Feb 072013
 

Detective Derrick Williams (left) of the city’s sex-crimes unit and two crime-scene techs recover evidence Monday evening from a gas station at Claiborne and Toledano after a rape and kidnapping in the Garden District. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Christopher Davis (via opcso.org)

15-year-old suspect whose name has not been released. (image via NOPD)

Three teens — ages 15, 16 and 18 — were arrested in connection with Monday’s rape and kidnapping after the youngest suspect’s family members turned him in for questioning Thursday, authorities said. Continue reading »

Feb 072013
 

Allan Katz and Danae Columbus

Danae’s Mardi Gras is not complete without the annual trek to Gallier Hall for the Mayor’s Ball. Lucky for us, Gallier Hall is only four blocks from our office, so Danae walks over.

Last night’s event — as usual — was an outstanding gathering, a great place to people watch and do business. His Honor of course was present along with most of his senior staff and the majority of the City Council — LaToya, Cynthia, Jackie, Kristin and Susan — and their husbands. Danae overheard Mayor Landrieu speaking to a national journalist about the willingness of investors to bring their money to New Orleans, since the Mayor never misses an opportunity to promote the city. Honorary Dutch Consul Connie Willems, new president of the Consular Corp, was talking about how foreign governments are placing more emphasis on trade in this region. Continue reading »

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Feb 062013
 

The Mystic Krewe of Nyx Captain’s float rolls on Magazine Street on Wednesday evening. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The Krewe of Ancient Druids “Consultant” float turns onto Magazine Street on Wednesday evening. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The Krewe of Ancient Druids teased a number of other parade groups with its “Phobias” theme and the Mystic Krewe of Nyx reveled in cinematic takes on “What a Girl Wants” Wednesday night, as Carnival parading on the Uptown New Orleans route resumed after its week off. Continue reading »

Feb 062013
 

Someone staking a false claim to the neutral ground in the 2300 block of Napoleon on Mardi Gras Day 2011. (photo by Jean-Paul Villere for UptownMessenger.com)

Jean-Paul Villere

Greetings 2013 Carnival enthusiasts!  The season is upon us, and in the past I’ve written some dos and don’ts in the form of top tens, a course of 101 and 201, to ensure a safe, happy, and mutually beneficial Mardi Gras experience.  Black outs be damned!  We have Flambeaux!  Come to think of it, in 2018, having Flambeaux on standby to illuminate the game wouldn’t be the worst idea.  Anyhow, enjoy the recap to follow, and for goodness sake’s take it to heart.

(1) Don’t park your car on the neutral ground.  It may not be signed and everyone else may be doing it, but you – and they – will all get tickets.  I see it every year.  And no matter how designated your driver is, not a one of you should be behind the wheel.  Ride your bike, people! Continue reading »

Feb 062013
 

A vacant lot on the corner of Amelia and Baronne where neighbors say unruly teenagers congregate during Mardi Gras parades. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

A two-block stretch of Amelia Street that neighbors say has become an out-of-control gathering place for unruly teenagers during Mardi Gras will receive increased attention this week from both police and city officials who promise to end the problem.

The problem is different from the typical Carnival-time revelry that lines the Uptown route, neighbors and officials say. Instead, a vacant lot at the corner of Baronne Street — memorable to passers-by for a lone set of stone stairs in the center of it — has become a gathering point for teens, and they form a dense throng for two blocks between there and the parade on St. Charles Avenue. Continue reading »

Feb 062013
 

With Super Bowl craziness dying down, parade season is back in full swing! Catch all the Uptown fun at New Orleans Hamburger and Seafood Co. on the streetcar line at St. Charles Ave & Milan Street. Watch the parades while enjoying our fresh, plump, salty oysters on the half shell; World Famous Thin Fried Catfish; order-at-the-counter service that’ll get your food to you faster; and family-friendly atmosphere we are known for. Continue reading »

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Feb 052013
 

“I know that there is a tremendous amount of physical evidence and scientific evidence has been collected overnight and through today and some of it will be video,” NOPD Superintendent Ronal Serpas told our partners at WWL-TV on Tuesday, discussing the rape and kidnapping of a Garden District woman the previous evening. “We just don’t know the quality of it yet. Our message to these perpetrators is we know a whole lot more about you than you think we know. You may want to consider your options of turning yourself in.”

