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Arthur Hardy: At least 2 krewes to 'salute' Tom Benson with floats; Endymion to roll out float with 30 LED panels, 3 video screens

Advocate photo by VERONICA DOMINACH --The Krewe of Endymion unveil the new lighting that will adorn their Mardi Gras floats in New Orleans, La. Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014. The decorative lights will add to the atmosphere and revelry along parade routes, as well as allow the crowd to see the beautiful artwork on the floats.

Mardi Gras expert Arthur Hardy answered your parade questions in a live chat Wednesday.

Here are some of the questions and answers.

Question: Have you heard if there'll be any Benson-related floats?
Hardy: I can't say which ones-- sworn to secrecy. But yes, at least two krewes will be "saluting" Mr. Benson.

Question: What will be Endymion's best float this year?
Hardy: So… Continue reading →

AARP and IRS work together to provide free tax-preparation services

Photo provided by Metro Source

The American Association of Retired Persons will once again provide free income tax preparation services for low- and moderate-income seniors 60 and older. AARP volunteers will begin preparing 2014 income tax returns beginning the first week of February, and the service will continue until April 15. Fred Dumas is the local coordinator. He said those wishing… Continue reading →

St. Thomas fills health care need in community

Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER -- Donald Costello examines a patient at the St. Thomas Eye Clinic housed at the Mahalia Jackson School in Central City.

In a changing health care environment, St. Thomas Community Health Center has emerged to provide comprehensive primary care for individuals with or without insurance by implementing sustainable practices. Whether school physicals, flu shots, routine care or illness, St. Thomas clinics provides care at Donald T. Erwin Center, 1936 Magazine St.; St. Thomas Community Health Center, 1020 St.… Continue reading →

Whirling Dervishes from Turkey to perform in New Orleans

Photo provided by the Atlas Foundation - The Whirling Dervishes of Rumi will perform at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 4 at Loyola University. Shown is a photo taken during an Atlas Foundation's recent cultural exchange trip toTurkey to promote inter-faith dialogue. The group visited this prayer service with the Whirling Dervishes in Bursa, Turkey.

The Whirling Dervishes of Rumi, famous for their Sufi spiritual practice of whirling, will perform at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Louis J. Roussel Hall at Loyola University, 6363 St. Charles Ave. Tickets are $20 each and can be purchased by calling (504) 865-3240 or at whirling These authentic Sufi dervishes from Konya, Turkey,… Continue reading →

Throw Me Somthin’: All hail Dr. Jim, king of Krewe du Vieux

Lynne Jensen

This year’s king of the irreverent Krewe du Vieux is Dr. Jim Aiken, one of the city’s favorite physicians and all-around great guy. The parade rolls at 6:30 p.m. Saturday through the Marigny and French Quarter.… Continue reading →

Around Jefferson: Jefferson group helps inspire Carnival parade bands to give their all

Photo provided by Alzheimers Association Louisiana ChapterÑBrian Berrigan is the new executive director of the AlzheimerÕs Association Louisiana Chapter in Metairie.

The second annual “Rhythm on the Route — Metairie’s Battle of the Bands” has been announced by the Jefferson Convention and Visitors Bureau. Violet Peters, chief executive officer and president of the JCVB, said the program is an effort to help Metairie Mardi Gras krewes “attract larger and more notable marching bands.” “The contest will… Continue reading →

Animal Rescue: Some pet symptoms require immediate attention

Photo provided by ARNO - Trixie and Timmy are best friends who roamed the Chateau Estates neighborhood of Kenner for months before a vet tech got them to jump in his car. They are little escape artists and need a secure home. The regular adoption fee per dog is $200, but ARNO is offering a special $300 fee for both. The fee will cover the spay/neuter, UTD vaccines, rabies, chip and heartworm treatment (if applicable). For information, send email to

Pet owners are often uncertain whether to bring a sick pet to an after-hours emergency clinic or to wait to call a vet during normal business hours. Sometimes it is hard to tell whether a situation is truly an emergency. Calling the vet’s office for advice, even near closing time, can provide peace of mind. After… Continue reading →

JP Library Lagniappe: Authors to discuss faith, love, murder and Mardi Gras at Metairie library

During February, the East Bank Regional Library will host appearances by eight authors of fiction, nonfiction, anthology, art, romance and Mardi Gras. All author signings happen at the East Bank Regional Library, 4747 West Napoleon Ave., Metairie. Author events are free of charge and are open to the public. Friends of the Jefferson Public Library will be… Continue reading →

