Judge dismisses whistleblower suit against St. John sheriff

A federal judge in New Orleans has dismissed a whistleblower lawsuit filed last year against St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff Mike Tregre by his former chief deputy, who alleged he was terminated after raising questions about a network of hidden cameras in the sheriff’s interrogation rooms. U.S. District Judge Carl J. Barbier’s ruling, issued Thursday, … Continue reading →

Customs inspector locked in ship’s cooler over bad fruit

Federal authorities in New Orleans have arrested a Chinese seaman accused of locking a customs inspector inside a cooler after she found some contaminated fruit aboard an arriving vessel. Xinguo Chen, a cook aboard the Genco Mare, was booked with one count of assaulting a federal officer during the routine inspection late last month. Deemed a … Continue reading →

NOPD arrests suspected get-away driver in shooting of police officer

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON-- A police officer working a detail at a restaurant early Sunday morning was shot several times and police are looking for three suspects  in New Orleans, La. Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014. The officer, 44, is a four-year veteran of the force, is in stable condition at the hospital. The incident occurred around 1:45 a.m. near the intersection of Elysian Fields and St. Claude avenues. Police said the driver of a 4 door Ford SUV possibly an Expedition, light in color and the lower portion dark in color and two passengers drove to the location and two of the men got out of the vehicle. Police said as the men approached the business, one of them took out a handgun and began firing at the officer, hitting him several times. The officer returned fire, possibly wounding one of the suspects.The men then got back in the vehicle and sped off.

The third suspect in Sunday’s officer-involved shooting has been arrested. James Wilson, 26, was picked up Monday morning in Plaquemines Parish after he surrendered to authorities there, said Tyler Gamble, a New Orleans Police Department spokesman. Wilson, the apparent get-away drive, was booked Monday evening with first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder, Gamble said. … Continue reading →

Reserve couple sentenced in death of 8-year-old son

Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER -- Errol Victor was sentenced to life in prison in Edgard Monday, September 15, 2014 in the death of his 8 year old stepson.

Tonya and Errol Victor Sr., convicted in the beating death of their 8-year-old son, remained emphatically defiant as they received lengthy prison sentences on Monday, shouting at the judge and lashing out at the media as they were led from the courthouse. Six years after the death of M.L. Lloyd III, Tonya Victor’s biological son, the … Continue reading →

Film Room: Advocate’s Ross Dellenger breaks down the key plays in LSU’s victory over Louisiana-Monroe

Welcome to Film Room, our weekly analysis of LSU’s last football game. Have a seat. No talking. No tweeting. No texting. Pay attention. Enter the Film Room here. … Continue reading →

Former Priestley School site may be sold to Lycee Francais

An Orleans Parish School Board committee has recommended that the French-immersion school Lycee Francais be approved to purchase the former Priestley School campus in the Carrollton area, sending the proposal to the full board this week for what could be final approval. The Priestley campus is one of seven former school sites that were declared … Continue reading →

A few homeless remain past city’s deadline

Advocate staff file photo by MATTHEW HINTON -- The city has passed an ordinance banning furniture and tents from being erected in public right of ways. So the tents may be removed in the coming days by city workers.

A day after the city’s deadline for homeless people to get rid of tents and furniture erected under the Pontchartrain Expressway, a few hardy homesteaders could still be seen camping out there Sunday afternoon. Four tents could be seen propped up at Camp and Calliope streets as a few homeless residents sprawled alongside personal items such … Continue reading →

Darren Sharper’s other legal battle is against the Saints

Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS shot on 10-31-10. 00023183a.    Saints S Darren Sharper celebrates as he leaves the field after the Saints' 20-10 win over the Pittburgh Steelers Sunday in the Superdome.

Former New Orleans Saints safety Darren Sharper, who is being held in a California prison without bail and has been accused of drugging and raping numerous women in different states, also is fighting a legal battle in Louisiana against his former team. Court records show an attorney for Sharper will appear in front of the state … Continue reading →

Plan to pay for repairing Orleans schools divides School Board

Advocate staff photo by SHERRI MILLER-- Paul L. Dunbar school at 9330 Forshey St. is under construction in New Orleans, La. Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has been pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into constructing new school buildings in New Orleans. What the agency will not do, however, is pay for upkeep, something that worries locals who remember the woeful state of many school buildings before Hurricane Katrina. Soon, though, there may be a plan in … Continue reading →

Police arrest suspect in officer’s shooting

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON-- A police officer working a detail at a restaurant early Sunday morning was shot several times and police are looking for three suspects  in New Orleans, La. Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014. The officer, 44, is a four-year veteran of the force, is in stable condition at the hospital. The incident occurred around 1:45 a.m. near the intersection of Elysian Fields and St. Claude avenues. Police said the driver of a 4 door Ford SUV possibly an Expedition, light in color and the lower portion dark in color and two passengers drove to the location and two of the men got out of the vehicle. Police said as the men approached the business, one of them took out a handgun and began firing at the officer, hitting him several times. The officer returned fire, possibly wounding one of the suspects.The men then got back in the vehicle and sped off.

