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Four armed robberies reported between Saturday, Sunday in New Orleans

New Orleans police reported four armed robberies between Saturday afternoon and early Sunday morning. The first incident happened about 3 p.m. Saturday, when a man in New Orleans East robbed a 42-year-old cab driver at gunpoint. Police said the robber got into the victim’s cab in the 11700 block of Chef Menteur Highway and demanded money. He complied, and the man fled… Continue reading →

Federal complaint: Lindsay Lohan’s step-mom threatens passengers, throws phone at flight attendant as flight diverted to New Orleans

‘Twas the night before Thanksgiving, and Lindsay Lohan’s step-mom was not in a traveling mood, according to a federal complaint filed against Kate Major-Lohan over the alleged antics that led a JetBlue pilot to divert a cross-country flight to New Orleans. Major-Lohan, wife of the bedeviled Hollywood actress’s father, Michael Lohan, allegedly started in… Continue reading →

Can’t get a good tortilla here? That premise, plus entrepreneurial spirit, launched Hola Nola Foods

Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- Olvin Lopez shovels corn tortilla mix into the head of the 'sheeter' at Hola Nola Foods in Geismar.

Three years ago, former Zapp’s Potato Chips executives and minority shareholders Kevin S. Holden and Rod Olson found themselves in unfamiliar territory. They wanted to quit. Both worked for Utz Quality Foods Inc., which acquired the Gramercy-based chippery in 2011 following founder Ron Zappe’s death. Olson had been one of Zapp’s first delivery drivers and risen through… Continue reading →

Business Briefs for Nov. 29, 2015

The New Orleans Regional Black Chamber of Commerce will host a “Biz to Biz” Breakfast and Trade Fair on Dec. 11 in the Celestin and Storyville Ballrooms at the Hyatt Regency New Orleans, 601 Loyola Ave. Registration begins at 8 a.m.; breakfast at 9 a.m.;… Continue reading →

People in Business for Nov. 29, 2015

Kristen Pforr, BASF

The Marriott Metairie at Lakeway has named Jerry Reyes as general manager. Reyes was general manager of The Hotel Modern New Orleans and has also worked with Loews Hotels and Starwood Hotels and Resorts. Michelle Menough has been named director of contract coordination and network… Continue reading →

Business Honors for Nov. 29, 2015

Port of New Orleans President and CEO Gary LaGrange received the 2015 McCullough Award from the National Industrial Transportation League. The award is presented annually by the organization’s board and Logistics Management magazine to the Logistics Executive of the Year. LaGrange was recognized for his reputation in the transportation industry and… Continue reading →

Four shot in New Orleans in 24 hours; two more French Quarter shootings Saturday night, early Sunday

. Update, 9:50 a.m. Sunday Four people were shot in New Orleans during three separate incidents that happened within 24 hours between Saturday and Sunday morning, according to police. The first shooting happened Saturday morning during an attempted mugging, police said, when a man and woman pulled a gun on a 47-year-old man in the 7th Ward and… Continue reading →

LUNA Fête returns, grows

Photo provided by Jen Lewin - The Pool is an interactive art installation from Jen Lewin based on concentric circles of light. It will be displayed in Lafayette Square Nov. 29-Dec. 5.

Last year, LUNA Fête caught New Orleans a little off-guard as it transformed a landmark public building into a dazzling, though temporary, work of public art. Using a light projection technique called projection mapping, LUNA Fête was an eight-minute art show that played out across the façade of Gallier Hall, all set to an instrumental score.… Continue reading →

With help of a local Marine, Afghan interpreter who guided U.S. troops achieves dream of making it to America

Andrew Darlington , far left, in Afghanistan with interpretter Said Hussaini (center-front).

During one of his 2012 missions in Afghanistan, in an area used by enemy fighters to stage attacks, Andrew Darlington and his Marines encountered a man with a disfigured face and a glass eye. He also was missing several fingers. The man blamed his injuries on a pressure cooker. Darlington, a native New Orleanian… Continue reading →

New visitor center, sculpture garden among latest upgrades to City Park

Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD -- The Enrique Alferez Sculpture Garden, photographed Saturday, Oct. 24, 2015, is a new exhibit openned Wednesday, Oct. 28, in the New Orleans Botanical Gardens in City Park. The exhibit honors the legacy of New Orleans' famed Mexican-American artist Enrique Alferez by showcasing 14 of his iconic sculptures set in large sweeping footpaths surrounded by lush tropical flowers and shrubs.

