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State IG’s Office probing reports of cheating at Algiers high school

A New Orleans charter high school whose impressive test scores plummeted under the watchful eye of monitors is under investigation by the state Inspector General’s Office, officials said this week. The school, L.B. Landry-O. Perry Walker High School in Algiers, is managed by the Algiers Charter School Association, one of the largest charter operators in the… Continue reading →

Construction to cause detours, low water pressure this weekend

The Sewerage & Water Board has announced several construction projects that will affect traffic and water pressure this weekend in New Orleans. Vehicular traffic on some Uptown streets will be closed or rerouted on Saturday and Sunday as crews repair a series of water lines in the area. The westbound or upriver-bound lane of Freret… Continue reading →

Expanded weekend hours for Canal Street ferry to continue throughout 2016

Extended weekend hours for the Algiers Point-Canal Street ferry will continue through the rest of the year, after a four-month pilot program to test ridership proved successful, officials said Friday. Transdev, the private company that manages the city’s ferries for the Regional Transit Authority, added 10 hours to the Canal Street ferry’s schedule in October to… Continue reading →

HANO opens waiting lists for housing units in New Florida development, other sites

As workers move to complete a $13 million revamp of the Florida housing development, the Housing Authority of New Orleans is accepting applications from would-be tenants. The agency also is taking applications for several of its so-called “scattered site” apartments around the city, officials said. The application period opens at 8 a.m. Monday and… Continue reading →

Battle between Tom Benson, daughter Renee over Texas trust fund to be settled next week

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--Tom Benson leave Orleans Parish Civil District Court with his lawyer Phillip Wittman in New Orleans, La. Tuesday, June 2, 2015.

A judge in San Antonio has set a Feb. 19 court date for settling the Texas trust fund battle between Saints and Pelicans owner Tom Benson and his daughter, Renee Benson. Attorneys for both sides attended a status conference Friday in San Antonio and presented enough details of the agreement to satisfy Bexar County Probate Court… Continue reading →

Video: Dozens with 'Black Lives Matter' signs appear at New Orleans police headquarters to protest Eric Harris’ fatal shooting

ADVOCATE STAFF PHOTO BY MATT SLEDGE -- Eric Harris' family appears at a protest at New Orleans Police headquarters on Friday afternoon. Harris was fatally shot by Jefferson Parish authorities after a car chase that ended in Central City earlier this week.

. About two dozen people, some with "black lives matter" signs, protesting the fatal shooting of Eric Harris appeared in front of New Orleans police headquarters Friday afternoon. [Click here if you're unable to see the video above.] Harris was killed by Jefferson Parish deputies earlier this week.… Continue reading →

Initial unemployment claims in Louisiana rise

First-time claims for unemployment insurance in Louisiana for the week ending Feb. 6 edged up to 3,084 from the previous week’s total of 3,083. The state labor department said there were 2,939 for the comparable week a year earlier. The four-week moving average, which is a less volatile measure of claims, decreased to 3,078 from the… Continue reading →

U.S. rig count drops 30; Louisiana gains 1

Oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. says the number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. declined by 30 this week to 541. The Houston company said Friday 439 rigs sought oil and 102 explored for natural gas amid depressed energy prices. A year ago, 1,358 rigs were active.… Continue reading →

Suspect in shooting of Jefferson Parish deputy Stephen Arnold pleads not guilty; victim still in hospital

The man accused of shooting a Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office deputy during an early-morning raid last month pleaded not guilty in federal court on Friday morning. Jarvis Harvy entered a not guilty plea and said nothing beyond that during the short court appearance, WWL-TV reported. The man authorities allege that Hardy shot inside his Lower 9th… Continue reading →

Railroad operator CSX reducing train car shop operations in New Orleans, 15 other locations

Railroad operator CSX is reducing operations at its New Orleans train car shop and 15 others around the country where volume is low and to improve efficiency. The Jacksonville, Florida, company said the reductions will affect a total of 116 CSX mechanical employees, some of whom will be given opportunities to fill positions in other higher-demand areas… Continue reading →

Equity firm buys Opta Minerals, and New Orleans yard, for $6.6 million

A New York investment fund will buy industrial minerals company Opta Minerals, including its New Orleans operations, in a deal valued at $6.6 million. Speyside Equity Fund I LP expects to close the deal for Ontario-based Opta in April. Opta Minerals has locations in Canada, the United States, Europe and Asia. In addition to its New… Continue reading →

