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Leah Chase, Justin Devillier, Alon Shaya honored with prestigious James Beard Foundation awards Monday night

From left: Leah Chase, Justin Devillier, Alon Shaya honored with prestigious James Beard Foundation awards Monday night.

Many familiar names were on the slate of nominees for the James Beard Foundation awards Monday night, and the three who took home medals represented a broad swath of the New Orleans culinary tale between them... Continue reading →

Mayor Mitch Landrieu-endrosed bill aims to free New Orleans police from investigating minor crashes, but there's big opposition

Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- State Rep. Walt Leger III, D-New Orleans, watches the voting board in the House Chamber as 'yes' votes light up green for his HB953 Sunday afternoon. The bill, which would soften the impact of the Common Core academic standards, won final legislative approval on a vote of 70-to-17.The bill is likely to be the most substantive legislation on the subject to emerge from the 2014 session.

A bill in the Legislature that would relieve New Orleans police officers of the duty of investigating many traffic accidents in the city is facing fierce opposition from the state’s insurance industry, which says it relies on law enforcement to determine who is at fault in accidents. Rep. Walt Leger III, D-New Orleans, filed Continue reading →

Lusher administration calls unionizing drive divisive, power grab

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--Lusher Charter School's Alcee Fortier Campus is seen in New Orleans, La. Thursday, April 14, 2016.

The head of Lusher Charter School and her administrative team have come out swinging against the push to unionize teachers at the high-performing New Orleans magnet school, calling the move a divisive power grab that won’t benefit students. It’s the first big showdown between school managers and the union that used to represent local educators before… Continue reading →

After Louisiana Supreme Court denies appeal of Saints, Pelicans owner Tom Benson's competency ruling, here's what's next in case

Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER  -- Tom Benson leaves for a lunch during a break in his trial at civil district court in New Orleans Wednesday, June 3, 2015.

The Louisiana Supreme Court on Monday said it will not consider a request from the estranged relatives of Tom Benson to overturn a judge’s ruling last year that the Saints and Pelicans owner was mentally competent when he altered his succession plans. The twice-widowed Benson announced in January 2015 that Gayle, his third wife, would inherit his… Continue reading →

New Orleans police academy gets new director, bigger class of trainees

A fresh crop of New Orleans Police Department recruits stood at attention Monday morning in front of their mayor, their chief and a new Training Academy commander as officials inaugurated the largest recruit class since the city resumed hiring police in 2013. Police said 39 recruits from around the country are members of NOPD Recruit Class… Continue reading →

Supreme Court reaffirms decision that amendment blocking convicted Louisiana felons from running for office is unconstitutional

The Louisiana Supreme Court has reaffirmed its January decision that a constitutional amendment barring convicted felons from running for state and local office for 15 years after their terms end is itself unconstitutional because of a technical error. The state’s high court had granted state Attorney General Buddy Caldwell’s request for a rehearing on… Continue reading →

Records: City of New Orleans paid $40,000 to cabbie who videotaped local lawyer’s sex plea

Image from video -- New Orleans taxi cab driver Hervey Farrell shoots video of Jennifer Gaubert talking.

The city quietly paid $40,000 last year to a cab driver who claimed he was jailed on bogus charges based on the word of a local radio show host who had implored the driver to have sex with her in his taxi — an encounter he videotaped on his cellphone. The city cut a check to… Continue reading →

Federal jury convicts New Orleans woman in health care fraud scheme

A federal jury in New Orleans on Saturday found the owner of a local health care company guilty on 18 counts from a 2013 indictment accusing her and another woman in a $3.2 million Medicare fraud scheme. Tracy Richardson Brown was found guilty on all counts following a five-day trial. Brown, 46, was convicted on a charge… Continue reading →

SBA honors New Orleans’ Perez APC and owner as runner-up U.S. Small Business Person of the Year

Angela O’Byrne, owner of New Orleans-based construction firm Perez APC was the runner-up for the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Small Business Person of the Year Award. Perez provides design and construction services and specializes in housing, government, education, recreation, hospitality and health care facilities. The company has more than 50 employees and 15 branch locations in the… Continue reading →

