Jan 162020
 

Jay Batt and Scott Shea celebrate Republican successes in 2017.  (Uptown Messenger file photo)

Not since Peggy Wilson was last elected as an at-large member of the New Orleans City Council in the mid 1990s has a New Orleans Republican won a citywide race. But that didn’t stop Republican lawyer Scott Shea from joining the crowded field of candidates for Judge, First City Court, Division B.

Shea himself served two years on the City Council and hails from a family of judges. His brother Mark currently serves on Traffic & Municipal Court. His father, former Municipal Court Judge John Shea, enjoyed an illustrious 30-year career on the bench. His late uncle Frank Shea was a no-nonsense Criminal District Court jurist. Continue reading »

Jan 092020
 

Robbins Graham was the only candidate to qualify yesterday for First City Court.

A mixture of seasoned elected officials and political newcomers wanting to make a difference streamed into Criminal District Court yesterday, Jan. 8, to qualify for parish and state political committees and a lone judgeship in First City Court.

As expected, attorney Robbins Graham, who retired from the state’s Office of Family and Children’s Services earlier this week, became the first candidate to file for the open seat at First City Court. Graham had been planning for run for Civil District Court later this year but moved up his timetable when this vacancy suddenly occurred.

Graham might get an almost-free ride. No other major candidates have indicated they will seek the seat.  Continue reading »

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Jan 022020
 

Attorney Robbins Graham, right, with Matthew Willard, who will take the District 97 seat on the state House of Representatives on Jan. 13.  (via Facebook)

Though it might seem like our political season just ended, Louisiana’s campaigns are cranking up again next week with qualifying Jan. 8-10 for a vacant judgeship at First City Court and for dozens of seats on the Orleans Parish Democratic and Republican Parish Executive Committees and State Central Committees.

The First City Court vacancy is due to the recent untimely passing of Senior Judge Angelique Reed, 59, the first African-American to be elected to that court. Reed served with distinction for 21 years.

Attorney Robbins Graham, 61, a graduate of Southern University Law Center, told Uptown Messenger he was “seriously interested in qualifying.”  The Louisiana State Bar Association lists Graham as an attorney for the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services. A practicing attorney for more than 30 years, Graham attends the Beacon Light Baptist Church in Gentilly.

Continue reading »

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Dec 232019
 

Creole Bread Pudding with Whiskey Sauce (Kristine Froeba)

In New Orleans, family recipes that date back several generations are being pulled from well-worn family journals and put into play. We are a city that holds an unflinchingly tight grip on our family traditions and history. With Louisiana’s unique food culture and some family roots going back 300 years, that history includes old Creole recipes that have been passed down for well over a century. Continue reading »

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Dec 192019
 

The “Washington Avenue” float dominated by President Donald Trump rolls down St. Charles Avenue during the 2019 Knights of Chaos parade. (Zach Brien, UptownMessenger.com)

In tonight’s Democratic presidential debate in Los Angeles, the seven participating candidates probably won’t dwell on yesterday’s impeachment vote by the U.S. House of Representatives.  Though some – especially former Vice President Joe Biden – might strongly believe that President Trump abused his power, America’s voters are evenly split as to whether he should be removed from office.  Continue reading »

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Dec 122019
 

Hospitality entrepreneur Warren Reuther in the Foundation Room of the new Riverboat Louis Armstrong. (Danae Columbus)

When local tourism’s most established entrepreneur Warren Reuther, Jr. christens the new 3,000 passenger Riverboat Louis Armstrong on Saturday afternoon, it will be a crowning achievement of an almost 50 year career as a visionary leader in the tourism industry.  Continue reading »

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Dec 052019
 

Guy Williams, Diana Lewis, Brandan “BMike” Odums and Sen. J.P. Morrell at the Committee for a Better New Orleans Citizen’s Participation Awards. (Danae Columbus)

In a recent speech to the Committee for a Better New Orleans, or CBNO, outgoing state Sen. J.P. Morrell urged attendees to talk with legislators statewide about issues important to them.

