New commander to take over NOPD’s Second District

The New Orleans Police Department announced a change of command in the Second District, which oversees police services for Audubon, Carrollton, Hollygrove and other Uptown areas. Capt. Jeff Walls, the Second District commander since 2019, assumed command of the Eighth District on Friday. He replaced Capt. Anthony Caprera, who retired Friday after a 37-year career with NOPD. It’s Walls’ second leadership assignment to the Eighth District, which comprises the French Quarter, CBD, Marigny and Warehouse District. On Monday (June 21), Lt. Eric Gillard, the second in command in the Second District for the past four years, will be promoted to the rank of captain and assume command of the Second District.

Police seeking suspect in series of bicycle thefts

The New Orleans Police Department is seeking the man pictured above for a string of burglaries and thefts in Uptown neighborhoods. The suspect is believed to frequently target sheds and steal bicycles. He is suspected in recent incidents in the 1200 block of Octavia street, the 4800 block of Perrier Street, the 1500 block of Jefferson Avenue and the 1600 block of Valence Street. Call Second District detectives at 504-658-6020 or Crimestoppers of Greater New Orleans at 504-822-1111 with any information on this suspect.

Oretha Castle Haley sees new growth with La Vie En Rose Cafe

La Vie En Rose Café, a colorful coffee and pastry shop, has moved into a space at 1618 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd. and will officially open the doors of their new location on June 22. The building is also home to art studio Big Sexy Neon, and formerly housed the Zeitgeist Multi-Disciplinary Arts Center, before their move to St Claude Ave. in Arabi. The café’s space, located in the front of the building, was the previous location of Church Alley Coffee and Orleans Coffee House.

Viewpoint: Second Amendment supporters pleased with 2021 legislative session

It was a productive legislative session for advocates of the Second Amendment, according to attorney Dan Zelenka, president of the Louisiana Shooting Association. “Overall, the 2021 session was quite good,” Zelenka said. “Four of the five bills our statewide organization supported — HB 48, HB 124, HB 597 and SB 118 — are now sitting on Gov. John Bel Edwards’ desk awaiting his signature.”

Although three of the four pieces of legislation sailed through both chambers without significant opposition, Gov. Edwards could decide to veto SB 118, known as the concealed-carry bill. Introduced by state Sen. Jay Morris, R-West Monroe, and passed by a veto-proof majority, the law would allow Louisiana residents who are otherwise qualified to carry a concealed firearm to now do so without first obtaining a concealed weapons permit. Louisiana has always been a state with powerful pro-gun legislative leaders and zealous gun enthusiasts.

Police blotter: Shootings in Hollygrove and Hoffman Triangle, stabbing in Central City

The New Orleans Police Department reported two shootings and a stabbing in Uptown neighborhoods on Monday and Tuesday. On Monday (June 14), a 19-year-old male was walking in the 8200 block of Palm Street at about 9 p.m. when two gunmen approached him from behind and began firing. The victim was struck once and transported to an emergency room. The other shooting occurred Tuesday about 1:30 a.m. The victim, a 37-year-old man, was in the 3000 block of Second Street, near South Claiborne Avenue, when a sport utility vehicle pulled up. A man got out and began firing, striking the victim.

Our Lady of Lourdes church on Napoleon is on the market again

The pews are gone. The baptismal font and religious statues have been removed, and the church bell is no longer in the belfry. Even the stained glass windows are in storage elsewhere. For now, Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church at 2400 Napoleon Ave. awaits the next chapter in its nearly 100-year history.

Police blotter: Four robberies, burglary, attempted carjacking, stabbing

Five robberies, an attempted carjacking and a stabbing were reported to the New Orleans Police Department over the weekend.Around 11:30 a.m. on Thursday (June 10), a man and a 54-year-old woman were in an argument in the 8600 block of Oleander Street when the man hit the woman in the face repeatedly. He then grabbed her phone out of her pocket and ran away. On Saturday (June 12) a 28-year-old man was working in the 4000 block of South Robertson Street. He went back to his car around 5 p.m. and was approached by two other men. One of them pulled a gun and demanded he hand over his car keys and other property, so he did so.

Centenarian has seen 100 years of Uptown life

Sedonia M. Duffel, an Uptown native and long-time resident, will turn 100 on Tuesday (June 15). She has lived Uptown for most of her life, beginning in a shotgun double on Louisiana Avenue and eventually in her current home on Austerlitz Street that she and her late husband, Whelmon Duffel, purchased more than 50 years ago. The centenarian is the mother of eight, grandmother of 13 and great-grandmother of 17. Her grandchildren hosted a celebration in her honor on Sunday with limited family, friends and neighbors. One of 14 children, Duffel overcame a serious case of dropsy (edema) as a child but was still able to help raise at least seven of her siblings.

Police blotter: Carjacking, shooting, stabbing, armed robbery

A carjacking, stabbing, shooting and armed robbery were reported in Uptown neighborhoods during the past week. The carjacking occurred Thursday (June 10) in the 4400 block of Washington Avenue. The victim, a 28-year-old man, had started his vehicle at about 11:30 p.m. and decided to run back into his residence. As he was getting out of the car, a man walked up and pushed him to the ground, according to a report from the New Orleans Police Department. The assailant grabbed the victim’s keys and drove off in his white 2014 Hyundai Elantra with Louisiana license plate 338 ENK.