A Message from Judge Robin Giarrusso

Friends & Supporters,

I will seek re-election this fall for Division G of New Orleans Civil District Court. I have served on the bench with distinction and have the requisite experience to continue serving all parties. Because of COVID and the economic downturn, I am requesting my campaign committee refrain from raising funds now. My campaign fund is substantial, and I do not want to burden attorneys who would normally be generous contributors to the campaign. It has been a pleasure serving the residents of New Orleans.

Yo Joe! Real Estate Advice for June 2020

Property Management and COVID-19: New Orleans Real Estate Expert Breaks It Down
Landlords and tenants across the nation are facing unprecedented circumstances as COVID-19 continues to pose some uncertainty across the rental housing market. As U.S. households feel the financial strain brought on by the pandemic, residential and commercial landlords are working hard to accommodate these challenges. For many, sudden financial losses and the difficulties of relocating safely have become an all too real and challenging prospect. For property managers, a shift in strategy is necessary to balance compassion for those with newfound financial issues, while also supporting their clients and delivering ROI on their investments. Through the first two weeks of June, we’ve seen 26 multi-family homes in Orleans Parish get to closing, projecting to 52 closings for the month.

18-year-old identified as victim in fatal Hollygrove shooting

The Coroner’s Office has identified the victim in a Hollygrove homicide on Monday (June 15) as Messiah Thompson, 18. Second District officers responded to reports of gunfire Monday at 4:36 p.m. in the 8300 block of Palm Street. They discovered Thompson suffering from a gunshot wound. The teenager died at the scene. Homicide Detective Leonard Bendy is leading the ongoing investigation and can be reached at 504-658-5300 with any additional information.

Viewpoint: Who will help build a more equitable New Orleans?

As America come to grips with the inequities that have held back our country and many of its citizens, individuals, educational institutions and businesses large and small are beginning to envision what they can do to help right historic wrongs and build a more vibrant economy. Visionary leaders like Michael Fitts, president of Tulane University, have stepped up with promises of scholarships and meaningful programs. Late last week, Fitts and his wife agreed to donate $100,000, a little less than 10% of his annual salary, to fund scholarships for students who show leadership in racial equity and diversity activities. Fitts also pledged that Tulane would take transparent, measurable steps to further anti-racist goals including a race equity education initiative, develop a new hiring and management strategy aimed at the recruitment and retention of minority faculty members and establish a Health Equity Institute. On the national level, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings and his wife Patty Quillin recently unveiled a $120 million gift to two historically black universities and their parent organization, which is headed by former Dillard University President Dr. Michael Lomax. St.

LAUNCH After High School

Figuring out what to do after high school is hard. Good news: there’s a new option for New Orleans public high school graduates. LAUNCH is a free bridge year program that connects young people with brighter futures. Students in LAUNCH:

College: earn transferable college credits
Career: train and build skills for a high paying career
Life: develop a strong and flexible five-year plan with the support of a dedicated coach

… And receive technology tools and transportation

… All for free! Now more than ever, recent high school graduates may be wondering “what’s next?” For many, the time isn’t right for traditional college or the workforce.

Council members to give away 16,000 masks citywide on Saturday

The Councilmembers representing the city’s five districts — Joe Giarrusso, Jay H. Banks, Jared C. Brossett, Kristin Gisleson Palmer, and Cyndi Nguyen — will host a free citywide mask giveaway at 10 a.m. this Saturday, June 13. Uptown locations include the Notre Dame Seminary, 2901 S. Carrolton Ave., and Kingsley House, 1600 Constance St. The event is set to provide 16,000 face coverings to the public, many of which are washable and reusable, to prevent further spread of COVID-19. This joint mask giveaway by the five District Councilmembers is their way of encouraging the wearing of masks or face coverings as the City of New Orleans continues its phased reopening. “As New Orleans works to reopen the doors for our local business, industries, and community organizations, many citizens still need face coverings or masks to reduce the likelihood of spreading COVID-19,” said District D Councilman Jared Brossett in a statement.

Viewpoint: Free COVID 19 and antibody tests offered at DePaul Community Health Centers

DePaul Community Health Centers, formerly known as Daughters of Charity Health Centers, are offering free COVID 19 and antibody tests at nine of their 10 locations in metro New Orleans.  DePaul is working in partnership with Louisiana Health Care Connections and Quest Diagnostics to test both symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals in under-served communities. Tests available include the COVID 19 PCR test, which will confirm an active virus, and the COVID 19 IgG serology test, which will identify a previous infection. Though free PCR tests are offered at several locations across the city, DePaul is currently the only provider of free antibody testing. Because I might have contracted the virus before Mardi Gras, I signed up for the serology blood test at the DePaul Uptown campus, 3201 S. Carrollton Ave.  I had previously tested negative for the virus. The health center’s attending physician, Dr. Frank Pascualin DePaula, provided clear and concise information about the antibody test and its benefits.

Police blotter: Shootings reported in Central City and Leonidas

Sixth District officers were called to a shooting at Magnolia and Sixth streets Wednesday night at 10:51 p.m. When they arrived, however, no victim was found at the scene. In the Leonidas neighborhood on Monday (June 1), a 25-year-old man was shot by three men in a white four-door Dodge Charger with a black bumper. The victim was walking near Green and Eagle streets with the men began shooting from the car. He was hit in the left foot. On Monday at about 7:15 a.m., two victims were shot during a burglary in the 1200 block of Freret Street in Central City.

‘We all mask for you’: Audubon Zoo reopens with restrictions in place

The Audubon Zoo reopened to the public on Wednesday, June 3. Zoo visits, however, are now a little different than in the past. All visitors will follow a one-way trail through almost all of the zoo to see many of their favorite animals and wildlife habitats. The interactive and indoor exhibits remain closed. Due to state and city reopening guidelines, all zoo admissions, including member admission, must be reserved online in advance for a specific date and entry time.

NOPD seeks suspect in theft of tools

The NOPD has obtained an arrest warrant for Stephen Hamilton, 50, in the investigation of a simple burglary that occurred on May 29 in the 1800 block of Washington Avenue. NOPD Sixth District officers responded to a call regarding a duplex under renovation that had tools stolen. During the course of the investigation, Sixth District detectives developed and positively identified Hamilton as a suspect. Prior to the officers’ arrival, Hamilton reportedly fled the scene. The supplied photo of Hamilton is believed to be an older photo, and he is currently believed to have a Mohawk-style haircut.