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Keith Spera: ‘Through hell and high water,' New Orleans Jazz Fest comes to a close

Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD  Steve Fredericksen of Red Lodge, Montana and Kitty Appell of Valdez, Alaska dance to Walter 'Wolfman' Washington and the Roadmasters on the Congo Square Stage during the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival Sunday, May 1, 2016, at the New Orleans Fair Grounds.

Before the Allen Toussaint tribute Sunday at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival’s Gentilly Stage, a photo of the honoree appeared on the big video screens flanking the stage. Toussaint looked sharp and grinned broadly. He seemed to be smiling despite, or in defiance of, the persistent rain and gray skies that would remain… Continue reading →

Take a peek inside reopening of 1850 House Museum in French Quarter

Advocate photo by SOPHIA GERMER -- The bedroom is fully furnished with antiques of the period at the Historic 1850 House Museum on Jackson Square in New Orleans, Thursday April 28, 2016. The Historic 1850 House reopens on May 3 after an extensive renovation and installation.

Following an eight-month renovation, the 1850 House Museum will celebrate its reopening Tuesday. Located at 523 St. Ann St. in the middle of the Lower Pontalba Building on Jackson Square, the row house is one of five Louisiana State Museum properties open to the public in the French Quarter. It also is one… Continue reading →

Historic Eagle Saloon on South Rampart Street could finally be on the road to restoration

Advocate staff photo by SHERRI MILLER -- The Eagle Saloon building, in New Orleans on Friday, April 29, 2016.

After more than a decade of false starts, the most visible sign of progress toward reviving the long-neglected Eagle Saloon building is an 18-by-16-foot banner recently hung from the top of the three-story building. The banner touts the latest fundraising campaign to save the legendary watering hole. Located at 401-403 S. Rampart St., at… Continue reading →

‘An answered prayer’: Nonprofit pays for boy’s repaired heart, vies for donations on Give NOLA Day

Advocate staff photo by SHERRI MILLER -- Walter Mercado, shows the scar on his 8 month old son, Francis' chest, at the home of Amy Barrios, a host family with the HeartGift organization, in New Orleans on Monday, April 18, 2016. Francis was born with a congenital heart defect, and received the surgery and care he needed, free of charge, from the non-profit HeartGift organization.

Walter Mercado, a native of the Philippines, remembers the day doctors told him that a heart defect could claim his infant son’s life before his first birthday. Francis Steven was only 3 days old, but a hole in his heart was restricting blood flow to his lungs, causing his skin to turn blue and his body… Continue reading →

Louisiana expected to tweak rules on training new teachers

Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER --  The George Washington Carver drumline brings the beat to the Recovery School District (RSD) and Collegiate Academies 'celebration of the opening of the new Edward Livingston building located at 7301 Dwyer Road on Thursday, August 27, 2015. Carver is using the site now but will move to another facility next year. Livingston cost $29 million dollars to build and was funded through FEMA. The building is 107,000 square feet and is designed to handle 718 students.

Louisiana education officials are considering changing teacher licensing requirements, two years after the state implemented an experimental program aimed at shoring up new teachers’ classroom skills. The program, dubbed Believe and Prepare, was launched in 2014 with five school districts, two charter school organizations and five “preparation providers,” which may be universities or alternative certification programs.… Continue reading →

Stevie Wonder jams at Jazz Playhouse; Beck has fun in Quarter despite New Orleans Jazz Fest rainout

Advocate photo by Keith Spera -- The musician Beck, in the black leather jacket in the middle of the crowd, walks in a second-line parade in the French Quarter led by the Preservation Hall Jazz Band late on the night of Saturday, April 30, 2016. His show at the 2016 New Orleans Jazz Fest's Gentilly Stage  was rained out earlier in the day.

