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Man arrested on obscenity for the third time in a week

. A man was arrested on obscenity for the third time in a week after a neighbor reported he was masturbating in his front yard in Metairie, according to the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office. About 4 p.m. Saturday, deputies responded to the neighbor’s complaint in the 1100 block of Homestead. When they arrived, 51-year-old Gregory Guerin… Continue reading →

Five armed robberies in New Orleans on Saturday, Sunday

. New Orleans police reported five armed robberies Saturday and Sunday. The first incident happened about 10:30 a.m. Saturday, when a 59-year-old man responded to a knock at his door in the 8700 block of Forshey Street in Hollygrove. Police said a man with a gun walked in and started arguing with the victim. He left… Continue reading →

Feud continues between St. Bernard Parish President David Peralta, St. Bernard Parish Council

The acrimonious feud between St. Bernard Parish’s legislative branch and its top executive shows no sign of cooling anytime soon. On Tuesday, the Parish Council plans to consider a resolution asking embattled Parish President David Peralta to resign. Peralta already faces state charges of stalking, perjury and filing false public records in two different… Continue reading →

RTA looking at 4 possible sites for major bus hub in or near New Orleans CBD

Map: Possible locations for centralized transit hub

Plans are creeping ahead for a centralized Regional Transit Authority hub that would serve numerous bus lines converging on a single downtown location to ease transfers. But nearly every aspect of the proposal remains up in the air, from its location to the amenities that would be offered, said Tim Reynolds with Parsons Brinckerhoff, the… Continue reading →

Amid furor over ‘sanctuary cities,’ NOPD seeks to clarify policy on dealing with immigrants

The New Orleans Police Department is drawing up rules that will effectively bar officers from cooperating with any aspect of federal immigration enforcement — a move that’s likely to irk top Louisiana Republicans, who have been sharpening their criticism of so-called “sanctuary” policies in the past few months. The NOPD insists that it already does not… Continue reading →

More New Orleans tax-adjudicated properties go up for auction this week after first auction's success

More than 175 “tax-adjudicated” properties, mostly vacant lots, in neighborhoods across New Orleans will hit the virtual auction block Wednesday in the city’s second public sale this summer of properties taken over by the government for unpaid taxes. For a 12-hour period beginning at 8 a.m., prospective buyers will be able to bid for full legal… Continue reading →

Designed to be 'greatest building in the history of mankind' Superdome still amazes even on 40th birthday

Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER --  The site of many Super Bowls, the Mercedes-Benz Superdome shown Jan. 2, 2013.

. As the story goes, then-Gov. John McKeithen was uncharacteristically silent while he was considering businessman and sports visionary Dave Dixon’s proposal for a domed stadium in New Orleans. Then suddenly, McKeithen brought his fist down on his desk and thundered, “My God. That would be the greatest building in the history of mankind! “We’ll… Continue reading →

Business Alliance’s new leader wants to ‘build more on-ramps’ to prosperity for New Orleanians

Quentin Messer, Louisiana Economic Development department

Quentin Messer Jr. signs his emails with lowercase letters: qlm, jr. He will “never be the capital Q,” the recently appointed president and CEO of the New Orleans Business Alliance said. That distinction is reserved for his father, a former schoolteacher whose impact on the younger Messer is apparent in an hour of conversation dotted with… Continue reading →

Report: With police privatization in French Quarter, who's really running the streets?

Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER -- A pilot policing program funded by Sidney Torres with approval from the Mayor's Office got underway recently. The eight-week pilot program will deploy from one to three off-duty NOPD officers per shift, with the larger contingents at night. The cops, assigned by the cityÕs Office of Police Secondary Employment, will roam three coverage areas in the Quarter, but not Bourbon Street. The vehicle the officers will use were debuted at the Eigth District Police Station at Conti and Royal. Commander Jeff Walls checks out the carts officers will drive.

Setting up a police force that was conceptualized and financed by a single individual, with government support, is a unique approach to fighting crime, according to an article on the New York Times website. With the second highest murder rate in the country, New Orleans neighborhoods are facing a constant stream of violence and crimes, and French Quarter residents… Continue reading →

Long-awaited University Medical Center to open Saturday with transfer of patients from Interim LSU Hospital

Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD  --The $1 billion new University Medical Center in New Orleans, expected to open later this year, will  replace Charity Hospital, which has been closed since Katrina. The medical center will draw more than 64 percent of its funding from FEMA.  Photographed Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Years of planning and construction and months of training are set to come to fruition Saturday with a carefully orchestrated dance as patients and staff close down the temporary medical center that replaced Charity Hospital in the years after Hurricane Katrina and move into their new home at the University Medical Center. The move, expected to… Continue reading →

New city-owned recreation center, pool open on St. Claude Avenue

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--Grant, 10, and his sister Jermyri Tennessee, 9, splash in the new $6.2 million Stallings St. Claude Center and Pool at 4300 St. Claude Avenue in the Bywater neighborhood in New Orleans, La. Friday, July 31, 2015.