Authorities have arrested a man they believe is connected to the shooting of a New Orleans police officer Sunday morning. They also recovered the body of a dead man thought to be connected with the case. The NOPD said it has arrested 34-year-old Cornelius Barthelemy in connection with the early morning shooting of Officer Jonathan Smith. … Continue reading →

Wounded New Orleans officer in ‘good spirits’ after being shot, chief says

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON-- A police officer working a detail at a restaurant early Sunday morning was shot several times and police are looking for three suspects  in New Orleans, La. Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014. The officer, 44, is a four-year veteran of the force, is in stable condition at the hospital. The incident occurred around 1:45 a.m. near the intersection of Elysian Fields and St. Claude avenues. Police said the driver of a 4 door Ford SUV possibly an Expedition, light in color and the lower portion dark in color and two passengers drove to the location and two of the men got out of the vehicle. Police said as the men approached the business, one of them took out a handgun and began firing at the officer, hitting him several times. The officer returned fire, possibly wounding one of the suspects.The men then got back in the vehicle and sped off.

Authorities arrested a man they believe is connected to the shooting of a New Orleans police officer Sunday morning. They also recovered the body of a dead man thought to be connected with the case. The NOPD said it arrested 34-year-old Cornelius Barthelemy in connection with the early morning shooting of Officer Jonathan Smith. … Continue reading →

Ex-HANO director’s firm under investigation by HUD

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is conducting a criminal probe that is examining the consulting firm led by former Housing Authority of New Orleans Executive Director David Gilmore, who was brought in to right the troubled agency in 2009, HUD’s Office of the Inspector General has confirmed. According to the OIG, HUD’s Office … Continue reading →

As skateboarding takes root, city scrambles to accommodate it

Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER -- Sean Schultz takes a turn on the half pipe at the skate park under I-610 at Paris Avenue in New Orleans Thursday, September 11, 2014. as skateboarding explodes in N.O., boarders have formed their own nonprofit and have worked closely with city planners and Tulane School of Architecture to create the city's first official skatepark,

Skateboards tucked under their arms, two young brothers leave Medard H. Nelson Charter School nearly every day, ready to burn off a day’s worth of pent-up energy. They drop their boards on the ground and push a few blocks over to Parisite, the city’s first official skatepark, named for its location off Paris Avenue at Interstate 610. … Continue reading →

Southern Decadence saw record attendance in 2014

This year’s Southern Decadence festival saw record attendance, with 160,000 revelers contributing an estimated $192 million to the local economy, organizers announced. Held every Labor Day weekend, Southern Decadence is the fifth largest event in the city, following Mardi Gras, Jazz Fest, Essence Fest and French Quarter Fest, organizers said. Since 1996, the celebration has … Continue reading →

Homeless camp still in place as deadline to vacate looms

Advocate photo by Della Hasselle -- Juston Winfield, 25, holds a vacate order and rules of a City Council ordinance prohibiting furniture or other

Just hours before a city deadline ordering homeless people living under the Pontchartrain Expressway at Camp and Calliope streets to get rid of their tents and furniture, nearly a dozen tents still stood Saturday afternoon as their owners paced about, wondering what to do. “Where are we supposed to put our belongings?” asked a 49-year-old homeless man … Continue reading →

Youth Challenge grads say program changed their lives

Advocate staff photo by John Oubre -- Youth Challenge Instructor Geraldine Taylor tell Honor Grad Nicholas Confident, from New Orleans, how proud she is of him as they line up to enter the arena at Bethany World Prayer center for their graduation ceremony.