Grand Isle molestation cover-up suit settled in Louisiana state court

David Camardelle, mayor of Grand Isle

A lawsuit alleging Grand Isle Mayor David Camardelle and Police Chief Euris Dubois intentionally botched the investigation into whether an elderly boat captain with ties to both men had molested a 6-year-old boy in 2010 has been settled in state district court. The trial was supposed to get underway Monday before Judge Stephen Grefer in 24th… Continue reading →

Orleans Sheriff Marlin Gusman says he's doing 'best job that can be done,' and federal takeover of New Orleans jail 'not the answer’

Advocate staff photo by JOHN MCCUSKER -- Orleans Parish Sheriff Marlin Gusman announces organizational changes within the agency at a news conference Monday, May 2, 2016.

Orleans Parish Sheriff Marlin Gusman delivered a vigorous defense Monday of his record at the helm of the city’s jail, vowing to resist an attempt by the U.S. Justice Department to hand the keys of the lockup to a third-party administrator. He also announced a reorganization within the highest ranks of the Sheriff’s Office, including the… Continue reading →

St. Charles Sheriff’s Office: Why mom’s boyfriend believed to be 16-year-old Jorion White's killer

A cross was recently erected near where the body of Jorion White, 16, of Kenner, was found in St. Rose. White's body was found April 24, 2016; the longtime boyfriend of her mother has been booked with murder. (Photo by Matt Sledge of The New Orleans Advocate)

Despite his claims of innocence, the longtime boyfriend of Jorion White’s mother was jailed Monday on suspicion of murdering White, the Kenner teenager whose lifeless body was found April 24 in a remote part of St. Rose. Daniel Lee Beckley, 40, killed White, 16, then used his car to dispose of her corpse about… Continue reading →

NOPD: Man trying to cross I-10 struck by taxi, killed early Monday

. A man trying to cross Interstate 10 was struck and killed early Monday, New Orleans police said. Around 2:07 a.m., a 39-year-old taxi driver in a 2015 Toyota minivan was traveling eastbound on Interstate 10 at U.S. 90B when he struck a man who was attempting to cross the I-10 eastbound lanes, the New Orleans Police Department… Continue reading →

Keith Spera: ‘Through hell and high water,' New Orleans Jazz Fest comes to a close

Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD  Steve Fredericksen of Red Lodge, Montana and Kitty Appell of Valdez, Alaska dance to Walter 'Wolfman' Washington and the Roadmasters on the Congo Square Stage during the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival Sunday, May 1, 2016, at the New Orleans Fair Grounds.

Before the Allen Toussaint tribute Sunday at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival’s Gentilly Stage, a photo of the honoree appeared on the big video screens flanking the stage. Toussaint looked sharp and grinned broadly. He seemed to be smiling despite, or in defiance of, the persistent rain and gray skies that would remain… Continue reading →

Take a peek inside reopening of 1850 House Museum in French Quarter

Advocate photo by SOPHIA GERMER -- The bedroom is fully furnished with antiques of the period at the Historic 1850 House Museum on Jackson Square in New Orleans, Thursday April 28, 2016. The Historic 1850 House reopens on May 3 after an extensive renovation and installation.

Following an eight-month renovation, the 1850 House Museum will celebrate its reopening Tuesday. Located at 523 St. Ann St. in the middle of the Lower Pontalba Building on Jackson Square, the row house is one of five Louisiana State Museum properties open to the public in the French Quarter. It also is one… Continue reading →

Historic Eagle Saloon on South Rampart Street could finally be on the road to restoration

Advocate staff photo by SHERRI MILLER -- The Eagle Saloon building, in New Orleans on Friday, April 29, 2016.

