Apr 242013

Milan residents march against crime in April of 2011. (UptownMessenger.com file photo by Sabree Hill)

Police and neighbors will march side-by-side in a statement against criminal activity in the streets of Milan and Hollygrove tonight (Wednesday, April 24). Continue reading »

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Apr 242013

Shantell Payton (far right) is all smiles at the announcement that Xavier Prep will live on as Drexel Prep next year, Darria Thomas, president of the Xavier Prep Alumni Association, and four current sophomores. (photo by jewel bush for UptownMessenger.com)

jewel bush

Back in February, a sense of grief swept the entire New Orleans community when the Sisters of Blessed Sacrament, a Pennsylvania-based order, announced it would close the all-girls Xavier University Preparatory High School at the end of the school year due to uncertain financial sustainability. As many prepared to mourn the death of Prep as yet another failed black institution, the school’s alumni base wasn’t quite ready to deliver the eulogy. They couldn’t bear to see St. Katharine Drexel’s dream wither. They fought, fundraised and incorporated to preserve the school.

Attorney Shantell Payton, class of 1997, is the youngest Prepper among the coterie of six alumni who bought the school, along with Federal Judge Karen Wells Roby, Clerk of Court Dale Atkins, Judge Piper Griffin, attorney Keith Doley and Judge Edwin Lombard (including male alumni, a nod to the days when the school was co-ed).  Payton’s allegiance and love for Prep is boundless. She chose to attend Prep over Benjamin Franklin High School, the number one ranked school in the state of Louisiana, reluctantly following in her sister’s footsteps. Continue reading »

Apr 232013

(Image via facebook.com/pizzahut)

When more than 40 Pizza Hut locations suddenly closed across New Orleans in January of 2011, some saw it as an early sign of the Mayan apocalypse. That date came and went last December without the world ending, and, right on cue, Pizza Hut is now preparing to return to Orleans Parish. Continue reading »

Apr 232013

2124 Jena, before and after.

Jean-Paul Villere

Last September I wrote a piece regarding Uptown New Orleans real estate market activity, specifically the flip of a double at the foot of the Freret St revitalization.  Last week another nearby example played out in a single family home and on a much shorter timeline.  And like the Napoleon duplex, I was neither the listing or selling agent in any of these transactions.  Ladies and gentlemen that watch the Crescent City realty trends, prepare yourselves for the totally true tale of 2124 Jena.  And let’s go timeline on this one, shall we? Continue reading »

Apr 232013

Terrance D. Jones (via opcso.org)

A man carrying a large TV through the Freret neighborhood that he had just allegedly stolen from a nearby home was arrested on a burglary charge this weekend, police said. Continue reading »

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Apr 222013

The Xavier Prep community stands and cheers with the unveiling of a banner displaying the school’s new name, St. Katharine Drexel Preparatory High School. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Students, parents, alumni and supporters pack the auditorium at Xavier Prep for a meeting about the school’s future. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Nearly a century after its founding, Xavier University Prep will be reborn this fall with the name of its founder as St. Katharine Drexel Preparatory High School, a group of alumni who have agreed to purchase the building announced to a cheering auditorium Monday evening.

“Our mission is to continue to fulfill the vision and mission of St. Katharine Drexel,” said Dale Atkins, one of the alumni involved. “We accomplished this goal because the Prep family came together. The Prep family came together and attacked the challenge.” Continue reading »

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Apr 222013

Tyron R. Harden (via OPCSO)

A 19-year-old New Orleans East man believed to be a member of a New Orleans street gang was arrested Monday and charged with murder in the ongoing investigation of the deaths of a 5-year-old girl at a Central City birthday party and a 33-year-old woman driving nearby and caught in the gunfire last year, authorities said. Continue reading »

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Apr 222013

Two officers return to the NOPD bomb squad truck on Magazine Street with a suitcase that had been left unattended on the sidewalk near a blue pickup visible on the right side of the road. After a brief investigation, the suitcase was determined to be empty. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

A suitcase left unattended on a Magazine Street sidewalk through the Garden District and Irish Channel caused a bomb scare that closed the street briefly on Monday morning, authorities said. Continue reading »

Apr 222013

Owen Courreges

The other day, I heard an anecdote about a man who parked in a gas station in Orleans Parish and wound up in a confrontation with a tow company.  Apparently, he’d pulled in to buy something from the convenience store, but first decided to check out the menu posted in the window of a restaurant next door.  When he came back less than five minutes later, a tow company was already hooking up his car and demanded $90 to release it.  The man protested and the police were called out, who promptly backed the tow company. Continue reading »

Apr 202013

The mayor’s top attorney, a Loyola professor and a top financial officer from Tulane are among the five newest members of the Lusher Charter School governing board, added Saturday morning as the school prepares to confront a budget deficit and ongoing facilities challenges. Continue reading »

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Apr 192013

Stephen Wilkinson (via opcso.org)

Tommy Stevens (via opcso.org)

Four handguns and a variety of drugs were seized in a search at a home on Hampson Street in the university area that led to charges against three people, one of whom is a Loyola University student, authorities said. Continue reading »

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Apr 192013

(photo via NOPD)

A robbery suspect who plucked cash from the hand of a man who had just used a South Claiborne ATM took a moment to offer his gratitude before fleeing, but a nearby camera caught a photo of him that investigators hope will soon lead to his arrest, authorities said.

Around noon on Saturday, April 13, the victim had just used the ATM at a store in the 2300 block of South Claiborne (near First Street) when a man approached from behind, snatched the money out of his hand, said “thank you” and ran off, said NOPD Sgt. Danny Scanlan at the weekly meeting of Sixth District leadership. The victim and a witness standing nearby tried to grab the man but he got free, and they chased him up First Street and onto Rex Place where he jumped a fence and escaped, Scanlan said.

A security camera nearby captured a photo of the suspect. Anyone who can identify him is asked to call Sixth District Detective Ed Johnson at 658-6060 or CrimeStoppers at 822-1111.

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Apr 192013

This power plant on Spruce Street houses a backup turbine that is the source of gear oil in a mist-like form that has covered neighbors’ homes and cars, Sewerage and Water Board officials say. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

West Carrollton residents beset by an oily sheen over their homes, cars and gardens are bearing the brunt of providing drinking water to the rest of the city from a century-old facility hobbled by emergency measures taken after Hurricane Katrina, officials said, and it may be another year before repairs progress enough to make a difference in the problem. Continue reading »

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Apr 192013

Craig Giesecke

I’ll finally be getting an opportunity in the coming month or so to do what I enjoy most – coming up with menu items to pair with beer at a dinner or other special event. While I never think of myself of actually going “to work,” it is at times like these that I really feel like I’m being paid for something I’d be doing anyway. It’s one of the ways in which the culinary, art and musical worlds are very similar to each other. Continue reading »

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Apr 192013

A 44-year-old man was shot around 9:45 p.m. Thursday in a robbery attempt under the overpass bridge near Carondelet Street, authorities said.

The victim told police he was under the bridge at Calliope and Carondelet when he was approached by a man with a gun who demanded money, according to an initial police report. He refused and heard a shot ring out, then walked to a gas station at Lee Circle where he discovered that he had been shot, the police report states.

The victim is described in the report as “extremely intoxicated and uncooperative.”

Anyone with information should call CrimeStoppers at 822-1111.

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