Nicholas Confident had never worked at anything in his life. The 16-year-old from New Orleans was content skipping classes at Warren Easton High School and smoking marijuana with his friends. “It wasn’t that I couldn’t do it,” Confident said, referring to school. “It was just that I didn’t care.” But enrolling in the … Continue reading →

New Orleans watchdog, School Board slug it out in court

The legal dispute over whether New Orleans Inspector General Ed Quatrevaux has the right to audit the finances of the Orleans Parish School Board may be headed to the state Supreme Court before long. Earlier this year, Quatrevaux tried to force his way into the board’s books by issuing an administrative subpoena. Civil District Court Judge … Continue reading →

St. John schools to bypass bid law to buy water

As the St. John the Baptist Parish government continues trying to eradicate a potentially fatal brain-damaging amoeba from a portion of its water system, the St. John School Board has declared a state of emergency. The declaration allows the school system to bypass public bid laws to buy bottled water for students at six schools. … Continue reading →

Former Red Cross worker accused of bilking disaster victims

A former employee of the American Red Cross in New Orleans has been accused of misappropriating more than $42,000 by cashing numerous prepaid debit cards the organization hands out to victims of disasters. Deborah McCoy, 63, who served as a “regional response specialist” for the organization in New Orleans, issuing and activating so-called client assistance cards, … Continue reading →

New master planner chosen for Federal City

Vista Louisiana has been chosen to be the new master developer for all but the military portion of Federal City, the 146-acre redevelopment project at the former U.S. Navy base in Algiers. Vista Louisiana, which is led by Vista Trust, a privately held real estate firm based in North Carolina, will replace HRI/EEC, which … Continue reading →

Sheriff’s Office IDs suspect in most recent jailhouse video

Lance Carter

Authorities said Friday they have identified the Orleans Parish Prison inmate who used a smuggled cellphone to produce a jailhouse video of inmates snorting lines of white powder in a holding cell — alarming footage that highlighted the jail’s chronic struggle to curtail the flow of contraband. In fact, they said, they identified him almost two … Continue reading →

Massive new construction tool ready at Michoud

A massive structure described by NASA as the world’s largest spacecraft welding tool has been completed at the Michoud Assembly Center in New Orleans, which was chosen in 2011 to build components of a major new rocket system. The 170-foot-tall, 78-foot-wide structure is called the Vertical Assembly Center. It will play a key role in construction of … Continue reading →

Churchill Downs Inc. seeking to sell Fair Grounds

Advocate photo by ALEXANDER BARKOFF --   They're Off and Running -- A flock of Canada geese enjoy an early morning breakfast as they stroll on the turf course at the Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots in New Orleans on Tuesday morning, Aug. 26, 2014. The race track is in the middle of a 12-day quarter horse meet that ends Friday, Sept. 5, 2014,  with the running of the Louisiana Quarter Horse Breeders Association Sales Futurity with a purse of $276,000.

Three months after the Fair Grounds’ parent company promised to make significant upgrades to the venerable Gentilly race track, it has put the track up for sale. Multiple sources familiar with the situation said Friday that Churchill Downs Inc., which has owned the Fair Grounds plus its 11 off-track betting facilities since 2004, has … Continue reading →

Entergy receives economic development award

Entergy has been named one of the nation’s Top 10 utilities in economic development for 2013 by Site Selection magazine. The company was chosen for its efforts to help attract nearly $21 billion in projects, which could result in as many as 9,200 jobs across its four-state service territory of Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. Louisiana accounted … Continue reading →

Chalmette ferry out of service Saturday and Sunday

The Chalmette ferry will be out of service this weekend while crews replace the landing barge that allows travelers to get on and off the vessel, according to a news release from the Regional Transit Authority. Service on the ferry, which runs between lower Algiers and Chalmette, will be suspended after its run at 9 p.m. … Continue reading →

Legendary recording engineer Cosimo Matassa dies at 88

Recording engineer Cosimo Matassa at the 2012 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductions Sunday, April 15, 2012, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak) ORG XMIT: NYEOTK

Cosimo Matassa, the legendary recording engineer and studio owner who helped introduce and shape New Orleans’ early rhythm and blues and rock ’n’ roll sound and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and recognized with a Grammy for his efforts, died Thursday. He was 88. Matassa was sidelined by … Continue reading →

PMI Energy Services opens Morgan City shorebase

Photo provided by PMI Energy Services -- PMI Energy Services has opened a shorebase in Morgan City, supporting oil and gas production and drilling activities in shelf, coastal and inland waters.

PMI Energy Services has opened a shorebase in Morgan City, supporting oil and gas production and drilling activities in shelf, coastal and inland waters. The Superior Energy Services company’s shorebase is on a 12.5-acre site with a 600 foot bulkhead dock and is centrally located on the Louisiana coast. The company said … Continue reading →