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Vieux Carre Commission calls for removal of Liberty Place monument

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--The Liberty Monument

Following in the footsteps of two other city boards, the Vieux Carre Commission voted Wednesday to recommend the removal of a controversial statue celebrating a white supremacist group’s violent attempt to overthrow the state government during Reconstruction. None of the commission members spoke before the unanimous vote, which followed comments from more than a dozen members… Continue reading →

Jefferson Parish deputies shot at with laser-sighted weapon Tuesday night, narrowly escape being hit in chest

Photo provided by Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office -- The Jefferson Parish Street Crimes Unit investigate shooting incident on James Drive in Marrero Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2015.

An unidentified gunman fired into an unmarked Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office vehicle using a laser-sighted handgun in Marrero Tuesday night, piercing the windshield and striking the driver’s seat a moment after one of the officers moved to get out of the vehicle. A second shot struck the driver’s side door as the three officers got out of… Continue reading →

Southern Decadence, Louisiana Seafood Festival expected to fill downtown New Orleans hotel rooms this weekend

Advocate staff photo by ELIOT KAMENITZ--Members of the Pair A Dice Band play as they march down Royal Street during the Southern Decadence Parade, part of the Southern Decadence Labor Day Weekend celebration,  in New Orleans, La. Sunday, Aug. 31, 2014. The annual celebration has been going on since a small beginning in 1972 with exception of 2005 when Katrina hit. The event which began last Wednesday and ends Monday featured music events, parades, parties and other venues.

With no storm warnings in sight, New Orleans tourism officials expect most downtown hotel rooms will be near-capacity through the Labor Day weekend. The holiday weekend coincides with two local events: the Southern Decadence festival in the French Quarter and the Louisiana Seafood Festival at City Park’s Festival Grounds. Based on… Continue reading →

Prosecutors: Darren Sharper paid co-defendant’s legal tab, so attorneys should be disqualified

Erik Nunez

Prosecutors are asking a federal judge to dismiss the attorneys for Erik Nunez, one of Darren Sharper’s alleged cohorts in a scheme to drug and rape women, on the grounds that lawyers Sara Johnson and Herbert Larson have a conflict because the retired Saints defensive star has paid for Nunez’s defense. Federal prosecutors claim… Continue reading →

Man shot, killed overnight in New Orleans East

. A man was shot and killed early Wednesday morning in the 9700 block of W. Wheaton Circle. The 44-year-old man was shot after exiting his vehicle in a driveway around 1:45 a.m., the New Orleans Police Department said. Emergency medical paramedics pronounced him dead on the scene. The name of the victim is… Continue reading →

Metropolitan Crime Commission warns that New Orleans could have to release violent criminals, pay to house them elsewhere if new inmate facility not built

Wading into a rancorous debate that has divided City Hall and the Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office, a nonprofit watchdog group again is urging the city to build another inmate housing facility at Orleans Parish Prison — a proposal vigorously opposed by Mayor Mitch Landrieu. In a report published Wednesday, the Metropolitan Crime Commission warns that… Continue reading →

Third teen arrested in a string of nine armed robberies Uptown

. A third teenager has been arrested in a string of nine armed robberies and one attempted armed robbery in Uptown New Orleans. The 15-year-old, who has not been identified by police, was arrested Tuesday morning in the 2900 block of La Salle Street by the NOPD’s Violent Offenders Warrant Squad, who said they found a… Continue reading →

Man booked in I-10 road rage shooting incident

. A man has been arrested in a Saturday shooting on Interstate 10 that New Orleans police chalked up to road rage. Richard Davis, 23, was booked Monday on counts of aggravated battery, possession with intent to distribute marijuana, illegally carrying a weapon with a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. Police believe Davis… Continue reading →

WWL-TV: Depleted New Orleans Police Department is losing officers to Louisiana State Police

Advocate Photo by VERONICA DOMINACH -- Officer Goines IV promises to protect and serve alongsidetwenty-three members of Recruit Class #169 during the graduation ceremony from the New Orleans Police Department

