New Orleans area briefs for July 21, 2013

‘Lot Next Door’ deadline looming

Homeowners interested in purchasing property through the Lot Next Door Program must submit an expression of interest form by the Aug. 1 deadline, the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority said.

A completed form does not guarantee purchase of the Lot Next Door property but is a necessary step to begin the process. Eligible buyers who complete the form will be notified by certified letter with details outlining the process for purchase.

The Lot Next Door Program provides an opportunity to owners of a residentially zoned property that share a common boundary with a former Road Home property. The program was originally established in 2007 by a New Orleans City Council ordinance and was revised in February 2013.

To be eligible, owners must not own property that is encumbered with outstanding ad valorem taxes or municipal lien violations, or be in violation or default of any other NORA program.

Owners must comply with city building codes and health and safety ordinances on all owned properties within Orleans Parish.

Homeowners can visit or contact the Lot Next Door Program Office at (504)658.4422 for assistance completing the online form and to view the list of properties.

St. Charles sends out information bulletin

The 2013 Public Information Bulletin is on its way to residents’ mailboxes, and the document also can be downloaded now on the St. Charles Parish website.

Each year the Public Information Office produces the bulletin to inform citizens of updated contact information for elected officials, government departments and emergencies. The bulletin will be sent to all U.S. mail recipients in the parish within the next few weeks.

This year’s edition includes contact information for new public officials, including council persons and public schools superintendent. The bulletin also includes a quick reference guide for contacts on common issues, with streetlight outages, drainage, and garbage.

To download the document, log on to and click on ‘Documents’ in the upper right hand corner of the screen, then navigate to the Public Information folder.

Sgt. major retiring from Marine facility

Sgt. Maj. Eric Kuhns, Marine Corps Support Facility sergeant major, will retire after more than 22 years of service following a post and relief ceremony Monday.

Kuhns will hand the reins to Sgt. Maj. Rene Salinas before bidding New Orleans farewell. Kuhns arrived in New Orleans on Oct. 11, 2011, when he assumed the duties as the Marine Corps Support Facility and Headquarters Battalion, Marine Forces Reserve sergeant major.

Kuhns, a native of Lockport, N.Y., enlisted in the Marine Corps in February 1991 and became a mortarman. He served with many units throughout his career and had multiple deployments including Kabul and Helmand Province, Afghanistan and Fallujah and Al Qaim, Iraq.

Orleans Parish DA offers academy

District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro is offering a Citizens Academy for those interested in learning about how the District Attorney’s office and municipal criminal justice system work to fight crime.

The academy, which is on Tuesdays from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., begins Sept. 17 and runs through Nov. 5. Sessions are held in the Grand Jury Room in the district attorney’s building at 619 S. White St.

Cannizzaro will conduct the first class and invite New Orleans Police Superintendent Ronal Serpas to conclude the workshop with him.

Sessions include Anatomy of Homicide, Rape and Drug cases, Juvenile Crime and Child Support Enforcement, Social Services: Domestic Violence, Victim/Witness Services and Diversion, Here Come the Investigators! and more.

Space is limited. Register by calling Anne Zoller Kiefer at (504) 571-2937 or emailing Registration will be open through Sept. 3.

Skrmetta to hold
St. Charles town hall

Louisiana Public Service Commissioner Eric Skrmetta will hold a town hall meeting in St. Charles Parish Thursday from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the St. Charles Parish Council Chambers, 15045 Louisiana 18, in Hahnville.

The purpose of the meeting is to allow St. Charles Parish residents to voice concerns about any issues related to utility companies operating in the area. Skrmetta and his staff will be in attendance to take questions.

New Orleans wins management award

The city of New Orleans received a Certificate of Distinction for superior performance management efforts from the International City/County Management Association’s Center for Performance Measurement.

The certificate program assesses a local government’s performance management program and encourages analysis of results by comparing to peers and gauging performance over time. New Orleans is among eight jurisdictions receiving this honor this year.

“Our goal is to promote better city services through data-driven management decision making and accountability to deliver results for our citizens,” Deputy Mayor and Chief Administrative Officer Andy Kopplin said in a prepared statement. “I am thrilled that our aggressive work is being recognized on a national stage.”

State Police Troop B commander named

Louisiana State Police Superintendent Mike Edmonson recently promoted Capt. Donovan Archote to Commander of Troop B.

The promotion followed Captain Carl Saizan’s appointment to the rank of major overseeing Troops A, B and L.

Archote, a native of Chalmette, lives in Gretna. He began his law enforcement career with the New Orleans Police Department in 1994. He graduated from the Louisiana State Police Academy in 1998 and was assigned to patrol in the Troop B area. Archote transferred to the Detective Division and was promoted to lieutenant over detectives in 2009.

As a lieutenant, Archote was transferred to the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas task force where he supervised long-term narcotics investigations and wire intercepts.

St. Tammany holds pet adoption event

The St. Tammany Parish Department of Animal Services Back 2 School Adoption Event begins Monday at the Parish Animal Services Building, 31078 La. 36 in Lacombe.

A special adoption fee of $10 for dogs four months or older and $5 for cats, four months and older will be available.

The Back 2 School Adoption Event runs through Aug. 3. Shelter hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

The pets have been spayed or neutered and all of their immunizations are up-to-date. For more information, contact St. Tammany Parish Animal Services at (985) 809-0183 or visit

Slidell hosts session on home elevation

Slidell will host a public meeting to provide information about the city’s Flood Mitigation Program Monday, at 6:30 p.m. in the Slidell Municipal Auditorium at 2056 Second St.

Homeowners who received a letter from the city saying that they may be eligible for a grant to elevate their home — based on the fact that their address was listed on the National Flood Insurance Program’s Severe Repetitive Loss or Repetitive Loss list — will find out how to participate in the Flood Mitigation Program.

Monica Martin, Planning Director at Providence Engineering Corporation, will lead the meeting and will review each step of the elevation process. She will be available to answer questions after the meeting.

The city’s Flood Mitigation Program is funded by FEMA and managed by the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness.

Compiled by
the New Orleans bureau