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Woman killed in shooting on Willow Street in New Orleans Tuesday morning

Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER -- Police investigate a scene where a 25-year-old woman was fatally shot Tuesday morning in the 3700 block of Willow Street. At around 9:10 a.m., police received a report that a woman had been shot between Gen. Taylor and Amelia streets near the former Magnolia public-housing complex.

A 25-year-old woman was fatally shot Tuesday morning in the 3700 block of Willow Street, according to New Orleans police. At around 9:10 a.m., police received a report that a woman had been shot between Gen. Taylor and Amelia streets near the former Magnolia public-housing complex. The woman was transported to the hospital, where she… Continue reading →

Investors put $1 million into local startups

The NO/LA Angel Network recently invested $1 million in three local startups: Servato Corp., MicroBiome Technologies and SmartPak. The investment group was founded 11 months ago by Michael Eckert, former chief executive officer of The Weather Channel. NO/LAAN invests only in companies based in Louisiana or that have a Louisiana nexus. The network started with 40… Continue reading →

Police name suspect in Algiers shooting

Kareem Richards

New Orleans Police have identified a suspect in the Monday morning shooting of a 17-year-old in Algiers. Detectives are looking for Kareem Richards, 19, who they believe is responsible for the shooting. Witnesses helped detectives identify Richards as a suspect, according to police. The incident occurred Monday morning around 7:30 when a Landry-Walker… Continue reading →

Walt Handelsman: Mayor’s Missing car?!

Two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist and animator Walt Handelsman’s work appears in The New Orleans Advocate four days a week. Follow this link to the cartoon.Continue reading →

Walt Handelsman: Plowed over

Two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist and animator Walt Handelsman’s work appears in The New Orleans Advocate four days a week. Follow this link to the cartoon.Continue reading →

Future Saints, Pelicans owner Gayle Benson's 18 lawsuits might raise eyebrows among NFL, NBA

Associated Press file photo by BILL HABER -- Gayle Benson, wife of New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson.

As the NFL and NBA begin the process of vetting Gayle Benson, the wife of Saints and Pelicans owner Tom Benson and the new proposed heir to his two sports franchises, the leagues’ officials might raise their eyebrows at one fact from her life as a businesswoman before she married Louisiana’s lone billionaire. She ended up… Continue reading →

17-year-old Landry-Walker student shot dead in Algiers

Advocate staff photo by  Benjamin Oreskes  --  The scene on the 3700 block of Garden Oaks Drive in Algiers, where a 17-year-old man was shot Monday morning

After the body of a 17-year-old Landry-Walker High School student was taken away by paramedics early Monday, bloody clothing and a black Nike backpack remained in the middle of an apartment complex parking lot in the 3700 block of Garden Oaks Drive in Algiers. The student, who remains unidentified, was apparently shot about 7:30 a.m., when… Continue reading →

Trial date set in former Destrehan teacher’s sex case

Advocate staff file photo by JOHN McCUSKER -- Former Destrehan High teacher Shelley Dufresne, left, leaves the courthouse in November after appearing in St. Charles Parish

A trial date has been set for Shelley Dufresne, one of two former Destrehan High School teachers accused of having sex with a 16-year-old student. In a bill of information filed in November, St. Charles Parish District Attorney Joel Chaisson II charged Dufresne, 32, with one felony count of carnal knowledge of a juvenile.… Continue reading →

Entergy unveils $665 million Westwego power plant

Advocate staff photo by ELIOT KAMENITZ--Louisiana Public Service Commission Chairman Clyde Holloway makes a point as he talks with Phillip R. May, president and CEO of Entergy Louisiana, LLC and Entergy Gulf States Louisiana , LLC,  at opening ceremonies of Ninemile 6 facility in Westwego, La. Monday, Jan. 26, 2015. According to the company, the ceremony marks the successful startup of operations at Ninemile 6, the cornerstone of EntergyÕs Louisiana companiesÕ plans to modernize their generation fleet with highly efficient, reliable generation to meet customersÕ needs and help grow the stateÕs economy. While Entergy Louisiana owns the new 560-megawatt unit, Entergy Gulf States Louisiana and Entergy New Orleans customers will see benefits as well.

