Around Jefferson: Office of Motor Vehicles opens location in Kenner

Eva Jacob Barkoff
Eva Jacob Barkoff

The state Office of Motor Vehicles opened an express motor vehicle office in Kenner’s Rivertown, the only location for services such as driver’s license renewals on the east bank of the Mississippi River from St. John Parish to New Orleans.

The new site, 421 Williams Blvd., is the former Mardi Gras Museum. Currently, the closest motor vehicle offices to Kenner are at 100 Veterans Memorial Blvd. in New Orleans or in Reserve.

The Rivertown office will handle most routine transactions, including renewing classes E and D driver’s licenses, issuing identification cards and handicap hang tags and plates and providing duplicates of registration certificates and titles.

Driver’s tests are not part of the services offered at express locations, state officials said.

There is a $3 fee that will be added to every transaction. Kenner officials say the fee will be put into escrow and can only be used to pay for improvements, operating costs and maintenance to the building.

Because anyone in the New Orleans area can use the Kenner office — it will be the closest location for many in Metairie and some in parts of St. Charles Parish — the operation costs will spread equally among residents from throughout the metropolitan area.

Up to 1,500 people used the Airline Drive office daily before it closed and officials estimate Kenner can expect about one-third of that traffic each day to the Rivertown office.

Employee of the year

The Jefferson Parish Human Services Authority has named Majied Harris as its employee of the year.

Harris, the facilities manager, was recognized for “leading by example and for his personal work ethic.”

JPHSA provides behavioral health services and supports to children, adults and families who are residents of Jefferson Parish and who meet basic eligibility criteria. Services include screening and assessment; individual, group and family counseling; psychiatric and psychological services; pharmacy services and medication assistance programs; and employment and housing assistance for people with mental health or developmental disabilities.

For information about JPHSA, call (504) 349-8833 or (504) 832-5123.

Retired judge to be honored

Sol Gothard, a retired judge with the Fifth Circuit of Appeal and the founder of the Jules Lazard Post 580 of Jewish War Veterans, will receive the Peoples Health Champion award for his contributions to the community.

The award will be presented Friday in the Superdome prior to the Saints home game against the Kansas City Chiefs.

Gothard’s wife Jackie received the same honor in 2007 for her efforts to save Congregation Beth Israel following its destruction from Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

The Gothards resident in Metairie.

According to the website, the award was established to “recognize the exceptional achievements of Baton Rouge, Mississippi Gulf Coast and New Orleans area residents age 65 and older.”

Peoples Health, in collaboration with the New Orleans Saints, created the program in 2003 to give recognition to senior citizens who have contributed to their community.

Past recipients include Lionel Batiste Jr., Harold Battiste Jr., Chris Owens, Phillip Sage, Dr. John, Fats Domino, Mignon Faget, Paul Prudhomme, Leah Chase, Allen Toussaint, Dr. Norman Francis and the late Lindy Boggs.

New book to be discussed

Toni Kiser and Lindsey Barnes, both employees of the National World War II Museum in New Orleans, will discuss their new book “Loyal Forces: The American Animals of World War II” at 7 p.m. Thursday at the East Bank Regional Library, 4747 West Napoleon Ave., in Metairie.

Kiser, assistant director of collections and exhibits and registrar at the National World War II Museum, has a master’s degree in museum studies at the George Washington University.

Barnes, senior archivist and digital projects manager at the National World War II Museum, has a master’s degree in library and information science from LSU.

The event is free and open to the public.

Eva Jacob Barkoff writes about the people and events in Jefferson Parish. Contact her at or by calling (504) 430-8053.