Robert Morris

Oct 172012

Police are searching for the silver, four-door sedan shown in this image. (via NOPD)

Two men — one wearing an ankle monitor as he awaits trial on a carjacking charge — were wounded in a drive-by shooting Tuesday afternoon in the 4300 block of Washington Avenue, and police are hoping the public can help find the car used in the attack, authorities said.

The two men were walking on Washington Avenue around 3 p.m. Tuesday when a silver, four-door sedan approached from behind, police said. The driver’s-side doors of the vehicle opened, and at least two occupants of the vehicle began shooting, then drove off, police said.

The 19-year-old victim was shot in the leg, and the 21-year-old victim was hit in the hand, police said. Neither injury is considered life-threatening.

The 21-year-old victim was Kerwinell Singleton, who was wearing an electronic ankle monitor at the time of the shooting after his arrest last September following a carjacking near Coliseum Square. Singleton’s ankle bracelet was working properly at the time of the shooting, as he was within the geographic boundaries set by the court and not out past his 6 p.m. curfew, according to a statement by Sheriff Marlin Gusman.

Singleton had actually been in court on Tuesday for a hearing and is scheduled to return for another appearance Dec. 5, Gusman notes.

Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Warren Walker of the NOPD Second District at 658-6020, or CrimeStoppers at 822-1111 to leave an anonymous tip that could be eligible for a cash reward.

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Oct 162012

Allegations that Lycée Français de la Nouvelle Orléans is structured to favor well-off students and that it does not appropriately serve the city’s African-American population resurfaced on Tuesday afternoon when a series of complaints about the new French-immersion charter school were aired before the state education board in Baton Rouge.

Among the complaints were that the school has failed to follow through on an outreach program to a Central City daycare promised in its charter, that it is using state money to subsidize its private preschool, that students in the school’s new second grade are not being given adequate remedial instruction in French and that state education officials are intentionally ignoring those issues. No action was taken on the complaints, but the board asked its staff to investigate the claims and report its findings next month at a meeting in New Orleans. Continue reading »

Oct 162012

Construction related to the installation of new drainage canals under Napoleon Avenue will block motorists from being able to cross Napoleon on Freret Street on Wednesay and Thursday, according to Alexander Navarro of Boh Brothers Construction. If the weather permits, workers hope to have the intersection reopened by Friday, Navarro said.

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Oct 152012

Owen Courreges

Just a block over from my house is Mr. John’s Steakhouse. In my humble opinion, it offers the best steaks in the city. They use only the finest cuts seared in butter and cooked to perfection. And of course, like all of the finest steakhouses, they are not cheap. Mr. John’s is synonymous with special occasions.

This is not, however, the case for the Board of Trustees for the New Orleans Firefighters’ Pension and Relief Fund. Apparently, they believe in spending thousands of dollars at a time at Mr. John’s and other expensive restaurants in the city. Continue reading »

Oct 132012

Students’ projects from September 2009 still hang on a bulletin board in a corridor at the New Orleans Free School at 3601 Camp Street. The building was abruptly abandoned three months later because of structural issues, and is now headed for auction. (Robert Morris,

The former New Orleans Free School on Camp Street.

Students’ work still hangs on the walls three years after it was turned in, and their art lays strewn about the floor of the old Free School. A few children’s books sit in crates, toys lay abandoned on the dirty floor, and pigeons flutter in and out of the dark fourth-floor attic. To the trained eye, however, the most insidious problem is the sudden dips in the hardwood floor.

The century-old Free School on Camp Street looks as though it was abandoned overnight, as it almost literally was in December of 2009 when critical structural problems were discovered there. Next month, the building is one of seven former school sites around the city scheduled to be auctioned off by the Orleans Parish School Board, raising the possibility that it might finally be redeveloped into something new, or even one day hold students once again. Continue reading »

Oct 102012

Estelle Carron moved to New Orleans earlier this year and was a French teacher at Trinity Episcopal School, but still owned the home in Memphis where she was found dead after a fire this weekend, allegedly strangled to death by her son, according to an article published Tuesday evening on the website of the Memphis Commercial Appeal.

“We continue to pray for her and for her family, friends, students, and colleagues,” wrote Trinity headmaster Dr. Michael Kuhn in an email to Uptown Messenger. “In the short time here at Trinity, she became a much beloved and respected teacher and colleague. Estelle will be greatly missed by the Trinity community.”

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Oct 092012

Violent crimes in the Freret area since mid-April, according to NOPD crime maps, include a teen being shot, a dispute in which a gun was fired, a fracas at a now-closed high school and a charge of illegal carrying of a weapon. (via

The murder of a prominent Freret Street bakery owner 25 years ago is still regarded as the seminal moment in the commercial corridor’s long period of neglect. Now, even amid the street’s current renaissance, some residents still feel that they are living just on the edge of the next violent crime.

Several Freret residents and business owners have recently begun discussing the possibility of hiring private security patrols similar to those in other neighborhoods around the city, and Tuesday night, began what they see as a long conversation with their neighbors about whether to move forward. Continue reading »