Apr 202011

Officers and onlookers at a shooting scene on Chippewa Street in the Irish Channel on Saturday. (Sabree Hill, UptownMessenger.com)

After gunfire through the streets of the Irish Channel left at least one man wounded this weekend, neighborhood leaders are encouraging residents to attend tonight’s community meeting with the leaders of the NOPD Sixth District.

Kara Morgan, president of the Irish Channel Neighborhood Association, emailed residents Sunday with descriptions of three reported shootings around the area Saturday “all related to an argument between two groups of kids,” including the Chippewa Street shooting that injured a man, she said.

“In addition to yesterday’s events, we’ve seen a general increase in shootings over the past month or so, including a drive-by down my street while I was laying on the couch with my 6-year-old,” Morgan wrote. “This is incredibly disheartening and discouraging, especially given how hard we are working to improve the Channel and make it a safe and happy place for all to live.”

In response, Morgan suggested residents attend the Sixth District’s community meeting at 6:30 p.m. tonight at the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau on St. Charles Avenue for updates on the shootings. She also encouraged them to get more involved with recreation efforts in the neighborhood, “in the hopes of stopping the kids from ever having a gun.”

For details and links to other upcoming community meeting and events around Uptown New Orleans, see our full calendar listings below. Continue reading »

Apr 092011

Brett W. Greene (via opcso.org)

A man who allegedly used Craigslist to solicit thousands of dollars in security deposits from prospective tenants for an Irish Channel apartment he didn’t own has been arrested on a number of theft charges, police said this week. Continue reading »

Mar 112011

The 2008 St. Patricks Day parade (via irishchannelno.org)

Less than a week after the largest Mardi Gras ever, parading returns to Uptown New Orleans this weekend via the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade through the Irish Channel.

The parade begins at 1 p.m. Saturday at the corner of Felicity and Magazine, then heads up Jackson Avenue, up St. Charles Avenue, down Louisiana Avenue and back down Magazine Street.

For details and links on the parade and other weekend events, including the two-day Soul Fest at Audubon Zoo, see our calendar below. Continue reading »

Feb 172011

The current boundaries of Uptown-based House districts (click to enlarge)

After years of representation in Baton Rouge by Jefferson Parish lawmakers, Carrollton residents see this year’s redistricting process as a chance to rejoin their neighbors in New Orleans, they told a panel of legislators in charge of the process Thursday night.

Similarly, the Irish Channel is seeking to have its neighborhood voice reunited in one legislative district, and at least one local state lawmaker called that request a goal he shares. Continue reading »

Jan 092011

Irish Channel residents gather around photos of Melissa Martinez, 17, at a benefit for her burial expenses at Rendon Inn. Martinez, who lived in the Irish Channel, died in a warehouse fire that killed seven other people in the Upper Ninth Ward on Dec. 28. (Sabree Hill, UptownMessenger.com)

Continue reading »

Jan 062011

Rebecca Snook shows a photo on her phone of her and her daughter Melissa Martinez, 17, on Christmas in their Irish Channel home. Martinez perished in a fire two days later. (Sabree Hill, UptownMessenger.com)

With nighttime lows well beneath freezing last February, not too many people thought camping overnight in the St. Charles Avenue neutral ground was a great idea.

Melissa Martinez, at right, camps out on St. Charles Avenue during Mardi Gras. (Submitted photo)

Kara Morgan, president of the Irish Channel Neighborhood Association, thought it was perfect. For Mardi Gras immediately after Saints’ triumphant first-ever Super Bowl victory, quarterback Drew Brees was riding in Bacchus, and Morgan needed to secure a conspicuous place on the route so he would see her life-size photo of him from his float.

But Morgan also needed fellow campers, and when most of her friends her age told her she was crazy, she turned to a dear friend and neighbor’s teenage daughter, Melissa Martinez, who “thought it was the coolest idea ever,” Morgan recalled. Along with Morgan’s niece and another neighbor, Martinez brought her boyfriend, and the five froze through the night together, huddling on top of tarps and around grills and space heaters in a makeshift camp near Seventh Street.

At 3 a.m., Martinez cooked burgers for everyone. At some point, a elderly Corgi wandered up lost, and the girls adopted him until his owner, a doctor who lived nearby, came and found him. By the time of the parade the next day, Martinez was so exhausted that she was home sleeping and missed it altogether.

This cardboard cutout of Drew Brees inspired a St. Charles Avenue campout for Melissa Martinez and Kara Morgan during Mardi Gras 2009. (Submitted photo)

The entire point of that night for Martinez had simply been the experience and the camaraderie, Morgan now recalls, trying to understand how the beloved 17-year-old Irish Channel resident ended up among eight young people killed in a tragic 9th Ward warehouse fire two days after Christmas and labeled an outsider by the city she loved.

“I really just think she was there because she loved the outdoors, loved roughing it, and I really think that would explain a lot of why she would be in the building that night,” Morgan said. “To her, that would be something fun to do.” Continue reading »

Dec 272010

Security-camera image of a man who allegedly burglarized the Agora Galleries on Magazine Street. (via NOPD)

An armed robbery and a shooting were reported about a block apart in the Irish Channel on subsequent days last week, but investigators say the two gun crimes were almost certainly committed by different people.

In a separate case, police are also searching for an unusually deliberate Christmastime burglar. Continue reading »

Dec 092010

Kara Morgan, President of the Irish Channel, smiles while wearing a Saints-emblazoned Saints hat at the Irish Channel Neighborhood Association Christmas party at Tracey's Thursday evening. "We decided to have it at Tracey's to bring a more diverse crowd and because you can bring kids here," said Morgan. "We hope to pick up new members that haven't heard of the Neighborhood Association." The Irish Channel Neighborhood Association collected toys at the Christmas Party for Christmas in the Sixth, a toy drive by the NOPD Sixth District. (Sabree Hill, UptownMessenger.com)

Continue reading »

Dec 022010

Uptown community leaders expressed guarded enthusiasm for the city’s nascent campaign against blight after a third public progress meeting Thursday morning, even though the effort’s effect on specific neighborhoods has yet to be described in detail. Continue reading »

Nov 122010

The Irish Channel Neighborhood Association is continuing its efforts to clean up properties owned by a troubled nonprofit by taking members’ concerns about crime and neglect to the mayor’s office. Continue reading »

Nov 012010

People and landmarks from the Irish Channel and Garden District are featured in a 15-minute episode of the One Square Mile web video series:

One Square Mile – New Orleans, Louisiana from Carl & Betsy Crum on Vimeo.

(Via bestofneworleans.com)

Oct 272010

NOPD Sixth District officers and Irish Channel residents took to the streets Wednesday night to make a statement about stopping crime.  Officers handed out Crimestopper literature and met with residents in front of their homes during the march.

Sgt. Yolanda Jenkins holds Crimestopper flyers and walks down Annunciation St. with James Logan, and Clinton Bowen during the NOPD Sixth District's crime-prevention march Wednesday evening. Jenkins said it was a chance for the community to see police out doing something positive for everyone. Sabree Hill/ Uptown Messenger

Continue reading »

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Oct 262010

Police and residents walk together during September's anti-crime march in the Fontainebleau neighborhood.

The New Orleans Police Department’s effort to reconnect with individual communities will bring it to two different Uptown neighborhoods Wednesday night, with anti-crime marches planned for both the university area and the Irish Channel. Continue reading »