. Louisiana State Police has about 50 troopers working side-by-side with New Orleans police officers in the French Quarter. But while the agencies are partners on the street, they have become rivals in recruiting. The Louisiana State Police cadet class that began Sunday includes seven officers lured away from the already-depleted NOPD. With… Continue reading →

Transfer of Algiers customers to Entergy New Orleans now official

Algiers residents now fall under the umbrella of Entergy New Orleans. Entergy Louisiana LLC on Tuesday officially handed over its 22,000 residential, commercial and industrial electricity customers in Algiers to the New Orleans subsidiary of Entergy Corp. With the shift, all of New Orleans is served by the same utility. Entergy New Orleans will… Continue reading →

New Orleans to hold third online auction of tax-delinquent properties Wednesday

The city will put another 155 “adjudicated properties” up for online auction on Wednesday, the third wave in a process intended eventually to sell off almost 1,800 tax-delinquent parcels spread across Orleans Parish. About three-quarters of the properties are vacant lots. Winning bidders will receive full ownership and title insurance for each property.… Continue reading →

New Orleans loses more jobs in past year than any other U.S. city, driven largely by construction losses after post-Katrina efforts

Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER -- The New Orleans metro area lost 3,800 jobs over the 12 months ending July 31, more than any other city in the country, according to a report released Tuesday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The numbers were driven in part by the construction industry, which accounted for 2,700 of the total jobs lost between July 2014 and July 2015.

The New Orleans metro area lost 3,800 jobs over the 12 months ending July 31, more than any other city in the country, according to a report released Tuesday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The numbers were driven in part by the construction industry, which accounted for 2,700 of the total jobs lost between… Continue reading →

Darren Sharper case: Ex-St. Bernard deputy claims Sharper, co-defendant tried to intimidate him in phone calls; wants to go it alone in federal case

Brandon Licciardi

A former St. Bernard Parish Sheriff’s Office deputy accused of joining retired New Orleans Saints safety Darren Sharper in a scheme to drug and rape women doesn’t want to be tried alongside a co-defendant who himself has already asked for a separate trial. A week after Erik Nunez filed a motion to sever… Continue reading →

Third teen arrested for string of armed robberies in Uptown

A third teen has been arrested in a string of 10 armed robberies that struck Uptown last month. The 15-year-old, who has not been identified by police, was arrested on Tuesday morning in the 2900 block of LaSalle Street by the NOPD’s Violent Offenders Warrant Squad, according to police, who said they found a chrome revolver, cellphones,… Continue reading →

Man wanted for battery on a New Orleans Police Department officer

. The NOPD is asking for the public’s assistance in identifying and locating a man wanted for business burglary, trespassing and battery on a police officer. The incident took place Sunday at the Second Vine wine store at 1027 Touro St. An officer investigating a call about a possible burglary at 5:30 a.m. said he learned… Continue reading →

Mother of 2-year-old girl booked on one count of child desertion

. The mother of a 2-year-old girl found alone Monday morning in New Orleans East was booked on a count of child desertion, the New Orleans Police Department said. The mother, 28-year-old Keisha Jones, also was arrested on an unrelated fugitive attachment from Harris County, Texas. Child Protection Services released the child to the mother’s… Continue reading →

Crime in the French Quarter is decreasing, but how long will the good results last?

Crime in the French Quarter is such a major issue for New Orleans that it recently made its way into Louisiana’s upcoming gubernatorial election. The Quarter is, in many respects, the lifeblood of New Orleans due to the preponderance of tourists there. Analyzing criminal activity in and around the Quarter since the beginning of 2014 highlights tenuous success… Continue reading →

Sheriff Gusman challenges city’s refusal to issue permit allowing him to move into new $145 million jail

Advocate Photo by GREGORY ROBERTS -- New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu addressed the National Press Club on Tuesday.

