Eardrum patch startup company wins $44,000

Tympanogen LLC, a New Orleans startup company with a non-surgical patch for treating holes in the eardrum, has won $44,000 in a major graduate-level student startup competition. More than 500 startups from around the world applied for the Rice University Business Plan Competition, with 42 startups from eight countries selected to compete in the program in Houston. … Continue reading →

Poetry Series begins Saturday at Algiers Regional Lib

In celebration of National Poetry Month, local author Valentine Pierce will present a two-part series at the Algiers Regional Library on identifying and connecting to an audience through delivery and presentation. “Pass The Word” will take place at 2 p.m. Saturday, April 19, and Saturday, April 26, at the library at 3014 Holiday Drive. The series is funded … Continue reading →

How cold was it? A record-tying 46 degrees

Chilly temperatures throughout south Louisiana flirted with records Wednesday morning, but only New Orleans and Baton Rouge made it. New Orleans Audubon Park recorded a low of 46 degrees, tying a record set in 1962, said meteorologist Shawn O’Neil of the National Weather Service office in Slidell. In Baton Rouge, the temperature dropped to 37 degrees, … Continue reading →

Former OPP jailer faces federal contraband charge

Federal prosecutors have charged a former Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office deputy with conspiring to smuggle cellphones and marijuana to federal inmates awaiting trial at Orleans Parish Prison in 2008, including one inmate known as the “King Smuggler.” The case, filed last week in U.S. District Court, comes as local authorities are investigating fresh allegations of contraband … Continue reading →

5 deaths linked to infections tied to hospital linens

Photo provided by LSUHSC.edu -- The Children's Hospital of New Orleans

The five children ranged in age from 35 days to 13 years. They arrived at Children’s Hospital from different homes, had severe illnesses of various types and were admitted to assorted hospital wards in 2008 and 2009. The one thing the three boys and two girls had in common, before they all died, was the hospital … Continue reading →

Civil Service League criticizes Landrieu proposals

The Louisiana Civil Service League is calling on the New Orleans Civil Service Commission to delay considering Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s proposed overhaul of the city’s human resource rules for classified employees. In a letter sent Monday to the Rev. Kevin Wildes, the commission’s chairman, league Executive Vice President Daniel Sullivan said the commission should not vote … Continue reading →

City tears down Newcomb Boulevard fence

Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER --  The City removed the fence at Newcomb Place at Freret which will again open the street to through traffic Tuesday, April 15, 2014.

City workers on Tuesday removed a fence at Newcomb Boulevard and Freret Street that essentially turned the four-block Newcomb into a private thoroughfare. Residents of Newcomb had the barrier erected in 2006, saying traffic concerns made it necessary. They have complained that drivers previously used the street, which runs to St. Charles Avenue, as a short … Continue reading →

French Quarter Festival had record attendance

Advocate staff photo by ELIOT KAMENITZ -- Local legendary pianist and band leader  Ronnie Kole  joins in the merriment as the  31st Annual French Quarter Festival kicked off its second day of music with its traditional second line parade, which started in the 100 block of Bourbon and ended at Jackson Square Friday, April 11, 2014. The day featured the opening of more stages and music venues in the French Quarter with concerts from local and nationally known artists, including Dr. John.

With sunny skies shining down on them, a record 733,000 people listened to music, danced in the shadow of St. Louis Cathedral and feasted on festival fare along the Mississippi River during the 31st annual French Quarter Festival, which ended Sunday, producers said. According to figures released Monday, this year’s attendance eclipsed that of a year … Continue reading →

Marc Morial lambasts residency rule change

Advocate staff photo by ELIOT KAMENITZ --- New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, left, chats with former New Orleans Mayor Marc Morial last year before a panel discussion begins in Georges Auditorium on the Dillard University Campus. Morial on Monday criticized a change to the city employee residency requirement embraced by Landrieu's police superintendent, Ronal Serpas.

