Mar 282014
 
The former Uptowner banquet hall at 438 Henry Clay Avenue. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The former Uptowner banquet hall at 438 Henry Clay Avenue. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

A sign at the Uptowner alerting neighbors of a proposed prisoner re-entry program. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

A sign at the Uptowner alerting neighbors of a proposed prisoner re-entry program. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

For years, chef Greg Sonnier fought to reopen his old Mid-City restaurant Gabrielle in a banquet hall on Henry Clay Avenue known as the Uptowner, but neighbors eventually convinced the New Orleans City Council to keep the building zoned residential, and Sonnier moved on to become executive chef at the new French Quarter restaurant Kingfish.

Now, Sonnier says he has a plan for The Uptowner that will suit both him and the building’s residential zoning: The Orleans Parish Prisoner Re-Entry Initiative. Local and state corrections officials, however, say they are not involved in or aware of the project. Continue reading »

Mar 272014
 

Gordon C. Scott (via opcso.org)

Gordon C. Scott (via opcso.org)

New Orleans police found the Lexus SUV that led officers on a wild chase through much of Uptown last week in a local drive-through Wednesday, and arrested the man driving it on a number of outstanding warrants as the investigation into a related shooting continues, authorities said. Continue reading »

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Mar 252014
 

On March 16, a Riverbend family awoke to the sound of someone trying to break in their front door, but could not get 911 operators to pick up when they called for help, according to a report by Tania Dall of our partners at WWL-TV. The family’s barking dog eventually scared the would-be intruder away, and it was not until the victims called the NOPD Second District station directly that they were able to contact a police officer, Dall reports.

Mar 252014
 

jewel bush

Less than three months passed between the arrest of George Junius Stinney Jr. and his execution. The whole Stinney trial took only one day – including jury selection.

The year was 1944 in Alcolu, a South Carolina town established by a lumber company in the late 19th century. All of the townsfolk worked for the mill; and in fact, were paid in metal coins emblazoned with the letter “A;” legal tender accepted at the company store to pay for everything from groceries to a doctor’s visit.

Stinney was 14 when he sat in the electric chair using the Bible he carried into the death chamber as a booster seat. From the looks of his mug shot, Stinney could have passed for as young as 12 when he was found guilty of two counts of first-degree murder of two pre-teen white girls by an all-white jury in a town that was more than half black. Continue reading »

Mar 212014
 
An image of the suspect in a March 6 armed robbery at American Apparel on Magazine Street. (via NOPD)

An image of the suspect in a March 6 armed robbery at American Apparel on Magazine Street. (via NOPD)

Steven Rodney

Steven Rodney

The man suspected in the broad-daylight armed robbery of an American Apparel store on Magazine Street has been arrested on several armed robbery charges in Las Vegas, New Orleans police said. Continue reading »

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Mar 212014
 

(map via NOPD)

(map via NOPD)

Two people — including a 2-year-old girl — were wounded in a shooting Thursday afternoon at Eagle Street and Earhart Boulevard in Hollygrove, and another man reported that he was shot shortly afterward in the 1800 block of Eagle in west Carrollton, New Orleans police said.

The two incidents appear to be unrelated, investigators said, but both involve dangerous groups that police are devoting all their resources to bringing to justice.

“We’ve gotten to the bottom of both,” said Lt. Shawn Ferguson at the weekly meeting of NOPD commanders on Friday morning. “We don’t think the they’re related at all.” Continue reading »

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Mar 202014
 
NOPD investigators confer near a gun magazine and shell casings found at the scene of a shooting on O.C. Haley Boulevard on Tuesday. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

NOPD investigators confer near a gun magazine and shell casings found at the scene of a shooting on O.C. Haley Boulevard on Tuesday. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

A sprawling police chase that led officers around Uptown and Mid-City New Orleans and caused several crashes Tuesday afternoon began with gunfire on Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard and has resulted one arrest, but investigators are still trying to determine exactly how all the events fit together, they said Wednesday. Continue reading »

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Mar 192014
 

The St. Patricks' Day block party outside Tracey's and Parasol's on Sunday. (UptownMessenger.com file photo by Zach Brien)

The St. Patricks’ Day block party outside Tracey’s and Parasol’s on Sunday. (UptownMessenger.com file photo by Zach Brien)

The off-duty police officers who have worked the Irish Channel block parties on St. Patrick’s Day for years declined to sign up this year through the city’s new, federally-mandated paid-detail system, leaving organizers scrambling to find replacements until the last minute, reports John Simerman of The New Orleans Advocate. Only about 15 percent of the department’s officers have signed up for jobs through the new city’s office, and as a result of the St. Patrick’s Day issue and others like it, the city is considering offering police higher rates for the off-duty work, Simerman reports.

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