Both Stevie Wonder and Beck found their way to the French Quarter for a bit of fun Saturday night after thunderstorms washed out their scheduled shows at the 2016 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. Wonder performed a sort of stream-of-consciousness mini-concert at trumpeter Irvin Mayfield’s intimate Jazz Playhouse in the Royal Sonesta Hotel on Bourbon… Continue reading →

Warrants reveal new details about arrest of Eric Harris’ girlfriend after Jefferson Parish deputies killed him

Four packets of purported heroin, a .45-caliber pistol and video surveillance served as the basis for the arrest of the girlfriend of a man slain by Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office deputies in Orleans Parish in February. Warrants obtained by The New Orleans Advocate spell out for the first time how Jefferson Parish authorities built a… Continue reading →

Construction to cause low water pressure in areas

The Sewerage & Water Board said these construction projects will cause low water pressure in parts of New Orleans on Monday and Tuesday: Residents and businesses in part of Broadmoor will experience low pressure from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday as contractors install a 4-inch water valve that will serve the area. The… Continue reading →

Burl Cain's son, on leave as Avoyelles warden, treated leniently in '09 inmate beating

Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING --  Former Phelps Correctional inmate David Breaux talks recently about the beating, including wounds to the head, that  he says was administered to him after a Jan. 2009 escape attempt.

Seven years ago, Nate Cain looked on as a trio of guards savagely beat an inmate who had hopped a train to escape a work detail at Phelps Correctional Center in DeQuincy, where Cain was deputy warden. After convict David Breaux was recaptured, the abuse started in a transport car, with Cain in the… Continue reading →

Thunderstorms cancel Saturday’s New Orleans Jazz Fest shows by Stevie Wonder, Beck, Snoop Dogg

Advocate staff photo by SHERRI MILLER -- Hurray For the Riff Raff had to cut their set short, due to the torrential wind and rain blowing onto the Gentilly Stage during day 6 of Jazz Fest at the Fair Grounds in New Orleans on Saturday, April 30, 2016.

Before the gates of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival opened Saturday morning, Stevie Wonder and his band spent time at the Acura Stage rehearsing “Isn’t She Lovely” and other songs for their highly anticipated show later in the day. But Wonder’s Jazz Fest “show” ended up being only an apology and a bit of… Continue reading →

Man booked with murder of Marrero child after claiming girlfiend's 2-year-old fell and hit head

Seth Redell (JPSO)

A Marrero man has been booked on second-degree murder after reporting to police his girlfiend's 2-year-old son fell and hit his head. The boy later died. According to a Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office release, Seth Redell, 27, reported an unresponsive child, identified as 2-year-old Hayden Umbenhower, about 8 a.m. April 24. Redell reported that… Continue reading →

SBA’s St. Tammany disaster loan center closing May 4

The U.S. Small Business Administration’s Disaster Loan Outreach Center in the St. Tammany Parish Administrative Complex at 520 Old Spanish Trail in Slidell will close its at the end of the business day May 4. The center was opened to provide personalized assistance to Louisiana businesses and residents who were affected by severe storms and flooding March… Continue reading →

From ‘The Late Show with Stephen Colbert’ to the New Orleans Jazz Fest, Jon Batiste comes home

Photo by John Davisson/Invision/AP -- Jon Batiste performs at the 2014 Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival in Manchester, Tennessee. Now the bandleader of 'The Show with Stephen Colbert,' Batiste returns to his hometown to perform at the 2016 New Orleans Jazz Fest and at the Civic Theater on Saturday, April 30, 2016.

When they were students at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, Jon Batiste and Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews formed a band called Orleans Avenue. Andrews still leads Orleans Avenue, which now fills concert venues around the globe, and will close the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival’s main Acura Stage on Sunday. Batiste left Orleans… Continue reading →

U.S. oil rig count drops 11; Louisiana reduced by 2

The number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. dropped by 11 this week to 420, again reaching an-time low amid depressed energy industry prices. A year ago, 905 rigs were active. Houston oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. said Friday 332 rigs sought oil and 87 explored… Continue reading →

Kenner man indicted in Jefferson Parish on counts of rape and sexual abuse of three children

Carlo Montero, Sr.

