City’s new zoning law moving toward approval

After four years of meetings and revisions, New Orleans’ new comprehensive zoning ordinance appears to be on its way to adoption by the end of the year. The City Council on Thursday accepted the latest draft of the proposed ordinance from the City Planning Commission’s staff. The draft — presented as a staff report with a … Continue reading →

Plaquemines gets two-thirds of Katrina loan forgiven

Billy Nungesser

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security and FEMA have canceled $5.9 million in disaster loans given to Plaquemines Parish after Hurricane Katrina, Parish President Billy Nungesser said Thursday. That leaves the parish on the hook to repay the remaining $3 million of $8.9 million in special community disaster loans it received after the storm. Nungesser said … Continue reading →

N.O. gambling revenue flat despite Harrah’s gain

Advocate staff file photo by RICHARD ALAN HANNON -- Harrah's casino New Orleans.

The New Orleans gambling market was virtually unchanged in June compared to the year before, despite a big month at the Harrah’s land-based casino. Statewide, 14 riverboats, four racetrack casinos and Harrah’s land-based casino combined brought in $203.5 million in June, slightly better than the $202.4 million the year before. That snapped a three-month streak when the … Continue reading →

NOPD investigates homicide in New Orleans East

An unidentified man was found shot to death inside an SUV in New Orleans East Thursday morning, police said. The shooting was reported about 7 a.m. in the 8000 block of Lacombe Street, said officer Hilal Williams, a Police Department spokeswoman. The victim, whose identity was being withheld pending notification of family, was found inside a … Continue reading →

Sheriff’s closed meeting over contract criticized

Advocate staff photo by John McCusker -- New Orleans Inspector General Ed Quatrevaux.

The city’s inspector general blasted Sheriff Marlin Gusman on Thursday for conducting the public’s business behind closed doors, urging him to let outsiders observe the selection process for a multimillion-dollar contract that will be awarded to an outside firm to provide medical and mental-health care to inmates at Orleans Parish Prison. But Inspector General Ed Quatrevaux’s … Continue reading →

Jury nearly seated in 2008 death of 8-year-old boy

Errol and Tonya Victor

A Reserve couple accused of killing their 8-year-old son will face a jury this week, the culmination of a six-year legal drama involving three different indictments and an appearance on “America’s Most Wanted.” Errol Victor Sr. and Tonya Victor both face second-degree murder charges in the death of M.L. Lloyd III — Tonya’s son and Errol’s … Continue reading →

Mary Jane Carter Fenner, volunteer and activist, dead at 80

Mary Jane Carter Fenner, an activist, one-time political candidate and New Orleans Carnival royalty, died Friday. She was 80. Long a staple of the society pages with her husband, Darwin C. Fenner, she chaired more than a dozen boards, from WYES-TV to the Salvation Army, in a career of volunteerism that spanned three decades. … Continue reading →

Mayor: Welcome issued to anti-abortion activists an error

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON-- Kendra Thomas from Waco, Texas holds her daughter Jubilee Thomas, 7, as Cheryl Gonzales reads from the Bible while protesting with the anti-abortion group Operation Save America outside the constructions site of a Planned Parenthood in New Orleans, La. Wednesday, July 23, 2014. In a 2011 fact sheet Planned Parenthood stated only 3 percent of its total services in were abortions. The other 97 percent of services were for contraception, treatment and tests for sexually transmitted diseases, cancer screenings, and other womenÕs health services.

Mayor Mitch Landrieu caused a stir this week when he issued an official welcome to visiting anti-abortion activists in a proclamation his office subsequently said was provided in error. The certificate, dated July 20, recognized the Rev. Flip Benham, director of Operation Save America, for “outstanding service to the city of New Orleans,” according to an … Continue reading →

Lionel Ferbos funeral services set for Aug. 1-2

New Orleans jazz trumpeter Lionel Ferbos poses for a photograph in front of his home that was damaged by Hurricane Katrina Thursday, July 17, 2008 in New Orleans. Ferbos is the oldest actively working jazz musician in New Orleans. He performs with his band at the Palm Court Jazz Cafe in the French Quarter on Saturdays. (AP Photo/Bill Haber)

Funeral services will be held Aug. 1 and 2 for jazz musician Lionel Ferbos, the New Orleans trumpeter and singer who died July 19 at 103. Born in the 7th Ward in 1911, Ferbos was a living link to New Orleans music reaching back several decades. Public viewing will be from 6 p.m. to … Continue reading →

Defense asks leniency for ex-cop McRae; prosecutors disagree

Associated Press file photo by Cheryl Gerber -- Gregory McRae as he entered federal court in New Orleans in December 2010.

The defense attorney for Gregory McRae, a former New Orleans police officer who burned Henry Glover’s body in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, implored a federal judge this week to show mercy in resentencing McRae, suggesting a 10-year term would reflect both the seriousness of the crime and the catastrophe during which it was committed. The … Continue reading →

Mass, second line Aug. 2 for jazzman Ferbos

New Orleans jazz trumpeter Lionel Ferbos poses for a photograph in front of his home that was damaged by Hurricane Katrina Thursday, July 17, 2008 in New Orleans. Ferbos is the oldest actively working jazz musician in New Orleans. He performs with his band at the Palm Court Jazz Cafe in the French Quarter on Saturdays. (AP Photo/Bill Haber)

Funeral services will be held Aug. 1 and 2 for jazz musician Lionel Ferbos, the New Orleans trumpeter and singer who died July 19 at age 103. Public viewing will be from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Aug. 1 at Charbonnet Labat Funeral Home, 1615 St. Philip St. Musical and family tributes will begin at 7 … Continue reading →

Lawyer for alleged Bourbon St. shooter claims alibi

P)hoto provided by the NOPD -- Trung T. Le.

