Three years ago, Uptown Messenger was just a crazy idea about how local news should be reported. Now, as we’ve grown into two sites covering breaking news, civic affairs, local schools and public events in two neighborhoods of New Orleans, we are clearly in need of a workspace where we can collaborate with one another in person and meet with our readers, sources and supporters.
Lusher Charter School approved a $16 million budget on Monday night that includes a $641,000 deficit, but school officials hope to reduce the burden on the school’s reserves by more than half that sum when the state repays public schools for money improperly used to fund Gov. Bobby Jindal’s voucher program.
A man’s story that he was robbed at gunpoint on The Fly at Audubon Park last week has now been deemed false by investigators who believe he was actually involved in a dispute over drug deal with his alleged attacker, authorities said.
Like the krewes of Choctaw and Cleopatra this past year, the Krewe of Alla will relocate next year from its home for the past few decades on the Westbank to the Uptown parade route in an effort to retain members, according to a report by our partners at WWL-TV.
As the Crocker Arts and Technology school prepared for its final day of classes before New Orleans College Prep takes over the campus next year, the charter school’s leaders looked back on its founding in 2008, its journey from Gentilly to the former Free School in Uptown, followed by an emergency move to the former McDonogh 7 building on Milan Street before landing at the rebuilt campus on Marengo Street this past school year, reports Erin Krall of The Lens.
Last month, the board named several areas of the new school after its founders: “The gymnasium, library, black box theater and cafeteria were named in honor of the following: Alfred Saulny II, founding board member, Glenda Sawyer, board treasurer 2006 to 2008, Anthony Correro III, board member, and Thomas Arceneaux Sr., RSD project manager and director of building commissioning and energy management,” Krall reports.
Mayor Mitch Landrieu and the crowds of city and neighborhood officials with him had a nearly perfect soundtrack of every step of their way through the newly reopened Lyons Center in the Irish Channel on Monday morning.
In the lobby, it was the tinkling of an electric piano as ballet dancers rehearsed in a studio behind the news conference podium. In the gym, it was a group of musicians performing the Harlem Globetrotters theme “Sweet Georgia Brown” as Landrieu shot a few baskets. They kept up the music out by the pool, but were hard to hear over the squeals and splashing as the mayor gently dunked some of his youngest constituents.
Even the background chatter was on message, as the kindergarten-aged “Bears” group of day campers lined up in a hallway and gawked at the TV cameras passing by.
“You’re going to be on the news!” instructor Valencia Delair whispered, a stern smile on her face as she kept the 5-year-olds corralled. “You are super-stars. You are going to be on the news — for all the right reasons!”
The Times-Picayune has adopted a new crusade – renter’s rights.
It started with a series of pieces from Times-Pic staff writer Richard Webster regarding the limited rights tenants have in Louisiana. Webster noted that housing advocates are pushing for Louisiana to adopt the Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act of 1972, which has only been adopted in a minority of states with significant variations (hence, it isn’t very “uniform”).
For one weekend only at Loyola University New Orleans this June, the public is invited to go back to college to experience classes on sculpture, Mardi Gras history, cybercriminals, millennialism, terrorism, global climate change and many other topics. Attendees can also take special tours, including a visit to Irish Channel churches and a look at the Sicilian side of New Orleans, and hear a special performance of the music of Chopin.
Amici is a new beer bar and pizzeria that will make thin-crust pizzas in a coal-fired oven in the former home of Byblos at 3218 Magazine Street, slated to open in mid-June by the owners of Jester Mardi Gras Daiquiris and Pizza on Bourbon Street, reports Ian McNulty of our partners at Gambit.
Lycée Français de la Nouvelle-Orléans board member Erin Greenwald will join the committee searching for a new CEO after the previous nominee rejected an offer from the school, according to a report by The Lens. Meanwhile, board member Dan Henderson has resigned as he had suggested he would at the board’s last regular meeting, opening the spot for another of the new members to be seated, the report states.
Jurors will be able to hear statements to police by Sheldon Jefferson, 15, and Christopher Davis, 18, allegedly confessing to their roles in the violent carjacking and rape of a Garden District resident in February, when the case goes to trial in July, based on a court ruling Friday by Judge Franz Zibilich reported on by Claire Galofaro of The Advocate. The third suspect, 17-year-old Joseph Davis, did not speak to investigators, and attorney Robert Jenkins is requesting that he be tried separately — though Zibilich says he will still finish the trial by summer’s end, Galofaro reports.
The Future is Now charter organization — tasked by the Recovery School District last year with overseeing the final two years of Walter L. Cohen High School as New Orleans College Prep takes over the campus one year at a time — is now having second thoughts about that commitment, according to a report by Della Hasselle of The Lens. Cohen is a burden on the budget for Future is Now, which also governs John McDonogh High School, charter officials have said, and they are meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday to discuss dropping Cohen in the coming year, Hasselle reports.
Removal of a ladder truck from the fire station on Arabella Street will reduce the safety of the surrounding Uptown neighborhood and represents a dangerous trend of reducing the size of the New Orleans Fire Department, the president of the firefighters’ union said Thursday night in the latest round of debate over the issue.
City officials countered that the entire neighborhood will still be protected by the most important firefighting equipment — a pumper truck — and that the redeployment set to go into effect later this summer represents the best use of the city’s resources. But residents remained unconvinced, and are continuing their effort to keep the ladder truck in service.
A violent home invasion last week in the Irish Channel was apparently an effort to steal illegal drugs, authorities said.
The Tin Men, John Mooney and the Honeypots will entertain shoppers among the more than 90 local food and arts vendors at the free Freret Market from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday — the last appearance of the market at Freret and Napoleon before a two-month summer break. See FreretMarket.com for more details.
One of the good/bad things about being in the food business in one of the world’s great food cities is the competition. The upsides are many: the continued pressure for innovation and creativity, the consistent high quality of even the most basic places and the ability to socialize and work with some of the best chefs this nation has to offer. There are many, many other great things about the New Orleans food scene, not the least of which are talented colleagues and the very discerning and appreciative customers.