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St. Charles Avenue streetcar service to fully resume Sunday following three-month interruption

Photo provided by the Southeast Louisiana Urban Flood Damage Reduction Project/Facebook -- The box culvert being constructed below St. Charles Avenue has disrupted the streetcar line for four months.

The St. Charles Avenue streetcar line is expected to resume full service Sunday following a three-month interruption caused by drainage work on three major Uptown thoroughfares. Since May, the Regional Transit Authority has been offering only bus service along much of St. Charles, from just above Lee Circle to Webster Street near… Continue reading →

New Orleans officials urge precautions after finding West Nile virus on West Bank

Associated Press file photo -- Mosquitos are sorted at a lab. U.S. health officials say there's been an alarming increase in the number of West Nile cases.

New Orleans officials said Friday that they have detected West Nile virus in mosquitoes on the city’s West Bank. While about 90 percent of people who test positive for the virus after being bitten by infected mosquitoes do not show symptoms, the city urged residents and visitors to protect themselves against being bitten. That’s… Continue reading →

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu has one week to come up with plan to pay firefighters $142 million or face house arrest

Advocate staff photo by ELIOT KAMENITZ--Retired New Orleans Firefighter Robert Reuther holds a sign with fellow marchers as they gather in Duncan Plaza to protest the back retirement wages they say they are owed in New Orleans, La. Tuesday, June 9, 2015. Mayor Mitch Landrieu faces house arrest unless he presents a plan by next Friday to give firefighters $75 million in back pay, a judge said Friday morning.

Mayor Mitch Landrieu may have some quiet weekends at home ahead of him — by court order. A decades-old legal fight over $75 million worth of back pay — plus $67 million in interest — the city owes to firefighters took a dramatic turn on Friday as Civil District Court Judge Kern Reese finally made good… Continue reading →

Two shot in Central City on Thursday evening

Just before she was about to play a game of cards with a friend in front of a beauty shop about 5 p.m. Thursday, a woman sitting in a chair on Magnolia Street heard a barrage of shots and took off running. “Once I heard the shots, I jumped up,” she said. The friend was shot in the ankle, while a man… Continue reading →

City makes new offer to New Orleans firefighters in back pay lawsuit, but union rejects it; courtroom showdown due Friday

Advocate staff photo by ELIOT KAMENITZ--Retired New Orleans Firefighter Robert Reuther holds a sign with fellow marchers as they gather in Duncan Plaza to protest the back retirement wages they say they are owed in New Orleans, La. Tuesday, June 9, 2015. Mayor Mitch Landrieu faces house arrest unless he presents a plan by next Friday to give firefighters $75 million in back pay, a judge said Friday morning.

With yet another courtroom showdown looming between firefighters and Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s administration in a lawsuit over decades of back pay, city officials have outlined a new plan that would cover the full $75 million owed over 30 years, though it would require firefighters to give up claims to tens of millions of dollars in interest and to… Continue reading →

New Orleans-based Coast Guard officer acquitted of sexual assault charges; convicted on lesser count

A New Orleans-based Coast Guard officer has been cleared of charges he sexually assaulted two women in the service. A military judge, after a court-martial trial ending Wednesday, acquitted Petty Officer 2nd Class Gregory E. Cooper of several counts, including aggravated sexual assault, adultery, indecent conduct and dereliction of duty. However, the judge, Capt. Christine Cutter,… Continue reading →

Not a case of mistaken identity: Man arrested in Mississippi claiming to be New Orleans mayor looks nothing like Mitch Landrieu

Travis Bailey courtesy Harris County Jail

. The Biloxi Sun Herald reports that a man arrested in Harrison County, Miss. on Wednesday while driving a stolen Louisians school bus says he was "mayor of New Orleans." The only problem is that Travis Bailey, a 32-year-old New Orleans man, looks nothing like New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu. And Bailey probably doesn’t even… Continue reading →

Mayor Mitch Landrieu offers new plan to boost hiring of local, disadvantaged workers

