Apr 252013
 

A banner on a house at the corner of Bellecastle and Tchoupitoulas proclaims the future expansion of Blue Dot Donuts, the popular Mid-City shop started by three police officers. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

When three officers from the New Orleans Police Department’s Uptown-based Second District opened a donut shop in Mid-City, they thought they heard every cop-and-donut gag in the book.

Now that they’re planning a new location on Tchoupitoulas — much closer to the station where they all worked — they know to expect a whole new round of jokes. Continue reading »

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Apr 252013
 

Allan Katz and Danae Columbus

For many years, the 33-story World Trade Center overlooking the Mississippi River was one of New Orleans’ most important centers of business.

Powerful people, companies and government agencies including the Port of New Orleans occupied suites at the WTC. The 30th floor restaurant, the Plimsoll Club, was usually packed. You needed a reservation to get a table. The World Trade Center suite on the 29th floor was often the site of important civic press conferences and educational seminars. Located at the foot of the Mississippi River at the end of Canal Street, the WTC offered incredible views of the river, especially from the Plimsoll Club. At the top of the building a revolving bar called the Top of the Mart was an important social spot. During her years as a lobbyist for the Dock Board, Danae worked at the WTC Building and enjoyed it. She, along with her colleagues, thought the Plimsoll Club was a neat place for lunch. Continue reading »

Apr 242013
 

An aerial view of the ISL campus. The modular classrooms are planned for the grass-and-dirt area on the Magazine Street side of the school, a field currently used for soccer and other sports. (image via Google Maps)

Neither the leaders of the International School of Louisiana nor their closest neighbors are particularly happy about the decision, but modular buildings appear to be the only available solution remaining to ease the overcrowding expected at the Camp Street campus next year.

Now, the primary question left to answer is how long the modulars will stay on the Magazine Street side of the campus — two years, five, or much longer? Continue reading »

Apr 242013
 

State Reps. Neil Abramson and Helena Moreno speak before the Natural Resources and Environment Committee in this image from the live feed Wednesday morning.

In an apparent conclusion to the negotiations over the future of the New Orleans Adolescent Hospital, Children’s Hospital will be allowed to purchase the property in exchange for expanded mental-health services, a group of New Orleans-area legislators announced Wednesday morning. Continue reading »

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Apr 242013
 

A large elm lays across Pine Street near Cohn on Wednesday afternoon after a strong storm passed through New Orleans. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

A large uprooted tree leans against a house on Sycamore between Fern and Short streets after the storm. (Photo courtesy of Annie Bleecker)

Thousands of people — primarily in the Riverbend and west Carrollton areas, but also extending into Freret and up to Hollygrove — were temporarily without power Wednesday following a strong storm that passed through the area shortly after noon.

The storm also proved the final blow to a number of large trees around the east Carrollton neighborhood. Continue reading »

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Apr 242013
 

The International School of Louisiana’a Camp Street campus.

With little time to find an emergency solution to overcrowding at its Camp Street campus, the International School of Louisiana will install a modular classroom on a rear corner at Magazine and Euterpe, officials announced to neighbors this week. Continue reading »

Apr 242013
 

Get Your Jane On!

For the second summer, the Louise S. McGehee School is bringing you Curious Jane in addition to other summer programs. Curious Jane is a project-based summer camp for girls with themes that revolve around writing, design, engineering and science. It was such a wonderful success when launched in New Orleans last year that McGehee is bringing it back for girls in the local community. Girls entering 3rd-6th grades are part of the older group, and girls entering 1st and 2nd grade are welcome to attend the Curious Jane, Jr. program. Continue reading »

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Apr 242013
 

Shantell Payton (far right) is all smiles at the announcement that Xavier Prep will live on as Drexel Prep next year, Darria Thomas, president of the Xavier Prep Alumni Association, and four current sophomores. (photo by jewel bush for UptownMessenger.com)

jewel bush

Back in February, a sense of grief swept the entire New Orleans community when the Sisters of Blessed Sacrament, a Pennsylvania-based order, announced it would close the all-girls Xavier University Preparatory High School at the end of the school year due to uncertain financial sustainability. As many prepared to mourn the death of Prep as yet another failed black institution, the school’s alumni base wasn’t quite ready to deliver the eulogy. They couldn’t bear to see St. Katharine Drexel’s dream wither. They fought, fundraised and incorporated to preserve the school.

Attorney Shantell Payton, class of 1997, is the youngest Prepper among the coterie of six alumni who bought the school, along with Federal Judge Karen Wells Roby, Clerk of Court Dale Atkins, Judge Piper Griffin, attorney Keith Doley and Judge Edwin Lombard (including male alumni, a nod to the days when the school was co-ed).  Payton’s allegiance and love for Prep is boundless. She chose to attend Prep over Benjamin Franklin High School, the number one ranked school in the state of Louisiana, reluctantly following in her sister’s footsteps. Continue reading »

Apr 232013
 

(Image via facebook.com/pizzahut)

When more than 40 Pizza Hut locations suddenly closed across New Orleans in January of 2011, some saw it as an early sign of the Mayan apocalypse. That date came and went last December without the world ending, and, right on cue, Pizza Hut is now preparing to return to Orleans Parish. Continue reading »

Apr 232013
 

2124 Jena, before and after.

Jean-Paul Villere

Last September I wrote a piece regarding Uptown New Orleans real estate market activity, specifically the flip of a double at the foot of the Freret St revitalization.  Last week another nearby example played out in a single family home and on a much shorter timeline.  And like the Napoleon duplex, I was neither the listing or selling agent in any of these transactions.  Ladies and gentlemen that watch the Crescent City realty trends, prepare yourselves for the totally true tale of 2124 Jena.  And let’s go timeline on this one, shall we? Continue reading »

Apr 222013
 

The Xavier Prep community stands and cheers with the unveiling of a banner displaying the school’s new name, St. Katharine Drexel Preparatory High School. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Students, parents, alumni and supporters pack the auditorium at Xavier Prep for a meeting about the school’s future. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Nearly a century after its founding, Xavier University Prep will be reborn this fall with the name of its founder as St. Katharine Drexel Preparatory High School, a group of alumni who have agreed to purchase the building announced to a cheering auditorium Monday evening.

“Our mission is to continue to fulfill the vision and mission of St. Katharine Drexel,” said Dale Atkins, one of the alumni involved. “We accomplished this goal because the Prep family came together. The Prep family came together and attacked the challenge.” Continue reading »

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Apr 222013
 

Tyron R. Harden (via OPCSO)

A 19-year-old New Orleans East man believed to be a member of a New Orleans street gang was arrested Monday and charged with murder in the ongoing investigation of the deaths of a 5-year-old girl at a Central City birthday party and a 33-year-old woman driving nearby and caught in the gunfire last year, authorities said. Continue reading »

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Apr 222013
 

Two officers return to the NOPD bomb squad truck on Magazine Street with a suitcase that had been left unattended on the sidewalk near a blue pickup visible on the right side of the road. After a brief investigation, the suitcase was determined to be empty. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

A suitcase left unattended on a Magazine Street sidewalk through the Garden District and Irish Channel caused a bomb scare that closed the street briefly on Monday morning, authorities said. Continue reading »