With the flip of a ceremonial switch — a gesture that was repeated a few times for good measure — Entergy officials on Monday unveiled the company’s newest power generator: a $665 million natural-gas-burning facility in Westwego that uses about a third less fuel than older models and is expected to save customers in Louisiana tens of millions… Continue reading →

Public invited to weigh in on NOPD reforms Tuesday night

The federal monitoring team assigned to keep tabs on a raft of court-mandated reforms to the New Orleans Police Department will report on the city’s progress and answer questions from the public at a meeting Tuesday night in Central City. The team, led by the Washington, D.C.-based Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton law firm, last month… Continue reading →

Ramsey drops bid to exempt Harrah’s from smoking ban

Less than a week after introducing an ordinance to exempt Harrah’s New Orleans Casino from the indoor smoking ban that the City Council passed on Thursday, Councilwoman Nadine Ramsey said Monday that she was withdrawing the proposal. Ramsey’s chief of staff, Kara Johnson, said the councilwoman had been under the mistaken impression that she was introducing… Continue reading →

'Redrum' carjacker pleads guilty

Daryle Guillot

Daryle Guillot was sentenced to 30 years in the Avoyelles Correctional Center after pleading guilty Monday to carjacking a woman in Metairie in 2013. Guillot, who has the word “REDRUM” — “murder” spelled backward — tattooed across his forehead, was already serving a 10-year sentence for attempting to rob a woman in New Orleans with a… Continue reading →

Family car of New Orleans mayor stolen, recovered by Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office

Advocate staff file photo by MATTHEW HINTON -- New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu.

It didn’t take long for law enforcement to track down one of New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s vehicles after it was taken from outside his house over the weekend. But it was an off-duty deputy with the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office who tracked the car to a site within blocks of a… Continue reading →

BP to call first witnesses as it fights for lesser oil spill penalty

FILE - In this June 4, 2010, file photo, Steve Gardner scrapes oil from the sand along a 700-yard long strip of oil that washed up on the beach in Gulf Shores, Ala. Pictures of fouled beaches and dead, oil-coated birds flashed on a courtroom screen as attorneys for the federal government outlined their case Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2015, in New Orleans, for adding some $13.7 billion in penalties to costs already incurred by BP after the 2010 Gulf oil spill. (AP Photo/Dave Martin, File) ORG XMIT: GARV202

It will be oil giant BP’s turn Monday to call witnesses as it makes its case for a civil penalty lower than the $13.7 billion the federal government is seeking for the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill. The second week of a three-week trial was set to begin in New Orleans.… Continue reading →

Audit suggests St. Bernard civic center head helped herself to $60K in public funds

Nearly $87,000 went missing from St. Bernard Parish’s civic center during the tenure of its former executive director, who allegedly deposited almost $60,000 more than her regular pay into her own bank account during that two-year span, the state Legislative Auditor’s Office said in an investigative report released Monday. Stephanie Bachemin became director of the Frederick… Continue reading →

Man, 29, shot dead in New Orleans parking lot early Monday morning

A 29-year-old man was shot dead and found in a parking lot early Monday morning, according to the New Orleans Police Department. The shooting occurred just past midnight in the 5700 block of Crowder Boulevard. NOPD said officers were called to investigate a "man down" in a business' parking lot and found him shot multiple times.… Continue reading →

In statement, lawyer for Tom Benson’s estranged relatives maintain Saints owner was coerced

Pictured from left, Tom Benson, Gayle Benson, Renee Benson, Rita Benson LeBlanc and Ryan LeBlanc

Randy Smith, a lawyer who represents Tom Benson’s daughter, Renee, and her two children, Rita and Ryan LeBlanc, issued a statement Sunday reiterating his clients’ belief that the Saints owner was “unduly influenced” by others when he decided to leave his sports franchises to his wife, Gayle, rather than his now-estranged heirs. Smith indicated that he was… Continue reading →

Algiers man found dead after fire in home, and other area police and fire news

Photo provided by Robert Morris -- NOPD officers search South Clark Street for evidence after shots were fired late Sunday morning near Comiskey Park in Mid-City.

Algiers man found dead after fire in home A man’s body was discovered Sunday inside a home on Pittari Place in Algiers. He is believed to have died from smoke inhalation from a small space-heater fire inside the house. Firefighters were called to investigate a smell of smoke in the 3700 block of Pittari Place… Continue reading →

Tulane professor to be NSF dean-in-residence, and other news of higher education

Tulane professor to be NSF dean-in-residence Brian Mitchell, a professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at Tulane University, has been named the Council of Graduate Schools/National Science Foundation Dean-in-Residence for 2015-16. Mitchell, who served as Tulane’s associate provost for graduate studies and research from 2006 to 2014, will assume the position Feb. 1. He will… Continue reading →

New company is handling French Quarter, New Orleans CBD trash removal; it's not Sidney Torres' firm

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--Tourists wait in line for Cafe Du Monde next to a trash can in the French Quarter in New Orleans, La. Saturday, Jan. 17, 2015.

