by New Orleans Police Department ‘deficient,’ lacking in documentation

Moments after accused cop-killer Travis Boys was arrested in June, a New Orleans Police Department lieutenant got on the radio and ordered officers to check Boys for injuries and to keep their body-worn cameras rolling. “The entire city’s eyes are on us,” the lieutenant said. “Everything will be done by the book.” Those words, as… Continue reading →

Government makes last-ditch plea to restore New Orleans officers’ convictions in Danziger Bridge shootings

A pair of federal judges went off the legal reservation when they endorsed a new trial for the five New Orleans police officers convicted in the Danziger Bridge killings, government lawyers contend. The officers were accused of firing on innocent people, killing two of them, a few days after Hurricane Katrina hit the city and then… Continue reading →

Pair arrested during Uptown armed robberies investigation not considered suspects in those crimes, NOPD says

The New Orleans Police Department arrested two people last week while investigating a string of Uptown armed robberies, but neither has been booked in those crimes and they are not considered suspects, police said Monday. John Guillory, 18, and an unnamed teenager were arrested in New Orleans East, police said. Neither of them has… Continue reading →

Lawyer: Judge gave faulty jury instructions in ex-New Orleans mayor Ray Nagin’s corruption trial

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON-- Former mayor C. Ray Nagin leaves court with his wife Seletha Nagin  after being found guilty on 20 of 21 counts in New Orleans, La. Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014.

Attorneys for Ray Nagin told a federal appeals court panel Monday that a faulty jury instruction tainted at least nine of the 20 criminal charges on which the former New Orleans mayor was convicted and imprisoned last year. Nagin’s federal public defenders also argued that U.S. District Judge Helen “Ginger” Berrigan improperly levied a… Continue reading →

Barge maker Trinity Marine Products plans to close Madisonville plant, lay off 336 workers

Barge maker Trinity Marine Products Inc. plans to close its Madisonville plant in December and lay off 336 people. The company said in a notice filed Monday with the Louisiana Workforce Commission that the layoffs will begin Dec. 4 and be finished by Dec. 30. Trinity’s disclosure came two months after the barge maker said… Continue reading →

St. John Parish schools consider added security measures as national trend of mass shootings continues

The St. John the Baptist Parish School Board is considering installing electronic fencing and metal detectors at the parish’s two high schools after a knife was found on the newly renovated East St. John High School campus this summer and outsiders were found wandering the open campus. If the initiative is funded, St. John would be… Continue reading →

New Orleans City Council urges improved city services for immigrants, those who don’t speak English

The New Orleans City Council is urging Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s administration to increase the city’s outreach and services for immigrants and other people who don’t speak English. A resolution given unanimous approval Thursday, known as the “Welcoming Cities” resolution, is based on similar efforts in other cities. “This will identify common-sense measures to improve the… Continue reading →

Louisiana police agencies differ on naming officers who shoot or kill people

A lengthy police chase ended in Slidell last month when officers from three law enforcement agencies said they returned fire on Lucien Rolland, striking the man 18 times and leaving his body so riddled with bullets that the coroner could not determine which shots proved fatal. State Police last week identified Trooper Raymond Martinez as having… Continue reading →