Aug 242017
 

Coroner Jeffrey Rouse (center) confers with NOPD Homicide detectives after the discovery of a body in November 2014. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Incumbent Orleans Parish Coroner Jeffrey Rouse has withdrawn his re-election campaign to return to private psychiatric practice, greeting the election of Dwight McKenna as the city’s first African-American coroner as the “logical next step” for the evolution of the office. Continue reading »

Aug 242017
 

Moderator Travers Mackel (right) poses a question to the six candidates running for the open District A seat on the City Council. (still image from YouTube video)

One candidate for the open District A seat still hasn’t decided whether Confederate statues should be removed in New Orleans, and some question whether the New Orleans Police Department is actually understaffed. Another candidate thinks pothole repairs should halt until underground drainage problems are fixed, and one thinks the Sewerage & Water Board should be abolished altogether. Continue reading »

Aug 242017
 

Albert Ledner (submitted photo)

Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

When the Louisiana Architectural Foundation decided to bring the 9th annual Architecture & Design Film Festival to New Orleans, foundation director Stacey Pfingsten knew that the festival must include the world premiere of “Designing Life: The Organic Modernism of Albert C. Ledner.”

The nation’s largest film festival devoted to architecture and design, the ADFF “celebrates the creative spirit behind many of the world’s most innovative architecture and design projects and the larger-than-life personalities who create them.” Ledner, a spry 93-year old native New Orleanian who still practices his craft, certainly fits the bill. Continue reading »

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Aug 232017
 

The former Zara’s property at 2042 Prytania Street, following extensive renovations. (photographed in April 2017 by Google Maps)

The former Zara’s site on Prytania Street received initial approval to reopen a grocery store there without package liquor sales, despite a Lower Garden District neighborhood dispute over whether short-term rentals should be allowed in the building’s upper-floor apartments. Continue reading »

Aug 182017
 

The majority of the diesel fuel that leaked from the Sewerage & Water Board plant in Carrollton has been cleaned up, and no more has appeared, but officials are still unsure how it escaped in the first place, authorities said Thursday afternoon. Continue reading »

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Aug 172017
 
Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

Candidates for elected office – especially after qualifying – are usually out kissing babies, shaking hands, and attending numerous events seven days a week. But not the highly popular New Orleans Coroner Jeffrey Rouse, first elected in 2014 after having served as deputy chief coroner and head of the office’s mental health division for twelve years. Rouse is being challenged by Dr. Dwight McKenna in the October 14, 2017 election. Continue reading »

Aug 162017
 

New Orleans Fire Department chief Tim McConnell speaks Wednesday afternoon at a news conference at City Hall. (via City of New Orleans)

A diesel sheen atop the water in a drainage canal in Carrollton led to the discovery Tuesday night of a leak from an underground tank at the Sewerage & Water Board plant, New Orleans city officials said Wednesday afternoon. Continue reading »

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Aug 152017
 

NOPD Chief Michael Harrison and Mayor Mitch Landrieu speak to the media during Mardi Gras celebrations earlier this year. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Whether to freeze property-tax assessments on homes to fight gentrification or whether the New Orleans Police Department needs a new leader were among the issues debated by candidates for City Council in a Tuesday night forum. Continue reading »

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Aug 152017
 

The pumping station in Broadmoor has two small pumps out, but still has most of its pumping capacity, according to the Sewerage & Water Board. (photo via Google)

Two of the 11 pumps in the Broadmoor pumping station are out of service, but the station still has most of its capacity — unlike the critically impaired stations in Lakeview, City Park and New Orleans East, officials said. Continue reading »

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Aug 112017
 

With a tent shielding her from the light rain Thursday afternoon, Chelsey Monroe paints a utility box at the corner of Nashville and Magazine streets. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The turbine powering the city’s pumping system that caught fire Wednesday evening has been repaired successfully, but that only restores the city’s pumping capacity to the levels prior to last weekend’s flooding, leaving New Orleans at “some risk,” Mayor Mitch Landrieu announced Friday morning.

Mayor Mitch Landrieu speaks Friday morning about the status of the city’s pumping system. (via City of New Orleans)

Continue reading »

Aug 102017
 

Gov. John Bel Edwards speaks alongside Mayor Mitch Landrieu and city officials at a news conference late Thursday morning. (via City of New Orleans)

An overnight fire damaged the power to the city’s pumping system, leading to an increased risk of flooding across the Eastbank of New Orleans as more thunderstorms approach the city Thursday afternoon, authorities said. All public schools in the city will be closed through Friday.

“Obviously, this is a serious situation, but it is not something to be panicked about,” said Gov. John Bel Edwards late Thursday morning in a news conference with Mayor Mitch Landrieu. Continue reading »

Aug 102017
 
Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

The buck stops with Mayor Landrieu and the entire City Council for the mounting problems at the Sewerage & Water Board. Citizens who mopped up last weekend or are worried about today’s lack of pumping capacity have no one to blame but their elected officials – all of whom have clearly failed them. Continue reading »

Aug 082017
 

(image via Facebook)

While floodwaters were still rising around New Orleans on Saturday, mayoral candidate Frank Scurlock entered a social-media debate about the city’s removal of Confederate monuments and suggested that the flooding was result of God’s displeasure with the city.

“God has washed and flooded the City twice in 2 weeks. Maybe he is not happy,” Scurlock wrote around 8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 5. He added about 15 minutes later, “God gave man Freewill and instructions on how to Live. Perhaps erasing history and not honoring the past is not in liking to him and his ways….” Continue reading »