Man found shot to death on America Street in New Orleans East, police say

Neighbors said they never heard a sound. But around 5 a.m. on Friday morning, police discovered the lifeless body of a man who had been shot in the head inside a car in an empty New Orleans East lot. Authorities have not identified the man, whose body was discovered inside a grey Toyota Corolla in the Continue reading →

Helen Koenig, who sold materials for Mardi Gras Indian costumes and Zulu coconuts, dies at 94

Helen Koenig

Helen Amber Koenig, who for decades provided the raw materials for elaborate Mardi Gras Indian costumes, died Monday. She was 94. “Miss Helen,” as her customers knew her, co-owned Broadway Bound, a Mid-City store that sells gems, feathers and fabric — all things that go into the costumes of Mardi Gras Indians and mainline krewe members… Continue reading →

New Orleans inmate awaiting trial in ’08 killing faces new charges in deputy attack

Dayshawn M. Celestain

A man who has been awaiting trial for more than seven years over an execution-style murder is facing new charges that he attacked a deputy at the Orleans Justice Center last week. The incident highlighted the continuing violence at the city’s new $150 million jail despite a federally supervised reform effort that has foundered amid chronic… Continue reading →

Jefferson Parish father and stepmother to be booked on murder in death of son

The father and stepmother of a Waggaman teenager who was severely beaten last week will be booked on second-degree murder charges in the wake of the boy’s death, the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office said Thursday. Jalen Daniel, 14, died Monday from injuries caused by head trauma, Jefferson Parish Coroner’s Office Chief Investigator Mark Bone said. The… Continue reading →

Lawsuit: New Orleans deputies called suicidal inmate ‘rapist and pedophile,’ left him alone for hours before jailhouse hanging

Ryan Miller

A young man who hanged himself last year at Orleans Parish Prison had been called a “rapist and pedophile” by a ranking deputy at the jail and was left unsupervised for hours even after warning guards that he felt suicidal, a new lawsuit claims. The wrongful-death suit, filed this week in U.S. District Court, claims deputies… Continue reading →

City Hall says Mardi Gras was bigger, safer — though parking violations spiked 65 percent

Advocate photo by SOPHIA GERMER --  The Krewe of Proteus parades on Napoleon Ave in New Orleans, Monday, February 8, 2016. The second-oldest parading krewe, the Krewe of Proteus has 230 men and 20 floats with the theme "The Hindu Heavens."

Early statistics paint a mixed picture of the 2016 Carnival season in New Orleans. Flights were up, but hotel occupancy rates were down. Police had fewer calls for service, but Emergency Medical Services was nearly as busy as last year. The city undertook a massive effort to clean parade routes in what officials… Continue reading →

Charter operator starting seasonal New Orleans to Destin-Fort Walton flight

This Tuesday, March 29, 2011 photo shows hotels along the beach in Destin, Fla. (AP Photo/Melissa Nelson)

New Orleans-based regional charter operator GLO will begin seasonal nonstop service in March to Florida’s Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport. GLO said it will offer one round-trip flight from Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport to the Emerald Coast on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. The flights will run March 26 to Sept. 5. One-way introductory fares… Continue reading →

New Orleans health care technology firm gets $500,000 in funding

Compliance Partners, a New Orleans-based health care and compliance service technology firm, is in line to receive $500,000 in seed money. The money will be from the Lafayette General Foundation’s Healthcare Innovation Fund, which funds new products and services that can help improve the health care industry. Compliance Partners is the only professional services firm in… Continue reading →

Why New Orleans-area home prices continued climbing in 2015

Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER -- The New Orleans skyline and the French Quarter.   File photos of aerials of New Orleans area and landmarks shot July 23, 2013.

Rising demand for homes in the most sought-after New Orleans neighborhoods shows no sign of abating. A trend that already had lifted average home prices by nearly 50 percent since just before Hurricane Katrina — a boon for many homeowners that also has brought pain in the form of rising tax bills and rents — continued… Continue reading →

Man shot in thigh, hand on Canal Street late Wednesday

An 18-year-old man was shot late Wednesday on Canal Street in the Central Business District, New Orleans police said. Around 11:47 p.m., the 18-year-old was walking in the 1000 block of Canal Street when he heard gunshots and realized that he had been shot in the thigh and hand, NOPD spokesman Juan Barnes said. The victim told officers that he walked… Continue reading →

EMT killed Wednesday after vehicle falls from lift, pinning him underneath

. An emergency medical technician at the West Jefferson Emergency Medical Services headquarters in Marrero died after a vehicle under repair dropped on him Wednesday, the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office said. Col. John Fortunato, a JPSO spokesman, said a mechanic and two EMTs were working on an EMS vehicle elevated on a lift at 1225 Avenue C about 5:30… Continue reading →

