Merger of two Louisiana Entergy utilities requested

Entergy Louisiana LLC and Entergy Gulf States Louisiana LLC have asked the Louisiana Public Service Commission for permission to merge into a single utility. Entergy Louisiana LLC services the New Orleans suburbs north to Monroe. Entergy Gulf States Louisiana LLC services customers from Baton Rouge west to the Texas state line. Entergy Louisiana President and … Continue reading →

City issues new RFP for former World Trade Center site

Advocate staff file photo by JOHN McCUSKER --  New Orleans is again soliciting proposals to redevelop t vacant former World Trade Center.

The city is once again soliciting proposals to redevelop the long-vacant former World Trade Center building at the foot of Canal Street. The riverfront property is widely considered to be one of the most valuable sites in New Orleans, but the city has struggled to move forward with several development plans for it. The RFP asks for … Continue reading →

Destrehan teacher arrested for alleged sexual contact with student

A 34-year-old teacher at Destrehan High School was arrested Tuesday for allegedly having sexual contact with a 16-year-old student, authorities said. Shelley Dufresne, who lives in Montz, was arrested about 5:30 p.m. by St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office deputies on a warrant on one count of carnal knowledge of a juvenile, sheriff’s spokesman Capt. Patrick Yoes … Continue reading →

City Council to vote on new zoning law by Nov. 21

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--Nick Suarez wears a shirt against the proposed raising of the building height restrictions to 75 feet in the Marigny while Robert Watters, president of Rick's Cabaret and the French Quarter Business Association speaks about the Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance at City Council in New Orleans, La. Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2014.

The New Orleans City Council expects to vote on a proposed new comprehensive zoning ordinance, likely with several revisions, by Nov. 21 and possibly well before, council President Stacy Head said Tuesday as the body held its first hearing on the long-awaited revision of the city’s zoning law. Individual council members will meet with various groups and … Continue reading →

Gill Pratt must pay restitution while in prison, judge rules

Renee Gill Pratt

A federal judge has refused former New Orleans City Councilwoman Renee Gill Pratt’s request to put off paying restitution to the city and state while she serves a four-year prison term for racketeering. Gill Pratt, who owes more than $688,000 for steering public money to sham charities, sought a reprieve from her debt. Citing expenses related … Continue reading →

St. Charles Avenue streetcar line named a National Historic Landmark

Advocate staff photo by ELIOT KAMENITZ-- Streetcars carry and dispatch passengers on South Carrollton Avenue near South Claiborne Avenue late afternoon in New Orleans, La. Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2014.

The St. Charles Avenue streetcar line, the oldest operating streetcar system in America, has been designated a National Historic Landmark, the U.S. Department of the Interior announced Tuesday. The designation recognizes sites of historic importance to the entire nation, not just a particular community. The sites have a “high, not simply good level of historic integrity,” … Continue reading →

Man pleads guilty, gets 30 years in Gert Town killing

More than two years after he participated in a mid-afternoon ambush in which a trio of gunmen snatched a 31-year-old man from his vehicle and shot him to death, a suspect charged in the case pleaded guilty Tuesday to manslaughter. Christopher Peterson, who turned 27 on Tuesday, received a 30-year prison sentence in exchange for his … Continue reading →

Stabbing in Algiers kills one, wounds another

A stabbing early Tuesday in Algiers killed one man and injured another, New Orleans police said. Police were called to the 1300 block of Flanders Street about 3 a.m. and found both victims inside a home suffering from multiple stab wounds, said Officer Garry Flot, a Police Department spokesman. One victim, a 40-year-old man, was dead … Continue reading →

Renaissance RX plans CBD expansion, 425 new jobs

Renaissance RX, a New Orleans-based company that uses genetics to help ensure patients get the proper dosage of their medications, will undertake an $8 million expansion that will add 425 workers to the 80 it already has in the city, officials said Tuesday. The company, which started in 2012 with five employees in the BioInnovation … Continue reading →

Plaquemines to help move LNG export terminal forward

Plaquemines Parish officials have signed an agreement with Louisiana LNG Energy LLC that allows for negotiations to help move forward the company’s proposed liquefied natural gas export terminal in the parish. The parish and the company said they plan to file applications with the Louisiana Department of Economic Development for economic incentives for the project, which is … Continue reading →

Sen. Landrieu, local maritime officials lobby for federal money

Advocate File Photo by Arthur D. Lauck -- U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., is seen in this January 2013 photo.

