Improvements around Magnolia Marketplace slated for financing through 1-percent sales tax there

Improvements to utilities around the new Magnolia Marketplace on South Claiborne will be paid for by an additional 1-percent sales tax on purchases there that should last around 15 years, based on legislation being forwarded to the New Orleans City Council for approval Thursday. Magnolia Marketplace is a 97,829 square-foot development that Stirling Properties hopes to open in March of 2015. The shopping center would sit on the 6.5-acre site near the intersection of South Claiborne Avenue and Toledano Street. The $24 million development — which already has signed leases from seven retailers — would bring a projected $30 million in sales during its first year, according to Aimee Quirk, adviser to the mayor for economic development. That would translate to hundreds of thousands of dollars in sales tax for the city, Quirk told the City Council Economic Development Committee.

Two men robbed at gunpoint on Magazine

Two men were robbed at gunpoint on Magazine Street late Wednesday night, according to an initial police report. The men, ages 26 and 27, were walking on the 3100 block of Magazine Street just after 1 a.m. when they were approached by a man with a gun, the report states. The suspect then fled with a wallet from one and an iPhone from the other. No further details were immediately available.

Amid latest Uptown robberies, police urge university students to use caution

As universities begin class again and campuses come to life, the Second District police commander is urging students to exercise caution in light recent robberies of two armed robberes on Wednesday on State and General Pershing Streets, and two carjackings this weekend on Spruce and Jeanette. Early Wednesday morning, around 1 a.m., a woman was walking on State Street near Freret when she was knocked down by a man in a ski mask, according to initial police reports. He implied he had a gun under his shirt, then stole her wallet and cell phone before fleeing the scene, the reports state. Another armed robbery was reported around 9:40 p.m. Wednesday in the 1800 block of General Pershing Street, according to police reports. A 50-year-old woman was approached by two men who pointed a gun at her face, stole her purse and iPhone and then fled, the report states.

Isidore Newman School looks to double preschool enrollment with new building

Isidore Newman School hosted parents and community members Tuesday night as the school moves forward with plans to more than double its early childhood facility. Head of School Dale Smith and architect Mac Ball presented the 950-student school’s plans to expand enrollment offerings to its youngest attendees. “I think it’s safe to say he’s a preservationist at heart,” Smith said of Ball — one of the reasons he was selected for the job. Since a meeting last November to discuss expansion plans, Smith said the school hired an architect and met with many neighborhood group leaders as well. About 15 people gathered in an auditorium to view site plans and renderings from Waggonner and Ball Architects.

Former Tulane linebacker Trent Mackey found not guilty in armed robbery

One year to the day that former Tulane linebacker Trent Mackey was involved in a drug deal turned armed robbery, the 23-year-old was found not guilty on the two armed robbery charges brought against him. On trial for criminal conspiracy to armed robbery and armed robbery with a firearm, the 12-person jury unanimously ruled he was not guilty on both counts. There was no question as to whether Mackey was at the scene of the armed robbery. He had planned to meet Megan Wales, a fellow Tulane student, at her apartment on 600 Broadway Street that day to buy marijuana from her. The question was whether he helped orchestrate the event, which became much more than a simple drug deal when two men burst into the apartment and one pinned Wales on her apartment floor with a gun to her head.

Witness said he lied to police in former Tulane player Trent Mackey’s trial

A defense witness called in the trial of former Tulane football player Trent Mackey said he pointed the finger at Mackey after police told him Mackey had already thrown him under the bus. Mackey, 23, has been charged with armed robbery with a firearm and criminal conspiracy to armed robbery. The charges stem from a July 12, 2012, robbery that the defense says was poorly investigated and pegged on Mackey, while prosecutors have argued that Mackey orchestrated. The state called Robert Murray to testify Thursday morning. He has already been convicted in the case, but when Murray’s intent to invoke the Fifth Amendment was revealed, the trial stalled as the state sought a higher court opinion.

Former Tulane linebacker’s armed-robbery trial centers on victim’s account of drug deal that day

One year ago, Megan Wales was still a 20-year-old Tulane student and a friend and co-worker of Tulane football standout Trent Mackey when a drug deal between them was interrupted by two intruders who burst into her apartment, pinned her to the kitchen floor with a gun to her head and dramatically altered the course of all their lives. Police have since charged Mackey in the robbery as well, and prosecutors this week are describing him as a co-conspirator to the gunmen, an accomplice in touch with them minutes before who conveniently left Wales’ apartment door open allowing the men to rush in. Mackey’s defense lawyers, however, say the Tulane football star is the victim of an inadequate investigation focused solely on bagging a high-profile conviction, and that Wales was just as complicit in the events of the day and web of lies afterward as Mackey was. Assistant District Attorney Lindsay Truhe kicked off the testimony Wednesday by calling Wales to the stand. She was a cocktail waitress, the soon to be 22-year-old recounted; Mackey was a bouncer, the one who would escort her to her car after closing the bar they both worked at.

Harry Shearer of The Simpsons, “This is Spinal Tap” and “The Big Uneasy” speaks at Loyola

Known for his role as the legendary bassist in “This is Spinal Tap,” the voice of more than 20 characters on “The Simpsons,” and the flooding documentary “The Big Uneasy,” Harry Shearer will speak at Loyola today (Monday, April 8). For more information see the following press release:

Harry Shearer, the legendary bassist in the 1984 rock and roll mockumentary “This is Spinal Tap” and the voice of more than 20 characters on the hit animated sitcom “The Simpsons,” will discuss the evolution of his career at a forum at Loyola University New Orleans Monday, April 8 at 5 p.m.

The event is free, open to the public and will take place in Nunemaker Auditorium in Monroe Hall. For those unable to attend in person, the forum will be available via live streaming on Loyola’s website. Shearer made his first on-screen appearances in “Abbott and Costello Go to Mars” and “The Robe” in 1953 at age 7. In a career spanning more than 60 years since then, he has worked as a writer, producer, director, actor, radio host, author and voice-over talent.

Bouligny Improvement Association cleans up Lawrence Square Saturday

The Bouligny Improvement Association is asking for volunteers to help spruce up Lawrence Square on Saturday morning (April 6), working alongside neighbors to help clean up the park. The cleanup will be from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday (April 6). “The city is providing paint and mulch and we’re looking forward to a fun morning in the Square. We need wheelbarrows to move mulch and gas-operated leaf blowers,” writes organizer Stephanie Easley of the Bouligny Improvement Association. “We hope the spruce up is just a start on improving Laurence Square.

Preservation Resource Center’s ‘Shotgun House and Art Tour’ explores upper Magazine corridor

The Preservation Resource Center has organized a self-guided ‘Shotgun House and Art Tour’ of seven homes along either side of Magazine Street near Audubon Park onSaturday (April 6). The tours will begin at 10 a.m. from headquarters at Whole Foods Market on Magazine Street. For more information see the following announcement or visit the event webpage:

Shotgun House And Art Tour


Saturday, April 6
10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Whole Foods Market
5600 Magazine St. (Uptown)

Enjoy a delightful self-guided walkable tour of shotgun homes Uptown. EVENT OVERVIEW

Enjoy a delightful self-guided tour of shotgun homes Uptown, featuring the personal art collections of artists, collectors, and gallery owners.