Sep 162010

Investigators are searching for the above woman in connection with a purse theft at the Rendezvous bar on Magazine Street. She was seen driving the depicted car, a silver or gray four-door 2000 Chevrolet Malibu with hub caps missing on the passenger side.

Investigators believe they are closing in on the people behind a series of purse snatchings on Magazine Street, but a trend of bicycle thefts is now emerging there. Continue reading »

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Sep 162010

If an eleventh-hour do-over makes it through state government by the end of this week, votes cast regarding the Upper Hurstville Security District in the Oct. 2 election will not be counted and the ballot question will be moved to Nov. 2 in slightly altered form.

The security district — which uses a $485-per-parcel fee to provide around-the-clock security patrols from Magazine to Prytania, between Nashville Avenue and Audubon Park — was created by neighborhood voters in 2003 for a seven-year term, and thus needed renewal this year.

Late last week, however, district chair Karen Duncan discovered that the ballot question as worded would effectively raise the fee to $650 — rather than merely giving the district board that option if the needed arose — and moving the election date emerged as the only solution. Continue reading »

Sep 152010

NORD director Vic Richard, Councilwoman-at-Large Jackie Clarkson, District B Councilwoman Stacy Head and Councilman-at-Large Arnold Fielkow describe proposed reforms to the city's recreation programs at a Wednesday evening meeting at the Dryades YMCA.

Depending on how voters cast their ballots Oct. 2, the New Orleans Recreation Department may face significant restructuring in the coming year. Based on questions at a Wednesday night forum at the Dryades YMCA, voters are still struggling to understand exactly how it will work. Continue reading »

Sep 152010

Uptown New Orleans has seen a surge in property crimes over the last week, police said Wednesday, including the Second District’s first home-invasion burglary of the year, a one-day spree of house break-ins in Carrollton and a dozen vehicle break-ins around the city. Continue reading »

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Sep 152010

A plan to create formal councils of neighborhood groups to increase citizen participation in city government would only “many more layers of bureaucracy” and should be scrapped, according to a letter from the Garden District Association published by The Lens.

The letter suggesting changes to the Citizen Participation Project was written by Shelley Landrieu, director of the Garden District group but also a leader of the Baronne Street Neighborhood Association and Audubon Area Zoning Association. Instead of new councils based on city planning districts, the Garden District would prefer more formalized opportunities for neighborhood association input within the city’s existing policy-making process.

The director of the group that drafted the plan told Karen Gadbois of The Lens that the Garden District had drawn “inaccurate conclusions.”

The letter was copied to numerous other neighborhood groups, including many in the Uptown: the Irish Channel Neighborhood Association, the Touro Bouligny Association, the Baronne Street Neighborhood Association, the St. Charles Avenue Association, the Audubon Area Zoning Association, the Upper Hurstville Association, the Audubon Riverside Neighborhood Association, the Hurstville Neighborhood Improvement Association, the Freret Business and Property Owners Association and the Carrollton-Riverbend Neighborhood Association.

Sep 142010

Officer Nicole McCaskill shows off her Officer of the Month plaque in front of the busy Second District front desk that is her beat.

For the Second District officer of the month, the New Orleans Police Department could hardly have settled on a more familiar face.

Working the district’s front office during the day watch, Officer Nicole McCaskill handles everyone who walks through the front door from 6:25 a.m. to 3 p.m., from the most routine visitors to traumatized crime victims to murder suspects turning themselves in.

“We get a little bit of everything,” McCaskill said with a knowing smile. Continue reading »

Sep 142010

Even afternoon showers can flood the Robert Fresh Market parking lot, WVUE reports. Storm drains nearby are clogged.

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Sep 132010

Louis Foster

Investigators are searching for a 19-year-old who allegedly shot another young man in the head in Central City on Sunday evening, police said.

A report of a shooting led police to the 2200 block of South Robertson around 7:30 p.m. Sunday, and they found a 19-year-old there with a gunshot wound to the head, according to a New Orleans Police Department news release. He remains in critical condition at a local hospital, police said.

Louis Foster, 19, whose last known address was nearby 2227 Freret St., is being charged with attempted second-degree murder but has not yet been located.

Anyone with information is asked to call Sixth District detective Kristen Krzemieniecki, who is in charge of the investigation, at 658-6060 or Crimestoppers at 822-1111.

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Sep 132010

As part of their effort to revitalize their neighborhood, the Freret Business and Property Owners Association is contemplating creating a fee-based security district similar to others in the city.

“Your quality of life is so greatly enhanced by having a vehicle patrolling the neighborhood,” said association marketing director Kellie Grengs as she presented the idea at a Monday night meeting. “You all of a sudden have another pair of eyes on the neighborhood.” Continue reading »

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Sep 122010

Capt. James Baldassaro of New Orleans Private Patrol performs a security check on a house in the Upper Hurstville Security District on Saturday evening. "Since we have been on patrol 24 hours a day, the crime rate in our three districts is way down, " said Baldassaro. Baldassaro has patrolled the three districts for the last 3 1/2 years. - Sabree Hill/ Uptown Messenger

As dusk fell on a recent evening and the streetlights began to come on, Margaret Maxwell and her golden retriever, Madison, walked the last few blocks toward home.

Though the streets were getting dark, Maxwell said she still felt safe enough to be out by herself — in part because of the extra security patrols through the Upper Hurstville Security District, an annual tax which will return to neighborhood voters for renewal on Oct. 2.

“It’s been nothing but good for us,” Maxwell said. “We used to say, ‘A dollar a day keeps the crime away.’ “ Continue reading »

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