29 recruits begin NOPD academy training

Twenty-nine New Orleans police recruits on Tuesday began 25 weeks of training in hopes of becoming the newest officers to patrol the city. Recruit class No. 171 begins as class No. 170 continues its training, with the graduation of 27 new officers set for November. The City Council approved a $128.6 million budget for … Continue reading →

Halliburton agrees to pay $1.1 billion in oil-spill settlement

The Deepwater Horizon oil rig burns in the Gulf of Mexico more than 50 miles southeast of Venice, La. in 2010. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)

Halliburton has agreed to pay as much as $1.1 billion to settle most plaintiffs’ claims for damages stemming from its role in the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, its lawyers said in court papers Tuesday. The Houston-based oil services company was BP’s cement contractor on the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig, which caught fire and exploded on April … Continue reading →

State Police probing possible fraud in St. John water testing reports

State Police are investigating the possibility of fraud after “significant inconsistencies” were discovered between reports compiled by St. John the Baptist Parish employees involved in testing the local water supply and reports compiled by the state Department of Health and Hospitals. The discrepancies came to light last week after the discovery of a rare brain-eating amoeba in … Continue reading →

Company to build $60 million Lafourche chemical plant

Virdia Inc. announced Tuesday it will spend $60 million to build Lafourche Parish biochemical processing facilities that will convert sugar cane bagasse into industrial sugars and biofuels. The project will create 81 new direct jobs, averaging $55,000 a year, plus benefits. Louisiana’s economic development department also estimates the project will result in 469 new indirect jobs … Continue reading →

New Orleans area exports set record in 2013

Advocate staff file photo by JOHN McCUSKER -- The New Orleans metro area set a record with $30 billion in exports in 2013 and ranked eighth nationally.

Exports from the New Orleans-Metairie-Kenner metropolitan area hit a record $30 billion, an increase of 23 percent, or $5.7 billion, from 2012 to 2013 — ranking it eighth in the nation. Goods exported from Louisiana supported 282,540 jobs in 2013, and the Baton Rouge and Lake Charles metro areas joined New Orleans among the country’s top 50 … Continue reading →

Woman arrested for shooting man at apartment door

Martynenez Grigsby

Two strangers stood facing each other when the apartment door opened Monday afternoon, but Martynenez Grigsby and Courtney Vanderhorst know each other now — as alleged assailant and victim. Grigsby, 26, was booked on a count of aggravated battery after she shot Vanderhorst, 20, in the right shoulder, according to court documents. Police previously said he … Continue reading →

Latter & Blum acquires Patterson Real Estate Agency in Houma

Photo provided by Latter & Blum -- Bob Merrick, left, chief executive officer of Latter & Blum Inc., Sandy Brooks and Ron Brooks, owners of Patterson Real Estate, and Rick Haase, president of Latter & Blum, mark the merger of the two companies.

Latter & Blum has acquired Houma-based Patterson Real Estate Agency Inc., the second deal the New Orleans real estate company has made in two months. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. The company will be renamed Latter & Blum Patterson Real Estate. Patterson, which has 23 agents, has been in business in Houma since … Continue reading →

Launch Pad a space to nurture ideas

Photo provided by Launch Pad -- Barre Tanguis is one of the founders of Launch Pad.

In the old days — say five to 10 years ago — Max Gaudin would have nourished his entrepreneurial ambitions from his kitchen table or a coffee shop. But on Thursday, as he prepared to launch his third start-up company, the 28-year-old New Orleans native was busy tapping away on his laptop computer in a ground-floor … Continue reading →

Two dead, one wounded in two 7th Ward shootings

A double shooting Saturday night in the 7th Ward left a 27-year-old man dead and a 24-year-old woman wounded, New Orleans police said. In a separate incident, also in the 7th Ward, an unidentified man was shot dead in the 1400 block of Frenchmen Street early Sunday morning. The earlier incident happened about … Continue reading →

Pennington Center selected to test new Alzheimer’s drug

LSU’s Pennington Biomedical Research Center will take part in a national clinical research study, testing a drug that could treat Alzheimer’s — an incurable disease that affects brain function and eventually leads to death. The study marks Pennington’s entry into the Alzheimer’s Disease Cooperative Study network, an elite group of research sites that are leading federal … Continue reading →

Loyola University faculty preparing to restructure academic programs

Advocate file photo by JOHN MCCUSKER -- Loyola University, New Orleans.

