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'You roll with us, or you get rolled over': New Orleans’ culture of killing on display at trial of accused ‘3NG’ gang leader

New Orleans officials look at mugshots of the 20 indicted 3NG gang members in 2013.

Washington “Big Wash” McCaskill was 11 or 12 when he started toting a gun around the streets of New Orleans, he told a jury this week. By 13, he stood 6 feet tall and netted $400 to $500 a day selling crack on the streets of Central City and Uptown, stashing the proceeds… Continue reading →

Report: Crimestoppers signs pop up seeking information in Thomas Rolfes' death

Billboards advertising the reward for information in Tulane graduate Thomas Rolfes' death have appeared on Claiborne Avenue. (Photo via WWL-TV)

With much still unknown almost a month after the death of Tulane graduate Thomas Rolfes, billboards advertising the $30,000 being offered have sprung up in the area of South Claiborne Avenue. In a report from WWL-TV, Rolfes' former roommate said the family and his fiancee haven't given up hope to find out what happened.… Continue reading →

Gardens on Mars wins $5,000 in PitchNOLA competition

Garden on Mars, a project that converted four vacant lots into urban teaching gardens for the Lower 9th Ward community, took home first place and $5,000 Wednesday in a business pitch competition. The Propeller Incubator’s PitchNOLA: Living Well competition matched against each other 10 semi-finalist companies offering entrepreneurial solutions to reduce or eliminate health disparities for at-risk… Continue reading →

NOPD: 14-year-old boy shot multiple times in New Orleans East Thursday

Advocate staff photo by MATT SLEDGE -- New Orleans police are investigating a shooting in New Orleans East Thursday. Police say a 14-year-old boy is the victim.

. Update, 1:45 p.m. New Orleans police said the victim, a 14-year-old boy, sustained multiple gunshot wounds and was taken to an area hospital, where he is currently being treated. His condition was not immediately known. The shooting happened in the 8900 block of Morrison Road, and the victim then went to the 9000 block of Bunker Hill, where… Continue reading →

Prosecutor: Retrial for Jerome Morgan in 1993 murder still on, despite loss of key evidence

An Orleans Parish prosecutor said Thursday that a June 13 retrial for Jerome Morgan in a 1993 murder will go ahead despite a Louisiana Supreme Court ruling this month that will bar a jury from hearing pivotal evidence in the case. Morgan’s attorneys asked Criminal District Court Judge Franz Zibilich to dismiss the case,… Continue reading →

Jury convicts Avondale man on gun, weapons charges

An Avondale man who rejected a 10-year plea deal earlier this week saw a jury reject his claim of being framed by police on gun and weapons charges on Wednesday. Westley Simmons told jurors that Jefferson Parish deputies framed him as payback for a 2007 crime in New Orleans, where he shot a rifle at a police… Continue reading →

JPSO seeks suspect after Jesuit High School baseball field burglarized again Wednesday

The Jefferson Parish Sheriff

. The Jesuit High School baseball field at 100 Blue Jay Way in Metairie was burglarized Wednesday night, the latest in a series of thefts that Jefferson Parish officials say are likely related. Several businesses, including the school's John Ryan Stadium and Anthony’s Landscaping at 300 L and A Road, have been burglarized in the area since July 2015,… Continue reading →

Psychiatrist tells judge that crisis management for mentally ill inmates remains ‘abysmal’ at New Orleans jail

Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER --  Orleans Parish Sheriff Marlin Gusman speaks at a news conference in May 2016.

A psychiatrist told a judge Thursday that mental health treatment at the New Orleans jail remains lacking in many respects and is “abysmal with regard to crisis management,” bolstering the federal government’s claim that conditions at the lockup are so bad they violate inmates’ constitutional rights. Dr. Raymond F. Patterson, a well-known mental health expert, testified… Continue reading →

Allegiant expands service, adds flights from Tulsa to New Orleans

Allegiant has launched new seasonal service to New Orleans from Tulsa, Oklahoma. The company is temporarily offering some one-way tickets on the new route for $33. The new route will offer flights twice a week, expanding on the current service to Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport. Allegiant expects the additional flights will bring more than… Continue reading →

Suspect in attempted murder case arrested after standoff with Slidell police

. A man wanted in an attempted murder case in Coushatta was arrested early Wednesday after a 30-minute standoff with Slidell police and U.S. marshals.