Federal appeals panel vacates injunction delaying inmate’s execution

Richard Jordan

A federal appeals panel has struck down a lower court’s temporary injunction against Mississippi’s efforts to execute a man found guilty of murdering a Metairie-raised woman in 1976. The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals panel ruled Wednesday that a U.S. district judge in Mississippi should not have granted the plaintiffs an injunction in a case contesting… Continue reading →

Elmwood woman charged with trying to kill her boyfriend; both told deputies he fell on a pair of scissors

An Elmwood woman who allegedly stabbed her longtime boyfriend so badly that his lung collapsed was arrested for attempted murder early Monday morning, the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office said. Deputies said that Melissa Veillard, 27, and her boyfriend of seven years were involved in an incident inside their apartment in the 5100 block of Citrus Boulevard. Both… Continue reading →

Scholars to debate divinity of Jesus at Baptist seminary

Was Jesus Christ divine, God incarnate, as most Christians believe? Or was he merely an extraordinarily charismatic human whose passionate followers later asserted he was divine — something he never claimed for himself? In other words: Is Christianity man-made? That’s the central question up for debate Friday night by two world-class New Testament scholars at New… Continue reading →

New Orleans Police Department suspends recruit after DWI arrest

A New Orleans Police Department recruit has been suspended after being arrested early Wednesday on charges including DWI. Gerald Elwood III was pulled over before 1:30 a.m. near the intersection of Interstate 10 and Louisa Street. According to the NOPD, officers had been working a traffic crash when they spotted Elwood trying to drive around a blocked-off… Continue reading →

Girlfriend disputes JPSO account of fatal shooting at end of chase across bridge

Eric Harris

Conflicting accounts emerged Wednesday of a police chase that ended fatally Monday night in Central City, with Jefferson Parish authorities defending the shooting of a young man as justified but with the man’s girlfriend accusing deputies of fabricating key details. Col. John Fortunato, a Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office spokesman, said the two deputies who Continue reading →

Cox pulls plug on New Orleans subscribers using analog service; some say move is money grab

Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- Corey Jones, an employee of Baton Rouge's Jago Tech Communications, which does subcontracting work for Cox Communications, moves around cables hanging over Government Street at Glenmore Avenue in July 2015.

First, a few channels disappeared. Then, a few more. Finally, there were none left in New Orleans. Next up are Baton Rouge and Lafayette. After issuing warnings for months, Cox Communications pulled the plug late last month on its New Orleans subscribers still using analog cable service, a transition that requires them now to rent… Continue reading →

Man arrested in Mardi Gras shooting on St. Charles Avenue

Cortrell Bryant

Police said 23-year-old Cortrell Bryant’s gun was still hot and its magazine was missing a single round shortly after two teens were hit by gunfire during Mardi Gras celebrations Tuesday on St. Charles Avenue. Neither of the two victims, males aged 17 and 18, was seriously wounded. But the shooting nevertheless recalled previous episodes of Continue reading →

Former deputy gets prison time for taking bribes, smuggling cellphones to New Orleans inmates

A former deputy who smuggled cellphones to inmates at Orleans Parish Prison and took thousands of dollars in bribes has been sentenced to more than two years behind bars. Terry W. Savage, 57, pleaded guilty recently to one count of malfeasance in office, a felony, and was sentenced to 30 months in state custody, according to… Continue reading →

Tom Benson’s grandson Ryan LeBlanc says mental competency lawsuit is effort to ‘put the family back together’

Advocate photo by SOPHIA GERMER -- Ryan LeBlanc in the CBD in New Orleans, Monday January 18, 2016.

Ryan LeBlanc has heard the talk alleging that he, his mother and sister are pushing a mental competency lawsuit against the family patriarch, Saints and Pelicans owner Tom Benson, because they want to wrest away Benson’s $2 billion business empire after he cut them off more than a year ago. But there’s no question LeBlanc is… Continue reading →

Suspect in numerous bank, armed robberies arrested in New Orleans after allegedly threatening motorist

Christopher Simms

A suspect in numerous bank robberies and armed robberies in the New Orleans area and across the southeastern U.S. threatened to shoot at a motorist in downtown New Orleans on Monday before he was arrested by state troopers patrolling the city for Mardi Gras, officials said. In a separate matter, State Police said, troopers busting… Continue reading →