Mar 202011

State Sen. Julie Quinn, the Republican lawmaker from Metairie whose district also includes the Riverbend and Audubon neighborhoods in Uptown New Orleans, announced Saturday that she will not seek re-election, several media outlets are reporting.

On Friday, Senate President Joel Chaisson II released his draft of the Senate redistricting map. Under his plan, Quinn and neighboring state Sen. Conrad Appel would be in the same district, notes Bill Barrow of The Times-Picayune.

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Mar 182011

Police investigate a car crash on South Claiborne Ave. and State St. early Friday morning around 3:30 a.m. A Tulane student stole a car and crashed it into eight other vehicles, according to police. (Sabree Hill,

A Tulane student stole a car and crashed it into eight other vehicles early Friday morning before he was arrested, police said.

Ian Driskill

Ian Driskill, 21, stole the car in the 900 block of Audubon, then left a trail of collisions before officers caught him, said Sgt. Marc Amos of the NOPD Second District property-crimes division.

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Mar 182011

(Photo courtesy New Orleans Mardi Gras Indian Council Inc., by Devin Meyers, Fotos for Humanity)

This weekend will feature a full slate of cultural events in Uptown New Orleans: St. Joseph Day altars, a marathon Bach festival, more city-led efforts against neighborhood blight and the Mardi Gras Indians’ Super Sunday festivities.

Friday will launch Trinity Episcopal’s Bach Around the Clock XIV, a 29-hour celebration of the music of Bach.

St. Joseph’s Day altars will begin Friday at various locations around the city Friday and continue Saturday.

Saturday morning, the city will sponsor neighborhood cleanup and code-enforcement efforts around several city parks, including Harrell Stadium in Leonidas and Taylor Park in Central City.

Saturday will also feature a fair in Palmer Park to support the Child Development Center’s move to the Church of Annuniciation.

On Sunday, Mardi Gras Indians will hold their annual Super Sunday festival and parade at A.L. Davis Park in Central City.

For full details on these and other events, see our calendar below. Continue reading »

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Mar 172011

Police investigate a shooting on the 2800 block of Louisiana Avenue near South Claiborne Avenue around 7:45 p.m. Wednesday night. A female was shot in her right ankle, according to officer Hilal Williams. (Sabree Hill,

A 15-year-old “known and dangerous repeat offender” has been arrested and charged with shooting a woman in the ankle Wednesday evening near the intersection of Louisiana and Claiborne avenues, police said. Continue reading »

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Mar 172011

Dean Kelly (via

Uptown New Orleans has seen a surge in rape reports this year from a variety of sources, including a recent report of a rape by a cab driver and an expanding investigation into an actor accused of trying to lure university students to his St. Charles Avenue home, police said.

At least 11 rapes have been reported this year in NOPD’s Uptown-based Second District, an increase over only two reported by this point in 2010, police said at their weekly meeting Wednesday. That jump of nine cases accounts for most of the entire city’s increase in rapes this year, said Capt. Darryl Albert, commander of the Second District. Continue reading »

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Mar 172011

The City Council meeting scheduled for 10 a.m. Thursday includes a request by the operators of the Fuel N’ Mart at 4140 South Claiborne to continue selling alcoholic beverages for off-premises consumption after an ownership change.

This request, recommended for approval by the City Planning Commission, may lead to some spring cleaning around the property, according to an email from Councilwoman Stacy Head’s office to Claiborne area residents. Continue reading »

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Mar 162011

With developers insisting that Walgreens is the most likely tenant of an multi-million dollar proposed renovation of the old American Legion buildling on Magazine Street, many of the nearly 200 people at a Wednesday-night town hall on the project focused their questions on the planned design of its modern, glass-wall facade and large rear parking lot and drive-through. Continue reading »

Mar 162011

The American Legion building on Magazine Street. (Sabree Hill,

The controversial Walgreens proposed for the old American Legion building on Magazine Street will be subject of a town hall meeting Wednesday night at 6:45 p.m. at the Legion hall.

Separately Wednesday, the Carrollton-Riverbend Neighborhood Association will hear from YMCA representatives about their long-term plans around the city of New Orleans.

Thursday features the St. Patrick’s Day block parties in the Irish Channel. In other events, the New Orleans City Council will meet, and state Sen. Karen Carter Peterson will hold another neighborhood town hall for Carrollton residents.

For full details and links on these events and more, see our calendar below. Continue reading »

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Mar 162011

Heather Elizabeth is a fifth-generation New Orleanian. Her experiences as a French Quarter walking-tour guide gave her a deep appreciation of New Orleans’ rich history and culture. Inspired by the city around her, she created Heather Elizabeth Designs in 2002.  She handcrafts her New Orleans photographs into jewelry and accessories for the home. Since 2002, Heather Elizabeth has gained a loyal following of locals and non-locals alike who collect her work. For any occasion, her line of merchandise makes great a gift for the lover of all things New Orleans.

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Mar 162011

Jean-Paul Villere

This week on Monday the 14th – 3.14 or Pi as we call it – my wife and I celebrated 13 years of marriage. Thir-teen. That’s two years longer than the lifespan of the average American marriage. To some that’s a feat, and to others we’re rookies. But who cares? We’re not married to each other so we can see how long we can be married to each. It’s not a contest, is it? There’s no winner, right? I mean, is there some sort of marriage competition I’m unaware of? Who can be married to who the longest? Probably not the ideal motivation to get or stay married: “Okay, let’s see how long we can do this.” Continue reading »

Mar 162011

Magazine Street folk artist Simon Hardeveld stands next to his artwork on the corner of Magazine Street and Jackson Avenue. The piece is a memorial to Vera Smith who died on Aug 29, 2005 after Hurricane Katrina and whose body was left abandoned for almost a week. A new restaurant, Charcoal Burger Bar, is planning to build on the vacant lot. "She will not be forgotten," said Hardeveld. (Sabree Hill,

During Hurricane Katrina, the vacant lot that will soon become Charcoal’s Gourmet Burger Bar was the site of the temporary grave of Vera Smith, who was killed by a hit-and-run driver and whose body lay outside unclaimed by authorities for days until neighbors built her a makeshift grave with the spray-painted inscription, “Here lies Vera – God help us,” that became a nationally-known image of the city’s despair.

Smith’s body was moved soon afterward, but the site remains marked by a cross memorial designed by artist Simon Hardeveld. Hardeveld, whose studio in “Antiques on Jackson” is adjacent to the site, said he will move the memorial soon to accommodate Charcoal’s construction. Continue reading »

Mar 152011

Alba Xiomara and Rolando Zelaya work at at Supermercado Las Acacias on Friday, March 11. The Planning Commission gave Las Acacias its approval to begin selling alcohol Tuesday, though that decision must next be ratified by the City Council. (Sabree Hill,

Both a long-stalled gourmet burger restaurant planned for the corner of Jackson Avenue and Magazine Street and a Freret Street corner store’s request begin selling alcohol received initial approval from the City Planning Commission today, but a decision on a proposed film-studio space on Constance Street was deferred for a month.

(Note: See the end of this article for a recap of our live coverage of the debate on each issue.)

Charcoal’s Gourmet Burger Bar is a proposed two-story hamburger restaurant with diner-style counter service on the ground floor and full table service upstairs designed by the owners of Somethin’ Else cafe in the French Quarter, said architect Kimberly Finney. The project was originally proposed several years ago, but troubles with the contractor stalled the project until its permission from the city to build expired. Continue reading »