For a decade, the old C.T. Parker Building in New Orleans City Park sat derelict and unused after being damaged by floodwaters from Hurricane Katrina. The building had become an eyesore, especially compared with the dramatically improved New Orleans Botanical Garden next door, one of the few remaining examples of Art Deco-style public garden… Continue reading →

Victim of fatal Bourbon Street shooting identified; friends say he wasn't the kind to go 'looking for a fight'

Bourbon Street shown mid-morning Saturday a block away from early morning fatal shooting. (Photo courtesy of Katy Reckdahl)

. A young Bourbon Street doorman who normally kept a cool head with the street’s sometimes challenging crowds died early Saturday morning when he was shot during a fight that, according to another longtime Bourbon Street worker, began with a petty argument about who stepped on whose tennis shoes. “This is a kid who… Continue reading →

Prisoner allowed to leave New Orleans jail to visit girlfriend’s home; suspected of repeated ‘romantic’ visits

Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER --  Sharon Richard's home in Gentilly where sources say a furloughed prisoner sometimes visited

. A state prisoner who was serving part of a 20-year sentence at Orleans Parish Prison illegally visited his girlfriend at a house several miles away from the jail — a rendezvous facilitated by a Sheriff’s Office employee who had been assigned to work alongside the convict. The security breach, discovered about two weeks before Orleans… Continue reading →

Feds want Mother’s Day melee shooters and two more brothers sentenced together

Akein Scott, Mother's Day shooting suspect

Federal prosecutors are asking a judge to sentence the two brothers who admitted spraying bullets through a Mother’s Day second-line parade in 2013 in tandem with two of their other brothers, who have been convicted of other crimes. The prosecutors argue that a combined sentencing will allow federal agents, witnesses and victims from several states to… Continue reading →

One suspect in Bunny Friend Park mass shooting ID'd, to be booked on 17 counts of attempted murder

New Orleans police say Friday that they’ve identified one of the suspects -- Joseph “Moe” Allen, 32 -- in last Sunday’s mass shooting during a block party at Bunny Friend Park.

Joseph “Moe” Allen, the man New Orleans police named Friday as the first confirmed suspect in Sunday’s mass shooting at Bunny Friend Park, has ties to “more than one organization,” NOPD Superintendent Michael Harrison said, hinting at a possible gang motive for the shooting spree that left 17 people wounded as bullets sprayed through a Continue reading →

Loyola University, NASA partner to commercialize Stennis Space Center technology

Photo provided by NASA -- In the front row, from left, are Ashley Francis, director of graduate programs at the Loyola University New Orleans College of Business; Stennis Space Center director Rick Gilbrech; and Bill Locander, dean of the Loyola College of Business. In the second row are Kevin Pollard, executive mentor at Loyola; Stacy Savoie, Loyola MBA student; Duane Armstrong, chief of NASA applied science and technology projects at Stennis; Jon Atkinson, Loyola College of Business professor; Mike Guerrere, Loyola MBA student; and Lauren Underwood, technology transfer partnership manager with NASA's Engineering and Test Directorate at Stennis.

Loyola University’s College of Business is partnering with NASA’s John C. Stennis Space Center in Hancock County, Mississippi, to commercialize a new technology patent, Loyola and NASA announced. Students from Loyola’s Master of Business Administration program will review the center’s patented technologies and choose one to promote. Then, they will work with Stennis engineers to provide… Continue reading →

In response to budget woes, Loyola University president touts $11.5 million savings plan

Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER --  Loyola University.

