Crews begin replacing streetlights along St. Charles Avenue

Photo by Robert Morris/ -- Anthony Reed of All-Star Electric prepares to move an old fixture from a streetlight on St. Charles Avenue near Carrollton on Monday morning.

To the relief of residents who have complained for months about the persistent darkness along St. Charles Avenue, crews on Monday began repairing the broken streetlights and replacing the bulbs with more energy-efficient LED lights. A total of 336 lights will be converted between Carrollton Avenue and Calliope Street over the next two weeks at an estimated … Continue reading →

New Orleans pizza delivery driver shot, killed in Mid-City

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — New Orleans police are investigating the shooting death of a 35-year-old pizza delivery driver. Police were called to investigate a man down in the middle of the street early Monday morning. When officers arrived, police said in a new release they found the unresponsive victim suffering from multiple gunshot wounds to the body. … Continue reading →

Not all parishes to have 911 text service

In case of an emergency, most people still grab a phone and contact 911 the old-fashioned way: a voice call. But with text messaging becoming more common and easier, the federal government has mandated that all cellphone carriers support text-to-911 service by the end of the year. The Federal Communications Commission is not, however, … Continue reading →

Unique Uptown movie theater breaks all the rules

Advocate staff file photo by JOHN McCUSKER -- Rene Brunet of the Prytania Theatre

It may seem incongruous that a one-screen neighborhood movie theater is thriving in the multiplex era. Or that a 93-year-old is still in charge of the place. But the 100-year-old Prytania Theater and its nonagenarian owner, Rene Brunet, seem happy enough as exceptions to the rules. Since 1996, Brunet and his son Robert have kept the … Continue reading →

Study: Kids’ Katrina memories faded after Gustav

Children’s memories of Hurricane Katrina faded after they lived through Hurricane Gustav, a new study has found. The research, led by University of New Orleans psychology professor Carl Weems and published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, found that overall, kids’ memories of a traumatic event fade after experiencing an event that’s similar but less … Continue reading →

Southern Rep eyes Lower Garden District for long-term home

Photo by Robert Morris -- The Southern Rep theatre company is considering the building at 651 Richard St. as a possible long-term home.

Southern Rep, the highly regarded theater company that has been performing all over the city since losing its longtime home at Canal Place two years ago, hopes to settle down in the Lower Garden District, its director told neighbors last week. Southern Rep, which was founded in 1986 with a mission of developing new plays, spent … Continue reading →

Lower Garden District hotel plans major expansion

Rendering provided by Wayne Troyer, Studio WTA -- A conceptual drawing shows Phase I of the Avenue Oaks Hotel at St. Charles Avenue and Melpomene Street, which will have 48 guest rooms.

The 60-room Prytania Park Hotel is slated for a major, two-phase expansion into a 200-room hotel called the Avenue Oaks Hotel that will encompass most of a city block on St. Charles Avenue, according to plans shared with Lower Garden District neighbors last week. The first phase of the expansion will be a new 48-guest-room building on … Continue reading →

State meets deadlines on transferring inmates to mental facility

State officials have asked a federal judge in New Orleans to lift a 2011 court settlement that was intended to help Louisiana inmates who are deemed incompetent to stand trial to receive faster placement at the state mental health facility in Jackson, instead of languishing for months in parish jails without adequate treatment. Attorneys for the … Continue reading →

Dr. John and guests celebrate Louis Armstrong

Advocate staff photo by SHERRI MILLER -- Dr. John at the Joy Theater on Saturday, Sept. 20, 2014.

One of those only-in-New Orleans occasions happened Saturday night at the Joy Theater on Canal Street. Dr. John, joined by a spirited congregation of local, national and international talent, performed most of the songs from his Louis Armstrong tribute album, “Ske-Dat-De-Dat: The Spirit of Satch.” Dr. John’s shows usually contain many old favorites. Not … Continue reading →

Suspected carjacker arrested after ramming two patrol cars

Jefferson Parish deputies caught an accused car thief early Sunday after he and another man rammed a carjacked Jeep into two Sheriff’s Office patrol cars while heading the wrong way in traffic. Kenneth Hayes, 17, of New Orleans, was booked into the Jefferson Parish Correctional Center, said Col. John Fortunato, a spokesman for the Jefferson Parish … Continue reading →

Drainage work on Louisiana Avenue to start in earnest

If you dread navigating around the drainage projects on Napoleon, Jefferson and South Claiborne avenues, get ready: Louisiana Avenue is next. The construction of an $82.6 million underground drainage canal along Louisiana from South Claiborne to Constance Street will kick off in coming weeks as trees are trimmed and construction equipment is moved in, Sewerage & … Continue reading →

Councilwoman’s view on preservation differs from her predecessors

Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER -- New District C council member Nadine Ramsey takes the oath of office Monday, May 5, 2014.

