Oct 172012

An officer emerges from the upstairs apartment where two children were found dead Wednesday evening in the 3300 block of Audubon Court. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Chelsea Thornton (via opcso.org)

A 23-year-old woman shot her 3-year-old son and then drowned her 4-year-old daughter in the bathtub of a Gert Town apartment Wednesday, then took a bus to the hospital with complaints of a stomach ache, police said. Continue reading »

Oct 172012

Dana Kaplan is surrounded by Mayor Mitch Landrieu, U.S. Rep. Cedric Richmond and other elected officials Wednesday afternoon in a news conference announcing their endorsements. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

A week after grabbing attention with the largest remaining fundraising war chest, Dana Kaplan bolstered her campaign for the open District B seat on the New Orleans City Council by announcing endorsements Wednesday from Mayor Mitch Landrieu, U.S. Rep. Cedric Richmond and five other prominent elected officials.

“I’m very excited by this broad base of support,” Kaplan said after the news conference. “I didn’t run for office knowing I would get it.” Continue reading »

Oct 172012

In a flurry of recent restaurant news around Uptown, the Rouses store on Tchoupitoulas has opened a sit-down restaurant, a new barbecue restaurant is going in next to Le Bon Temps Roule on Magazine, Velvet Espresso is opening a location on O.C. Haley Boulevard, and Dunbar’s is moving again. Continue reading »

Oct 172012

Police are searching for the silver, four-door sedan shown in this image. (via NOPD)

Two men — one wearing an ankle monitor as he awaits trial on a carjacking charge — were wounded in a drive-by shooting Tuesday afternoon in the 4300 block of Washington Avenue, and police are hoping the public can help find the car used in the attack, authorities said.

The two men were walking on Washington Avenue around 3 p.m. Tuesday when a silver, four-door sedan approached from behind, police said. The driver’s-side doors of the vehicle opened, and at least two occupants of the vehicle began shooting, then drove off, police said.

The 19-year-old victim was shot in the leg, and the 21-year-old victim was hit in the hand, police said. Neither injury is considered life-threatening.

The 21-year-old victim was Kerwinell Singleton, who was wearing an electronic ankle monitor at the time of the shooting after his arrest last September following a carjacking near Coliseum Square. Singleton’s ankle bracelet was working properly at the time of the shooting, as he was within the geographic boundaries set by the court and not out past his 6 p.m. curfew, according to a statement by Sheriff Marlin Gusman.

Singleton had actually been in court on Tuesday for a hearing and is scheduled to return for another appearance Dec. 5, Gusman notes.

Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Warren Walker of the NOPD Second District at 658-6020, or CrimeStoppers at 822-1111 to leave an anonymous tip that could be eligible for a cash reward.

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Oct 172012

Jean-Paul Villere

“Da-aad?” called out my 3-year-old in a singsong, next-room voice as the Sunday sun crept up over the horizon, “This morning (pause) I didn’t pee in your bed.”  I respond, same singsong and with a slight smile, “O-kay, thank you.” And while I was pleased to learn for at least one night my mattress went urine-free, I had to laugh a little.  The night before, 4 hours away, and a state over, my 20-year high school reunion had taken place without me, and frankly I’m OK with that.  But after waking up before the sun and seeing the ample Facebook posts from those in attendance I quickly wondered how many therein also woke up to a urine-free slumber and based upon the pics I wouldn’t say it was a lock.  Everyone seemed to have enjoyed themselves, maybe some more than others, and maybe others more than some.  That said, I hope everyone made the effort enjoyed themselves responsibly, urine-free sleep and all. Continue reading »

Oct 172012

Uptown Messenger readers,

I’m Eric Strachan, candidate for District B City Council. I was born and raised in District B, and have the best experience for the job. I would appreciate your support at the polls, but first I want to introduce myself to you directly, and talk to you about what’s important to me– safer streets, strong neighborhoods, and more effective city government. Continue reading »

Oct 162012

Allegations that Lycée Français de la Nouvelle Orléans is structured to favor well-off students and that it does not appropriately serve the city’s African-American population resurfaced on Tuesday afternoon when a series of complaints about the new French-immersion charter school were aired before the state education board in Baton Rouge.

Among the complaints were that the school has failed to follow through on an outreach program to a Central City daycare promised in its charter, that it is using state money to subsidize its private preschool, that students in the school’s new second grade are not being given adequate remedial instruction in French and that state education officials are intentionally ignoring those issues. No action was taken on the complaints, but the board asked its staff to investigate the claims and report its findings next month at a meeting in New Orleans. Continue reading »

Oct 162012

Construction related to the installation of new drainage canals under Napoleon Avenue will block motorists from being able to cross Napoleon on Freret Street on Wednesay and Thursday, according to Alexander Navarro of Boh Brothers Construction. If the weather permits, workers hope to have the intersection reopened by Friday, Navarro said.

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Oct 152012

Owen Courreges

Just a block over from my house is Mr. John’s Steakhouse. In my humble opinion, it offers the best steaks in the city. They use only the finest cuts seared in butter and cooked to perfection. And of course, like all of the finest steakhouses, they are not cheap. Mr. John’s is synonymous with special occasions.

This is not, however, the case for the Board of Trustees for the New Orleans Firefighters’ Pension and Relief Fund. Apparently, they believe in spending thousands of dollars at a time at Mr. John’s and other expensive restaurants in the city. Continue reading »

Oct 132012

Students’ projects from September 2009 still hang on a bulletin board in a corridor at the New Orleans Free School at 3601 Camp Street. The building was abruptly abandoned three months later because of structural issues, and is now headed for auction. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The former New Orleans Free School on Camp Street.

Students’ work still hangs on the walls three years after it was turned in, and their art lays strewn about the floor of the old Free School. A few children’s books sit in crates, toys lay abandoned on the dirty floor, and pigeons flutter in and out of the dark fourth-floor attic. To the trained eye, however, the most insidious problem is the sudden dips in the hardwood floor.

The century-old Free School on Camp Street looks as though it was abandoned overnight, as it almost literally was in December of 2009 when critical structural problems were discovered there. Next month, the building is one of seven former school sites around the city scheduled to be auctioned off by the Orleans Parish School Board, raising the possibility that it might finally be redeveloped into something new, or even one day hold students once again. Continue reading »