Apr 062020

The Leonidas and Hollygrove neighborhoods will see road construction for the next year. (roadwork.nola.gov)

A $15.1 million roadwork project is scheduled to begin today (Monday, April 6) in Hollygrove and Lenonidas, the Mayor’s Office announced. It’s part of a massive capital improvement program for the roads and drainage systems that the city is under a deadline to complete.

The $2.2 billion citywide infrastructure program, with more than 200 individual projects, is financed through FEMA, Housing and Urban Development, the Sewerage & Water Board and city bonds. The federal funding has a time limit, city officials say. The infrastructure program is scheduled to be completed by 2023.

Mayor LaToya Cantrell has ordered the work to continue during the coronavirus shutdowns. “Continuing our infrastructure work during this trying time for our city is absolutely essential,” Cantrell said in a written statement. “Public safety is always our priority — with hurricane season on the horizon as well as deadlines for our FEMA and HUD dollars — we must push forward for as long as we safely and responsibly can.” Continue reading »

Apr 022020

Kevin Kinsella of Big Easy Corona Clean sanitizes a New Orleans business on Wednesday (April 1). (Danae Columbus)

By Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

Joe Sobol Sr. was born with an entrepreneurial spirit. The Riccobonos, his mother’s family, came to New Orleans after Sicily’s devastating famine in the 1880s. They first sold produce and then macaroni in the French Quarter. Eventually they opened The Pearl Restaurant and Oyster Bar at 119 St. Charles Ave., where 10-year-old Joe got his first job dressing the family’s famous roast beef po-boys. Continue reading »

Apr 012020

By Emily Carmichael, guest columnist

Emily Carmichael

A week and a half into quarantine with COVID-19, I was shaking. I piled a blanket on top of myself and rocked side to side, occasionally moaning, nestling ever deeper into the joints of my couch. My heart felt like it was racing, my head pounded.

Yes, according to my doctor, I most likely was infected with the coronavirus, but that’s not what was causing this. It had been 10 days since I was within 8 feet of another person, and I was having an anxiety attack.  Continue reading »

Mar 282020

Sign on the door of the Breaux Mart in Chalmette is attributed to “Jeffrey at Chalmette store.” (via Twitter)

The Breaux Mart at 3233 Magazine St., along with the others in the local supermarket chain, will be closed Sunday (March 29) to give its employees a rest, according to posts on the store’s social media accounts. Continue reading »

Mar 252020

Firefighters battle a three-alarm fire on Washington Avenue in Broadmoor. (NOFD photo via Twitter)

A three-alarm fire broke out early Wednesday in a strip mall on Washington Avenue in Broadmoor.

It caused extensive damage to the building that housed eight stores, fire officials report. The alarm sounded at about 2:45 a.m., and firefighters had the blaze under control by about 5 a.m. No injuries were reported.  Continue reading »

Mar 222020

Louisiana Department of Health data as of March 22. See here for PDF.

Gov. John Bel Edwards issued a statewide stay-at-home order today that goes into effect at 5 p.m. Monday (March 23) to further fight the spread of COVID-19 in Louisiana, as the number of confirmed cases have topped 800 and spread to more than half of of the state’s parishes. Continue reading »

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Mar 212020

The New Orleans Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness and the New Orleans Health Department announced Saturday that, beginning Sunday (March 22), drive-thru COVID-19 testing will be available to anyone with a fever and other symptoms. Continue reading »

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Mar 202020

By Sue Strachan, Uptown Messenger

When a movie says it is set in New Orleans, it is hard not spending most of the time trying to pick out landmarks and laughing at what the filmmakers got wrong.

So, with many of us at home watching TV, it’s a great time to check out movies and TV shows that showcase New Orleans, and remind us why we love it.

Here are a few of my recommendations, plus where to find them. (True confession: I talk about movies on “Hollywood Highlights” on WWL-TV’s Great Day Louisiana.) Continue reading »

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Mar 192020

Mayor LaToya Cantrell announces on Monday (March 16) the closure of bars, nightclubs, movie theaters, gyms, health clubs and other businesses in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. (Mayor’s Office photo)

With New Orleans a hotspot for the pandemic, officials have put in place a daunting array of restrictions and closures that have disrupted the life — if not the livelihood — of nearly every New Orleanian.

Hundreds of New Orleans workers have been impacted by COVID-19 related closures. If you’ve experienced a loss of income because of the coronavirus pandemic, here are some resources to help you through, including unemployment compensation; relief funds for gig workers, musicians, bartenders and others; help for small businesses; counseling for stress and more. Continue reading »

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Mar 182020

Coronavirus (via www.cdc.gov)

From the Mayor’s Office

Mayor LaToya Cantrell on Tuesday announced that, response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the city is waiving fines, fees, interest and penalties on sales tax payments due to the city for 60 days. In addition, the City will extend the renewal period for alcoholic beverage outlets, or ABOs, up to 30 days without penalty.

“The impacts of COVID-19 are going to leave a mark in history for the city. How we respond to this pandemic will define us. My No. 1 concern has always been – and will always be – to protect and serve the people of our great city. I know that a lot of our people are really worried right now about how they are going to make ends meet,” said Mayor Cantrell. “My goal: That we all get through this uncertain time. Everyone needs help getting through this. We are all going to have to help each other out as much as we possibly can. I have relaxed what is owed to the city – and businesses must use this opportunity to do everything in their power to help the residents of New Orleans – this includes paying employees. Continue reading »

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Mar 172020

Magazine Street was still bustling on Saturday afternoon. That changed dramatically on Monday. (Sharon Lurye, Uptown Messenger)

By Sharon Lurye, Uptown Messenger

The economic effects of coronavirus reverberated across New Orleans on Monday, with local store owners describing feelings of bewilderment and anxiety as they considered how the virus would affect their bottom line. While some are cautiously optimistic, others have despaired of being able to keep their business alive through the pandemic.

“If it lasts for months, then most people won’t survive,” said Bettye Barrios, owner of the home goods store Aux Belles Choses on Magazine Street. “We’ve been here 29 years and I’ve never seen anything like this.” Continue reading »

Mar 172020

Novel coronavirus (via www.cdc.gov)

Monday saw the city’s third death of the coronavirus, an 84-year-old resident of the Lambeth House retirement home Uptown, and aggressive measures  on the state and city level to prevent the spread of the disease.

Louisiana is among country’s highest per capita rates of COVID-19 infection, with 136 cases as of Tuesday morning, and New Orleans is the epicenter, with 94 presumptive positive cases. Continue reading »

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Mar 162020

(via tulane.edu)

By Julia Prager-Hessel, guest columnist

Students, faculty, and staff at Tulane received an email last Wednesday that said classes will cease or go online, and those living on campus are to leave in the next week and a half.

However fracturing to our semesters, this move came as no surprise and with little resentment from students. Tulane is largely a flight school that draws many of its students from Los Angeles, New York and Chicago, and our friends at schools across the country had been sent home throughout the week. Continue reading »