Former Mayor Marc Morial, long a champion of the law requiring city employees to live within New Orleans’ city limits, published a broadside Monday blasting the City Council’s 6-1 vote last week to exempt police officers, firefighters and emergency medical technicians from the rule. Those who pushed to rescind the rule, including New Orleans Police Superintendent Ronal … Continue reading →

City board delays decision on T-shirt shops’ appeals

Thirteen French Quarter T-shirt shops under fire by the city will get another month to put together appeals of citations for illegal operation issued to them last year. Attorneys for the owners successfully petitioned the Board of Zoning Adjustments on Monday to defer voting on the matter to give them more time to … Continue reading →

Suspect booked in Ironman participant’s death

Howard Vidrine

A man suspected of killing an Ironman athlete and seriously injuring his cycling partner by sending both into the air when he rear-ended the pair last week in New Orleans East should not have been behind the wheel because his driving privileges were suspended, according to court documents. Howard Vidrine, 34, of Gretna, was … Continue reading →

N.O. Crimeblotter: Woman shot fatally on Sunday

A woman shot early Sunday morning in Central City died several hours later, according to John Gagliano, chief investigator for the Orleans Parish Coroner’s Office. Gagliano said Lanisha Scott, 21, died at 5:56 p.m. at a hospital. According to Officer Hilal Williams, a spokeswoman for … Continue reading →

Ironman race: A memorial for fallen firefighter

Advocate photo by VERONICA DOMINACH -- Former Sgt. Frank Guinn's wife, Kimberly speaks before the big race during the New Orleans Ochsner IRONMAN 70.3 triathlon in New Orleans, La. Saturday, April 12, 2014. Participants honored Atlanta firefighter Sgt. Frank Guinn who had been looking forward to Sunday's New Orleans Ochsner IRONMAN 70.3 triathlon for months before he was struck and killed Guinn by a motorist while training. His wife, Kimberly spoke on his behalf before the race.

Streaks of pink pierced the gray clouds as dawn gave birth to a sun-splashed morning at South Shore Harbor Marina. A mass of bodies coalesced in a sea of black wetsuits. From a few hundred yards away, they looked like seals waiting anxiously on the beach. Up close, they were suntanned and fit — a gang … Continue reading →

BP oil spill disrupted many pelican nesting sites

Bob Marshall / The Lens -- The one island still large and high enough to hold mangroves is still used by several hundred pelicans, roseate spoonbills, herons and other birds. But as this image shows, some of the mangroves are still dying from the oil. Before the spill, an estimated 10,000 pelicans and other birds used the barrier islands.

On a bright spring morning, P.J. Hahn was walking through a graveyard in the middle of Barataria Bay. It was a 30-yard patch of mud and sand bristling with bare, dead mangrove brush surrounded by miles of open water. Each mangrove was a tombstone marking the death of a nesting site used for decades by … Continue reading →

1 dead, 3 injured, in drive-by shooting in 7th Ward

Advocate staff photo by Andrea Mabry -- Don Jackson and his mother Toni Jones light candles at the vigil for the shooting that occurred Saturday in the 2100 block of Pauger Street. Photo shot on April 13, 2014.

A drive-by shooting late Saturday night in the 7th Ward killed one person and wounded three others, including a 1-year-old girl, according to Officer Hilal Williams, a spokeswoman for the New Orleans Police Department. The dead man was identified as Charles Collins, 23, by John Gagliano, chief investigator for the Orleans Parish Coroner’s Office. … Continue reading →

Archdiocese to conduct yearlong planning synod

Archbishop Gregory Aymond on Tuesday will call together an archdiocesan synod, the first such convocation of Catholics here since 1987 and the ninth one in the archdiocese’s history. Aymond’s call will come after the annual Chrism Mass, which will begin at 10 a.m. in St. Louis Cathedral. It will begin a 13-month process of public … Continue reading →

Big eaters of all stripes converge on crawfish-eating contest

Advocate staff photo by ELIOT KAMENITZ-- Four time defending crawfish eating champion Sonya Thomas, left, gobbles along with challenger Adrian Morgan in the Pro Round of the Rouses World Championship Crawfish Eating Contest during the 31st Annual French Quarter Festival in New Orleans, La. Saturday, April 12, 2014. Thomas lost her title to Morgan who consumed 2.7 pounds in 10 minutes. Thomas finish second with 2.2 pounds in a field of eight contestants.

