Redistricting the seven-member Orleans Parish School Board could produce more dramatic changes than the recent reshuffling of the New Orleans City Council, even though the same population shifts are being accounted for, officials said Monday. The same broad themes are at play. The districts in the East, where population loss has been most severe, will grow geographically larger toward the west, into the Gentilly, Midcity and Lakeview area. Meanwhile, the Westbank-based district where population has held the strongest will likely give up its Eastbank territory. The effect of those changes is still unclear for Uptown, which is represented by Seth Bloom in District 5 (covering Central City, the Garden District, and the central area of Uptown) and Woody Koppel in District 6 (covering Audubon and Carrollton).
Three more armed robberies have been reported in Uptown New Orleans this week, including one in which a man was shot while trying to run away from his assailants, police said. Around 8:30 p.m. Monday, a woman walking home on Chestnut near Washington in the Garden District was approached from behind by two men, one holding a gun while the other snatched her purse away, said Sgt. Sandra Contreras of the NOPD Sixth District persons-crimes unit. About two hours later, a man who walked out to his car in the 1000 block of Thalia in the Lower Garden District was confronted by two men, Contreras said. Again, one held the gun while the other demanded the victim’s property, but the victim refused and tried to run away, Contreras said.
Leaders of three neighborhoods representing thousands of Uptown New Orleans homes worry that upcoming changes intended to reduce corruption in police overtime work will weaken the protection they receive from off-duty officers, and are requesting a meeting with NOPD Superintendent Ronal Serpas to discuss the reforms.
Many Uptown neighborhoods, either through volunteer collections or through special self-imposed taxing districts, hire either off-duty NOPD officers or private security companies to conduct additional patrols in their neighborhood. These officers are intended to deter criminals through increased presence, always be close enough to respond to calls quickly and also perform more direct security functions, such as watching to ensure residents make it from their cars to the front doors safely at night. The entire system of paid police details has come under close scrutiny of late. In announcing the results of their investigation into the NOPD, federal investigators famously decried the detail system as an “aorta of corruption” through the department, and ranking officers have recently been suspended for forming private companies to contact with the department for various tasks. In response, Chief Serpas has proposed significant reforms to the system, placing it all under the oversight of an independent office and removing individual officers’ autonomy to run the details.
Attend a Christmas bash, catch up on shopping at the market, or belt out Handel’s Messiah — there’s no shortage of options to get into the holiday spirit this weekend. See below for a snapshot of what’s going on Uptown. Friday
Friday Night Fights, 7-10pm, Freret Street Boxing Gym, Freret and Napoleon. Monthly outdoor boxing match. $15.
Two restaurants on Magazine Street were granted permission to sell alcohol and a church was cleared to build on an empty lot in Milan last week by an enthusiastic city council. Both Gott Gourmet Cafe, in the Garden District, and the Courtyard Grill, near Napoleon Avenue, must agree to follow a list of conditions in order to add liquor to their menus, said Councilwoman Stacy Head as she led the approval process before the city council. Signs for alcoholic beverages, video poker and go cups will all be prohibited, the restaurants’ owners must sign good-neighbor agreements with their surrounding neighborhoods, and they must close at 10 p.m. on weekdays and 11 p.m. on the weekend. The changes only drew one opponent to the city council meeting, John Pecarrere, who lives in the neighborhood just behind the Courtyard Grill and argued that too much alcohol is being served near the Magazine-Napoleon intersection, where there are also churches, a playground and a school. “Bars change.
A burglary similar to last week’s home invasion in Fontainbleau – in which armed men shut off a house’s electricity in order to lure the elderly occupant outside for a robbery – was also reported in the Garden District a few days earlier, police officials said Wednesday. Several hours after going to bed at his home in the 3200 block of Chestnut Street, a man woke up about 12:30 a.m. Nov. 8 to use the bathroom and realized his electricity was off, said Sgt. Sabrina Richardson of the NOPD Sixth District property-crimes division. His neighbors’ homes still appeared to have power, so he went outside to check the breaker box, and found that the wires to it had been destroyed, Richardson.
Two teens have been arrested in an armed robbery outside an Uptown charter high school that served as a prelude to a violent Halloween weekend around the city, police said Thursday. In separate incidents, a man was shot in the Garden District, a woman was robbed of her luxury car in the Milan area, police found a major stash of drug money in Freret, and thefts deemed “crimes of opportunity” saw a surge around Uptown, ranking NOPD officers reported at their weekly meetings Thursday morning. Sci High robbery | The robbery was reported at 4:40 p.m. Friday in the 5600 block of Loyola Avenue, just outside the New Orleans Charter Math and Science High School, police said. Two 17-year-old students, the victim and 17-year-old Ciontray Campbell, were standing on a corner when a third person walked up, said Sgt. Shaun Ferguson of the Second District persons-crimes division.
A 26-year-old man has been arrested for shooting a 42-year-old in the hand in the Garden District early Monday morning, police said. Quinnan Adams has been charged with aggravated battery in the shooting, which took place in the 3200 block of Prytania about 5 a.m., according to the New Orleans Police Department. Adams has been arrested before, said Officer Janssen Valencia of the NOPD public information division, but Valencia said any information about the circumstances of the shooting remain a part of the investigation. Adams was booked into the Orleans Parish jail shortly before 10 a.m., according to records there, and no bond has been set.