A newly hired private attorney for Trung Le, accused by police of being the first person to open fire on Bourbon Street in a June 29 melee that killed a Hammond woman and injured nine others, said Wednesday that police arrested the wrong man and that Le has an alibi. Martin Regan declined to describe that … Continue reading →

City planners endorse new Deutsches Haus but not its design

The Deutsches Haus can once again call Mid-City home, the New Orleans City Planning Commission said Tuesday in agreeing to the German cultural organization’s proposal for a new building along Bayou St. John. But before construction can begin, the project’s architects must revise the building’s design to make the structure a little less Germanic-looking, the commission said. … Continue reading →

St. Charles streetcar track work delayed again

It will be a few more weeks before repairs to the St. Charles Avenue streetcar line’s track are finished, officials told the Regional Transit Authority board Tuesday. The track has been under construction since 2011, and crews were expected to wrap up the work last week. But frequent heavy afternoon rains have stalled the last … Continue reading →

A pensive, furious visit from goth rocker Nick Cave

Advocate photo by VERONICA DOMINACH -- Nick Cave performs with his group Bad Seeds at the Mahalia Jackson Theater in New Orleans, La. Monday, July 21, 2014.

Rock-star slim and dressed in a black suit, Nick Cave brought post-punk menace and a charismatic preacher-man persona to the Mahalia Jackson Theater on Monday night. Performing with a six-man band that produced subtle atmospherics and pulverizing musical violence, Cave lurched and strode all over the stage on spindly legs. Like a species of wading bird, … Continue reading →

Tumultuous relationship ends with woman dead in Treme lot

Seabon Gibson, 75, is accused of killing his live-in girlfriend of 20 years.

It was Sunday when Seabon “Tom” Gibson and Fannie Campbell got into it again. A shouting match between the two turned into a physical altercation when Campbell drew a knife, according to New Orleans police. It ended when Gibson, 75, allegedly grabbed the blade and plunged it into Campbell’s chest, killing his girlfriend of … Continue reading →

Globetrotting mystery tipper hits N.O.

A $10,000 tip, left on a bill for a $9,094.98 dinner, at Galatoire's Restaurant on Saturday night from a serial tipper.

If the waiters and waitresses at restaurants around town seem extra alert this week, there’s a very good reason — a $10,000 reason, in fact. A monster tipper who goes by the moniker Tips for Jesus has made a mark in New Orleans. After racking up a daunting tab of $9,094.98 for dinner at Continue reading →

Two jurors singled out for questioning in Gill Pratt case

A federal judge has ordered two people who sat on the jury for the 2011 racketeering trial of former New Orleans City Councilwoman Renee Gill Pratt to answer questions about their service in the case as the judge seeks to determine whether their guilty verdict was influenced by comments posted anonymously online by a former federal prosecutor. … Continue reading →

Krewe of Zeus considering St. Charles for 2015 parade

Advocate photo by VERONICA DOMINACH --Gentlemen, We Have Our Heading

Metairie’s oldest Carnival parading group may be heading to Destrehan in 2015. The Krewe of Zeus has applied for a permit to parade on River Road and Ormond Boulevard in St. Charles Parish during the upcoming Carnival season, according to St. Charles Sheriff Greg Champagne. The parade would last from 6:30 p.m. to 11 … Continue reading →

St. Bernard transit department missing $98,000 in bus fares

More than $98,000 worth of bus fares that should have been collected during a three-year period in St. Bernard Parish are missing, according to a new audit report that casts significant doubt on explanations offered by transit officials. The report, released Monday by the state Legislative Auditor’s Office, notes that three employees of the St. Bernard … Continue reading →

Prison monitor raps Gusman for slow pace of hiring key aides

Orleans Parish Sheriff Marlin Gusman

Sheriff Marlin Gusman has missed several hiring deadlines spelled out in a recent funding agreement with city officials, failing to fill key positions needed for his office to carry out court-ordered improvements at Orleans Parish Prison, according to a report by the jail’s independent monitor that faults Gusman for dragging his heels. The positions remain vacant … Continue reading →

FEMA approves $17.5 million to repair East St. John High

East St. John High School surrounded by floodwaters in the aftermath of Hurricane Isaac. in LaPlace, La., Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2012. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Federal emergency officials have allocated $17.5 million for repairs on two St. John the Baptist Parish schools that have been shuttered since Hurricane Isaac battered them in 2012, and local officials are optimistic that more money is on the way as they work to get the facilities back up and running. Last year, the St. John … Continue reading →


Orleans Parish coroner’s chief investigator retires

Associated Press file photo by Bill Haber -- New Orleans Chief Coroner's investigator John Gagliano

John Gagliano, for decades the Orleans Parish coroner’s chief investigator, retired Friday. Coroner Jeffrey Rouse said that Brian Lapeyrolerie, who most recently served as interim chief investigator for the Orleans Parish District Attorney’s Office, assumed Gagliano’s role effective Monday. For many years, Gagliano also was the man news reporters would call to find out the … Continue reading →