There’s a new firm collecting the garbage, cleaning the streets and emptying the public trash cans in the French Quarter and Central Business District, the first time an entirely new vendor has had the contract since just after Hurricane Katrina. The $3.9 million annual contract with Empire Janitorial Sales and Services, based in Metairie, includes additional… Continue reading →

City of N.O., landfill operators settle lawsuit with land’s real owners

_DSC0489  Advocate staff photo by Travis Spradling. Photo shot on 11/8/05. Gentilly landfill.

The city of New Orleans and the operators of a New Orleans East landfill that opened after Hurricane Katrina and quickly became the region’s busiest dump have agreed to pay $8 million to settle a long-running lawsuit with a group of people who actually own the property on which the landfill sits. The settlement… Continue reading →

Barber shot to death while cutting hair in Cut-Off neighborhood

Photo provided by Robert Morris  --  NOPD detectives investigate in front of a house on Kent Drive where a 49-year-old barber was shot to death Sunday afternoon and his customer was wounded.

A well-liked 49-year-old “neighborhood barber” was shot to death shortly after noon Sunday while cutting hair in front of a house in the Cut-Off section of Algiers. His customer was taken to the hospital with a gunshot wound to the shoulder, New Orleans police said. The barber was cutting the hair of a 23-year-old… Continue reading →

After 34 years wrongfully imprisoned at Angola, exonerated man seeks hundreds of thousands of dollars from Louisiana

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON-- Reginald Adams sits with his mother Antoinette Scott at their home in Kenner, La. Saturday, May 17, 2014. Adams was freed from prison thanks in part to the Innocence Project on Monday after 34 years for a murder Orleans Parish District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro says Adams did not commit and Cannizzaro acknowledged egregious, intentional misconduct at Adams' murder trials in 1983 and 1990.

A man who spent 34 years in prison before Orleans Parish District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro’s office abruptly admitted last year that police and prosecutors railroaded him is now pressing for the state to pay him for the years he lost behind bars. Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell’s office is reviewing Reginald Adams’… Continue reading →

Morris Jeff School moves into new $29 million home in Mid-City

Photo provided by The Lens/Marta Jewson --  Second grade teachers check out a model classroom on their first day inside their new school.

A yellow sticky note with the word “Sears” scribbled on it identified veteran teacher Erin Sears’ new classroom. “Welcome to my room,” she said, beaming at the doorway as she greeted her fellow second-grade teachers late last month. Sears and about 80 other educators at Morris Jeff Community School were taking a first look… Continue reading →

Can schools create gifted students? One La. district gives extra support to high-potential minority students

Sally Meredith’s reading class looks different from most at Albert Cammon Middle School in St. Rose. Meredith, an eighth-grade teacher at the school, doesn’t spend her fifth-period reading class helping her 13-year-old students through difficult passages or having them read aloud. Instead, she largely lets her students take charge in debates over questions she… Continue reading →

State coastal experts beginning study to assess costs, benefits of river diversions

Some commercial and sports fishermen have long charged that the state’s plan to use diversions of river water to help save Louisiana’s sinking, crumbling southeastern coast will result in an economic apocalypse for their lifestyles. Flooding brackish estuaries with silt-laden fresh water from the Mississippi River might build new marshes, they say, but it also will… Continue reading →

One dead, one wounded in shooting on Kent Drive

Two men were shot in the 2800 block of Kent Drive around noon Sunday, where one victim died on the scene and the other was transported to the hospital with a shoulder injury, New Orleans Police Department reported. The names of the victims have not been released. More details will be coming pending further investigation, the… Continue reading →

Walt Handelsman: The Benson Saga

Two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist and animator Walt Handelsman’s work appears in The New Orleans Advocate four days a week. Follow this link to the cartoon.… Continue reading →

Sources: Berating assistants, often missing from work, Rita LeBlanc caused Tom Benson to worry

New Orleans Saints co-owner Rita Benson LeBlanc on the sidelines before the start of the Saints Kansas City NFL football game at the Mercedes-Benz  Superdome in New Orleans, Sunday, Sept. 23, 2012. (AP Photo/Jonathan Bachman) ORG XMIT: NYOTK

Though she was once the apple of Tom Benson’s eye and the heir apparent to his sports franchises, Rita LeBlanc gave her grandfather plenty of reasons to worry about her ability to take over his empire upon his passing, according to some of the people who know both of them well. When Benson was well into… Continue reading →

Sources: Berating assistants, often missing from office, Rita LeBlanc gave Tom Benson many reasons to worry

AP photo by Manuel Balce -- Rita LeBlanc speaks at the sixth annual Washington Ideas Forum in Washington in this Oct. 29, 2014, file photo.