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

Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s administration on Thursday proposed a new policy that would connect local and disadvantaged workers with jobs generated by city contracts. The policy, called Hire NOLA, is part of the city’s Economic Opportunity Strategy, which was introduced last year partly as a way to chip away at the reported 52 percent unemployment rate among… Continue reading →

New Orleans man gets 10 years for heroin conspiracy

. U.S. District Judge Kurt Engelhardt sentenced one New Orleans man to 10 years in prison for a heroin distribution conspiracy on Wednesday as another pleaded guilty. Melvin Smith, 30, was sentenced for his part in a heroin distribution ring centered in New Orleans East that used disposable phones to communicate with heroin users and arrange… Continue reading →

New Orleans man pleads guilty to possessing child porn

. A New Orleans man faces from 10 to 20 years in federal prison after pleading guilty Wednesday to possessing child pornography. David Morel, 32, pleaded guilty after investigators found more than 2,500 images and videos depicting sexual victimization of children on his electronic devices, according to the office of U.S. Attorney Kenneth Polite. Morel… Continue reading →

Man gunned down in his driveway in New Orleans East

. Police said that about 1:45 a.m. Wednesday, a man getting out of his vehicle in the 9700 block of West Wheaton Circle, a suburban street near the Read Boulevard exit from Interstate 10, was gunned down in his driveway. The man, 44, died at the scene. Police had no word on a suspect or a motive.… Continue reading →

St. Bernard Parish President David Peralta quickly pleads not guilty to corruption charges, but doesn't get the fast trial date he seeks

. It took less than five minutes Wednesday for St. Bernard Parish President Dave Peralta to plead not guilty a 22-count corruption indictment. Peralta's defense attorney Martin Regan argued for a trial before the Oct. 24 political primary, a race in which the embattled Peralta has already drawn several high-profile challengers. But Regan… Continue reading →

Long-delayed O.C. Haley Blvd. fresh food market due to open this fall, developer says

Advocate staff photo by Ian McNulty - Closed since 2002, and later ravaged by fire, the former Myrtle Banks elementary school in Central City has been renovated as a multifacted space that will include Jack & Jake's Public Market.

A long-awaited new grocery store and farmers market in Central City is a year behind schedule. The visionary behind the project, which has received generous taxpayer support, is no longer in charge and won’t discuss his exit. And there’s still no specific opening date. But the developer who’s opening Jack & Jake’s Public Market on Oretha… Continue reading →

New Orleans Police Department academy graduates 29

Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER -- NOPD celebrated the graduation of its latest recruit class at the University of New Orleans Wednesday, September 2, 2015. Bailey Fontenot straightens her husband Joshua Fontenot's  tie after pinning on his badge at the ceremony.

The 29 men and women who graduated from the New Orleans Police Department’s training academy on Wednesday were treated to an unusual keynote speaker: the federal judge who will decide if and when the department has shaped up under the terms of a court-imposed reform plan. U.S. District Judge Susie Morgan, who has rarely made public… Continue reading →

Landrieu administration issues permit it previously refused, clears way for inmates to occupy city’s new jail

Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s administration gave the green light Wednesday for Sheriff Marlin Gusman to begin moving hundreds of inmates into the city’s new $145 million jail, apparently averting a courtroom showdown that had been scheduled for Thursday morning. After many months of construction delays, inmates are expected to be transferred into the 1,438-bed facility this month… Continue reading →

Vieux Carre Commission calls for removal of statue that honors white supremacist group

People walk past a monument dedicated to the Battle at Liberty Place in New Orleans, Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2015. Opponents and supporters of a move to remove  prominent Confederate monuments are preparing to speak out over the fate of the monument in the French Quarter, dedicated to a violent uprising against a Reconstruction-era government. The fate of the monument is being discussed by a commission that oversees the French Quarter. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

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 Tuesday night in Marrero, 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 with a laser-sighted handgun Tuesday night in Marrero, piercing the windshield and striking the driver’s seat a moment after one of the officers moved to get out of the vehicle, a spokesman said. A second shot struck the driver’s-side door as the three officers… 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 →