The importance of cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting surfaces has become the new national pastime. In the past month, we’ve all viewed tutorials and become experts on how to properly wash our hands for 20 seconds or more, but what about our groceries, shoes and mail-order packages? You’re likely wiping down some surfaces with disinfectant, but are you wiping down all the right surfaces? If keeping your home safe from COVID-19 is the priority, what comes after 6 feet of social distancing and a liberally applied hand sanitizer? Some say it entails a lot more.
Public safety, crime reduction to be explored at Coffee on Your Corner
Public safety officials will take your questions on Thursday (Feb. 23) at the next Coffee on Your Corner with the District B Neighborhood Engagement Office. Representatives with the Violent Crime Task Force and with NOLA311 will meet with citizens. Mayor LaToya Cantrell formed the Violent Crime Reduction Task Force, under the command of Orleans Parish Communication District Executive Director Tyrell Morris, in January to strategize methods of crime prevention. Morris will present updates at the meeting, according to Kevin J. Kellup, the neighborhood liaison for District B. Kellup said 15 to 20 District B community leaders will also participate.
Man dies inside burning Central City apartment building
A man died Friday (Feb. 17) inside a burning Central City apartment building, the New Orleans Fire Department reported. Firefighters were called to a fire in the 2000 block of Simon Bolivar Boulevard at about 12:30 p.m. They found an occupied seven-unit two-story apartment building, in the rear of shotgun style apartments, heavily engulfed in flames. The fire had already extended to the second floor and through the roof. While putting out the fire, the firefighters found a man’s body in a bedroom.
Viewpoint: Amid the revelry, be aware that this can happen
By Stephanie Knapp, guest columnist
On a Monday night in November, the Pelicans were playing the Warriors at the Smoothie King center. It was chilly outside, with an early sunset thanks to daylight savings time. My fav neighborhood bar — with its craft beer, reliable big screens, and low-key, cozy vibe — was the perfect place to tune in. I’d watched games there often enough, usually accompanied by my writing or a novel for multitasking during timeouts. But that evening, I ended up leaving early.
Viewpoint: Could Tyre Nichols’ killing have happened in New Orleans?
My heart went out to RowVaugh Wells as she watched the evidence unfold last week against the seven rogue Memphis police officers and three first-responders who are alleged to be responsible for the untimely death of her son Tyre Nichols. A 29-year-old Black man, Nichols died on Jan. 10, three days after a fatal encounter with the MPD’s Scorpion police unit. Nichols made the mistake of trying to run away from the officers during a traffic stop. Running from the police is never a wise move and usually leads to an ugly chase.
Troubles with the city’s trash collection keep rumbling along
As garbage pickup begins to stabilize in the Uptown and Mid-City neighborhoods, city officials are looking at why the basic city service collapsed in recent months. As bins spilled over with garbage and languished on the curb, the city’s 311 system recorded 3,638 sanitation complaints within the first 19 days of January alone. District A Councilman Joe Giarrusso said in a recent newsletter that his office received close to 400 complaints in the past few weeks over missed trash and recycling pickups. Most of those complaints were in the areas served by Richard’s Disposal. Owner Alvin Richard, a four-decade veteran of the local disposal business, appeared before a recent the City Council’s Community Development Committee to answer questions about the missed pickups, a problem that came to a head over the holidays.
Roadwork ahead: Ramps at Earhart and Magnolia to close for a week
From the Sewerage & Water Board
Beginning on Monday (Jan. 23) at 5 a.m., Sewerage & Water Board crews will temporarily close the entrance and exit to high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lane at Earhart Boulevard and Magnolia Street. The HOV lane is expected to reopen on Friday, Jan. 27, at around 6 p.m.
This closure is required to facilitate repairs to a 36-inch water main. The HOV entrance and exit lane at Convention Center Boulevard will remain open during this time.
Viewpoint: Who will take the lead in addressing the city’s crime epidemic?
Watching yesterday’s special City Council meeting on crime was very painful. It put a spotlight on the fear, frustration and anger of thousands of New Orleanians who recognize that the city has probably never been so unsafe. Voters also realize that New Orleans political, business, civic and grassroots leaders are not working together as a team. No one person appears to be in charge. While many government leaders are making worthwhile suggestions, the proposed solutions to a safer city are all over the place.
Roadwork ahead: Washington and Camp to close for underground repairs
The intersection of Washington Avenue and Camp Street will be closed to vehicular traffic beginning Thursday (Jan. 19) to accommodate underground utility work. The intersection will reopen to vehicular traffic by 5 p.m. on Friday (Jan. 20). Signage and traffic control measures, such as barrels and fencing, will be onsite to direct drivers and pedestrians.
Man dies inside burning ‘man cave’ shed
A man died Sunday evening (Jan. 15) while trapped inside a burning shed behind a Leonidas house, the New Orleans Fire Department reported.
A resident of the home told the NOFD that he and his friend used the shed as a “man cave” and had been watching a game inside. The resident had gone in the home, smelled smoke and called 911.
At about 7:45 p.m., the Fire Department received the call of a fire in a one-story wood-frame house at 9042 Cohn St. When they arrived, they found a wooden shed aflame. The fire had spread to the house, and responders were receiving reports of a person trapped inside the home.
The searched the house and found no one inside.
NOLA.com: Richard’s Disposal blames missed pickups on worker shortage
Curbside trash has been piling up on Mid-City streets, along with complaints on City Hall’s 311 service, as Richard’s Disposal has fallen behind its Service Area 1 pickup schedule. Ben Myers reports on NOLA.com that Richard’s owner blames the lapse on a loss of workers to IV Waste and Waste Pro, which took over Metro’s Service Area 2 in November. Both the Richard’s and the Metro Disposal owners have said the city failed to meet its requirement to pay for excessive waste volumes during the Covid-19 shutdown in 2020 and after Hurricane Ida in 2021. The Cantrell administration told Myers it is preparing to take action over missed pickups but did not specify what that action will be.