Aug 172013
 
Workers patch the roof of the old Carrollton courthouse building Saturday morning so Audubon Charter School can use it for a few more months. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Workers patch the roof of the old Carrollton courthouse building Saturday morning so Audubon Charter School can use it for a few more months. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The slow pace of repairs to the McDonogh 7 “swing space” campus on Milan Street suggests that families at Audubon Charter School’s Carrollton campus should not count on being able to leave their decrepit building by December, school official said Saturday morning. Continue reading »

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Aug 162013
 
From top left, Jamal "Mall" Harris, (photos via NOPD)

Top row, from left: Jamal Harris, Tyrone Davenport, Dale Elmore, Darryl Bannister. Bottom row: Cornie Jones, Seyuntray Noel, Jerome Tolliver, Tyrone Brooks. (photos via NOPD)

The investigation into a west-Carrollton street gang known as the “Taliban” concluded Thursday with the indictments of eight alleged members, a case that should bring a measure of peace to what was once the most violent edge of Uptown, New Orleans police said. Continue reading »

Aug 162013
 

Sandra Hester, who was arrested during Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s community meeting about the budget at the Jewish Community Center last year, has filed a lawsuit against Landrieu, the city, the New Orleans Police Department and other officials alleging that excessive force was used in her arrest and that her constitutional and civil rights were violated, according to a report from our partners at WWL-TV. The city has called her claims “unfounded.”

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Aug 162013
 

In addition to the two new schools KIPP New Orleans plans to add to its portfolio of seven in the city, the charter-school network has been cleared for an additional high school in New Orleans plus seven other schools here or in Baton Rouge — part of a trend of charters expanding from New Orleans around Louisiana, reports Jessica Williams of The Lens. Firstline Schools, which operates Samuel J. Green Charter and four other campuses, has also been cleared for a sixth school in New Orleans.

Aug 162013
 
NOPD Second District Commander Paul Noel (right) presents the family of Officer Rodney Thomas with a silver pendant at a fundraiser at Tipitina's on Thursday evening. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

NOPD Second District Commander Paul Noel (right) presents the family of Officer Rodney Thomas with a silver pendant at a fundraiser at Tipitina’s on Thursday evening. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The impact of the life and untimely death of New Orleans Police Officer Rodney Thomas was on full display yet again Thursday evening, as hundreds of police officers and community members touched by his memory gathered for a fundraiser in his honor at Tipitina’s. Continue reading »

Aug 152013
 

The Camellia Grill on South Carrollton. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The Camellia Grill on South Carrollton. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

New Orleans officials have agreed to study whether to designate the Camellia Grill a historic landmark, a minor victory for the beloved restaurant’s new owner in the ongoing legal battle over its name.

In a separate request, officials turned down a request from an Xavier Prep alumna to designate the school’s Magazine Street campus as a landmark, siding with the leaders of the new St. Katharine Drexel Prep who said they face more pressing educational priorities right now other than the landmark process. Continue reading »

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Aug 152013
 

More than half of the streetlights along St. Charles Avenue are broken, burned out or missing, members of the residents’ association discovered after a recent count, according to a report by Bill Capo and our partners at WWL-TV. City officials say they are installing temporary lights, and that the streetlights will get new wiring at the end of the streetcar track construction project, Capo reports.

Aug 152013
 

Allan Katz and Danae Columbus

Although Wednesday’s announcement by the New Orleans Community Data Center showed several great signs in the New Orleans economy, it also pointed several great disparities that do not bode well for New Orleans’ future.

Yes, our economy is diversifying beyond tourism, we weathered the recession better than most cities, home sales have increased, our number of new entrepreneurs is high, and construction jobs are on the rise since Katrina (no kidding). All great stuff to be sure. Continue reading »

Aug 142013
 

The memorial to Officer Rodney Thomas in the Second District roll call room, where officers gather before each shift. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The memorial to Officer Rodney Thomas in the Second District roll call room, where officers gather before each shift. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

NOPD Officer Rodney Thomas

NOPD Officer Rodney Thomas

NOPD Second District Officer Rodney Thomas — who was killed last month in a hit-and-run crash on the interstate — had previously suffered heavy damage to his house during the flooding after Hurricane Katrina. Previously trained as an electrician, Thomas was doing all the renovations himself — work that his family does not know how they can finish with him gone, said Second District Commander Paul Noel.

“Not only was Rodney the sole breadwinner for his family, but now they have a house that’s unfinished,” Noel said. Continue reading »

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Aug 142013
 

Jean-Paul Villere

Dave Thomas brought us the drive thru.  The late founder of the fast food chain Wendy’s — beyond being the charismatic face of the company up until his death — in the fledgling days of the square-pattied empire devised a way for car-loving Americans across the country to stay put and nosh ever more quickly. (In-N-Out and Jack in the Box might stake earlier claims to the innovation, but find me one of those in the only metro area that matters.) It revolutionized commerce.  I can tell you from my days in a green apron, drive thru locations easily produce two to three times the revenue of locations without this 20th century gift.  As such, it employs more people and creates a better tax base too.  All good things, right?  Except when it comes to pollution and traffic congestion, those tick up as well.  Faster, reliable and more often: the American way, no?  Viagara, anyone? Continue reading »

Aug 132013
 
A cockatoo sits on the back patio of Victor Atkins' home in the 3400 block of Laurel Street on Tuesday afternoon. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

A cockatoo sits on the back patio of Victor Atkins’ home in the 3400 block of Laurel Street on Tuesday afternoon. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Living just a few blocks from the Mississippi River, Victor Atkins is used to hearing a lot of strange bird calls at his Laurel Street home. But Monday, one particularly piercing cry caught his attention — and his wife realized it was coming from their backyard.

“He has a big voice,” Atkins said. “His screech sounds like a pteradactyl.” Continue reading »

Aug 122013
 

The leadership of Lycée Français de la Nouvelle Orléans continued to evolve Monday night as the new school board decided to add a seventh member their predecessors had previously rejected, heard from a unified school community that no parents should be added to the board, met a new academic director and began setting concrete goals for the coming year. Continue reading »

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Aug 122013
 

Owen Courreges

Sometimes so much can turn on so little.  It was June 26, 2013, around 2 a.m.  Marshall Coulter, a 14-year-old boy with a history of criminal behavior, jumped the locked driveway gate of a home in Mid-City.  It was the home of a family: Merritt Landry, his pregnant wife and his young child.

Within the home, a dog barked.  Landry was awakened and went to see if there was an intruder.  He took a pistol with him.  Once outside, he reported seeing Coulter and asking him to freeze.  Coulter turned around to face him and appeared to be reaching for something on his hip.  Landry fired once, hitting Coulter in the head.  Coulter survived, but remains in critical condition. Continue reading »