Fun with NORDC: NORDC teaches kids that Character Counts

Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER -- Victor Richard

Throughout the year at playgrounds and rec centers across the city, thousands of girls and boys ages 5 to 14 participate in our athletics programs, including soccer, track and field, baseball, softball, flag football, tackle football, cheerleading, volleyball and basketball. An integral part of each sport is Character Counts, a national character education program from the… Continue reading →

@ The Library: Book discussion set with food writer, photographer

Ann Benoit is an award-winning food writer, food photographer and culinary book packager. She is the author and photographer of the Pelican Publishing titles “New Orleans’ Best Seafood Restaurants,” “New Orleans’ Best Ethnic Restaurants” and “Broussard’s Restaurant & Courtyard Cookbook.” She will discuss her books from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 29, at the Nix Library.… Continue reading →

In Profile: Arthur Hardy celebrates a new book and his new Mardi Gras Guide

Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD --  Arthur Hardy, Mr. Mardi Gras Guide, photographed Thursday, Jan. 15, 2015, at home in Mandeville.

Arthur Hardy has been publishing his Mardi Gras Guide for more than 30 years, and in addition to his 164-page magazine, he released his book “Mardi Gras in New Orleans: An Illustrated History.” Released in November, it is the fifth edition and published by his own publishing company, Arthur Hardy Enterprises. His book chronicles the history of… Continue reading →

New Orleans Volunteer Orchestra invites singers to collaborate

The New Orleans Volunteer Orchestra is planning a choral-orchestral collaboration this spring and is inviting vocalists to participate. The choir’s first rehearsal will be from 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 22, at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, 2624 Burgundy St., New Orleans. Subsequent rehearsals will be held at 2 p.m. Sundays on March 1,… Continue reading →

NOCCA singers to present chamber operetta version of ‘Cinderella’

Photo provided by NOCCA -- NOCCA vocal music students performing in 'Cendrillon' include 11th-graders Caitlyn ‘Harry’ Ecuyer, of Lacombe, left, and Ryan Reynolds, of New Orleans.

Vocal music students at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts will perform “Cendrillon,” a chamber operetta version of “Cinderella,” at 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday, Jan. 29 and 30, in Lupin Hall on NOCCA’s campus, 2800 Chartres St., New Orleans. Pauline Viardot’s “Cendrillon” has been described as “a retelling of the… Continue reading →

Dominican celebrates centenarian

Photo provided by St. Marys Dominican High School - Shown is, honoree Florence Ward, center, her daughter-in-law Jo Ward, left, and Celeste Anding, holding sign.

Florence Grush Ward, of Metairie, an alumna of St. Mary’s Dominican High School’s Class of 1933, recently celebrated her 100th birthday as guest of honor at a monthly luncheon with Jesuit alumni that included her son, Larry Ward (’59). In a surprise visit at the gathering, Alumnae Director Celeste Anding ‘Dominicanized’ the honoree with a ‘Dominican is Proud… Continue reading →

Leah Chase to be honored as Native Son

Advocate file photo by MISSIE NOEL - Leah Chase, who grew up in Madisonville, will receive the first Native Son award at the Parish Presidents' Art Awards on Jan. 31.

Leah Chase’s name is almost synonymous with New Orleans’ Creole cuisine. Her reputation as executive chef at Dooky Chase’s Restaurant in New Orleans is legendary and she’s won accolades around the world. Now, Chase will return home to the north shore Saturday, to receive an award she said has special meaning. St. Tammany Parish’s first Native… Continue reading →

New Orleans Jewish women’s group to honor Julie Schwam Harris

Photo provided by National Council of Jewish Women -- Julie Schwam Harris

The Greater New Orleans Section of the National Council of Jewish Women will present its Hannah G. Solomon Award to Julie Schwam Harris during a luncheon from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 2, in the grand ballroom on the 12th floor of the Westin Canal Place, 100 Iberville St., New Orleans. The council… Continue reading →

New Orleans Women’s Shelter receives $100,000 grant

Photo provided by Greater New Orleans Foundation -- From left are Lisa Romback, Carmen James, Jackie Silverman, Dawn Bradley-Fletcher, Dan Silverman and Maxine Kimbrell.

The New Orleans Women’s Shelter in Central City has received a $100,000 grant from Impact 100, an initiative of the Greater New Orleans Foundation. The shelter is one of the few that accept homeless women with children and pregnant women. “Impact 100 is a group of 100 New Orleans women who came together because of… Continue reading →

NFL alumni wait tables for A Child’s Wish

Photo provided by A Child's Wish--From left are Jarvis Green, Eric Alexander, Jack Holmes and Warren Bankston.