Stressing the importance of Gulf Coast ports to international trade and the economic impact that Mississippi River commerce has on the region, U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu and Louisiana port officials pushed the director of the White House Office of Management and Budget on Monday to support money for maritime projects in the state. The election-year visit, prompted … Continue reading →

Amtrak ordered to halt work on fence by tracks

Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER -- Stacy Head got the City Council to establish a new interim zoning district in order to stop construction of this fence  around the Amtrak train line which parallels Earhart Boulevard.

A New Orleans judge has ordered Amtrak to stop construction on a chain-link fence along the Earhart Boulevard train tracks that Mayor Mitch Landrieu and the City Council have said would impede growth in the surrounding neighborhood. The city filed suit against National Railroad Passenger Corp., which operates as Amtrak, in Civil District Court, requesting a … Continue reading →

Bouie elected to state House seat when Green drops out

New Orleans businessman Eugene Green has dropped his bid for a Louisiana House of Representatives seat. His withdrawal leaves former Southern University at New Orleans Chancellor Joseph Bouie Jr. unopposed for the District 97 seat, which became vacant when Jared Brossett was elected to the City Council in March. The notice of withdrawal that … Continue reading →

Banks based in Raceland, Gonzales merging

The parent companies of Community Bank in Raceland and United Community Bank in Gonzales, which share the same majority ownership, plan to merge. Under the agreement, United Community Bancshares Inc. is being merged into Community Bancorp of Louisiana Inc., officials said Monday. The combined holding company will operate under the name Community Bancorp of Louisiana Inc. and … Continue reading →

Man, 61, found shot dead inside N.O. East home

Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER -- Police work the scene of a homicide in the 4900 block of Good Street in Eastern New Orleans Monday, September 29, 2014, looking over an apparent bullet hole in a window.

A 61-year-old man was found shot dead inside a New Orleans East home Monday morning. Police reported the incident about 11:30 a.m. Neighbors said that the front door of the home in the 4900 block of Good Drive was open earlier in the morning, leading them to believe the victim, whose identity was not immediately released, was … Continue reading →

Developers take second crack at proposal for new French Quarter hotel

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--In the shadow the Westin hotel on Iberville St., 111 Iberville maybe converted to a hotel in the near future seen here in New Orleans, La. Thursday, Sept. 25, 2014. A similar plan before Katrina fell apart.

Developers have resurrected a plan to convert a vacant 19th-century riverfront building into the city’s first new French Quarter hotel in decades. The move comes eight years after they shelved their original, controversial proposal. Developers Wayne and David Ducote are expected to submit a request to the City Planning Commission this week for a conditional-use permit … Continue reading →

Proposed new N.O. zoning law stirs up multiple controversies

Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER --  If a proposed overhaul of the citys zoning code clears the New Orleans City Council this year, it will devastate billboard companies like Lamar Advertising, an attorney for the company told the City Planning Commission this month. It also will limit the earnings potential of local musicians and temper growth on university campuses, live music advocates and school representatives said.Those assertions are among the dozens of issues the New Orleans City Council will have to grapple with beginning Tuesday as it considers the proposed new comprehensive zoning ordinance, or CZO, the document intended to give legal force to the guidelines and principles set forth in the citys master plan for long-term development.

If a proposed overhaul of the city’s zoning code clears the New Orleans City Council this year, it would devastate billboard companies like Lamar Advertising, an attorney for the company told the City Planning Commission this month. It also would limit the earnings potential of local musicians and hinder growth on university campuses, live music advocates and school … Continue reading →

Potential candidates for top job watching what Peralta does

Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER --  Lionel Alphonso Sr., right, better known as

There’s a new parlor game in St. Bernard Parish: speculating about whether embattled first-term parish President David Peralta will resign and who might run to replace him. Peralta, 60, turned himself in to authorities Friday in St. Tammany Parish, two days after he was indicted by a grand jury on a charge of stalking his ex-wife, … Continue reading →

Sheriff investigating two teachers at Destrehan High

The St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office said Saturday it is investigating allegations that two women who work as teachers at Destrehan High School had a sexual relationship with a male student. Reached by phone Saturday afternoon, Sheriff Greg Champagne told WWL-TV the case is “too premature to discuss at this time.” He said his office … Continue reading →

Geocent growing its business to the next level

Photo provided by Geocent LLC -- Employees Joe Berry, left, Anita Canafax, Brittanie Wright, standing, Mandi Nicholas and Mayra Cabrera participate in a meeting at Geocent LLC, which provides information technology and engineering services from offices in Metairie, New Orleans and Baton Rouge, and four out-of-state locations.

Growing a new technology company into a $30 million contracting business is no small feat. Even though Metairie-based Geocent LLC reached that mark in just six years, its owners have their sights set much higher and think the company now is poised to push toward its “real” revenue goal — $125 million. … Continue reading →