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Business Briefs for May 29, 2016

Financial services giant Morgan Stanley has named New Orleans as its eighth Healthy Cities location, launching the program with a playground build at Lake Forest Charter School. The Healthy Cities program, working with Second Harvest Food Bank of Greater New Orleans, targets needy children and their… Continue reading →

Fire chief shoots back at union leader, calls out 'blatant lie' in spat over response time for Marigny Street fire

New Orleans Fire Department Superintendent Tim McConnell shot back Friday at the firefighters union leader in a dispute about the response to a fire in St. Roch this week that claimed three houses. Firefighters union President Nick Felton had claimed firefighters were delayed in responding to the fire in the 1600 block of Marigny… Continue reading →

Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Lafayette area Business Honors for May 29, 2016

Ashley Gary Higginbotham, Judiciary Commission of Louisiana

BATON ROUGE AREA Jerry Ceppos, dean of LSU’s Manship School of Mass Communication and its William B. Dickinson distinguished professor, has been named a fellow of the Society of Professional Journalists. The honor is awarded for extraordinary contributions to the profession. Ceppos, who previously worked for the San Jose Mercury News and… Continue reading →

Initial unemployment claims in Louisiana rise

First-time claims for unemployment insurance in Louisiana for the week ending May 21 increased to 3,165 from the previous week’s total of 2,969. The state labor department said there were 3,166 claims for the comparable week a year earlier. The four-week moving average, which is a less volatile measure of claims, increased to 2,881 from… Continue reading →

Former Oklahoma insurance executive to head La. Citizens Property Insurance

Oklahoma insurance executive Richard Newberry has been picked to head the Louisiana’s property insurer of last resort. Newberry’s first day as the chief executive officer of Louisiana Citizens Property Insurance Corp. will be Tuesday, said state Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon. That’s also the start of hurricane season. Donelon said Newberry’s 23 years of experience… Continue reading →

R & O’s restaurant co-founder Roland Mollere dies at 87

Advocate file photo by Ian McNulty - R & O's is a family favorite for Creole-Italian fare in Bucktown.

Roland Mollere Sr., who opened the popular R & O’s eatery in Bucktown with his wife more than three decades ago, died Wednesday after a four-month bout with cancer. He was 87. Like others in Bucktown, originally a fishing and hunting colony on the eastern edge of Metairie, Mollere once earned a living trawling the waters… Continue reading →

Sheriff Marlin Gusman rejects claims of chaos at New Orleans jail: 'Couldn't be further from the truth'

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--Marlin Gusman leads a group of clergy and supporters to the front of the Orleans Parish Justice Center and Jail in New Orleans, La. Tuesday, May 24, 2016. The press conference comes a day ahead of a U.S. Department of Justice receivership hearing at Federal Court to remove Gusman from control of the jail.

Orleans Parish Sheriff Marlin Gusman expressed confidence Friday that he will overcome an effort by the federal government to take control of the city’s jail, accusing the U.S. Justice Department of “dwelling on the past.” The sheriff, addressing reporters after a third day of testimony in U.S. District Court, said he took particular exception to the claim… Continue reading →

Key reason why New Orleans area loses 2,400 jobs over past 12 months

The New Orleans area lost 2,400 jobs over the past 12 months, falling victim in part to oil industry-driven job losses that drove statewide employment down by 16,000 jobs in April. Metro-area losses also were posted by Lafayette, Houma-Thibodaux and Shreveport-Bossier City against gains in Baton Rouge, Hammond, Lake Charles, Monroe and Alexandria. Louisiana’s 0.8… Continue reading →

DA drops murder charge against Jerome Morgan for 1993 killing

Advocate photo by JOHN SIMERMAN -- Innocence Project New Orleans clients Jerome Morgan, right and Robert Jones are pictured here in this undated file photo. Murder charges have been dropped against Morgan for a 1993 slaying. Robert Jones, 43, is awaiting retrial in a 1992 armed robbery, kidnapping and rape case after his own conviction was overturned in 2014. Both are clients of .

Jerome Morgan, who spent nearly two decades behind bars for the slaying of a 16-year-old youth in a Gentilly motel ballroom before a judge threw out his conviction two years ago, won’t be retried in the 1993 killing. Orleans Parish District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro grudgingly dropped the murder charge Friday. Cannizzaro refused to proclaim… Continue reading →

Joe Walsh and Bad Company dusted off classic rock radio hits at New Orleans’ Champions Square

Photo by Kenny Martinez -- Drummer Simon Kirke and singer Paul Rodgers of Bad Company at Bold Sphere Music at Champions Square in New Orleans on Thursday, May 26, 2016.

