May 032013

The “Drexel Dreamers” — the umbrella group of alumni and supporters of Xavier University Prep — will be holding an enrollment rally all day Friday and until 3 p.m. Saturday to recruit students for Katharanie Drexel Preparatory High School that will succeed Xavier Prep next year. Continue reading »

 Comments Off on Drexel Dreamers hold two-day enrollment rally for successor school to Xavier Prep
May 032013

Craig Giesecke

I’ve unexpectedly had the opportunity lately to spend a lot more time in the French Quarter, since I’ve been helping a friend during JazzFest. This gave me the chance earlier this week to pop into the Louisiana Music Factory to see Beausoleil and Zachary Richard, as well as wander around aimlessly. I think that’s the best way to see the oldest part of our city – without a schedule or plan. Tours are fine to get a sense of how things are laid out, but I also think a completely unstructured day is a lot more fun. Continue reading »

May 022013

Damont Burton (via

Damont Burton, 17, pleaded guilty this week to carjacking in the Oct. 30 robbery of a woman for her SUV, which still had an elderly Chihuahua named Skeeter inside, according to a report by Claire Galofaro of The Times-Picayune. Skeeter was found and returned to his owner a few weeks later.

Burton also pleaded guilty to a charge of armed robbery on Lowerline Street from a few dates after the Skeeter carjacking, Galofaro reports. Carjacking carries a sentence of between two and 20 years; armed robbery carries a sentence of between 10 and 99 years. The robbery charge can also be enhanced by an additional five years when the crime is committed with a firearm.

May 022013

Mireille Rabate, a principal at French American International School in San Francisco, will be invited to New Orleans for an in-person interview May 9 for the CEO job at the Lycée Français de la Nouvelle-Orléans charter school, according to a report from The Lens. Meanwhile, the committee screening candidates accepted four more “last-minute” applications for review and selected two of them for a second interview — Lysianne Essama, a French-immersion principal from Maryland, and J’Vann Martin, a former principal at Capital-One New Beginnings Charter School Network, the report states.

[Update, 12 p.m. Friday] The committee will meet again at 8:45 a.m. Saturday at 1441 Canal Street to interview Essama and Martin in a closed-door session, the school announced.

 Comments Off on Lycee committee chooses CEO finalist from San Francisco, accepts last-minute applications from other candidates
May 022013

Children’s Hospital officials and the lawmakers who brokered a compromise regarding their expansion to the adjacent New Orleans Adolescent Hospital will hold a neighborhood meeting next week to discuss additional mental-health services that are planned. Continue reading »

 Comments Off on Children’s Hospital, lawmakers plan community meeting to discuss expansion of mental-health services
May 022013

Allan Katz and Danae Columbus

Today is an important milestone in Councilman-at-large Jacquelyn Brechtel Clarkson’s life. It is the beginning of her last year as City Council President. She is slated to take over today from the effervescent Councilwoman-at-large Stacy Head who made lots of headway on projects she considers important. Continue reading »

 Comments Off on Allan Katz and Danae Columbus: Clarkson prepares for her final year as City Council president  Tagged with:
May 012013

Police investigate a fatal shooting at the corner of Amelia and Magnolia streets in the Milan neighborhood. (Robert Morris,

A 35-year-old man was shot to death Wednesday evening at the intersection of Amelia and Magnolia streets in the Milan neighborhood, police have confirmed.
Continue reading »

 Comments Off on Man shot to death on Milan neighborhood street corner
May 012013

Crowds gather around the Ace Hardware on Oak Street in late March in preparation for the Pigeontown Steppers second line. A banner announcing the store’s impending closure hangs above the store. ( file photo)

Jean-Paul Villere

Without fuss or fanfare the Oak St Ace Hardware depleted its remaining inventory over April and closed its doors permanently.  Forever.  Gone.  Kaput.  No mas.  The corner fixture that united neighbors and brought inexpensive solutions to the 21st century world of buying in bulk, automated key duplicating machines, and the like became another memory, the end result of a society that more often chooses convenience over customer service and cost over care.  I, for one, was a fan and truly shopped there as often as I could, and I am more than a little sad if only because I can see the future.  Effectively our consuming buying patterns and the all too nearby Lowe’s spelled the demise for this little gem. Continue reading »

Apr 302013

A NOPD officer keeps drivers away from a road hazard on Joseph Street that snared several vehicles on Tuesday, waiting for city workers to bring barricades to keep drivers away from it until it can be repaired. (Robert Morris,

In 2011, east Carrollton residents complained of a treacherous hump in Lowerline Street next to Lusher Elementary school that was scraping the bottom of some vehicles or causing others to swerve dangerously around it with children in the area. In December of that year, the “Lusher lump” was fixed to great rejoicing — until now, when a scarily similar lump on Joseph Street is ensnaring drivers next to Lusher High School. Continue reading »

Apr 302013

City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell delivers her “State of District B” address Tuesday night at City Hall. (Robert Morris,

City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell laid out a holistic vision for stronger neighborhoods with more opportunities for young people and healthier residents with better jobs, but said she will need the support of her entire district to bring it to reality.

