Robert Morris

Nov 142018

The building at 7457 St. Charles Avenue (via Google Maps)

A sketch of the proposed second-story addition to the building at 7457 St. Charles Avenue. (via city of New Orleans)

A nail salon proposed for a university-area building on St. Charles Avenue that has been a number of short-lived restaurants in recent years won initial approval from the City Planning Commission on Tuesday, and it will include the addition of a new second-story living space — despite some some neighbors concerns’ that parking is already too tough even with the space currently vacant. Continue reading »

Nov 132018

The warehouse at 1152 Magazine Street slated to become the home of “The Fallen Saint” immersive theatre show. (photo via city of New Orleans)

The latest challenge to the zoning of a new immersive-theatre venue in a Magazine Street warehouse at the edge of the Lower Garden District was postponed Monday to December, after the building owners countered with the allegation that their critics have missed the deadline to object. Continue reading »

Nov 122018

A photo of Jennifer Thompson in college in the 1980s and Ronald Cotton in the booking photos she was shown after her rape. (via

In 1984, a man broke into to college student Jennifer Thompson’s apartment while she was sleeping and raped her in her bed, but she did her utmost through the assault to scrutinize every aspect of his appearance so she could give police as complete a description as possible. She helped create a composite sketch that swiftly led to an arrest, and her testimony sent Ronald Cotton to prison for both her rape and another woman’s for two life sentences.

Ten years later, DNA evidence proved that Cotton was not, in fact, Thompson’s attacker, and that the actual rapist was a similar-looking man Cotton had been blaming throughout the appeals process. While Cotton sat in prison, that man committed dozens of other violent crimes, including six rapes — leading Thompson to the horrifying realization that her mistaken identification not only sent an innocent man to jail, but also allowed a rapist to walk the streets free.

“If we’re going to talk about wrongful conviction, we also have to talk about wrongful liberty,” Thompson said. “…Everybody gets hurt. Everybody is failed — everybody except the perpetrator, who lives to be free.” Continue reading »

Nov 092018

Robert Jones, who, in 2017, was exonerated of four different crimes from the 1990s, speaks to the audience at “Protecting the Innocent: Louisiana’s Reform of Eyewitness Identifications” at Loyola University New Orleans’ Law School on Friday, November 11. Jones was exonerated with the help of the Innocence Project of New Orleans. (Zach Brien,

Accurate descriptions of suspects have proven to be extremely difficult to come by, even under the best of circumstances, a noted criminologist said Friday morning during the 2018 Loyola Law Review Symposium, “Protecting the Innocent: Louisiana’s Reform of Eyewitness Identifications.”

Continue reading »

Nov 082018

(image via NOPD)

Homicide detectives have released new surveillance images in connection with the unsolved 2016 killing of a Tulane graduate on Amelia Street near South Claiborne Avenue, and hoping that the public can help identify the men as they continue to pursue the investigation, New Orleans police said. Continue reading »

Nov 052018

The courtyard of the Benjamin Banneker school building, most recently used by KIPP Believe. (Robert Morris,

Audubon Charter School expects that the renovations needed at the Banneker campus will take about two years before students can move in, an issue that is causing some tension with the Orleans Parish School Board, officials said Monday night. Continue reading »

Nov 022018

A rendering of the building at 4528 Freret Street after its proposed redevelopment into a grocery store with condos above the parking lot. Architect Nick Marshall noted that the building was a Canal Villere grocery store in the 1970s and 80s. (image courtesy of Chase Marshall architects)

The controversial proposal to create a grocery store inside the former Publiq House building on Freret Street and with a new 24-unit condo building over the adjacent parking lot was withdrawn by its developers Thursday from consideration by the New Orleans City Council. Continue reading »

Nov 012018

Traditional Norwegian food, such as open-face sandwhiches, smoked salmon, cakes and cookies, are on display during the 2011 Scandinavian Festival. ( file photo by Nicole Harvey)

After 112 years in New Orleans, the Scandinavian Jazz Church on Prytania Street will close and be sold at the end of the year, but not before holding its final annual Christmas festival this weekend.

The festival features homemade Scandinavian food, handmade crafts, live music, a raffle and silent auction, and cooking demonstrations.

Continue reading »

Oct 312018

A rendering of the building at 4528 Freret Street after its proposed redevelopment into a grocery store with condos above the parking lot. Architect Nick Marshall noted that the building was a Canal Villere grocery store in the 1970s and 80s. (image courtesy of Chase Marshall architects)

The New Orleans City Council is expected to decide Thursday on whether to allow a proposed grocery store in the former Publiq House space at the Neighborhood Housing Services building on Freret Street as well as 24 adjacent condo units, the first of what is now two current efforts to bring groceries to the booming neighborhood. Continue reading »

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Oct 302018

A Walter L. Cohen College Prep student marches in the Krewe of Oshun in February 2018. (Robert Morris,

After dozens of students, parents and teachers complained to the board of New Orleans College Prep earlier this month about the impact of emergency layoffs, officials at the charter network promised Monday they have determined the system’s finances have stabilized and that no more layoffs are expected.

“Our finances are stable, which means we do not foresee any need for further layoffs,” said College Prep board chair Patrick Norton. Continue reading »

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