Classic rock radio came to life at Bold Sphere Music at Champions Square on Thursday courtesy of Bad Company and Joe Walsh. Save a smattering of deep cuts, both veteran acts kept surprises to a minimum in favor of chiseled versions of the hits. But their tightly constructed showcases still felt organic, as all involved hail… Continue reading →

Joe Walsh and Bad Company dusted off classic rock radio hits at New Orleans’ Champions Square

Photo by Kenny Martinez -- Drummer Simon Kirke and singer Paul Rodgers of Bad Company at Bold Sphere Music at Champions Square in New Orleans on Thursday, May 26, 2016.

Classic rock radio came to life at Bold Sphere Music at Champions Square on Thursday courtesy of Bad Company and Joe Walsh. Save a smattering of deep cuts, both veteran acts kept surprises to a minimum in favor of chiseled versions of the hits. But their tightly constructed showcases still felt organic, as all involved hail… Continue reading →

'You roll with us, or you get rolled over': New Orleans’ culture of killing on display at trial of accused ‘3NG’ gang leader

New Orleans officials look at mugshots of the 20 indicted 3NG gang members in 2013.

Washington “Big Wash” McCaskill was 11 or 12 when he started toting a gun around the streets of New Orleans, he told a jury this week. By 13, he stood 6 feet tall and netted $400 to $500 a day selling crack on the streets of Central City and Uptown, stashing the proceeds… Continue reading →

Report: Crimestoppers signs pop up seeking information in Thomas Rolfes' death

Billboards advertising the reward for information in Tulane graduate Thomas Rolfes' death have appeared on Claiborne Avenue. (Photo via WWL-TV)

With much still unknown almost a month after the death of Tulane graduate Thomas Rolfes, billboards advertising the $30,000 being offered have sprung up in the area of South Claiborne Avenue. In a report from WWL-TV, Rolfes' former roommate said the family and his fiancee haven't given up hope to find out what happened.… Continue reading →

Gardens on Mars wins $5,000 in PitchNOLA competition

Garden on Mars, a project that converted four vacant lots into urban teaching gardens for the Lower 9th Ward community, took home first place and $5,000 Wednesday in a business pitch competition. The Propeller Incubator’s PitchNOLA: Living Well competition matched against each other 10 semi-finalist companies offering entrepreneurial solutions to reduce or eliminate health disparities for at-risk… Continue reading →

NOPD: 14-year-old boy shot multiple times in New Orleans East Thursday

Advocate staff photo by MATT SLEDGE -- New Orleans police are investigating a shooting in New Orleans East Thursday. Police say a 14-year-old boy is the victim.

. Update, 1:45 p.m. New Orleans police said the victim, a 14-year-old boy, sustained multiple gunshot wounds and was taken to an area hospital, where he is currently being treated. His condition was not immediately known. The shooting happened in the 8900 block of Morrison Road, and the victim then went to the 9000 block of Bunker Hill, where… Continue reading →

Prosecutor: Retrial for Jerome Morgan in 1993 murder still on, despite loss of key evidence

An Orleans Parish prosecutor said Thursday that a June 13 retrial for Jerome Morgan in a 1993 murder will go ahead despite a Louisiana Supreme Court ruling this month that will bar a jury from hearing pivotal evidence in the case. Morgan’s attorneys asked Criminal District Court Judge Franz Zibilich to dismiss the case,… Continue reading →

Jury convicts Avondale man on gun, weapons charges

An Avondale man who rejected a 10-year plea deal earlier this week saw a jury reject his claim of being framed by police on gun and weapons charges on Wednesday. Westley Simmons told jurors that Jefferson Parish deputies framed him as payback for a 2007 crime in New Orleans, where he shot a rifle at a police… Continue reading →

JPSO seeks suspect after Jesuit High School baseball field burglarized again Wednesday

The Jefferson Parish Sheriff

. The Jesuit High School baseball field at 100 Blue Jay Way in Metairie was burglarized Wednesday night, the latest in a series of thefts that Jefferson Parish officials say are likely related. Several businesses, including the school's John Ryan Stadium and Anthony’s Landscaping at 300 L and A Road, have been burglarized in the area since July 2015,… Continue reading →

Psychiatrist tells judge that crisis management for mentally ill inmates remains ‘abysmal’ at New Orleans jail

Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER --  Orleans Parish Sheriff Marlin Gusman speaks at a news conference in May 2016.