“Legislators want to hear from the public,” said Morrell. Sometimes a legislator might not have a great deal of information about a specific bill and has not made a decision how to vote. When they hear from citizens – especially those who are directly impacted by the legislation or the problem it would solve – their decisions are better informed. “You can change legislators’ minds by talking to them,” Morrell explained. Continue reading »

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Nov 282019
 

Mark Romig and his staff at the New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corp. (Danae Columbus)

When the New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corp., or NOTMC, joins New Orleans & Co. on Jan. 1, 2020, citizens can still expect the same results-oriented, award-winning advertising, social media and promotional campaigns that have led to consistent record-breaking growth in leisure tourism as well as increased funding directed to New Orleans transit and infrastructure. Continue reading »

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Nov 212019
 

Garbage spills onto the sidewalk outside a commercial short-term rental on Wednesday, Nov. 20. (Danae Columbus)

While the new short-term rental rules should better control the industry in New Orleans, problems will always exist. No matter how diligently the mayor and City Council strive to craft policies that address the very real concerns of residents, illegal operators who are trying to make a quick buck and bad actors with licenses who just don’t care will continue to give law-abiding operators – and the industry — a bad name. Continue reading »

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Nov 192019
 

Mayor LaToya Cantrell, center, with her team on Saturday. (Danae Columbus)

Aaron Price, an Action New Orleans volunteer, campaigns on Saturday. (Danae Columbus)

Mayor LaToya Cantrell and the political organization BOLD scored big in Saturday’s elections. Cantrell built a strong bond with Gov. John Bel Edwards more than a year ago when she sought his help on increasing New Orleans’ share of tax dollars generated here. She became an integral part of his campaign and his victory, which should yield generous dividends for New Orleans during the next four years.

Cantrell’s Action New Orleans team of more than 250 volunteers knocked on 70,000 doors, sent 3,500 text messages and made 50,000 calls in support of Gov. Edwards and Cantrell’s Ballot of Yes. They also assisted with two GOTV (get out the vote) rallies, including an election eve event that drew 5,000. Continue reading »

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Nov 142019
 

Gov. John Bel Edwards met with New Orleans artists last night at Studio B. Edwards is flanked by motivational speaker Dr. Ansel Augustine, Kevin Griffin, Gizmo and Brandan “B-mike” Odums. (Danae Columbus)

Buoyed by a new Mason-Dixon poll that shows a path — albeit small — to victory, Gov. John Bel Edwards spent Wednesday evening talking with young African-American artists like Brandan Odums, Kevin “2-Cent “ Griffin and Tayla Hunter as part of his ongoing outreach to previously under-appreciated constituencies.

If Edwards is able to pull off what would be a Hail Mary victory on Saturday, he will have succeeded in three crucial areas: motivating minority voters who were unenthusiastic in the primary; reaching conservative voters who at one time supported former U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu; and branding Republican opponent Eddie Rispone as too radical to be Louisiana’s next governor. Continue reading »

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Nov 112019
 

Court Watch NOLA supporters Flozell Daniels Jr., Simone Levine, Pres Kabacoff and Eric Holtzman talk about the organization’s success. (Danae Columbus)

The volunteers at Court Watch NOLA are a well-oiled data collection machine that have made a significant impact on the operations of the Orleans Parish criminal court system for more than a decade. “We are a basic exercise in democracy,” said director Simone Levine. Through the information skilled volunteers collect, the agency publishes reports “that spur dialogue and bring much needed transparency and accountability to the courts.” Continue reading »

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Nov 072019
 

Mayor LaToya Cantrell and Gov. John Bel Edwards on Monday announce the Essence Festival’s contract extension to 2024. (Danae Columbus)

Mayor LaToya Cantrell is working harder than the candidates themselves in this election cycle. Just like an Energizer bunny, she won’t slow down because she has so much to lose. Cantrell is betting on a robust turnout among the African-American and millennial voters who first got her elected to pass her tax package and re-elect Gov. John Bel Edwards. Continue reading »

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Nov 052019
 

Jackie Gingrich Cushman, second from left, with friends Jim Farwell, Norma Jane Sabiston, Gay LeBreton and Bill Allerton, prepares to sign her new book, “Our Broken America.” (Danae Columbus)

Jackie Gingrich Cushman, the younger daughter of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, said last week that President Donald Trump will certainly win re-election in 2020 unless the U.S. economy suffers a major downturn. Born in New Orleans while her father was a student at Tulane University Law School, Cushman is a syndicated columnist, speaker and author. She was in town to promote her third book, “Our Broken America,” at the Garden District Book Shop. Cushman also co-authored “Five Principles for a Successful Life” with her father. Continue reading »

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Oct 312019
 

Kara Van de Carr and Daryl Byrd opened their Joseph St home last night for Aimee Freeman. Pictured with Aimee are Francis Fayard, Bob Tucker and her parents Be-Be and Ken Adatto. (Danae Columbus)

With early voting starting Saturday, New Orleans legislative candidates are pulling together the cash and people resources needed to fund last-minute mail and get-out-the-vote activities. At least five legislative candidates held fundraisers this week as well as soliciting donations through social media. Despite last night’s steady rain, several hundred donors were posing for photos and dropping off checks around town.  Continue reading »

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