Oct 082012
 

Walter L. Cohen High School seniors Terrell Major and Meagan McKinnon read a prepared statement about the students’ demands of school officials Monday afternoon. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Meagan McKinnon, senior class president at Walter L. Cohen High School, left campus Wednesday afternoon with no idea of the upheaval the coming week would bring to her campus.

Thursday morning, the student body was abuzz with rumors that the school was about to be merged with John McDonogh High School. At an assembly that afternoon, they found out that no merger was planned, but that the New York-based Future Is Now charter group that took over McDonogh this year would be given control of Cohen within a week, and that most of the Cohen administrators and teachers would be replaced.

Stunned, McKinnon and her classmates marched out of the building. They haven’t returned to class since then, instead alternating between protests and class time on the lawn as they demand the decisions be justified or reversed. Continue reading »

Oct 082012
 

Owen Courreges

It’s nighttime.  You awake to a noise outside.  Is it a prowler?  You aren’t sure.  You grab a small pistol from your nightstand and shove it in your pocket as you proceed out to your driveway to investigate the disturbance.  If it’s nothing, you reason, you don’t want to be walking around in plain view with a gun in your hand.

Congratulations.  You just committing the crime of carrying a weapon illegally, and you did it without ever leaving your own property. Continue reading »

Oct 082012
 

An image of the 2004 Cadillac SRX taken in Tuesday night’s carjacking, shown in a photo distributed to police.

The SUV stolen in a carjacking and shooting Tuesday night that left a Camp Street resident critically injured was recovered Saturday in New Orleans East and is now being processed for evidence by the NOPD crime lab, police said. Continue reading »

Oct 082012
 

Shared Housing of New Orleans is a program to help elderly and/or disabled adults, who do not need to be in Nursing Homes, remain in their own homes by matching them with people looking for a place to live. Don’t worry: all Shared Housing services are free! Applicants are carefully interviewed and evaluated by experienced registered nurses. Continue reading »

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Oct 062012
 

NOPD Superintendent Ronal Serpas and Sixth District Commander Bob Bardy took the streets around Camp and Delachaise to talk to the uneasy residents of the neighborhood after a carjacking and shooting there amid a rash of robberies Tuesday night, reports Tania Dall of our partners at WWL-TV. The victim is now in stable condition, Tall reports, and the investigation is widening:

Meanwhile, officers from the private patrol in the neighborhood said they followed a group of six suspicious people from nearby Peniston and Coliseum to a convenience store on Magazine about an hour before the shooting, and that those six then split into two groups of three, according to an email from a resident there. The security cameras at the gas station may have footage that will assist in the investigation, according to the officer’s report.

Oct 062012
 

The chapel was envisioned by St. Katharine Drexel in the 1920s, but academic needs took priority until the design was completed in 2005 and construction began in 2010, reports Kari Dequine Harden of The Advocate. Designed by internationally-renowned architect Cesar Pelli, various aspects of the chapel incorporate ideas of resurrection, inclusion, tradition and peace, architects and university leaders tell Harden.

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Oct 062012
 

Craig Giesecke

While many of our days are still warm and we‘re certainly not done with summer-type weather yet, the cooler air of the past week has certainly improved my attitude and my culinary approach. Autumn is my favorite time of year — not only because things cool off but because it allows me to bring out a lot of things that don’t seem to fit in the more consistently hot weather we find after about, oh, JazzFest in this part of the world. Continue reading »

Oct 052012
 

A mural in a Walter L. Cohen High School hallway shows the tradition and pride in the school. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Walter L. Cohen High School’s junior and senior classes will be taught for the remainder of this school year by teachers and administrators working for the new operator of John McDonogh High School, but the previously announced transition to a Cohen operated by New Orleans College Prep is continuing largely as planned, officials said Friday. Continue reading »

Oct 052012
 

High-performing charter schools in the Recovery School District — such as Sophie B. Wright, Lafayette Academy and several KIPP campuses in Uptown — are concerned that the Orleans Parish School Board will take an administrative fee out of their federal grants if they return to the district, amid broader issues of trust and autonomy, reports Jessica Williams of The Lens.

Oct 052012
 

After the Freret Market took the summer off — then canceled its planned return in September to make way for Hurricane Isaac — the event will return Saturday afternoon at the corner of Freret and Napoleon with its usual array of vendors, food and pets, as well as music by Claude Bryant’s All Stars, Jayna Morgan and the Sazerac Swing Band and the Upstarts. Continue reading »

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Oct 052012
 

Amid questions about whether the streetlights were working on the block where an attorney was carjacked and shot Tuesday evening, city officials say they are unsure whether they can fulfill the promise to repair every streetlight in the city by the end of the year, following setbacks and damage caused by Hurricane Isaac, reports Monica Hernandez of our partners at WWL-TV. Council president Stacy Head, however, says that money originally budgeted to the streetlight effort should have put the project much farther along by now.



Continue reading »

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Oct 052012
 

On Oct. 15, the current teachers and administrators of the direct-run portion of Walter L. Cohen High School will be replaced by new staff from the Future is Now charter group, according to a report by Tania Dall of our partners at WWL-TV. Cohen had been slated for a gradual, year-by-year transition to governance by the New Orleans College Prep charter management organization, but RSD officials told Dall that changes to the school culture were needed immediately — a sudden move that prompted protests from students and parents.

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Oct 052012
 

Celestine Skia, 43, pleaded guilty in federal court to buying guns on three occasions for her boyfriend, convicted felon Walter Porter, with whom she shared a home in the 4700 block of South Liberty Street in the Freret neighborhood, according to a report by Brendan McCarthy and our partners at WWL-TV. Skia’s most recent gun purchase, according to the plea, was on Oct. 15, 2011, the day Porter is accused of shooting 61-year-old Curtis Matthews to death in retaliation for testimony related to the prosecution of alleged drug kingpin Telly Hankton Sr.

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Oct 052012
 

Marci Cornell-Feist, founder and CEO of The High Bar education management company, urged the board of Lycée Français de la Nouvelle Orléans to distinguish between the roles of the board and the school staff: “The school leader should be treated like a CEO,” she said, according to a report by Marta Jewson of The Lens on the board’s training retreat Thursday morning.

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Oct 042012
 

NOPD task force and SWAT Team officers surround a gold Chevrolet believed to have been involved in two Uptown robberies during a manhunt Thursday afternoon for the car’s occupants in the block near Second and Dryades streets. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

At least two people suspected of involvement in a series of robberies around Uptown New Orleans were taken into custody Thursday afternoon during a manhunt around Second and Dryades, authorities said. Continue reading »