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St. Bernard Council to vote on limiting raises, new hires

Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER -- St. Bernard Parish President Dave Peralta leaves the parish jail after posting bond in April.

The St. Bernard Parish Council is slated to vote Tuesday on imposing a six-month freeze on new hires and salary raises for current employees — moves that would limit the authority of the parish’s embattled first-term president, David Peralta, who faces mounting criminal charges. Both ordinances were introduced earlier this month after a lengthy closed-door session… Continue reading →

Two St. John Parish employees indicted over fake water tests

Two St. John the Baptist Parish employees responsible for testing chlorine levels in the parish water supply — an important safety measure against a potentially dangerous amoeba — were indicted on Monday, accused of faking the results of tests they never actually carried out. Kevin Branch, 54, of LaPlace, and Danielle Roussel, 43, of Paulina, each… Continue reading →

Textron lays off 200 from Slidell military plants

Textron plans to lay off about 200 workers from its two Slidell armored vehicle plants, saying it’s temporarily shutting down production. Workers were told earlier this month that they would be laid off effective Nov. 3. Company spokesman Tom Williams said Textron, an industrial conglomerate based in Providence, Rhode Island, is replanning… Continue reading →

Rouses, Associated Grocers reach settlement in legal dispute

Advocate staff file photo by BRYAN TUCK -- Thibodaux-based Rouses Supermarket, with one of its 40 stores located in Lafayette, reached an undisclosed settlement in legal dispute with grocery supplier Associated Grocers in Baton Rouge.

Thibodaux-based retail grocery chain Rouses Enterprises and Baton Rouge-based wholesale grocery supplier Associated Grocers have reached an undisclosed settlement in a legal dispute after three days of trial last week. “The Rouse family is very satisfied with this resolution,” managing partner Donny Rouse said in a statement Monday. He said terms of the settlement are confidential.… Continue reading →

New Beginnings charter schools sign 3-year-contract with CEO

The New Beginnings Schools Foundation, one of the city’s many nonprofit charter school operators, has reached a three-year contract with its chief executive officer, Sametta Brown. On top of a base salary of $140,000, Brown will be able to earn up to $35,000 more by reaching specified performance benchmarks. The base pay amounts to… Continue reading →

Driver hits French Quarter pole that falls and kills woman

A driver slammed into a pole that fell on a woman and killed her in the French Quarter early Sunday, New Orleans Police said. The victim, who would have been 22 on Monday, was walking in the 400 block of Burgundy Street about 5:20 a.m. Sunday when an eastbound 1993 Nissan Maxima barrelled into a balcony pole.… Continue reading →

In international cocaine conspiracy, judge orders new trial after 19 years

Photo Coutesy Miami Herald-Rolando

For federal prisoners, a life sentence usually means just that: incarceration without a pauper’s prayer for parole. The chances for early release diminish with every passing month and failed appeal. Short of a presidential pardon, Rolando “Roly” Fernandez seemed certain to live out his years behind bars, where he’s been since 1995, the year a New… Continue reading →

In international cocaine conspiracy, judge orders new trial after 19 years

For federal prisoners, a life sentence usually means just that: incarceration without a pauper’s prayer for parole. Short of a presidential pardon, Rolando “Roly” Fernandez seemed certain to live out his years behind bars, where he’s been since 1995, the year a New Orleans jury convicted him in a drug-trafficking conspiracy involving the Medellín cartel of… Continue reading →

Entergy’s Vermont Yankee shutdown to cost $1.24 billion

Entergy Corp.’s soon-to-close Vermont Yankee nuclear plant could cost up to $1.24 billion for a decommissioning of its reactor, and plant officials said they currently have about half that much in a fund dedicated to paying for that work. The figure was contained in a “site assessment study”… Continue reading →

Harrison announces new appointments to NOPD leadership ranks

Commander Doug Eckert

Three days after being officially named the city’s top cop, New Orleans Police Superintendent Michael Harrison on Friday announced several appointments to the upper ranks of the Police Department. The positions are largely out of the public eye and focus on areas including recruitment and implementing the consent decree. Rannie Mushatt, a 31-year… Continue reading →

Federal offshore oil lease sale set for March

Oil and gas leases for 40 million acres off the coasts of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama will be offered by the federal government in a March sale at the Superdome in New Orleans, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management said Friday. The sale will include 7,611 blocks, covering about 40.5 million acres,… Continue reading →

Former NOAH Director Stacey Jackson sentenced to 5 years in prison

Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER -- Stacey Jackson, a former city official accused of taking kickbacks in a blight-remediation scandal that rocked New Orleans in 2008, was sentenced in federal court Friday to five years in prison. She is pictured here in July with her lawyer, Eddie Castaing.

More than six years after she emerged from obscurity to become a central figure in a scandal that transfixed New Orleanians and badly tarnished Mayor Ray Nagin’s administration, Stacey Jackson was sentenced Friday to five years in federal prison. The punishment imposed by U.S. District Judge Mary Ann Vial Lemmon was the maximum possible sentence for… Continue reading →

Entergy expecting lower third-quarter profits

The cost to shut down the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant will mean a lower third-quarter profit for Entergy Corp. The New Orleans-based utility announced Friday it expects third quarter as-reported earnings of approximately $1.26 per share, compared with $1.34 per share a year ago. Higher-than-expected decommissioning costs for Vermont Yankee will chop approximately 37… Continue reading →

Accused Mother’s Day shooters, others face still more federal charges

The two brothers accused of spraying bullets into a Mother’s Day second-line parade last year, injuring 20 people though killing none, face additional counts along with five other defendants named in a superseding indictment issued Thursday by a federal grand jury. The indictment replaces one from February that named nine people, including alleged Mother’s… Continue reading →

Inmate who claims he got inadequate medical care at OPP loses at appeals court

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.

A federal appeals court has thrown out a $20,000 judgment awarded to a former inmate who claimed he received inadequate medical care while recovering from bladder cancer at Orleans Parish Prison. A three-judge panel of the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, in a single-paragraph opinion, reversed the damages levied against Dr. Samuel Gore,… Continue reading →

New Orleans riverboat revenue slips, Harrah’s inches upward

New Orleans-area riverboat casinos’ revenue slipped 2.8 percent to $19.7 million in September, while Harrah’s New Orleans Casino’s revenue inched upward by less than 1 percent to $24 million. Overall, Louisiana’s 14 riverboats, Harrah’s land-based casino and slots at four racetracks brought in $182.8 million in September, up 0.3 percent over the year-ago figures. New Orleans’… Continue reading →

Repairs at St. Charles railroad crossing to start Oct. 23

Repairs to a railroad crossing on Ormond Boulevard in Destrehan near River Road will close the route to through traffic for four days starting Oct. 23. The closure is expected to last from 6 a.m. Oct. 23 until about noon Oct. 26, St. Charles Parish spokeswoman Renee Allemand Simpson said. During that period, vehicles… Continue reading →

Weiss Awards honor six for civic contributions

Dickie Brennan

The city’s oldest human relations organization, the New Orleans Council for Community and Justice — founded as the National Conference of Christians and Jews — has announced the recipients of the 57th annual Weiss Awards. Chosen for their exceptional civic and humanitarian contributions to Greater New Orleans, the honorees are Gayle M. Benson, a… Continue reading →