After more than a decade of false starts, the most visible sign of progress toward reviving the long-neglected Eagle Saloon building is an 18-by-16-foot banner recently hung from the top of the three-story building. The banner touts the latest fundraising campaign to save the legendary watering hole. Located at 401-403 S. Rampart St., at… Continue reading →

‘An answered prayer’: Nonprofit pays for boy’s repaired heart, vies for donations on Give NOLA Day

Advocate staff photo by SHERRI MILLER -- Walter Mercado, shows the scar on his 8 month old son, Francis' chest, at the home of Amy Barrios, a host family with the HeartGift organization, in New Orleans on Monday, April 18, 2016. Francis was born with a congenital heart defect, and received the surgery and care he needed, free of charge, from the non-profit HeartGift organization.

Walter Mercado, a native of the Philippines, remembers the day doctors told him that a heart defect could claim his infant son’s life before his first birthday. Francis Steven was only 3 days old, but a hole in his heart was restricting blood flow to his lungs, causing his skin to turn blue and his body… Continue reading →

Louisiana expected to tweak rules on training new teachers

Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER --  The George Washington Carver drumline brings the beat to the Recovery School District (RSD) and Collegiate Academies 'celebration of the opening of the new Edward Livingston building located at 7301 Dwyer Road on Thursday, August 27, 2015. Carver is using the site now but will move to another facility next year. Livingston cost $29 million dollars to build and was funded through FEMA. The building is 107,000 square feet and is designed to handle 718 students.

Louisiana education officials are considering changing teacher licensing requirements, two years after the state implemented an experimental program aimed at shoring up new teachers’ classroom skills. The program, dubbed Believe and Prepare, was launched in 2014 with five school districts, two charter school organizations and five “preparation providers,” which may be universities or alternative certification programs.… Continue reading →

Stevie Wonder jams at Jazz Playhouse; Beck has fun in Quarter despite New Orleans Jazz Fest rainout

Advocate photo by Keith Spera -- The musician Beck, in the black leather jacket in the middle of the crowd, walks in a second-line parade in the French Quarter led by the Preservation Hall Jazz Band late on the night of Saturday, April 30, 2016. His show at the 2016 New Orleans Jazz Fest's Gentilly Stage  was rained out earlier in the day.

Both Stevie Wonder and Beck found their way to the French Quarter for a bit of fun Saturday night after thunderstorms washed out their scheduled shows at the 2016 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. Wonder performed a sort of stream-of-consciousness mini-concert at trumpeter Irvin Mayfield’s intimate Jazz Playhouse in the Royal Sonesta Hotel on Bourbon… Continue reading →

Warrants reveal new details about arrest of Eric Harris’ girlfriend after Jefferson Parish deputies killed him

Four packets of purported heroin, a .45-caliber pistol and video surveillance served as the basis for the arrest of the girlfriend of a man slain by Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office deputies in Orleans Parish in February. Warrants obtained by The New Orleans Advocate spell out for the first time how Jefferson Parish authorities built a… Continue reading →

Construction to cause low water pressure in areas

The Sewerage & Water Board said these construction projects will cause low water pressure in parts of New Orleans on Monday and Tuesday: Residents and businesses in part of Broadmoor will experience low pressure from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday as contractors install a 4-inch water valve that will serve the area. The… Continue reading →

Burl Cain's son, on leave as Avoyelles warden, treated leniently in '09 inmate beating

Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING --  Former Phelps Correctional inmate David Breaux talks recently about the beating, including wounds to the head, that  he says was administered to him after a Jan. 2009 escape attempt.

Seven years ago, Nate Cain looked on as a trio of guards savagely beat an inmate who had hopped a train to escape a work detail at Phelps Correctional Center in DeQuincy, where Cain was deputy warden. After convict David Breaux was recaptured, the abuse started in a transport car, with Cain in the… Continue reading →

Thunderstorms cancel Saturday’s New Orleans Jazz Fest shows by Stevie Wonder, Beck, Snoop Dogg

Advocate staff photo by SHERRI MILLER -- Hurray For the Riff Raff had to cut their set short, due to the torrential wind and rain blowing onto the Gentilly Stage during day 6 of Jazz Fest at the Fair Grounds in New Orleans on Saturday, April 30, 2016.

