This weekend saw the departure of the New Orleans Fire Department Ladder Truck No. 5 from the Arabella Fire Station. A final effort to save Ladder 5 came to naught when Mayor Landrieu’s office rejected an alternative plan proposed by affected Uptown residents.
The reason for the change was, of course, budgeting. The city, facing a tight budget, lost $4 million in funding to the NOFD with the lapse of the three-year federal grant. The NOFD wanted to keep all its pumper trucks, so two ladder trucks had to go. Of the ladder trucks serving the Uptown area, Ladder 5 was the most expendable.
That project will join a series of others — a similar repaving of Broadway Street, the ongoing construction of a new drainage canal under Napoleon Avenue, the recent commencement of the same project on Jefferson Avenue, the upcoming start of another canal project on Louisiana Avenue, and the year-long repairs to the St. Charles Avenue streetcar line — that place most of the major thoroughfares through the interior of Uptown New Orleans under some sort of roadwork.
On trial for criminal conspiracy to armed robbery and armed robbery with a firearm, the 12-person jury unanimously ruled he was not guilty on both counts.
There was no question as to whether Mackey was at the scene of the armed robbery. He had planned to meet Megan Wales, a fellow Tulane student, at her apartment on 600 Broadway Street that day to buy marijuana from her.
The question was whether he helped orchestrate the event, which became much more than a simple drug deal when two men burst into the apartment and one pinned Wales on her apartment floor with a gun to her head.
Meanwhile, investigators are also looking for two other men caught on surveillance camera last weekend, authorities said.
Mymymy. Last week’s column kicked up a lot of dust, as I criticized what I see as the shrinking creativity of the New Orleans restaurant scene and many jumped to its defense. I stand by my opinion, but the fact I have one does not make me right. It’s an opinion and it’s good to see so many take issue. Thanks for reading and responding.
One reader made the observation I need to go out to eat more often and I certainly agree. But, as mentioned in a previous column, this is tough for us to afford these days. Perhaps the summer’s advent of various fixed-price meals will make this a more available option. I hope so.
A defense witness called in the trial of former Tulane football player Trent Mackey said he pointed the finger at Mackey after police told him Mackey had already thrown him under the bus.
Mackey, 23, has been charged with armed robbery with a firearm and criminal conspiracy to armed robbery. The charges stem from a July 12, 2012, robbery that the defense says was poorly investigated and pegged on Mackey, while prosecutors have argued that Mackey orchestrated.
State Senator Ed Murray, D-New Orleans, has been in the Louisiana Legislature for 22 years and says he thinks that Governor Bobby Jindal’s regime has been “a terrible disappointment, especially for the medically indigent and the state’s public education system from kindergarten to the graduate departments of our universities.”
Louisiana’s best hope, he says, is that the 2015 Governor’s race will produce a chief executive for the state who will undo the damage that the Jindal Administration has inflicted on public medical institutions and public education.
Police have since charged Mackey in the robbery as well, and prosecutors this week are describing him as a co-conspirator to the gunmen, an accomplice in touch with them minutes before who conveniently left Wales’ apartment door open allowing the men to rush in. Mackey’s defense lawyers, however, say the Tulane football star is the victim of an inadequate investigation focused solely on bagging a high-profile conviction, and that Wales was just as complicit in the events of the day and web of lies afterward as Mackey was.
An 18th century Chinese Qianlong celadon jade censer with a pre-sale estimate of $15,000-$25,000, items from the living estate of iconic New Orleans artist and photographer George Valentine Dureau (b. 1930), and an untitled glazed ceramic sculpture by Lynda Benglis (Am., b. 1941) are all part of a huge weekend auction planned for July 13-14.
The auction will be conducted by Crescent City Auction Gallery, in the firm’s gallery located at 1330 St. Charles Avenue in New Orleans. Start times both days will be 10 a.m. (CST). Over 1,200 lots will be offered, to include fine art, antique clocks, Chinese objects, Persian rugs, period American and European furniture, antique lamps and lighting and decorative accessories.
An expected 30-percent decrease in the size of this year’s incoming freshmen class — blamed in part on rising private-school tuition amid a tough economy — could lead to budget cuts at Loyola University, according to a report from Meg Farris of our partners at WWL.
Once upon a time with my wife and two wee daughters we used to live in a li’l ol’ shotgun in the Riverbend. We absolutely loved that house, but after the birth of our second child, 1200 sq ft was no longer so quaint or enjoyable. Too, where we were on the 800 block of Dublin often served as overflow parking for area retail, but worse, the density didn’t always bring the best drivers. Some days people would whip around the corner off Maple like they were in hot pursuit. And when you have toddlers and newborns you begin to see traffic and safety in a whole new way. It was at this point I began to wonder about the pros and cons of living on a dead end street.
It wasn’t just the hardest moment of his career as a police officer, Noel said. It was the most difficult task he’s ever faced in his life.
“Hopefully I never have to do this again, as long as I live,” Noel said.
Two redevelopments on major thoroughfares around the Garden District — an upscale national furniture retailer on Magazine, and a new location of a local coffee shop on Jackson Avenue — both won initial approval Tuesday from the City Planning Commission.
After a man was attacked by two strangers who stole his keys and then his car about a block off St. Charles Avenue on Sunday evening, police are seeking the public’s help in finding the vehicle, authorities said.
I was startled to see a self-addressed envelope arrive in my mailbox over the weekend.
Back in January, I wrote a letter to myself as part of a New Year ritual with my writers group. Jamey Hatley, a Memphis transplant and gifted wordsmith, leads what has become a literary sacrament for the MelaNated Writers Collective. We write handwritten notes to ourselves, seal them and then hand them over to her for safekeeping. It’s an individual exercise that we do together. Some MWC members jot down encouraging words or scribble stern reminders to adhere to writing regimens while others list publishing goals. No one reads your letter and you are free to use the paper – space – however you choose.