Several N.O. school building projects being scaled back

Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER -- Frederick Douglass shool on St. Claude, Wednesday, July 30, 2014.

State officials said Wednesday that they have decided to scale back or redesign more than half a dozen school building projects around New Orleans because of steep construction costs, fewer dollars to spend than expected and shifting projections about the number of classroom seats the city will need. Some schools that had been promised a new … Continue reading →

Judge rejects Gill Pratt’s bid for new trial

A federal judge Wednesday rejected former New Orleans City Councilwoman Renee Gill Pratt’s bid for a new trial, ruling that jurors who convicted her in a 2011 racketeering trial were not “tainted in any way” by a former federal prosecutor who posted inflammatory comments about the proceedings under online news articles. The ruling paves the way … Continue reading →

Two groups submit new bids to build airport terminal

Photo provided by The City of New Orleans -- An artist rendering of the new North Terminal retail courtyard at the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport.

Two joint ventures vying to oversee the construction of a half-billion-dollar new terminal at Louis Armstrong International Airport submitted new, but familiar, proposals for the job this week, setting the stage for a decision on the project in the coming weeks. Hunt Gibbs Boh Metro and NOLA Airport Builders are again the only two joint ventures … Continue reading →

Police release video, ask for help solving robbery

Surveillance image

New Orleans police released a video Wednesday and asked for help solving an early morning robbery on July 21 at the intersection of Mandeville and Chartres streets. The video, taken at 3:15 am, shows a white newer model Toyota Camry at the intersection, according to a New Orleans Police Department release. The vehicle stopped and three men … Continue reading →

Man, 19, gunned down in 7th Ward

A 19-year-old man was gunned down early Wednesday morning in the 7th Ward, New Orleans police said. The shooting was reported about 2:15 a.m. in the 2000 block of Pauger Street. Police responding to a call of a man shot found Wesley Pipkins on the ground He had been shot multiple times, said officer Garry Flot, … Continue reading →

Gusman sued over ‘preventable’ jail suicide

The mother of an Orleans Parish Prison inmate who hanged himself last year filed a lawsuit in federal court this week against Sheriff Marlin Gusman and several jail officials, claiming deputies denied her son psychiatric treatment and ignored “manifest signs” that he intended to take his own life. The 40-page lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court, … Continue reading →

HANO chief moves to reform procurement practices

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON-- New HANO (Housing Authority of New Orleans)  CEO Gregg Fortner stands near his office in New Orleans, La. Wednesday, July 23, 2014. He is the first leader of the organization since it was released earlier this month from 12 years under federal control.

In his first meeting as executive director of the Housing Authority of New Orleans, Gregg Fortner demonstrated Tuesday that he is prepared to tackle thorny issues in the name of creating a more transparent operation. HANO’s brand-new board authorized Fortner to develop and implement procedures to govern the financial transactions and procurement practices of the agency’s … Continue reading →

Full City Council will decide on allowing limited Uber service

Advocate staff photo by ELIOT KAMENITZ-- Taxi cabs line up at the Louis Armstrong International Airport  in Kenner, La. Friday, July 25, 2014.

Uber took another step Tuesday toward possibly entering the New Orleans market, although the City Council still has some misgivings about the popular ride service and only a portion of the company’s offerings would be available at first. The council’s Transportation Committee voted unanimously to send the full council an ordinance that would allow Uber to … Continue reading →

Would-be dates turn into robberies for three men

New Orleans police are investigating three cases in which men were robbed after arranging what they thought were dates with women they had met on social networking sites. The most recent incident happened about 9:30 p.m. Monday in the 2100 block of Danneel Street in Central City. It ended with the 18-year-old victim allegedly being carjacked … Continue reading →

Restaurateurs support women leaders effort

Several New Orleans restaurateurs are supporting the launch of the Women’s Foodservice Forum’s WFF 100K Strong Commitment Campaign, an industry-wide call to action to support the advancement of women leaders. The national nonprofit organization focuses on gender parity on executive teams. Women represent 60 percent of first-line food prep managers and service workers, yet only 15 percent … Continue reading →

Movie Tavern opening in Covington

Movie Tavern, with in-theatre dining, is opening its first Louisiana location at 201 North Highway 190 in Covington Thursday as part of the company’s national expansion. The theatre gives the company 18 locations and 149 screens in eight states. The north shore location will feature eight screens, including one of Movie Tavern’s MT-X Movie Tavern Xtremes, … Continue reading →

Five N.O.-area housing grants awarded

The Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas has awarded more than $1.3 million in Affordable Housing Program grants for five projects in the New Orleans area totaling 210 housing units. Four of the projects are in New Orleans and one in Mandeville. Another $530,000 is going to projects in Lake Charles, Alexandria and Ruston for … Continue reading →

Three dead, one wounded in two N.O. shootings

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON -- Sergeant Edward Delery mixes Micro-stone to make an impression at a homicide scene where a woman was found shot to death at the intersection of France Road and Almonaster Avenue near the Gentilly Woods and Desire Area neighborhoods in New Orleans, La., on Tuesday, July 29, 2014.