The replacement for a city-owned pool and recreation center on St. Claude Avenue that had been shuttered after Hurricane Katrina opened Friday, providing a range of recreational facilities for Bywater residents. The $6.2 million Stallings St. Claude Center and Pool at 4300 St. Claude Ave. will serve as a place where “our city’s youth can seek… Continue reading →

As new hospital opens, more cafes, bars and restaurants stack up to serve

Photo provided by SideBar - The new lounge SideBar is slated to open next week, part of a wave of businesses cropping up near the new hospitals on Tulane Avenue and Canal Street.

As two massive new hospitals have been taking shape between Canal Street and Tulane Avenue, some of the earliest new businesses to crop up around them have been small eating and drinking establishments. Now, with the first of the two facilities, the University Medical Center, opening its doors Saturday, more of these businesses are coming to… Continue reading →

Avondale racetrack fires back at lawsuit accusing it of ripping off Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana organizer

Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD -- The pit crew of driver Stefano Coletti attend to his car before the IndyCar Grand Prix of Louisiana Sunday, April 12, 2015, at NOLA Motorsports Park in Avondale.

The company that organized Louisiana’s first IndyCar race this year is suing the Avondale racetrack that hosted the event only because the organizer did such a poor job that the race failed financially, the defendants argue in their first response to the federal lawsuit. To make most of its money off the Indy Grand… Continue reading →

Weekly unemployment insurance claims decrease in Louisiana

First-time claims for unemployment insurance in Louisiana for the week ending July 25 decreased to 2,510 from the previous week’s total of 2,694. The state labor department figures said initial claims for the comparable week a year earlier were 2,312. Machinery manufacturing had the largest decrease in initial claims, followed by educational services. The four-week… Continue reading →

Release ordered for suspect in Domino’s Pizza delivery man killing

Michael Portis

When police arrested Michael Portis on April Fool’s Day in the March 24 killing of a Domino’s pizza delivery driver and father of three, New Orleans Police Superintendent Michael Harrison credited detectives for working “around the clock” to solve Michael Price’s murder. But another clock — the 120-day window for District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro… Continue reading →

Officers arrest man Friday accused of robbing bank in Algiers

Authorities arrested a 38-year-old man Friday accused of robbing a bank in Algiers. El-Hanini Mohammed was in federal custody after authorities said he walked into the First Bank and Trust on General DeGaulle about 3:20 p.m. with a semi-automatic pistol and a note, demanding large bills. Mohammed fled the bank with a bag of cash and fired… Continue reading →

Louisiana’s FastStart workforce program ranks No. 1, again, by Business Facilities magazine

Louisiana’s FastStart workforce development program has been ranked No. 1 for state workforce programs for a sixth straight year by Business Facilities magazine. The Business Facilities 2015 State Rankings Report placed Louisiana among the Top 10 in seven categories of economic competitiveness, with Louisiana ranking as the No. 3 business climate in the U.S. Five… Continue reading →

Louisiana Bancorp profit rises slightly

Metairie-based Louisiana Bancorp Inc.’s second-quarter profit inched upward to $552,000, or 20 cents per share, compared to $519,000, or 20 cents per share, a year ago. Louisiana Bancorp is the holding company for Bank of New Orleans. Although net interest income jumped $325,000 to $2.8 million for the quarter, those gains were largely offset by… Continue reading →

Landrieu office eyes streamlining certification process

Advocate staff file photo by PATRICK DENNIS -- New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu.

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s administration is responding to a recent City Charter change and critics’ complaints by making changes in its program promoting city work for woman- and minority-owned small businesses. The Louisiana Weekly reported this week that the city is reviewing the policies of its Office of Supplier Diversity and preparing to roll… Continue reading →

Metairie man booked twice this week on obscenity charge

A Metairie man has been arrested twice this week on allegations he masturbated in public. Gregory Guerin, 51, was booked late Wednesday on one count of obscenity after a resident in the 1100 block of Homestead Avenue spotted him masturbating under his carport, Col. John Fortunato, a Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office spokesman, said in a news release.… Continue reading →

Des Allemands woman charged with BP relief fraud

Federal prosecutors on Thursday charged a Des Allemands woman with making a false claim for disaster relief after the 2010 BP oil spill. Authorities said Melissa Ann Duran, 42, claimed she had worked as a seafood processor for a commercial fisherman for two years before the spill. They said she filed false documentation with the federal government.… Continue reading →

