May 222013

The area of Central City served by the Ceasefire anti-violence project has actually seen an increase in homicides and shootings in the program’s first year of operation, reports Ramon Antonio Vargas of the Times-Picayune. City officials and program organizers say their efforts to intervene in personal conflicts and resolve them before they become deadly, then help participants find new opportunities have yielded some results, however, and that long-term change will take more time, Vargas reports.

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May 212013

Members of the Bouligny Improvement Association — which represents the area from St. Charles to Magazine, between Napoleon and Upperline — held a roundtable discussion Tuesday night with NOPD Second District Commander Paul Noel and Bryon Cornelison of City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell’s office. Continue reading »

May 212013

(From left) Christopher Davis, Joseph Davis and Sheldon Jefferson (via

Defense attorneys for 15-year-old Sheldon Jefferson and 18-year-old Christopher Davis are trying to convince Judge Franz Zibilich that the confessions the two teens gave to police in the presence of their mothers should not be allowed in their trial on rape and kidnapping charges of a Garden District resident, according to a report by Mike Perlstein of our partners at WWL-TV. A third defendant, Joseph Davis (no relation to Christopher), refused to talk to police, Perlstein reports.

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May 202013

Amid rumors, protests and petitions, a Lower Garden District neighborhood group is asking city recreation officials to hold a public meeting explaining changes for a facility at Annunciation Park.

Meanwhile on Monday night, the association also heard from a resident seeking to open a new coffee shop on Jackson Avenue, met one of the first candidates to begin campaigning openly for the at-large seat that will be open in next year’s New Orleans City Council elections and discussed the problem of loitering at a Magazine Street corner store. Continue reading »

May 202013

Owen Courreges

Has the New Orleans Police Department been cooking the books on the city’s crime stats?  That’s the intimation made by a recent “special report” from the Times-Picayune.

Mayor Mitch Landrieu and Police Superintendant Ronal Serpas often argue that while New Orleans has a sky-high murder rate, its violent crime rate actually isn’t that bad, and in fact is better than a wide range of cities from New Haven, Connecticut to Orlando, Florida.  Hearing them speak, you might believe that the guy in the mouse suit at DisneyWorld is more likely to demand your wallet at gunpoint than the ribald denizens of Bourbon Street. Continue reading »

May 172013

Purple areas show those that a ladder truck can reach within the national standard of eight minutes under a New Orleans Fire Department redeployment plan set to take place this summer. (Robert Morris,

Despite official assurances that the removal of a ladder-equipped fire truck from the station on Arabella is part of the best possible future for the New Orleans Fire Department, Uptown residents who live nearby continue to worry that their level of fire protection is being reduced. Continue reading »

May 142013

Stan Norwood (center) speaks as Neighbors United president Andrew Amacker (standing) takes ideas for reducing crime in the Freret neighborhood Tuesday night. (Robert Morris,

Amid an ongoing discussion of ways to permanently reduce crime in the Freret neighborhood, residents are hoping for a $6,000 grant to create a network of 12 ProjectNOLA surveillance cameras near hotspots for drug dealing and gunplay. Continue reading »