“I’ve got two goals,” said Rusty Robbin, standing outside the Old U.S. Mint in the French Quarter on Saturday. “Hold it all down and don’t finish last.” Robbin, a 44-year-old father of two from Baton Rouge, was discussing his strategy for the annual Rouses World Championship Crawfish Eating Contest. The no-holds-barred eating extravaganza, part … Continue reading →

Critics want self-supporting Audubon Nature Institute

Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD --  Common eland, photographed Saturday  at the Freeport-McMoRan Audubon Species Survival Center in New Orleans.The center will figure in a new partnership between Audubon Nature Institute and San Diego Zoo Global.

Jeff Thomas says there is no doubt about it: He killed the Audubon tax proposal. That is to say, an outraged essay in his twice-weekly online newsletter thwarted the effort by the Audubon Nature Institute — keeper of the city’s zoo, aquarium and other attractions — to win approval of a property tax that would have … Continue reading →

Feeling resilient? Then City Hall has got a job for you

Mayor Mitch Landrieu and his top wonks rarely miss a chance to pepper their speech with the latest in government buzzwords: Opportunities are “leveraged.” Local businesses are on a “pathway to prosperity.” City Hall is pursuing a strategy of “place-based development.” So there was a predictable bit of eye-rolling on social media when the city this … Continue reading →

OPP inmates accidentally gained access to social media sites

The Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office said Friday that a software glitch in at least one electronic grievance-recording kiosk at Orleans Parish Prison inadvertently allowed inmates access to “popular Internet sites such as YouTube and Facebook.” “The vendor that installed the kiosks has been notified about the software glitch and is working to replace the defective kiosk … Continue reading →

WrestleMania Week in N.O. attracted 125,000 fans

WWE reported that more than 125,000 fans from all 50 states and 37 countries attended WWE events in New Orleans as part of WrestleMania 30 Week. The breakdown for the event included: 29,215 fans for WrestleMania Axxess from Thursday through Sunday at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. 10,855 fans … Continue reading →

Ironman athlete killed on Chef Menteur two days before N.O. race

A pair of athletes riding along Chef Menteur Highway in an apparent late tune-up before Sunday’s Ironman endurance race in the city were struck from behind Friday morning by an eastbound driver, killing one bicyclist and sending the other to the hospital in serious condition. Orleans Parish Coroner Frank Minyard’s office withheld the identity of the … Continue reading →

NOPD investigates response to Uptown home invasion

Sketch provided by NOPD -- Uptown home invasion suspect that incident occurred back in March in the 8200 block of Green Street.

It was stunning enough when a burly stranger wandered into a home on Green Street this month and tried to squeeze the life out of a woman by wrapping his hands around her throat. But the response of officers, the woman said, was just as unexpected, and it has led the New Orleans Police Department … Continue reading →

Survey: New Orleanians like cops better

Advocate Photo by VERONICA DOMINACH -- Officers promise to protect and serve as members of Recruit Class No. 169 during the graduation ceremony from the New Orleans Police Departments Training Academy at Dillard University in New Orleans Friday, Nov. 22, 2013.

Deep dismay at the performance of the New Orleans Police Department continues to wane among residents, particularly when it comes to the department’s handling of violent crime, according to the latest survey from the New Orleans Crime Coalition. The survey of 600 adult residents — 75 in each police district — found for the first time … Continue reading →