WWL also confirmed that it took EMS nearly 20 minutes to respond to the victim’s call, and that by the time they arrived, she had already been taken to the hospital by a police officer.

Feb 052013
 

The fire station in the 1200 block of Arabella Street. (image via Google maps)

Residents served by the fire station on Arabella Street want more information about the upcoming cuts to staffing levels there and how that will impact the level of service they receive, they said at a neighborhood meeting Tuesday night. Continue reading »

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Feb 052013
 

Documents and emails surrounding the resignation of the founding principal of Lycée Français de la Nouvelle Orléans show that the charter school’s governing board, including several current members, agreed to allow her to finish the school year with full pay and benefits, contradicting an allegation in the school’s recent audit that she received nearly $30,000 after her resignation without authorization.

School leaders now call that record “ambiguous,” and that they expect the consultants currently investigating the leadership issues at the school to have recommendations to prevent similar problems in the future. Continue reading »

Feb 052013
 

Porch lights illuminate the corner of Eighth and Chestnut, where a woman was forced out of a car after being kidnapped from the middle of the block and raped Monday night. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

A 30-year-old New Orleans woman was kidnapped Monday evening in front of her Garden District home by three men, then beaten and raped as they drove around before letting her go and stealing her car, police and neighbors said. Continue reading »

Feb 042013
 

Carlos C. Williams (via opcso.org)

New Orleans police made 17 gun arrests along the parade route the first weekend of Mardi Gras (including three cases the first Friday and four more the following Saturday and Sunday), a slight increase in the number during the first weekend of 2010 and 2011, according to a report by Maya Rodriguez of our partners at WWL-TV. One of the men arrested Saturday night on the Uptown stretch of St. Charles Avenue, 22-year-old Carlos C. Williams, has already pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge and received a six-month jail sentence, WWL reports:

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Feb 042013
 

Tulane University recently approved $50,000 to replace dishes and silverware in Bruff Commons, some for wear and tear but “the majority” because of theft by students, according to a report by Ashley Easterly of The Hullabaloo student newspaper. The dining director told the newspaper that the school purchased 800 mugs at the beginning of the fall semester and was down to 25 by October, for example, a significant increase in theft at the facility.

Feb 042013
 

Rufus Bray (via opcso.org)

Rufus Bray, 22, begged the mother of 26-year-old Antoine Martin to find a way to forgive him as he pleaded guilty last week to fatally shooting her son during an argument while they rode in a car together in the 2100 block of Rousseau Street in May of 2011, according to a report by Claire Galofaro of the Times-Picayune. Bray received a 30-year-prison sentence, and Martin’s mother said she pitied him because her own son also had good qualities but was unable to resist getting caught up in a dangerous lifestyle, Galofaro writes.

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Feb 042013
 

Owen Courreges

New Orleans is the city of the pit bull.  Last year Gambit reported that New Orleans has one of the highest rates of pit bull ownership per capita in the country.  It is home to the Sula Foundation, a nonprofit aimed at “fostering responsible pit bull ownership” which raises money by selling yearly calendars of the “Pit Bulls of New Orleans.”  It is home to “Ban Ignorance, Not Pit Bulls,” a group established to “advocate for pit bull rights and educate the general public in a positive way that will help lessen the ignorance concerning pit bulls.”

For you TV junkies out there, the evidence is even more apparent.  The Animal Planet reality series “Pit Bulls and Parolees,” which pairs ex-cons with pit bulls, aired its 2012 season in New Orleans after relocating its rescue and adoption facility to the Lower 9th Ward from Los Angeles.  The show cited onerous regulations as the primary driver of the move. Continue reading »