A psychiatrist told a judge Thursday that mental health treatment at the New Orleans jail remains lacking in many respects and is “abysmal with regard to crisis management,” bolstering the federal government’s claim that conditions at the lockup are so bad they violate inmates’ constitutional rights. Dr. Raymond F. Patterson, a well-known mental health expert, testified… Continue reading →

Allegiant expands service, adds flights from Tulsa to New Orleans

Allegiant has launched new seasonal service to New Orleans from Tulsa, Oklahoma. The company is temporarily offering some one-way tickets on the new route for $33. The new route will offer flights twice a week, expanding on the current service to Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport. Allegiant expects the additional flights will bring more than… Continue reading →

Suspect in attempted murder case arrested after standoff with Slidell police

. A man wanted in an attempted murder case in Coushatta was arrested early Wednesday after a 30-minute standoff with Slidell police and U.S. marshals.

Slidell police said Valere Frazier was arrested without incident at a home in the 1300 block of Westlawn Drive in Slidell.

He was wanted on multiple felony warrants from the Red River Parish Sheriff’s… Continue reading →

NOPD: Man involved in crash that killed 80-year-old New Orleans woman had cocaine in blood

A Covington man had cocaine and codeine in his blood when he was involved in a fatal crash that killed a grandmother in the Upper 9th Ward in October, New Orleans police said. On Monday, months after police said Joseph Echar, 39, crashed into the 80-year-old woman’s vehicle and killed her, he was booked into the Orleans Parish jail and ordered… Continue reading →

NOPD: Missing man found dead of multiple gunshot wounds near I-10; 2 injured in Gert Town shooting

Sean Johnson, who was found dead Wednesday evening

Police reported late Wednesday they are investigating the homicide of a man found dead near the intersection of 1-10 West and Elysian Fields. Sean Johnson, 24, had been reported missing earlier in the day, according to an NOPD release, and was discovered about 7:30 p.m. having suffered multiple gunshot wounds. Johnson was last seen around 11 p.m. Monday driving his girlfriend's Silver… Continue reading →

Lusher appeals labor board’s decision; International High School also fights union organizing drive

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--Robert Mills Lusher, who was born in Charleston, South Carolina, was a segregationist, and served as president of state superintendent of schools in the late 1800s and argued that all-white schools where a way of maintaining white supremacy. The Lusher Elementary school is seen in New Orleans, La. Tuesday, June 23, 2015.

In an effort to stave off any future attempts by teachers to unionize, Lusher Charter School administrators on Tuesday fired off an appeal of a recent ruling that the National Labor Relations Board has the right to oversee union elections at the Uptown school. Meanwhile, an effort by International High School of New Orleans… Continue reading →

Louisiana, 'the obesity-diabetes heartland of America,' still ranks as least healthy state for seniors

A troubling increase in the diabetes and obesity rates among middle-aged Louisiana residents doesn’t bode well for the future of a state that remains the least healthy for seniors. From 1999 to 2014, the prevalence of diabetes in Louisiana among those ages 50 to 64 jumped from 11.5 percent to 17.8 percent, the 2016 United… Continue reading →

Orleans jury convicts Gerard Gray for ordering shooting of two men in dispute over Central City hoops court

An Orleans Parish jury convicted an accused Central City gang leader Wednesday on two counts of attempted murder, finding that Gerard Gray furnished a gun for an acquaintance and directed him to fire on two men at A.L. Davis Park during a dispute about who had next “dibs” on the basketball court there. Jonterry… Continue reading →

St. John deputy suspended after he was allegedly found with drugs, Glock handgun during traffic stop

A St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff’s Office deputy was suspended on Wednesday after he was arrested with illegal drugs in St. Charles Parish, officials said. St. John Sheriff Mike Tregre said that 23-year-old Barry Conner II, a deputy in the corrections division, had been placed on indefinite suspension after his arrest early Wednesday morning. Capt.… Continue reading →

Video: Raging fire destroys home, damages two others on Marigny Street Wednesday

Advocate staff photo by ELIOT KAMENITZ-- New Orleans fire fighters battle a multi-alarm blaze which destroyed at least three homes and a school bus parked in a yard in the 1600 block of Marigny Street  in New Orleans, La. Wednesday, May 25, 2016.

A raging fire in the St. Roch neighborhood destroyed one house Wednesday morning and left two more slated for demolition. Neighbors said the blaze started in an abandoned house frequented by squatters. The Fire Department said no injuries were reported. The cause of the fire is under investigation. The house where the fire began, a… Continue reading →