Slidell police said Valere Frazier was arrested without incident at a home in the 1300 block of Westlawn Drive in Slidell.

He was wanted on multiple felony warrants from the Red River Parish Sheriff’s… Continue reading →

NOPD: Man involved in crash that killed 80-year-old New Orleans woman had cocaine in blood

A Covington man had cocaine and codeine in his blood when he was involved in a fatal crash that killed a grandmother in the Upper 9th Ward in October, New Orleans police said. On Monday, months after police said Joseph Echar, 39, crashed into the 80-year-old woman’s vehicle and killed her, he was booked into the Orleans Parish jail and ordered… Continue reading →

NOPD: Missing man found dead of multiple gunshot wounds near I-10; 2 injured in Gert Town shooting

Sean Johnson, who was found dead Wednesday evening

Police reported late Wednesday they are investigating the homicide of a man found dead near the intersection of 1-10 West and Elysian Fields. Sean Johnson, 24, had been reported missing earlier in the day, according to an NOPD release, and was discovered about 7:30 p.m. having suffered multiple gunshot wounds. Johnson was last seen around 11 p.m. Monday driving his girlfriend's Silver… Continue reading →

Lusher appeals labor board’s decision; International High School also fights union organizing drive

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--Robert Mills Lusher, who was born in Charleston, South Carolina, was a segregationist, and served as president of state superintendent of schools in the late 1800s and argued that all-white schools where a way of maintaining white supremacy. The Lusher Elementary school is seen in New Orleans, La. Tuesday, June 23, 2015.

In an effort to stave off any future attempts by teachers to unionize, Lusher Charter School administrators on Tuesday fired off an appeal of a recent ruling that the National Labor Relations Board has the right to oversee union elections at the Uptown school. Meanwhile, an effort by International High School of New Orleans… Continue reading →

Louisiana, 'the obesity-diabetes heartland of America,' still ranks as least healthy state for seniors

A troubling increase in the diabetes and obesity rates among middle-aged Louisiana residents doesn’t bode well for the future of a state that remains the least healthy for seniors. From 1999 to 2014, the prevalence of diabetes in Louisiana among those ages 50 to 64 jumped from 11.5 percent to 17.8 percent, the 2016 United… Continue reading →

Orleans jury convicts Gerard Gray for ordering shooting of two men in dispute over Central City hoops court

An Orleans Parish jury convicted an accused Central City gang leader Wednesday on two counts of attempted murder, finding that Gerard Gray furnished a gun for an acquaintance and directed him to fire on two men at A.L. Davis Park during a dispute about who had next “dibs” on the basketball court there. Jonterry… Continue reading →

St. John deputy suspended after he was allegedly found with drugs, Glock handgun during traffic stop

A St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff’s Office deputy was suspended on Wednesday after he was arrested with illegal drugs in St. Charles Parish, officials said. St. John Sheriff Mike Tregre said that 23-year-old Barry Conner II, a deputy in the corrections division, had been placed on indefinite suspension after his arrest early Wednesday morning. Capt.… Continue reading →

Video: Raging fire destroys home, damages two others on Marigny Street Wednesday

Advocate staff photo by ELIOT KAMENITZ-- New Orleans fire fighters battle a multi-alarm blaze which destroyed at least three homes and a school bus parked in a yard in the 1600 block of Marigny Street  in New Orleans, La. Wednesday, May 25, 2016.

A raging fire in the St. Roch neighborhood destroyed one house Wednesday morning and left two more slated for demolition. Neighbors said the blaze started in an abandoned house frequented by squatters. The Fire Department said no injuries were reported. The cause of the fire is under investigation. The house where the fire began, a… Continue reading →

'They just have no clue': Leadership at New Orleans jail panned as receivership hearing kicks off

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--Marlin Gusman leads a group of clergy and supporters to the front of the Orleans Parish Justice Center and Jail in New Orleans, La. Tuesday, May 24, 2016. The press conference comes a day ahead of a U.S. Department of Justice receivership hearing at Federal Court to remove Gusman from control of the jail.

. New Orleans has an understaffed and dysfunctional jail that “nobody knows how to run,” a national corrections expert testified Wednesday, bemoaning the lack of progress at the lockup despite three years of federal supervision and the opening last year of a new $150 million housing facility. The expert,… Continue reading →

In Forbes interview, Dinner Lab CEO discusses the New Orleans start-up’s demise, demand for customer data, the perils of late-night fine dining

Photo provided by Dinner Lab -- The New Orleans-based culinary event company Dinner Lab shut down in April 2016 after a rapid national growth spurt.

