Tropical Storm Sally is expected to make landfall late Monday or early Tuesday as a Category 1 hurricane and make its presence known throughout the metro area through Wednesday. Sally was moving slowly west-northwest across the Gulf of Mexico on Monday morning, the National Hurricane Center reported. At 7 a.m. it was about 115 miles from the mouth of the Mississippi River with maximum sustained winds at 65 mph. Due to a shift in the forecast cone to the east, rainfall is now forecast to total between 4 to 6 inches in New Orleans, with locally higher amounts possible. Parking on neutral grounds and sidewalks is allowed until further notice.
Tropical Storm Sally is expected to bring hurricane conditions to southern Louisiana. Overnight and morning updates from the National Hurricane Center show its intensity has increased. The storm is now forecast to make landfall as a Category 2 hurricane, with impacts likely to begin Monday and last into Wednesday. City officials are urging residents to finish their preparations today. A hurricane warning and a storm surge warning are in effect for New Orleans.
Protests and demonstrations calling for social justice have continued across the country for months now, including here in New Orleans. Every night, groups in neighborhoods throughout the city come together at 6 p.m. on-the-dot to silently kneel, sit or stand for nine minutes to demand justice for George Floyd, who was murdered by police officers in late May, and to show solidarity for the Black Lives Matter movement. “The Kneeling for 9 Minutes movement is bringing together neighbors from all walks of life and various backgrounds who all want to see our country make more progress toward ending systemic racism and creating a more just and equitable society,” said resident Angie Breidenstine, an organizer of one of the Uptown nightly vigils. “Meeting every night is a way to keep the issues visible and central–for ourselves and for our community.”
Purposely gathering on neutral grounds during high-traffic hours at main intersections—such as Oak Street at Carrollton Avenue, Magazine Street at Napoleon Avenue, and Bonnabel Boulevard at Metairie Road — the demonstration is blatantly visible to the hundreds of cars that pass each evening. While some respond with snickers and shouts of opposition from rolled-down windows, most responses come in forms of car honks and chants of support.
The New Orleans Police Department in coordination with the FBI disposed of a live explosive device found in a Broadmoor area home on Sept. 1. At around 3:40 p.m., Second District officers responded to a home in the 4100 block of Walmsley Avenue after a hand grenade was discovered in a garage by family members cleaning out the home of a deceased relative. At that time, homes near the location were evacuated and a safety perimeter was set up as the NOPD and FBI bomb squads responded. Upon further investigation, the device was determined to be a military-grade explosive.
Long before the honorific “criminal justice reformer” came in vogue, Arthur L. Hunter Jr. was earning a national reputation for identifying alternative solutions to incarceration aimed at decreasing recidivism. After four years as a New Orleans police officer, 12 years as a lawyer in private practice, and 23 years as the Section K Criminal District Court judge, Hunter decided the only way he could bring greater systemic change was to run for district attorney. “I am the clear choice for New Orleans voters who want a fair criminal justice system that truly addresses the needs of victims and defendants while creating programs that reduce crime,” Hunter said. A former St. Augustine High School football star, Hunter said he is running as “a candidate of the people, not a candidate of the bosses.”
Hunter, 61, said he earned the trust of the community during his stint as a police officer.
A Central City tenant who was given an eviction notice Monday was arrested Tuesday in Texas on suspicion of aggravated arson in the fire that engulfed a Washington Avenue apartment building, Ramon Antonio Vargas reported on NOLA.com. Jazlynn Major, 25, was booked on a warrant accusing her of 26 counts of arson following the three-alarm blaze Monday night at the Amies Paradise apartments that killed a dog and displaced 26 residents.
The city is offering free walkup COVID-19 this week at two Central City churches. Testing at the New Zion New Zion Baptist Church, 2319 Third St., will be held today (Sept. 1), Wednesday and Thursday from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. or until tests run out. An hour after Monday’s site opened, city officials sent out a message that there was no line for the tests. The non-invasive nasal swabs are offered at this site by LCMC, LSU, New Orleans Health Department.
Flames engulfed an apartment building on Washington and Carondelet streets on Monday night. Firefighters were called to the three-alarm fire about 8:30 p.m. It was under control at about 11 p.m.
All 26 residents in the two-story building were safely evacuated, the Fire Department reported. A dog belonging to one of the residents died in the fire, however. About 300 people in the area were without power Monday night because of the blaze.
The New Orleans City Council is partnering with the Mayor’s Office to offer free sandbags to residents across the city to help them prepare for Tropical Storm Laura. There will be four distribution sites today (Tuesday, Aug. 25) until noon, including one in Central City. No documentation is required, and sandbags are limited to four per person. Bags will be distributed in Central City from 8 a.m. until noon at the Dryades YMCA, 2220 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd.
The Metropolitan Crime Commission (MCC), New Orleans’ premier criminal justice watchdog agency, is urging the New Orleans Police Department to refocus on violent offenders during a time when shootings and murders are surging and fewer arrests are being made for violent and weapons felony offenses. A new MCC analysis shows that there is currently a high community demand for police services. They recommend that the NOPD reinstitute a centralized task force model that allows police to strategically identify and target violent felons who continue to pose a threat to community safety. “Every violent crime that goes unresolved by arrest fuels the vigilante cycle of retaliatory justice, thereby diminishing public confidence in law enforcement,” said Rafael Goyeneche, MCC president. “The foundation for prosperity is built upon public safety.