Before the gates of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival opened Saturday morning, Stevie Wonder and his band spent time at the Acura Stage rehearsing “Isn’t She Lovely” and other songs for their highly anticipated show later in the day. But Wonder’s Jazz Fest “show” ended up being only an apology and a bit of… Continue reading →

Man booked with murder of Marrero child after claiming girlfiend's 2-year-old fell and hit head

Seth Redell (JPSO)

A Marrero man has been booked on second-degree murder after reporting to police his girlfiend's 2-year-old son fell and hit his head. The boy later died. According to a Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office release, Seth Redell, 27, reported an unresponsive child, identified as 2-year-old Hayden Umbenhower, about 8 a.m. April 24. Redell reported that… Continue reading →

SBA’s St. Tammany disaster loan center closing May 4

The U.S. Small Business Administration’s Disaster Loan Outreach Center in the St. Tammany Parish Administrative Complex at 520 Old Spanish Trail in Slidell will close its at the end of the business day May 4. The center was opened to provide personalized assistance to Louisiana businesses and residents who were affected by severe storms and flooding March… Continue reading →

From ‘The Late Show with Stephen Colbert’ to the New Orleans Jazz Fest, Jon Batiste comes home

Photo by John Davisson/Invision/AP -- Jon Batiste performs at the 2014 Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival in Manchester, Tennessee. Now the bandleader of 'The Show with Stephen Colbert,' Batiste returns to his hometown to perform at the 2016 New Orleans Jazz Fest and at the Civic Theater on Saturday, April 30, 2016.

When they were students at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, Jon Batiste and Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews formed a band called Orleans Avenue. Andrews still leads Orleans Avenue, which now fills concert venues around the globe, and will close the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival’s main Acura Stage on Sunday. Batiste left Orleans… Continue reading →

U.S. oil rig count drops 11; Louisiana reduced by 2

The number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. dropped by 11 this week to 420, again reaching an-time low amid depressed energy industry prices. A year ago, 905 rigs were active. Houston oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. said Friday 332 rigs sought oil and 87 explored… Continue reading →

Kenner man indicted in Jefferson Parish on counts of rape and sexual abuse of three children

Carlo Montero, Sr.

A Jefferson Parish grand jury handed up a six-count indictment this week against Carlos Montero, a Kenner man accused of sexually abusing three children. Montero, 52, was formally charged Thursday with two counts of aggravated rape of a juvenile, one count of sexual battery of a juvenile younger than 13, two counts of lewd and lascivious… Continue reading →

Lemonade Day stands going into business Saturday around Louisiana

Lemonade Day stands will be popping up all around Louisiana Saturday. More than 20,000 youth in the state are expected to participate in the sixth annual Lemonade Day, designed to teach entrepreneurship and character development among Louisiana’s youth ages 4 to 18. Young entrepreneurs were provided with a free backpack, which contained detailed materials to… Continue reading →

Man stabbed near Armstrong Park on French Quarter Fest weekend dies

A man stabbed in the chest near Louis Armstrong Park on April 9 has died, according to the New Orleans coroner. Dr. Jeffrey Rouse said 27-year-old Geoffrey Rabsatt died Thursday of complications from stab wounds. Police said they have obtained a warrant for the arrest of Sedrick Conerly, also known as Cedric “Kat” Conerly, 25, in connection… Continue reading →

Grand Isle man arrested on attempted rape count after allegedly trying to buy young girl for sex

Wade Perkins III, 30

Louisiana State Police said they arrested a Grand Isle man who is a registered sex offender on counts of attempted rape and conspiracy to commit first degree rape on Thursday. Trooper First Class Jesse LaGrange, a Louisiana State Police spokesman, said LSP detectives, along with Homeland Security Investigations-Houma and the Houma Police Department, arrested Wade Perkins III,… Continue reading →

Initial unemployment claims in Louisiana fall

First-time claims for unemployment insurance in Louisiana for the week ending April 23 decreased to 2,684 from the previous week’s total of 2,791. For the comparable week a year earlier, there were 2,737, the state labor department said Friday. The four-week moving average, which is a less volatile measure of claims, increased to 2,739 from… Continue reading →