A fresh round of wrangling has broken out between Sheriff Marlin Gusman and Mayor Mitch Landrieu over the design of the city’s nearly completed new jail, setting up another courtroom clash less than two months after the impasse appeared to have been resolved. The latest standoff began last week after city officials inspected the 1,438-bed facility… Continue reading →

Narcotics squad upheaval in St. John Parish threatens drug prosecutions; dispute leads to lawsuits, demotions

Trouble is brewing around the St. John the Baptist Parish courthouse, where dozens of pending drug prosecutions may be tainted by conflicting stories among former narcotics deputies about just how a suspect got bloodied last year during a search for drugs and guns in Edgard. In a drama pitting deputy against deputy, somebody lied. Yet none… Continue reading →

First phase of planned offshore megaport could be open by late 2016, backers say

With the Panama Canal expansion moving closer to reality, a group backing development of the nation’s first offshore megaport — slated to be built off the coast of Plaquemines Parish — said Monday that the project’s first phase is fully financed and could be operational by the end of 2016. The announcement comes seven years after… Continue reading →

Beloved pediatrician Dr. Keith Collins, noted for his strong bonds with young patients, dies at 45

Keith Collins, MD

Dr. Keith Collins, an affable pediatrician who rose to local prominence by forging close bonds with his patients and their parents, died Saturday. He was 45. The founder of Collins Pediatrics in Metairie and Lakeview, he earned a reputation as a caring, hard-working and knowledgeable doctor and quickly became a prominent member of the… Continue reading →

University of New Orleans President Peter Fos to retire in January after challenging three-year tenure

Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER --Dr. Peter Fos will retire in January from the helm of the University of New Orleans in January.

University of New Orleans President Peter Fos, who has spent more than three years with the unenviable job of shrinking an institution assailed by funding cuts and declining enrollment, said Monday that he will retire in January. “I’m at the point here at the university that I think I’ve just about contributed all that I emotionally… Continue reading →

No garbage collection in Jefferson Parish on Labor Day

Jefferson Parish will close its four trash drop-off sites and will not have garbage collection service on Monday, Sept. 7 because of the Labor Day holiday. The parish said Monday it will not schedule a make-up day for the missed service, so residents who normally get their trash collected at the curb on Mondays will either have… Continue reading →

Fire destroys gay club in 7th Ward; owner says it was gathering spot for young LGBT people

Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER -- A fire early Monday has destroyed a New Orleans nightclub.  Firefighters responded to a four-alarm fire at Club Fusions at A.P. Tureaud Avenue and Aubry Street at 3:05 a.m. Monday, the New Orleans Fire Department said in a news release. Firefighters found heavy smoke coming from the second-floor windows and doors.

A four-alarm fire early Monday morning that gutted a gay nightclub in the 7th Ward is being investigated by the New Orleans Fire Department, the state Fire Marshal’s Office and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. As of Monday evening, authorities had not been able to enter what remains of Club Fusions to… Continue reading →

Man dies after being shot in parking lot in Terrytown

A man died early Monday morning after being shot in a parking lot in Terrytown. The Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office responded to a 911 call around 2:23 a.m. reporting that a man had been shot in the parking lot of 1912 S. Forest Lawn in Terrytown, Sheriff Newell Normand said. First responding officers found the body of a man, who appeared… Continue reading →

Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office deputy helps deliver baby

. A Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office deputy helped deliver a baby Saturday morning when the stork arrived early. Deputy Emily Brinser arrived at an apartment in the 1600 block of Gary Court in Terrytown shortly after 9 a.m. as a 33-year-old Hispanic woman was just beginning to deliver her baby. Brinser assisted in the delivery.… Continue reading →

UNO president establishes $25,000 scholarship, and other news of higher education

University of New Orleans President Peter J. Fos and his wife, Lori, have established a $25,000 scholarship to help support female students pursuing a bachelor’s degree in education at UNO. The Lori A. and Peter J. Fos Endowed Scholarship in Education is designed to support women studying education, with priority given to student-athletes. Beneficiaries will… Continue reading →

Lawyer to challenge Robottom for St. John presidency, and other area political news

Danny Becnel, a well-known trial lawyer and class-action specialist from LaPlace, has announced he plans to run for St. John the Baptist Parish’s highest office this fall. Becnel, 70, said his disgust with the performance of incumbent President Natalie Robottom prompted his decision. He criticized Robottom’s handling of Hurricane Isaac in 2012, saying… Continue reading →