Harvey woman pleads guilty to FEMA fraud

A Harvey woman pleaded guilty Thursday to defrauding the federal government of disaster relief money after Hurricane Isaac. Jennifer Williams, 33, admitted to five counts of theft and one count of disaster fraud. Prosecutors said Williams applied to the Federal Emergency Management Agency in October 2012, claiming she needed rental assistance due to hurricane-related damage. They… Continue reading →

New Orleans City Council members berate water board officials over delay in issuing boil-water advisory

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--Cedric Grant, the executive director of the Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans in New Orleans, La. Thursday, July 30, 2015, speaks about a boil water advisory that was issued last Friday when part of the water

The New Orleans Sewerage & Water Board needs to provide immediate notification to residents when there’s a potentially dangerous problem with the city’s water supply, members of the City Council said Thursday in admonishing the agency for its slow response in issuing a boil-water advisory last week. Council members called the agency’s leaders on the carpet… Continue reading →

Select group of New Orleans residents spend days discussing Confederate monuments at Mitch Landrieu's request

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--A diverse group of streetcar riders pass by Lee Circle in New Orleans, La. Thursday, July 9, 2015 where an 1884 monument to Confederate General Robert E. Lee was placed in what once was Tivoli Circle or Place du Ti

In advance of public meetings to discuss the future of four New Orleans Confederate and post-Civil War monuments, Mayor Mitch Landrieu invited a select group of citizens to two days of private meetings on the topic this week. At Landrieu’s request, about 115 people — out of about 650 invited — spent one day each in… Continue reading →

Hornbeck profit hit by Gulf’s slump

Slumping activity in the Gulf of Mexico dropped Covington-based Hornbeck Offshore Services Inc.’s second-quarter profit to $19.2 million, or 53 cents per share, from $31.2 million, or 85 cents a share earlier. Revenue fell 20.3 percent to $136.4 million. The results still easily beat Wall Street’s expectations. Analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research had forecast earnings… Continue reading →

Report: FBI database that could help nab rapists, ignored in Darren Sharper case, is widely overlooked

File photo of former Saints safety Darren Sharper

. QUANTICO, Va. — More than 30 years ago, the Federal Bureau of Investigation launched a revolutionary computer system in a bomb shelter two floors beneath the cafeteria of its national academy. Dubbed the Violent Criminal Apprehension Program, or ViCAP, it was a database designed to help catch the nation’s most violent offenders by linking together unsolved… Continue reading →

'I’m not concerned with it,' St. Bernard Parish President David Peralta said of dangerous amoeba found in water

The Naegleria fowleri amoeba is alive and well in Arabi. That’s the message that officials with the state Department of Health and Hospitals conveyed late Wednesday after another round of testing confirmed the presence of the rare brain-eating amoeba at three sampling sites for St. Bernard Parish’s water supply. The amoeba turned up in… Continue reading →

Orleans DA seeks Supreme Court review of ruling finding local court’s allotment system unconstitutional

District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro’s office on Thursday asked the Louisiana Supreme Court to take another look at the system for doling out criminal cases to Orleans Parish judges, after an appeals court this month declared it unconstitutional and ordered a new judge for the co-defendants of former Saints safety and confessed rapist Darren Sharper. The… Continue reading →

Jury convicts Tavis Joseph of murder in 2013 deaths of two Southern University students in Harvey

A Jefferson Parish jury took four hours Thursday afternoon to find Tavis Joseph guilty of taking part in the fatal 2013 shooting of two Southern University students in Harvey. Joseph, who will be sentenced Aug. 17, was convicted on two charges of second-degree murder. Each carries a mandatory sentence of life in jail without the possibility… Continue reading →

Head of University Medical Center in New Orleans announces resignation 2 days before new hospital set to open

Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD  -- Cindy Nuesslein, CEO of University Medical Center.   The $1 billion new University Medical Center in New Orleans, expected to open later this year, will  replace Charity Hospital, which has been closed since Katrina. The medical center will draw more than 64 percent of its funding from FEMA.  Photographed Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The official who has headed Interim LSU Hospital over the past two years will be leaving to take a new job about a month after the hospital makes its long-anticipated move to the new University Medical Center this weekend, according to a Thursday announcement. The news that Cindy Nuesslein will resign as CEO of UMC to… Continue reading →

Dangerous amoeba found at three sites in St. Bernard Parish water system

The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals on Wednesday reconfirmed that the Naegleria fowleri amoeba is present in the St. Bernard Parish water system. After last week’s positive sample results at two sites, DHH resampled water in the area near the main initial positive finding. All three follow-up samples tested positive for Naegleria fowleri, a potentially… Continue reading →

Two men robbed at gunpoint Tuesday night in Uptown

. Two 23-year-old men were robbed at gunpoint Tuesday while Uptown, according to New Orleans police. The victims were in the 8000 block of Spruce Street just before 10 p.m. when an armed man approached them and demanded their money. The robber fled after they complied.… Continue reading →