Though she was once the apple of Tom Benson’s eye and the heir apparent to his sports franchises, Rita LeBlanc gave her grandfather plenty of reasons to worry about her ability to take over his empire upon his passing, according to some of the people who know both of them well. When Benson was well into… Continue reading →

City department working to boost ACA enrollment, and other community news

City dept. working to boost ACA enrollment The New Orleans Health Department is seeking to help people enroll in low-cost health insurance plans through the Affordable Care Act’s Health Insurance Marketplace. Along with other local health care agencies, the city is working to share information and facilitate enrollment during the open enrollment period that… Continue reading →

Ex-cop pleads guilty to Road Home theft, and other area crime news

Ex-cop pleads guilty to Road Home theft Tracie Medus, 39, a former New Orleans police officer, pleaded guilty Thursday in federal court to theft of government funds. Medus admitted that she defrauded the federally funded Small Rental Property Program, a Louisiana Road Home program designed to let low-income families displaced by Hurricane Katrina return to Louisiana.… Continue reading →

St. Charles Parish litter cleanup to be March 7

St. Charles Parish will hold its seventh parishwide Trash Bash, a litter cleanup and recycling awareness event, from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. March 7. Groups of volunteers will fan out around the parish beginning at 8:30 a.m. to clean up litter hot spots. Those interested in volunteering may sign up as… Continue reading →

One killed in Belle Chasse bridge car crash, and other crime news

Dwight Harvey

One person was killed and another was taken to the hospital after a two-car crash about 8 a.m. Friday on the Belle Chasse Bridge. A 2007 Ford F-150, driven by Ruben Vela Rodriguez, 32, of Pharr, Texas, was traveling north on La. 23 in… Continue reading →

Six candidates apply to be Jefferson schools superintendent

Michelle Blouin-Williams

Six candidates have applied to replace James Meza as superintendent of Jefferson Parish Public Schools, and the School Board president promises the selection process will be open and transparent. Cedric Floyd said the exact shape of the process will be determined in the next week. He said there still could be other applicants because… Continue reading →

Guidry introduces ordinance to authorize, regulate Uber and similar services

In this Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014 photo, a woman leaves the headquarters of Uber in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

Months after giving Uber and similar ride-hailing services a toehold in New Orleans, the City Council could consider an ordinance that would allow those companies to operate a wider range of services. Councilwoman Susan Guidry, one of Uber’s most vocal critics on the council, introduced the ordinance Thursday. She said she drafted it… Continue reading →

Persuading a judge to declare Tom Benson mentally unfit will be a tall order, experts say

New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson and his wife Gayle Benson pose for a photo with his granddaughter, and Pelicans co-owner Rita Benson LeBlanc, second left, general manager Dale Demps, left, and head coach Monty Williams, right, at the Pelicans NBA basketball media day in Metairie, La., Monday, Sept. 29, 2014. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert) ORG XMIT: NYOTK

In their explosive lawsuit filed Thursday, Tom Benson’s heirs — daughter, Renee Benson and grandchildren Rita and Ryan LeBlanc — describe the Saints owner as tottering on the brink of senility, being manipulated by his wife and demonstrating “bizarre” behavior. They’ve asked a judge to appoint Renee to oversee his business affairs. But persuading a… Continue reading →

NOPD arrests man in seven armed robberies this month

The Wendy

About 6:15 p.m. Thursday, New Orleans police say, Sidney Williams walked into an Uptown Wendy’s wearing orange sneakers, blue latex gloves and with a white shirt covering his face. He allegedly walked right around the counter and ordered a clerk to open the register. In a minute, the loot was his and he was out the door —… Continue reading →

No discussion of possible sale at Public Belt board meeting

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--New Orleans Public Belt Railroad President Pro Tem David Schulingkamp, right, meets with board members in New Orleans, La. Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015.

The commissioners of the New Orleans Public Belt Railroad did not take up a proposal to sell the railroad’s assets at a meeting this week that dealt only with routine business. The board had not been expected to discuss the issue, which was brought to the forefront by an offer last week by Thomas… Continue reading →