The Rev. Kevin Wildes, president of Loyola University since 2004, is faced with a daunting, three-part challenge in the months and years ahead. He must cut expenses sharply, attract and retain more students and win the support of disgruntled faculty members, some of whom have lost faith in his leadership. That’s the picture that… Continue reading →

Heads up, downtown New Orleans: Bayou Classic bringing heavy pedestrian, vehicle traffic

With the 2015 Bayou Classic in New Orleans this weekend, heavy pedestrian and vehicle traffic will affect certain parts of the city, officials said. The Bayou Classic, which for 41 years has pitted the football teams of Southern University and Grambling State University, is expected to create big crowds through Saturday. City officials urged the public… Continue reading →

Let there be lights: Check out what's new, different at Celebration in the Oaks this holiday season

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--Celebration in the Oaks is seen in New Orleans, La. Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2015.

It started almost 30 years ago with some Christmas trees and some cocktails. Now the annual Celebration in the Oaks in City Park draws more than 165,000 visitors each year for food and libations among a constellation of a half-million dazzling LED lights strung across 25 acres, including the park’s Botanical Garden, Storyland and Carousel Gardens… Continue reading →

Advocates for criminal justice reform, hot-button issue in governor’s race, hope John Bel Edwards sticks to promises

John Bel Edwards

. The red-meat rhetoric about John Bel Edwards unleashing thousands of “dangerous thugs” upon Louisiana neighborhoods has settled into the campaign dustbin. Now, as the governor-elect moves into transition mode, advocates for criminal justice reform in the state with the nation’s biggest per-capita prison population are hoping he’ll breathe life… Continue reading →

Backyard bounty: Program started by replacing light bulbs now planting vegetable gardens across New Orleans

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--Andreas Hoffmann, founder of Green Light, watches as Demi Simon, runs around the Green Light Edible Teaching Garden as students take a class to learn about making backyard vegetable gardens to provide households with fresh, healthy, local, sustainable food in New Orleans, La. Monday, Nov. 23, 2015.

Marie St. Germain-Louis walked next door to a garden where a plant with broad leaves was growing. She leaned over and rubbed one of the plant’s long stalks. “See this one here, the collard greens?” she said. “If nobody else picks that, I will make that for Thanksgiving this year.” Odds are, Thanksgiving tables across New… Continue reading →

Six armed robberies in New Orleans area in 10-hour span day before Thanksgiving

. New Orleans police reports six armed robberies occurred across the city Wednesday in about a 10-hour span. Here's a summary of each incident based on preliminary NOPD information: -- Around 2 p.m., two men in their 50s in the 3300 block of Montegut Street in the Desire area were working when they both were… Continue reading →

'Call Waiting' series on New Orleans police response times prompts NOPD to make changes

Much has been made of NOPD’s response time issues and the impact long response times have had on crimes being deemed ‘unfounded’ (UNF). NOPD Chief Michael Harrison responded bychanging NOPD’s policy so that officers arriving on a scene with no victim would mark the incident ‘Gone on Arrival’ (GOA) rather than UNF. A disposition of GOA requires more… Continue reading →

'No one feels safe': New Orleans on edge following Saturday's mass shooting

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — New Orleans officials are quite sure someone knows the identities of the shooters who opened fire on each other in a crowd of hundreds of people during a block party — and they are urging them to come forward. Police Superintendent Michael Harrison says the shootout that wounded 17 people Sunday night was probably gang-related.… Continue reading →

Bayou Classic expected to create crowds, heavy traffic this weekend

Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER -- Grambling head coach  Broderick Fobbs speaks at the  Bayou Classic news conference Tuesday.  Grambling and Southern play Saturday in the 42nd Bayou Classic in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

With the 2015 Bayou Classic kicking off in New Orleans this weekend, heavy pedestrian and vehicle traffic will affect certain parts of the city, city officials said Wednesday. The Bayou Classic, which for 41 years has pitted the football teams of Southern University and Grambling State University against each other, is expected to create big crowds… Continue reading →

NOPD probing fatal shooting in Central City

New Orleans police Wednesday were investigating a shooting that killed a man in Central City. It happened around the intersection of S. Liberty Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, WWL-TV reported. The 47-year-old man died at the hospital. He had been shot multiple times, authorities said.… Continue reading →