In June, shortly after taking office, Councilwoman Nadine Ramsey hinted at her position on one of the most important topics facing her district. In a move considered highly unusual for a City Council member representing many of New Orleans’ oldest neighborhoods, she overruled a recommendation from the Historic District Landmarks Commission and approved the demolition of a property … Continue reading →

As work winds down at Avondale, shipyard’s future remains cloudy

Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER --  Avondale shipyards.

Avondale Shipyard, once Louisiana’s largest private employer, is quietly winding down operations, nearly six months after Huntington Ingalls Industries brought in one of the country’s largest pipeline and terminal operators in hopes it could help transition the 76-year-old West Bank facility into a commercial manufacturer for the booming oil and gas industry. At most, only a … Continue reading →

Funeral set for Tuesday for artist Bruce Brice

Funeral arrangements have been announced for folk artist Bruce Brice, the creator of the first poster for the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival in 1970. Brice died Sept. 14 of complications from cancer. He was 72. A Mass will be said at 10 a.m. Tuesday at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church and … Continue reading →

RTA adds routes, expands other bus service

Bus riders in New Orleans will see new and expanded routes beginning Sunday, part of an effort by the Regional Transit Authority to step up transit access in underserved areas of the city. Three new lines will start running in New Orleans East, Algiers and the Carrollton area, while others will be extended or will see … Continue reading →

Buffa’s planning return to full schedule of performances

With soundproofing underway and a study in hand saying those measures will all but ensure live music at Buffa’s falls within the city’s sound ordinance, the Esplanade Avenue bar is planning to return to a full schedule of performances next month after the expiration of a 60-day agreement it signed with a neighbor who sued over Continue reading →

Undercover drug probe yields nearly 20 arrests in Plaquemines Parish

A six-month undercover drug investigation in Plaquemines Parish has led to the arrest of nearly 20 suspected street-level drug dealers and their suspected mid-level suppliers, the Sheriff’s Office said Friday. “Operation Crackdown,” which initially focused on crack-cocaine sales, resulted in undercover agents buying illegal drugs from the suspects between February and August throughout the parish’s west … Continue reading →

Rising city revenues mean more money for NOPD, others

Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s administration is adding $7.8 million to the city’s budget for the current year, with half of the money going to the New Orleans Police Department and the rest to be used to help satisfy court orders directing the city to improve conditions at Orleans Parish Prison and to meet the city’s obligations to the Fire … Continue reading →

Mayor asks Jindal to remove all state prisoners from OPP

Advocate staff photo by SHERRI MILLER- Plaquemines Parish Detention Center, which was built 19 feet above the ground on the east bank in Pointe a la Hache, and has an operating capacity of around 870 inmates, is tentatively set to open in November of this year. Dining and sleeping quarters, in one of several

Amid mounting controversy over the size of New Orleans’ new jail, Mayor Mitch Landrieu has appealed to Gov. Bobby Jindal to remove several hundred state prisoners from Orleans Parish Prison, a move the mayor contends will save tens of millions of dollars and avert the need for the city to build additional jail space. Landrieu, in … Continue reading →

Prosecutors blame Trung Le for Bourbon Street melee

P)hoto provided by the NOPD -- Trung T. Le.

An Orleans Parish prosecutor acknowledged Friday for the first time that Trung Le, the alleged first shooter in a June 29 melee on Bourbon Street, was not the person who fatally shot 21-year-old Hammond resident Brittany Thomas and that an attempted murder charge against him relates to his firing on a second, still unidentified shooter. Assistant … Continue reading →

NOPD officer denies allegations of unjustified attack on driver

New Orleans police Officer Tracy Fulton Sr. took the witness stand Thursday, demonstrating the right cross that broke Eladio Cruz’s nose following a vehicle incident last year and saying he launched the punch only after Cruz raised his fists in a “fighting stance” and kicked him in the shin. Fulton, a 24-year NOPD veteran, acknowledged pulling … Continue reading →

South Market District adds tenant, pre-leasing

The owners of Magasin, the popular Vietnamese restaurant on Magazine Street, are opening a new restaurant in the South Market District mixed-use development. Magasin Kitchen will be in The Paramount apartment building at 611 O’Keefe Ave. The restaurant, set to open in early 2015, will have an exposed kitchen and feature dishes such as pork … Continue reading →

New Orleans casino revenue drops in August

Winnings in the New Orleans casino market dropped by 2.5 percent in August when compared with the year before, snapping a two-month string of topping 2013 numbers. The three riverboats, Harrah’s land-based casino and slots at the Fair Grounds brought in $52.9 million, according to figures released Thursday by Louisiana State Police. That compares with the $54.2 … Continue reading →