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U.S. oil and natural gas rig count drops by 3; Louisiana down 4

Oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. says the number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. declined by three this week to 885. Houston-based Baker Hughes said Friday that 659 rigs were seeking oil and 222 explored for natural gas. Four were listed as miscellaneous. A year ago, 1,857… Continue reading →

Corps holding area meetings on deepening Mississippi River ship channel

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- A push boat and barge head down the Mississippi River under the I-10 bridge. Photo shot on Wednesday Nov. 7, 2012, in Baton Rouge, La.

Meetings are planned in the New Orleans area and Baton Rouge to get public comments on a plan to deepen the Mississippi River’s ship channel to 50 feet from the Gulf of Mexico to Baton Rouge. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New Orleans District, is evaluating the environmental and economic impacts of deepening the channel-draft… Continue reading →

Overnight shootings in Central City occur less than a mile apart, send 2 men to hospital

. Two overnight shootings in Central City that happened within a mile of each other sent two men to the hospital. According to New Orleans police, the first shooting occurred around 9 p.m. Wednesday at the corner of South Claiborne and Jackson avenues. The victim and the suspect got into a fight, and the suspect --… Continue reading →

Member of Neville family gets a racist receipt at Huck Finn's Restaurant & Sports Bar in French Quarter; employee 'terminated immediately'

Huck Finn's Restaurant & Sports Bar receipt (WWL-TV)

A member of one of the city’s most famous musical families walked out of Huck Finn’s Cafe in the French Quarter on Thursday afternoon and noticed that her receipt carried a racially insulting message along with the $48.29 bill. The receipt was issued at 2:44 p.m. to a member of the Neville family by a… Continue reading →

Judge chides New Orleans Police Department for slow progress on supervision reform: ‘It’s time for us to pick up the pace’

The federal judge overseeing a court-ordered reform plan for the New Orleans Police Department said Thursday that progress toward one of its most basic goals — improving how the department supervises its officers — has been too slow. U.S. District Judge Susie Morgan chided the NOPD during a hearing in federal court on Thursday, the latest… Continue reading →

Critics blast New Orleans Recreation Department for its governance, operations and oversight

Dozens of New Orleans residents Thursday expressed a general lack of confidence in the body that oversees public recreation in the city. The New Orleans Recreation Development Commission’s critics included many coaches and dance teachers. They raised a wide range of issues, from broad complaints such as poor facilities maintenance and a lack of community… Continue reading →

Man pleads guilty to trafficking teenage girls

A 52-year-old New Orleans man pleaded guilty Thursday to two counts of human trafficking and accepted a 20-year prison sentence in a case involving two teenage girls forced into prostitution. David “Midas” Lee faced a possible life prison term on two counts of trafficking children and a firearms count if convicted in a trial that was scheduled… Continue reading →

WWL-TV report: An African-American lunch customer gets a racist receipt at Huck Finn's Restaurant & Sports Bar in French Quarter

Huck Finn's Restaurant & Sports Bar receipt (WWL-TV)

. WWL-TV is reporting A French Quarter restaurant is apologizing after a server gave an African-American patron a lunch receipt with a racial profanity typed onto it. The victim in this case tells Eyewitness News she was out to lunch at Huck Finn's Restaurant & Sports Bar on Decatur Street in the French Quarter with three… Continue reading →

Central City murder suspect sought by NOPD

The New Orleans Police Department is searching for a suspect in the May 2 murder of man in Central City. Police believe Ronald “Slim” Greenup, 49, killed 36-year-old Elliot Veal at around 7:10 a.m. in the 1900 block of Sixth Street. Veal was shot in the head and found in the middle of the street. He died… Continue reading →

Turning blue jeans green: Sheryl Crow creates insulation for Katrina rebuild

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--While another volunteer works on a roof, musician Sheryl Crow puts in some insulation made of recycled denim including blue jeans at a Habitat for Humanity home that is part of 10 home Build-a-thon at the corner of America St. and Pressburg St. in New Orleans East, La. Thursday, May 21, 2015. New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity is kicking off the Tenth Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina by building 10 houses in 10 days on America Street. The insulation is part of Cotton Incorporated's  "Blue Jeans Go Green" program.

Surrounded by a swarm of cameras, Sheryl Crow fit a strip of blue insulation in place between two joists. First one strip, then another, then another. “I’m so amazed,” the Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter yelled through cupped hands to three volunteers as they pounded nails into the beginning stages of a roof taking shape just above her… Continue reading →

New Orleans ranks 47th in energy efficiency

Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER -- French Quarter riverfront and skyline. File photos of aerials of New Orleans area and landmarks shot July 23, 2013.

New Orleans ranked No. 47 of 51 major U.S. cities in terms of energy efficiency, according to the second edition of the City Energy Efficiency Scorecard. The scorecard, released by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, ranks cities in five key areas: government operations, community initiatives, buildings, utilities and transportation. Boston was the most energy-efficient… Continue reading →

Dueling executive orders: In response to Gov. Bobby Jindal, Mayor Mitch Landrieu touts New Orleans as an 'inviting city that thrives on its diversity'

Photo courtesy of mayor's office -- On Thursday, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu signed an executive order "aimed at clarifying to the nation that New Orleans is a welcoming city where discrimination in any form is not tolerated."

Two days after Gov. Bobby Jindal signed an executive order that critics said could promote discrimination against gays and lesbians, Mayor Mitch Landrieu on Thursday issued one of his own that he said would make clear to the rest of the nation that New Orleans “is an accepting, inviting city that thrives on its… Continue reading →

Destrehan teacher sex plea deal at center of Crime Commission's request to probe St. Charles district attorney

Advocate staff photo by SHERRI MILLER -- Shelley Dufresne is seen leaving the courthouse after she pled guilty in St. Charles Parish on Thursday, April 9, 2015.