While Loyola University administrators continue to work to solve enrollment woes and eliminate a multimillion-dollar deficit created by having fewer students, the faculty has been at work drawing up plans to restructure the academic side of things, with one proposed plan abolishing four of the five colleges and creating two new undergraduate and graduate colleges in their places. … Continue reading →

Rebirth of downtown theaters brings new competition

Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER -- Gregor Fox  bought the Loew's State Palace Theatre earlier this month for $3.5 million.

Gregor Fox’s vision for the future of Canal Street looks a lot like its past. Fox, 42, a commercial real estate developer, purchased the Loew’s State Palace Theatre this month for $3.5 million. The theater, built in 1926 as a silent-movie house for first-run MGM films, was eventually remodeled to include three theaters. In the 1980s, … Continue reading →

Bywater group splits on position

In Mary Ann Hammett’s vision of a future Bywater, there’s a mid-rise condominium building within walking distance of her home with a rooftop from which she can watch container ships pass by on the Mississippi River. Julie Jones sees the future a little differently. In her version, she would no longer have trouble finding a parking … Continue reading →

New Orleans superfans compete for national recognition

Advocate Photo by VERONICA DOMINACH -- Donald Silcio tailgates before the Saints game on Monday night at Champions Square in New Orleans

Joshua Dean has two selves. One is a body piercer, social-media marketer and tattoo enthusiast who works overnight preparing confections at Sweet Things & Grill, a Metairie doughnut shop. The other is known as Pope Clown, a gray-toned creature with bull horns, images of a cross and a spider branded on his forehead, dark … Continue reading →

Man fatally shot Saturday in New Orleans East

Photo by Della Hasselle -- Evidence markers litter the front yard of  a man who was fatally shot Saturday afternoon in the 4600 block of Galahad Drive in New Orleans East

A man was fatally shot Saturday afternoon in the doorway of his home in a residential block of New Orleans East. The victim was identified as Gerard Darcy, 53, by his nephew Tyrone Dejoie. Officer Frank Robertson, a New Orleans Police Department spokesman, said the shooting happened about 2 p.m. A … Continue reading →

Attorney thinks he has identified second Bourbon Street shooter

Classic rock blared, tourists swilled drinks and Martin Regan, attorney for suspected Bourbon Street shooter Trung Le, cased the French Quarter on a muggy Thursday afternoon in search of the second gunman in the high-profile June 29 shoot-out that injured nine people and killed 21-year-old Brittany Thomas. That evening, in a phone interview, Regan said he … Continue reading →

Katrina memorial events on Saturday

REFLECTION AND FURY: 10:15 a.m., 1020 Forstall St. at St. Claude Avenue, Lower 9th Ward. A Community Voice sponsors a Hurricane Katrina memorial ceremony and protest. Members will speak about problems that include neighborhood conditions and a lack of programs for children and jobs for residents. Call (504) 710-2844. GREEN ARMY KATRINA … Continue reading →

Nighttime burglar ransacks Treme funeral home, steals hearse

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--New Orleans police on Friday afternoon recovered a hearse at Jackson Avenue and Prytania Street that was stolen in the predawn hours from the Charbonnet Labat Funeral Home in New Orleans, La. Friday, Aug. 29, 2014. An uknown man broke into the Treme funeral home late Thursday night and stole money and electronics before making off with the vehicle. The burglar remained unknown Friday.

Some people know the Charbonnet-Labat Funeral Home for its antique horse-drawn hearse or sometimes unique presentations of the dead, such as “Uncle” Lionel Batiste, the Treme Brass Band bass drummer, whose embalmed corpse was propped up next to a prop streetlight by the staff at the Treme institution. But at least one man thought of the … Continue reading →

Water fountains turned off at six St. John schools

Water fountains in six St. John the Baptist Parish public schools were turned off Friday after state health officials this week confirmed the presence of a rare brain-eating amoeba in one area of the parish’s water lines. Meanwhile, parish officials have increased chlorine levels in the water system after tests conducted by the Louisiana Department of … Continue reading →

Jackson can run for Jefferson School Board, judge rules

Rickeem Jackson, candidate for Jefferson Parish School Board

A state district court judge on Friday knocked down a residency challenge to Rickeem Jackson’s bid for the District 2 seat on the Jefferson Parish School Board, allowing the son of Saints Hall of Fame linebacker Rickey Jackson to run in the Nov. 4 election. Another challenge, by School Board member Etta Licciardi against Phillip Huskey … Continue reading →