RTA outlines three phases of streetcar interruptions amid Uptown drainage work

Streetcar service through the Uptown area will be interrupted in three phases over the summer in order to accommodate the SELA drainage project, RTA officials told Carrollton residents on Monday night. The first phase of interruptions will run from May 31 to July 11. The streetcars will operate between Canal Street and Erato Street, but from Erato Street to Webster Street there will be buses. From Webster Street to Carrolton and Claiborne, the streetcar will continue to run, said Gerard Guter, director of transportation at of the New Orleans RTA. “Through the three months of this project, we will keep the streetcar running from Webster to Claiborne,” Guter said.

International School looks to UNO for lower-grade class space

The International School of Louisiana is discussion a possible partnership with the University of New Orleans to host some of the school’s elementary-grade classes. Principal Melanie Tennyson said that she met with the assistant vice president of International Studies at the university last week to discuss the potential partnership in hopes of the university holding classes for some of the school’s lower grades in the future. “She got very excited about the idea of partnering with ISL,” Tennyson said. Tennyson said that plans are in the early stages, but will continue to move forward. “We’re going to see that through and see where that goes in terms of the future,” Tennyson said.

O’Henry’s agrees to $500 fine from city after under-age alcohol sale charge

O’Henry’s Food and Sprits on South Carrollton agreed to pay the city a $500 fine Tuesday after allegedly selling beer to a teenager last month, and Avery’s Place on Willow Street was warned by the city alcohol board to be on its best behavior while awaiting a hearing on noise complaints. Agents at the state Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control have said that a server at the restaurant’s bar sold a beer to a 17-year-old girl after looking at her identification last month. The restaurant was cited by the state, but officials were unavailable to comment on the status of those charges on Tuesday afternoon. Meanwhile, the city attorney’s office had also filed charges with the New Orleans Alcohol Beverage Control board following last month’s sting by state agents. In Tuesday afternoon’s meeting of that board, assistant city attorney Dan McNamara said the city and the restaurant have reached an agreement for a $500 fine in the matter.

Councilwoman Guidry: Accessibility on St. Charles Avenue streetcars “is going to happen'”

When City Councilwoman Susan Guidry visited comedian and activist Jonah Bascle in the hospital last month shortly before his death at age 28, she vowed to carry his fight forward to make public transportation in New Orleans accessible to the disabled — specifically, the St. Charles Avenue streetcar line. Last week, with Bascle’s friends and supporters gathered in the City Council chambers, Guidry reiterated that she intends to make good on that promise sooner rather than later. Bascle, who died last month following complications relating to muscular dystrophy, was recognized and honored by Guidry and other council members at the beginning of the Jan. 8 City Council meeting.

Investigation continues into robberies, break-in at Carrollton businesses

Last week’s brazen armed robbery at a business on South Carrollton Avenue does not appear to be linked to a similar incident earlier this summer in the same strip mall, but police are urging businesses to take whatever precautions they can to keep their employees safe. The most recent robbery was Monday (Aug. 4) at the USAgencies offices (click to see video) in the 3500 block of South Carrollton, when a man armed with a gun darted into the store and demanded the employee inside to open a safe. After the suspect took cash and money orders from the safe, he forced the woman into the bathroom and fled. 

Surveillance video of the incident was released earlier this week in hopes of helping police find the suspect involved, police said. “It’s still a work in progress, but we believe we are on the right track,” NOPD Second District Lt. Doug Eckert said. A Subway located in the same strip mall was robbed in May (click for video) in a similar fashion to Monday’s incident, but investigators do not believe the two are linked, Eckert said.

Investigation continues into armed robbery of Dryades Street house party, police say

After arresting one man in an armed robbery of a Dryades Street house party earlier this week, New Orleans police are still actively investigating the second suspect in the case, they said this week. The robbery took place in the 4800 block of Dryades Street on July 28 at around 11 p.m., Sgt. Jennifer Dupree said at this week’s meeting of ranking Second District officers. Two men armed with guns “bum rushed” a small party that was taking place at the residence, demanding narcotics and cash and taking wallets and cell phones from everyone that was in the house, Dupree said. Rico Thompson, 27, was arrested the night of the incident after police tracked one of the stolen cell phones, Dupree said.

Break-ins at two Central City businesses under investigation, police say

New Orleans police are still investigating two separate business burglaries in Central City, a bike theft and a pair of vehicle break-ins off Tchoupitoulas, they said this week. In the first business burglary, the Dollar General in the 2800 block of S. Claiborne Avenue was burglarized around 5 a.m. July 13, said NOPD Sgt. Dean Herrick at the Sixth District’s weekly meeting of ranking officers. The manager of the Dollar General came to check the location after the burglar alarm went off to find the back door forced open and the store ransacked, with boxes of merchandise open and scattered on the floor, Herrick said. A pry bar apparently used to open the back door was left on the scene, and investigators are testing it for DNA, Herrick said.

Police seeking suspects targeting gas stations

The Shell gas station located on South Carrolton Avenue was the scene of three shoplifting incidents earlier this month, according to New Orleans police. Beer was stolen from the Shell gas station in the 3100 block of South Carrollton three times in two days July 6 and 7, NOPD Lt. Doug Eckert said at last week’s meeting of the Second District ranking officers. Beer was also stolen from the Exxon gas station located in the 3700 block of South Carrollton on July 7, Eckert said. “For two of the cases, it is the same guy,” NOPD Sgt. Warren Keller said.

Two Carrollton-area armed robberies could be the work of same suspect, NOPD says

New Orleans Police Department Second District officers are seeking suspects in two armed robbery crimes that occurred same day, they said during a weekly district meeting Wednesday. Two black males robbed a man sitting on his porch at around 4:20 a.m. on Monday, July 14, Lt. Doug Eckert said at the meeting. The two suspects pulled up to the victim’s house, located in the 3600 block of Eagle Street, in a white car and approached him while carrying a handgun, according to Eckert. One of the suspects hit the victim the gun, while the other hit him in the stomach, Eckert said. The two suspects dragged the victim into the house and searched for money, he said, taking $80 in a drawer near the television in the living room before escaping in the car.

Burglary suspect broke into store through the roof, police say

New Orleans police are looking for a man who allegedly broke into a South Claiborne Avenue convenience store through the roof to steal cigarette cartons and change, authorities said. Tory Thomas, 43, allegedly stole 19 cartons of cigarettes and $150 in coins from the K&T Community Store in the 3700 block of South Claiborne on June 12, NOPD Sgt. Warren Keller said at the weekly meeting of Second District ranking officers. Thomas was later identified through surveillance video, as well as through property he left behind, the release states. Thomas came in through the ceiling of the store and dropped a black pad with his personal information in it while doing so, Keller said.