Covington clinical psychologist Dr. Raphael Salcedo and his wife Beth don’t have much free time on their hands. They spend day and night working with girls at the state-licensed Free Indeed Home where victims of child sex trafficking come to rebuild their lives. As founders of the Louisiana Coalition Against Human Trafficking (LCAHT), the Salcedos created a state-wide advocacy program that provides information and referrals as well as training for local social service providers including police and social workers.
A month to the day after 17 people were killed in a mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., students from both Lusher Charter School and New Orleans Science and Mathematics Charter High School linked arms in a human chain around the large Uptown block that holds both their campuses in solidarity with students around the country protesting inaction to stop gun violence.
A quick visit to a Mid-City car wash recently became an unexpected lesson for me in the deadly prevalence of our nation’s opioid epidemic when two quick-thinking customers realized that an unresponsive couple whose car was still running had just overdosed. Within minutes of placing 911 calls, a plethora of police, fire and EMS personnel arrived to administer the live-saving drug Naloxone, an antidote medication that reverses opiate overdoses.
The NOPD began carrying Naloxone in October 2016 after the City of New Orleans received a $300,000 federal grant and Mayor Landrieu introduced a new “sweeping plan” to address the crisis. In 2016 Louisiana was one of 8 states that had more opioid prescriptions than people. That same year, over 1,000 Louisiana residents died from an overdose of opioids, surpassing the number of deaths from motor vehicles accidents, homicides or suicides. While many cancer and terminally ill patients are regularly prescribed such medication, they account for only 20 percent of patients who receive it.
The Orleans Parish Republican Executive Committee gave new state party chair Louis Gurvich a rousing ovation at their candidate endorsement meeting Monday night. Local chair Jay Batt said it was good to have a state party chair “who doesn’t live on the other side of the 17th Street Canal.” A New Orleans lawyer and private security company owner, Gurvich beat three other candidates to replace long-time GOP leader Roger Villere who has opened a consulting firm that will field a still-unnamed candidate against Congressman Cedric Richmond this fall.
At a forum last night sponsored by the Orleans Parish Democratic Executive Committee (OPDEC), the four candidates who qualified for the House 93 legislative seat about to be vacated by incoming City Council member Helena Moreno announced their support for a ban on AR-style assault rifles like the ones used to kill 17 students and teachers in Parkland, Florida last week.
Trying to resolve Louisiana’s ongoing budget crisis is at the heart of the Legislature’s special sessions which begins Monday. One of the potential solutions to balance the state’s budget that will not be discussed until the March 12 regular session is the opportunity to derive more income and create more jobs through an expansion of legalized gaming.
Donald Trump was elected President of the United States because he “rekindled a dream for millions of
Americans” at a time when the Washington establishment “failed to stand up for the people they were elected to represent,” said former Trump insiders Corey Lewandowski and David Bossie. The duo was in Metairie earlier this week for a luncheon and signing of their recent book, “Let Trump Be Trump.” Hosted by the Greater New Orleans Republicans, the event also featured Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry who introduced the authors.
Louisiana Republican Party chair Roger Villere believes Louisiana citizens are already living the “new American dream,” that President Trump described in his SOTU speech Tuesday night. In Washington this week for the annual winter meeting of the Republican National Committee where President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence also are speaking, Villere praised Trump’s remarks.
The NOLA Messenger team will be back on talk radio with Oliver “O.T.” Thomas for The Good Morning Show on WBOK 1230AM. Tune in tomorrow morning (Jan. 30) from 7:30 to 9 a.m. and hear us talk about recent stories of interest, including:
- Special elections in March
- New leadership in City Council
- AirBnB issues & updates
- School & school board news, and more
Joining O.T. this time will be Robert (Uptown), Claire (Mid-City), and Tyree (Gentilly).
Got questions for us?
Leave comments below or call us on air at (504) 260-9265
Bart Everson here. My column usually appears over at Mid-City Messenger, but today I’ve got a special Uptown Alert.
A lot of people complain about money in politics, but few do anything about it.
Move to Amend is a coalition of people who are aiming to do something about it. And their national director is coming to New Orleans.
While many New Orleanians are singularly focused on Mardi Gras, candidates running for State Legislature, Civil District Court and Appeals Court are spending their evenings talking to neighborhood, civic and political organizations including BOLD and the Alliance for Good Government – both of whom met last night. The three quick Alliance forums were probably the first real opportunity for the city’s political players to see the candidates side by side.
With the state of Louisiana facing a $1 billion shortfall this year, candidates for the special election for House District 93 said they believe eliminating tax exemptions is a better approach than the governor’s proposed “doomsday” cuts to education and healthcare.
Republicans in Louisiana and around the country are in a celebratory mood this week as they applaud what they see as President Donald Trump’s many successes and look to the future. Ardent supporters call Trump’s America First policy “forceful and transactional” and declare 2017 was the best first year ever for a U.S. president.
Local Republican elected officials including members of the Orleans Parish Republican Executive Committee celebrated at OPREC’s annual fundraiser Thursday night at the American Sector. Former RNC Chairman and White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus is the special guest at Saturday’s Louisiana Elephant Gala where Congressman Steve Scalise will be honored. Finally, President Trump and First Lady Melania are also celebrating their 13th wedding anniversary this weekend.
Sr. Jane Remson, O’Carm, has devoted her entire life to serving the community. Descended from a line of hearty Germans who brewed Jax Beer and owned Frey Meats, Remson took her vows right out of Mt. Carmel Academy as an expression of her faith.
A trained medical technologist who opened hospital laboratories in the Philippines and was a leukemia researcher at Tulane, Remson was director of Bread For The World at Loyola University when Allen Toussaint and Aaron Neville approached her about raising money to feed and house New Orleanians in need. With support from former Mayor Dutch Morial and his then city attorney Michael Bagneris, the New Orleans Artists Against Hunger and Homelessness NOAAHH), held their first benefit concert which took in $30,000.
More than 35 years and $3 million dollars later, NOAAHH will celebrate Allen Toussaint’s “Legacy of Caring” with a benefit concert Sunday evening at the Rock ‘N’ Bowl. Marcia Ball and Deacon John and the Ivories will headline the show. “As a co-founder, Allen Toussaint was incredibly instrumental to the success of the NOAAHH all these years. Because of his generosity and the support of dozens of other musicians, NOAAHH has been able to help feed thousands of people and address the problems of homelessness in our community,” said Remson, who now serves as NOAAHH’s president emeritus.
Jazz musician James Andrews formally filed his notice Monday to withdraw from the special election for Helena Moreno’s seat in the House of Representatives on Monday, leaving four remaining candidates to compete in the March 24 election.