The Metropolitan Crime Commission is asking the state Attorney General’s Office to investigate whether St. Charles Parish District Attorney Joel Chaisson II gave preferential treatment to a former Destrehan High School teacher who accepted a plea deal that allowed her to avoid prison or registering as a sex offender, despite admitting that she had sex with… Continue reading →

Attorneys for Terry Speaks claim state has no physical evidence that the 2012 murder of Bourbon Street dancer took place in Louisiana

Photo provided by the Kenner Police Department -- Terry Speaks

Attorneys for Terry Speaks are seeking to have the murder indictment against him thrown out, arguing that the state has no physical evidence that the 2012 murder and dismemberment of Bourbon Street dancer Jaren Lockhart took place in Jefferson Parish. Judge Stephen Grefer, of the 24th Judicial District Court, could rule on the matter next week.… Continue reading →

Man robbed, stabbed on Bourbon Street early Thursday morning one of at least four armed robberies in New Orleans overnight

At least four armed robberies took place Wednesday night through Thursday morning in New Orleans, according to a New Orleans Police Department press release. Around 1:20 a.m. two unknown males approached a male in the 400 block of Bourbon Street in the French Quarter and demanded his wallet. The victim complied and then one of the perpetrators… Continue reading →

WWL-TV report: Emails from 2008 suggest Irvin Mayfield sought more New Orleans Public Library Foundation money

Irvin Mayfield (Advocate photo by Kyle Encar)

WWL-TV reports that with allegations of self-dealing still swirling around trumpeter Irvin Mayfield's redirection of money intended for the city's public libraries, newly unearthed emails from 2008 suggest that the trumpeter has tried multiple times in the past to use his public service work to make extra money. Mayfield has kept a low profile since WWL-TV broke… Continue reading →

Three people robbed near Tulane campus on Tuesday night

. Armed robbers confronted three people near the Tulane University campus Tuesday night. The three thieves came upon a 22-year-old man and two women, ages 21 and 20, about 9:30 p.m. in the 1100 block of Pine Street. The robbers took the man’s wallet and fled on foot toward Willow Street, according to Tulane and… Continue reading →

New Orleans Police Department seeks second man in connection with Melba's Restaurant shooting

A second man is wanted in connection with a fatal shooting last week in the parking lot of Melba’s Restaurant, New Orleans police said Wednesday. Janero McBride, 23, who has a lengthy criminal record, is wanted in the May 13 killing of 24-year-old Toby Roché, police said. Jacob Love, 26, admitted to police last week that he and McBride participated in the… Continue reading →

Is your least favorite New Orleans pothole on our map? Thursday is National Pothole Day

Photo provided by Fix My Streets NOLA -- A pothole at the intersection of Weurpel Street and Robert E. Lee Blvd. in New Orleans is decorated with a 'Fix My Streets' shoe and toy cars in hopes of drawing attention to the poor conditions of roads around the city.

For decades, New Orleans’ roads have buckled and crumbled for myriad reasons — everything from poor soil conditions to not having enough money or a comprehensive plan in place to fix them. The latter issues recently led a Lakeview businessman to begin a campaign called “Fix My Streets,” which has since become a cry across the city. The "Fix My… Continue reading →

Bitter, loud confrontation outside grand jury room preceded latest indictment of St. Bernard Parish President David Peralta

David Peralta

This much is clear: A loud, bitter confrontation broke out May 6 between prosecutors and St. Bernard Parish President David Peralta’s lawyer within earshot of the Baton Rouge grand jury that would go on to indict Peralta on charges that he abused campaign funds, and the dispute brought the proceeding to an early close, according to interviews and… Continue reading →

Mayor Mitch Landrieu uses private email account for much city correspondence, records show

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu and some of his staff have routinely used private email accounts for official correspondence, a practice that does not violate the law on its face, but that some experts say could make it hard for the public to be sure the mayor is complying with the state’s public records law. City… Continue reading →

New Orleans Uptown business owners are boiling over about a city drainage project that disconnected water service

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--Flaming Torch owner Zohreh Khaleghi pours a glass of water at the restaurant on Magazine and Octavia Street in New Orleans, La. Wednesday, May 20, 2015. The restaurant is one street away from the Jefferson Ave. which is having a new canal dug for the Southeast Louisiana (SELA) Drainage program to reduce flood damages and the restaurant and other business along Magazine are upset that they lose water pressure and have to shut down with no water.

Zohreh Khaleghi recently had to cancel two big dinner parties at her Magazine Street restaurant Flaming Torch because a federal contractor working on a construction project along Jefferson Avenue disconnected her water service without warning her first. Khaleghi said the canceled parties are perhaps the most dramatic example of what it’s like to own a business… Continue reading →

Grandmother jumps to cover baby after New Orleans police fire at unarmed man; 2013 video shows threat to bystanders

The baby thought it was all just a game. But for the grandmother shielding the child from gunfire, the day in August 2013 when a police chase swept past her block was a frightening illustration of the dangers posed by cops who are too quick to pull the trigger. Officer Isaiah Shannon’s single shot at what… Continue reading →

Armed robbery hits Tulane Tuesday night, another strikes Marigny

Multiple people were robbed at gunpoint overnight in New Orleans, according to a New Orleans Police Department press release. A pair of male victims were walking in the aera of 2200 Decatur Street in Marigny when two males armed with a gun demanded their property. The victims complied and the perpetrators fled. Another armed robbery took… Continue reading →