A Jefferson Parish grand jury handed up a six-count indictment this week against Carlos Montero, a Kenner man accused of sexually abusing three children. Montero, 52, was formally charged Thursday with two counts of aggravated rape of a juvenile, one count of sexual battery of a juvenile younger than 13, two counts of lewd and lascivious… Continue reading →

Lemonade Day stands going into business Saturday around Louisiana

Lemonade Day stands will be popping up all around Louisiana Saturday. More than 20,000 youth in the state are expected to participate in the sixth annual Lemonade Day, designed to teach entrepreneurship and character development among Louisiana’s youth ages 4 to 18. Young entrepreneurs were provided with a free backpack, which contained detailed materials to… Continue reading →

Man stabbed near Armstrong Park on French Quarter Fest weekend dies

A man stabbed in the chest near Louis Armstrong Park on April 9 has died, according to the New Orleans coroner. Dr. Jeffrey Rouse said 27-year-old Geoffrey Rabsatt died Thursday of complications from stab wounds. Police said they have obtained a warrant for the arrest of Sedrick Conerly, also known as Cedric “Kat” Conerly, 25, in connection… Continue reading →

Grand Isle man arrested on attempted rape count after allegedly trying to buy young girl for sex

Wade Perkins III, 30

Louisiana State Police said they arrested a Grand Isle man who is a registered sex offender on counts of attempted rape and conspiracy to commit first degree rape on Thursday. Trooper First Class Jesse LaGrange, a Louisiana State Police spokesman, said LSP detectives, along with Homeland Security Investigations-Houma and the Houma Police Department, arrested Wade Perkins III,… Continue reading →

Initial unemployment claims in Louisiana fall

First-time claims for unemployment insurance in Louisiana for the week ending April 23 decreased to 2,684 from the previous week’s total of 2,791. For the comparable week a year earlier, there were 2,737, the state labor department said Friday. The four-week moving average, which is a less volatile measure of claims, increased to 2,739 from… Continue reading →

Two women robbed in Uptown New Orleans during daylight Thursday

. Two women -- ages 18 and 19 -- were robbed in Uptown New Orleans on Thursday afternoon, according to New Orleans police. The incident happened around 5 p.m. near the intersection of Freret and Cherokee streets, about three blocks from Tulane University's campus. According to preliminary police information, the two women were approached by… Continue reading →

Judge delays Jerome Morgan retrial, revisits DA claim of witness coercion by Innocence Project New Orleans

Advocate file photo by JOHN McCUSKER -- Jerome Morgan took in his first 24 hours of freedom in more than two decades Wednesday, February 5, 2014. Morgan, 37, was released from prison after two eyewitnesses recanted and a judge vacated his murder conviction in a 1993 fatal shooting. He must wear an ankle monitor as a condition of his release.

A bid by Orleans Parish District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro’s office to subpoena two lawyers with the Innocence Project New Orleans over their alleged coercion of two key witnesses to a 1993 murder is back on the table. Criminal District Court Judge Franz Zibilich on Thursday delayed a retrial for Jerome Morgan to June 13… Continue reading →

Watch: Juvenile dolphin 'Octavius' rehabilitated and released back into wild off Louisiana coast

The juvenile dolphin 'Octavius' has been released into the wild.

After six months, Octavius is back in the sea where he belongs, with a few stories to tell. The juvenile male dolphin, the first to be rescued, rehabilitated and released back into the wild off Louisiana’s coast, was sent into Barataria Bay on Thursday. The Audubon Nature Institute and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries,… Continue reading →

Defense motion, unopposed by government, would unseal pleadings in Danziger Bridge case

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--Former New Orleans Police officer Arthur Kaufman, center, enters the Hale Boggs Federal Building and United States Courthouse in Metairie, La. Wednesday, April 20, 2016. Five officers were sentenced in the case where New Orleans Police Department officers fired at unarmed civilians on September 4, 2005, killing two people and wounding 4 others, and later tried to cover up the shooting by blaming one of the civilians.

A week after the Danziger Bridge case wrapped up with a quintet of guilty pleas, an attorney for one of the convicted former officers has filed a motion seeking to open all sealed pleadings in the case, including affidavits from senior U.S. Justice Department officials about their knowledge and handling of an online commenting scandal that… Continue reading →

Audubon Commission defers action on plan for more public input, will seek to make it stronger

Advocate photo by SOPHIA GERMER -- Kelly Duncan leads the Audubon Commission meeting at the Audubon Tea Room in New Orleans, Thursday April 28, 2016. The Audubon Commission allowed the public to comment on the controversy over the fly and the denied soccer complex followed by comments on what to do next time they consider removing more than an acre of public green space.