“I wanted to truly bring our district together, much how we did in Broadmoor. We subdivided to figure out our needs, but we came together as a neighborhood,” Cantrell said. “Tonight, I want us to come together as a district. With your help, we can truly build a District B that we can believe in.” Continue reading »

 Comments Off on Councilwoman Cantrell lays out vision for unified District B (live video)  Tagged with:
Apr 302013

Matthew Stone, a sex offender convicted on five counts of indecent solicitation of a minor in Illinois with an outstanding warrant for his arrest for failing to register when he moved to New Orleans, was placed in a Tulane University apartment with three undergraduates in January 2011 when he enrolled in the School of Continuing Studies, which does not request incoming students’ criminal history, according to a lengthy account by Maggie Herman of the Tulane Hullabaloo student newspaper. Stone later moved to New York, served time on forgery charges pressed by a girlfriend from New Orleans, and is now back in prison in Illinois serving a four-year sentence for failing to register as a sex offender, the Hullabaloo reports.

Apr 302013

In their first year participating in the growing OneApp enrollment process for New Orleans public schools, Ben Franklin Elementary was the most popular choice for young students and Eleanor McMain Secondary School was the most sought-after for high school students, according to an article by Danielle Dreilinger of The Times-Picayune. All direct-run Orleans Parish School Board campuses joined the process this year, including both of the B-rated Uptown schools that proved so popular.

Charters authorized through the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education — including the International School of Louisiana and Lycée Français de la Nouvelle Orléans — will join the OneApp process in the next year, state officials previously decided. Orleans Parish charters, such as Lusher and Audubon, are not likely to be required to join until their current charters are renewed several years down the road.

 Comments Off on Under new OneApp, 1,000 students apply for 63 seats at “Baby Ben”
Apr 302013

A project rendering by the city of New Orleans.

After merchants and residents aired their frustrations last month about the long delays in upgrades to O.C. Haley Boulevard, city officials will present the most current plans for the project tonight (at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 30) at the Ashe Cultural Arts Center. Continue reading »

Apr 302013

Students from Eleanor McMain Secondary School perform at Tipitina’s Instruments A Comin’ benefit Monday night. (Robert Morris,

Marching bands from four New Orleans schools — Martin Behrman, Eleanor McMain, McDonogh 35 and the St. Augustine “Marching 100″ — performed for crowds packing Napoleon Avenue on Monday night to kick off Tipitina’s annual Instruments A Comin’ benefit, raising money to buy instruments that will be placed in other area schools. Continue reading »

Apr 302013

City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell speaks to the Bouligny Improvement Association in February. ( file photo by Robert Morris)

After several months attending meetings of nearly every neighborhood group she represents — and holding a few community meetings of her own — City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell will present her findings and her goals for District B in an address this evening (6 p.m. Tuesday, April 30) at City Hall. Continue reading »

 Comments Off on Councilwoman to give “State of District B” address  Tagged with:
Apr 292013

(cartoon by Owen Courreges for

Owen Courreges

“The care of human life and happiness and not their destruction is the only legitimate object of good government.”

— Thomas Jefferson, 1809

“Good government is practically applying the principles which make a man a good citizen.”

— Theodore Roosevelt, 1902

“We are trying to resolve this behind closed doors cause that is good government.”

— Jackie Clarkson, 2013

How does that old Sesame Street tune go? “One of these things is not like the others…” Continue reading »

Apr 292013

A member of the St. Augustine Marching 100 plays in the Battle of the Bands for the Instruments A-Comin’ benefit at Tipitina’s in April 2012. ( file photo by Robert Morris)

A street party featuring a performances by some of the New Orleans’ most-celebrated high-school marching band and a concert of Jazzfest favorites at Tipitina’s tonight (Monday, April 29) will raise money to buy instruments for local school music programs. Continue reading »

 Comments Off on Instruments A Comin’ street party, concert to benefit school music programs