In April, the New Orleans-based culinary start-up Dinner Lab abruptly pulled the plug, ceasing operations in its markets across the country despite attracting some $10 million in venture capital and drawing lots of national attention. (See the New Orleans Advocate story on the closing here.) This week, Forbes.com released a post-mortem on the company in the… Continue reading →

Bar Foundation receives $6.6 million to help prevent foreclosures, redevelop communities

The Louisiana Bar Foundation received nearly $6.6 million under a 2014 Bank of America mortgage settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice and six states. The agreement calls for the money to be used for legal assistance in foreclosure prevention and community redevelopment. The Louisiana group, whose headquarters are in New Orleans, is one of 56 state-based… Continue reading →

Popular transit: RTA lines see boost after April's service expansion

Advocate Photo by VERONICA DOMINACH--RTA plans to expand the Canal St. Streetcar line down Canal Blvd. in New Orleans, La. Monday, Feb. 23, 2015.

One month after the Regional Transit Authority launched its largest service expansion in more than a decade, riders are taking advantage of the extended hours, according to data the agency released Tuesday. The data, however, compare ridership only in the months directly before and directly after the service changes, which took effect April… Continue reading →

Trial begins for alleged shot-caller in Central City shooting over hoops court ‘dibs’

Photo provided by New Orleans Police Department -- New Orleans police are looking for Gerard Gray as a person of interest in a shooting Tuesday at A.L. Davis Playground in Central City. ORG XMIT: BAT1407091953459681

Jonterry “Pootie” Bernard told an Orleans Parish jury Tuesday that he just thought it was time to shoot, having been handed a gun and told to act during a persistent argument over basketball court “dibs” at A.L. Davis Park in Central City. His friend “Melly” handed him the gun before Bernard went to the store for… Continue reading →

2016 Bayou Boogaloo rated a success despite fence controversy and theft of $6,000 from VIP bar

Advocate staff photo by ELIOT KAMENITZ-- Robert Tate sings a Gospel song on the MotherShip Foundation Stage during the 11th Annual Bayou Boogaloo Festival produced by the nonprofit MotherShip Foundation in New Orleans, La. Sunday, May 22, 2016. The day offered up a variety of music on four stages including a children's  stage.  Many food and merchandise booths also lined the shores of Bayou St. John.

Most traces of the 2016 Bayou Boogaloo had disappeared from the banks of Bayou St. John by Tuesday, less than 48 hours after guitarist Anders Osborne — a resident of Mid-City, like Boogaloo founder Jared Zeller — had closed out the three-day free festival. Overall, the 11th annual Boogaloo was a success, Zeller said,… Continue reading →

Small group of gang members charged with five murders in New Orleans

The slaying of 18-year-old AmeriCorps volunteer Joseph Massenburg in the West Carrollton neighborhood in April 2013 was among five murders committed by the same small crew of gang members, according to an indictment issued Tuesday by a special Orleans Parish grand jury. The 11-count indictment names Glen “G Three Stone” Emerson, 21, and Dwayne Miller, 25,… Continue reading →

On eve of court battle, embattled jail leader Marlin Gusman turns to court of public opinion

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--Marlin Gusman leads a group of clergy and supporters to the front of the Orleans Parish Justice Center and Jail in New Orleans, La. Tuesday, May 24, 2016. The press conference comes a day ahead of a U.S. Department of Justice receivership hearing at Federal Court to remove Gusman from control of the jail.

The stakes could hardly be higher for Orleans Parish Sheriff Marlin Gusman this week as he squares off with the U.S. Justice Department in a legal battle that is expected to determine whether he will remain in control of the city’s jail or be supplanted by an outside administrator. But on the eve of the most… Continue reading →

Monsanto rejects $62 billion Bayer bid

Associated Press file photo -- Monsanto is rejecting Bayer's $62 billion takeover bid, calling it "incomplete and financially inadequate." However, the seed company suggested Tuesday that a higher bid might be accepted.

Monsanto rejected Bayer’s $62 billion takeover bid, calling it “incomplete and financially inadequate.” However, the seed and weed killer company, which operates a plant in St. Charles Parish, suggested Tuesday that a higher bid might be accepted, saying it remains open to talks. Bayer replied it is committed to completing the deal.… Continue reading →