Jefferson Parish stepping up seatbelt law enforcement this weekend

The Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office said Wednesday that it will step up enforcement of seat belt laws over the Thanksgiving Holiday using some recently acquired federal grant money. JPSO said motorists caught driving without seat belts will be ticketed. The sheriff’s office said the grant will fund other traffic-safety initiatives in 2016, including campaigns against impaired… Continue reading →

New Orleans police officer found unconscious after SUV overturns in Metairie crash

Scene of a single-vehicle New Orleans police sargeant crash Wednesday afternoon. (Photo courtesy of WWL-TV)

. Update, 2:39 p.m. An off-duty NOPD officer’s SUV overturned on a street in Metairie and struck a pole around 12:35 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon, and he has been taken to University Medical Center in uncertain condition. Jefferson Parish Col. John Fortunato said that the single-vehicle crash involving Sgt. Mike Marziale, 62, occurred in the 2800 block… Continue reading →

Jefferson Transit to scale back service on Thursday

There will be no public bus service on the Metairie Road, Clearview, Gretna Local and Terrytown routes on Thursday because of Thanksgiving. Jefferson Transit said it will operate according to its typical Saturday schedule in observance of the holiday. Anyone with questions can call (504) 364-3450 or visit Jefferson Transit’s website.… Continue reading →

Chevron to cut 350 jobs in Gulf; unknown how Covington office will be affected

Chevron said Wednesday it plans to cut 350 jobs in the Gulf of Mexico next year. The latest round of layoffs to hit the U.S. oil giant comes as Chevron accelerates plans to sell off its shallow-water assets in the Gulf in order to focus on deepwater drilling. The process is set to begin next year… Continue reading →

Policy shift causing New Orleans police to record dramatic drop in ‘unfounded’ incidents

New Orleans police have dramatically curbed their practice of deeming a high percentage of calls for service “unfounded” if officers could not find anyone at the scene when they arrived, no matter how many hours might have passed since the call. The change followed a policy shift ordered by Superintendent Michael Harrison, an analysis shows.… Continue reading →

Krystal Burgers on South Claiborne, Discount Zone on Esplanade robbed at gunpoint Tuesday night, early Wednesday

. The Krystal Burgers on South Claiborne Avenue and the Discount Zone on Esplanade Avenue were robbed at gunpoint Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning. According to New Orleans police, the robbery at Krystal occurred around 9 p.m. Tuesday in the 2700 block of South Claiborne. A man estimated to be about 50 years old placed… Continue reading →

Showing little emotion in court appearance, man accused of shooting Tulane medical student ordered held without bail

Euric Cain (Photo from New Orleans Police Department)

The man police accuse of shooting and attempting to murder a Tulane Medical School student who had tried to keep him from robbing a woman last week appeared in court for the first time Tuesday, looking stone-faced and impassive as a magistrate ordered that he be held without bail. Police say that Euric Cain, 21, shot and… Continue reading →

Federal judge turns back Marlin Gusman’s bid to force jail expansion; what's next?

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--Sheriff Marlin Gusman speaks at a press conference before the first Orleans Parish Prison buses transport prisoners to the new $150 million parish prison built in part with FEMA money in New Orleans, La. Monday, Sept. 14, 2015.

A federal judge dealt a serious blow Tuesday to Orleans Parish Sheriff Marlin Gusman’s bid to increase the size of the city’s new jail, declining to order city leaders to build a multimillion-dollar expansion that the sheriff has insisted is needed to keep New Orleans safe and accommodate its large inmate population. After months of negotiations… Continue reading →

Proposed Moxy Hotel gets another setback from Historic Committee Tuesday

Rendering from John T. Campo & Associates Inc.-- The Moxy Hotel, center, a proposed five-story, 45,000-square-foot Marriott-branded hotel, hit a setback Tuesday when the Historic District Landmarks Commission’s Architectural Review Committee opposed the latest version of the project in the 700 block of St. Charles Avenue in the Central Business District.

Plans to build a Moxy Hotel in the 700 block of St. Charles Avenue in the Central Business District hit another setback Tuesday when the Historic District Landmarks Commission’s Architectural Review Committee opposed the latest version of the project. The proposed building would be a five-story, 45,000-square-foot Marriott-branded hotel. The property is owned by… Continue reading →