The Audubon Commission will make a few more tweaks to a proposal aimed at ensuring it gets adequate public input on projects that would infringe on green space in Audubon Park or other Audubon facilities. After critics at a public hearing argued the first proposal would still allow too many projects to slip through the cracks,… Continue reading →

Public Belt Railroad’s valuation placed at $61 million to $196 million

The New Orleans Public Belt Railroad’s assets and business have been valued at $61 million to $196 million by Dallas-based consultants from KPMG, based on various scenarios. That range is the amount a reasonable buyer would expect to pay if Public Belt were put up for sale, the consultants said Thursday in a presentation to the board… Continue reading →

Director of NOPD training academy loses his leadership role

Commander Richard Williams

New Orleans Police Superintendent Michael Harrison sent the commander of the Police Department’s training academy packing last week, days before a scheduled recruit class graduation, as the NOPD continues to try to correct what federal monitors describe as “significant ongoing weaknesses” in its training program. Harrison ordered the transfer of Richard Williams to the Public Integrity… Continue reading →

Man described as 'mayor of this block' found dead in bag in backyard of Bywater home

The homicide victim that was found on Piety Street in New Orleans Thursday is removed. (Matt Sledge)

The body of a Bywater man known as the mayor of his block was discovered in a bag, wrapped in a blanket, in the backyard of his house on Thursday afternoon. Police are investigating his death as a homicide.

Authorities have given no information on the cause of death of a 56-year-old man, nor have they officially identified him. A man… Continue reading →

Wild court date for Cardell Hayes: Not guilty plea; dramatic testimony linking Billy Ceravolo, gun in Will Smith's SUV

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--New Orleans Police Department Homicide Detective Bruce Brueggeman, right, leaves the Orleans Parish District Attorney's office with Former NOPD Capt. Billy Ceravolo, left, after an indictment was handed down on Cardell Hayes for the shooting death of former New Orleans Saints defensive end Will Smith in in New Orleans, La. Thursday, April 28, 2016. Ceravolo dined with Smith before he was killed.

A frenzied display of legal brinkmanship in the Will Smith killing case ended Thursday with Cardell Hayes pleading not guilty to a four-count indictment accusing him of murdering the former Saints star and attempting to kill Smith’s wife April 9 in the Lower Garden District. An Orleans Parish prosecutor rushed the indictment into Orleans Parish Magistrate… Continue reading →

Dow Chemical quarterly profit hit by charges, adjusted results beat forecasts

Dow Chemical’s first-quarter profit slid mostly due a hefty charge tied to legal settlements, but the specialty chemicals maker’s adjusted results topped analysts’ estimates. For the three months ended March 31, Dow Chemical Co. said that earnings available for common shareholders were $169 million, or 15 cents per share. A year earlier… Continue reading →

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu: 'We are a city, we are a country that is drunk on violence'

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu embraces Patrina Peters, who lost her son Damond to gun violence in 2010, before he spoke about violence at Tulane University's Dixon Hall in New Orleans, La. Wednesday, April 27, 2016.

Mayor Mitch Landrieu mounted a defense of his administration’s murder reduction strategy... Continue reading →

After 'The Fly' controversy, Audubon group to increase public notice about proposed additions to park

In the wake of widespread opposition to a since-scuttled plan to build a soccer complex on the riverfront section of Audubon Park, the Audubon Commission is rolling out a plan that would require more public input before significant areas of green space under its control could be converted to other uses. The proposal, expected to be… Continue reading →

State attorney general denounces NOPD policy he says makes New Orleans a ‘sanctuary city’

State Attorney General Jeff Landry asked the U.S. Justice Department on Wednesday to clarify whether the federal government forced New Orleans to become a so-called “sanctuary city” under the terms of a consent decree intended to reform the New Orleans Police Department. “Sanctuary city” is a label for cities with policies or laws limiting local law… Continue reading →

IberiaBank quarterly profit rises

Lafayette-based IberiaBank Corp. reported its first-quarter earnings jumped to $40.2 million, or 97 cents per share, from $25.2 million, or 75 cents per share, a year ago. However, the 2016 results included non-operating expenses of $1.6 million, or 4 cents per share. Without those expenses, IberiaBank would have earned $1.01 per share, better than the 98 cents… Continue reading →