Separate shootings Tuesday in New Orleans left two men and one woman dead and sent a third man to the hospital. The first shooting was reported about 1:30 a.m. in the 3000 block of Edith Weston Place in the Desire neighborhood. Officers responding to a report of gunfire found three men inside a red Jaguar. … Continue reading →

Musician says troopers roughed him up during stop

Advocate staff photo by CATHERINE THRELKELD  -- Shamarr Allen and the Underdawgs performs Friday during the first day of Essence Festival in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

Shamarr Allen said he was simply trying to avoid trouble when the trouble started last week. The local trumpet player said he had just dropped off a friend at his home in the Lower 9th Ward when he saw State Police clustered near Chartres Street and Caffin Avenue in the Lower 9th Ward about 2:30 a.m. … Continue reading →

Ex-cop McRae’s sentencing delayed

Associated Press file photo by Cheryl Gerber -- Gregory McRae as he entered federal court in New Orleans in December 2010.

A federal judge Monday postponed until next month the resentencing of Gregory McRae, a former New Orleans police officer convicted of igniting Henry Glover’s corpse in the days after Hurricane Katrina. McRae had been scheduled to appear in court Tuesday to learn his new punishment, but U.S. District Judge Lance Africk rescheduled the hearing for Aug. … Continue reading →

10 charged in cash-advance fraud scheme at Harrah’s Casino

An Orleans Parish grand jury has indicted 10 people on racketeering charges in an identity theft and counterfeit credit card scheme involving a group of New Yorkers who received tens of thousands of dollars in allegedly fraudulent cash advances from Harrah’s New Orleans Casino. The alleged ringleader, Jorge Cesar Mejia, 30, of the Bronx, New York, … Continue reading →

NOLA to host top travel trade show in 2016

New Orleans will host the largest travel industry show in North America in 2016. The U.S. Travel Association’s show, called IPW, was last held in New Orleans in 2002. The group had planned to hold the five-day show in Greater Miami and The Beaches. However, the City of Miami Beach Commission decided to renovate and expand … Continue reading →

Grant will fund UNO research on tiny structures

The National Science Foundation has awarded a $405,000 grant to a University of New Orleans chemistry professor to support research on fabricating microscopic structures. John Wiley began his work in 2011. The tiny chemical structures are about one ten-thousandth the size of a human hair. They consist of chains of particles surrounded by a ceramic-like sheet. … Continue reading →

Officer tried to run down husband with car, NOPD says

A New Orleans police officer was suspended without pay Monday after she was arrested and accused of trying to run down her husband with her car during an argument. Stephanie Caldwell, 33, was booked on several counts including aggravated assault, authorities said. According to a statement from the Police Department, Caldwell and her husband … Continue reading →

Strong New Orleans economy boosts First NBC profit

Increased construction activity and growth in commercial real estate and oil and gas service companies helped drive a strong second quarter for New Orleans-based First NBC Bank Holding Co. The holding company for First NBC Bank reported its second-quarter earnings jumped to $12.4 million, or 65 cents per share, compared to $8.1 million, or 49 cents per … Continue reading →

Officials hope new hospital’s opening will boost New Orleans East

Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER -- The New Orleans East Hospital opened this month. It is the first full service hospital to operate in the east since Hurricane Katrina. The hospital is at the site of the old Methodist Hospital, which did not reopen after the storm.

Karl Warner was the last person to be loaded onto a Black Hawk helicopter from the roof of the storm-ravaged Methodist Hospital in New Orleans East in 2005. The hospital’s chief engineer, he had spent seven days wading through Hurricane Katrina floodwaters, back and forth between the hospital and a small maintenance building across the street, where he … Continue reading →

Steely Dan mixes jamming with familiar hits at UNO show

Advocate photo by VERONICA DOMINACH -- Donald Fagen with Steely Dan performs at the UNO Lakefront Arena in New Orleans, La. on Saturday, July 26, 2014.

Guitarist Walter Becker and singer-keyboardist Donald Fagen, the musical entity known as Steely Dan, brought a show packed with hits to the UNO Lakefront Arena on Saturday. Becker and Fagen are on their “Jamalot Ever After” tour. While their show didn’t lack jamming, courtesy of their exceptionally skilled band, the duo’s songs were, of course, … Continue reading →