The Louisiana chapter of the National Football Leagues Players Association alumni held a Celebrity Waiters event Jan. 20 to benefit A Child’s Wish, which grants the wishes of Louisiana children with limited life expectancy. The event attracted more than 250 guests who were served lunch by 18 former NFL players.… Continue reading →

Master Naturalist training gets under way

Photo provided by Louisiana Master Naturalists -- Bob Thomas, right, immediate past president of Louisiana Master Naturalists of Greater New Orleans, leads a group of nascent naturalists along a trail in Jean Lafitte National Park as part of a training workshop.

The spring 2015 Master Naturalist Training Program is underway with 26 students, including four with doctorates, one with an MBA, three former AmeriCorps volunteers, a medical doctor, an elementary school teacher and several herbalists. Bob Thomas, director of the Environmental Communications Center at Loyola University, leads the program, which is sponsored by the Louisiana Master Naturalists… Continue reading →

Crescent City community photo gallery for Jan. 29, 2015

Photo provided by International School of Louisiana -- Students at the International School of Louisiana recently showcased their skills at the Middle School Science Fair. From left are Sauji Mitchell, science teacher Karen Marshall, Max Fitzgerald and Kennedy Johnson.

The Crescent City Advocate this week includes photos from local civic, community and school groups and highlights recent events around the New Orleans area.… Continue reading →

Crescent City neighborhood news for Jan. 29, 2015

JUNG SOCIETY: Award-winning playwright John Biguenet will be the featured guest when the C.G. Jung Society of New Orleans meets at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 3, at Parker United Methodist Church, 1130 Nashville Ave., New Orleans. Biguenet will discuss his work, and actress Kerry Cahill will do a dramatic reading from his recently produced play,… Continue reading →

Crescent City school briefs for Jan. 29, 2015

Photo provided by Archbishop Rummel High School-ÑAdministrators, faculty and parents at Archbishop Rummel High School in Metairie recently heard a presentation on ÒManaging a New World of NeedsÓ from Sister Carol Cimino, superintendent of Catholic schools in the Diocese of Buffalo, New York. From left are Brother Michael Livaudais, vocation director of the Christian Brothers; Jan Lancaster, superintendent of Catholic schools in New Orleans; Cimino; Brother Gale Condit, president at Archbishop Rummel; and Michael Scalco, principal at Archbishop Rummel.

CATHOLIC SCHOOL WEEK BANNER WINNER: National Catholic Schools Week 2015 is observed in dioceses around the country Jan. 25–31. This year’s theme, “Catholic Schools: Communities of Faith, Knowledge and Service,” focuses on the important academic, faith-building and societal contributions provided by a Catholic education. D’Aryn Thomas, a junior at St. Mary’s Academy, is the… Continue reading →

Crescent City faith notes for Jan. 29, 2015

CITY UNITED IN PRAYER: A City United in Prayer walk will be held from 6 a.m. to 7 a.m. Sunday, Feb. 1, on the exterior concourse of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans. Free parking will be available in Garage 6, and participants will gather at Gate C. LENTEN RETREAT PLANNED: The Archdiocesan… Continue reading →

Crescent City special needs calendar for Jan. 29, 2015

Photo provided by Dorignac's Food Center -- Ronnie Dawson, left, president of Dorignac's Food Center in Metairie, accepts the Employer of the Year Award from Tom Barnes of the Arc of Louisiana.

ARC EMPLOYER OF THE YEAR: Dorignac’s Food Center in Metairie recently received the Arc of Louisiana Employer of the Year Award for its continued support of individuals with disabilities. The store accepted its achievement award at the Arc of Louisiana’s awards ceremony Jan. 20 in Baton Rouge. “Dorignac’s is honored to be chosen as… Continue reading →

Crescent City college briefs for Jan. 29, 2015

LOYOLA HALL OF FAME: Tickets are on sale for the Loyola University New Orleans Wolf Pack Athletics Hall of Fame ceremony at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Danna Student Center. The 2015 Hall of Fame class will include DoBee Plaisance, women’s basketball; Luke Zumo, ’08, men’s basketball; Greg Castillo, volleyball; Matt Cagigal, ’07, cross… Continue reading →

Chat replay: Arthur Hardy answers your parade, Mardi Gras questions

New Orleans Carnival expert -- Arthur Hardy

Got a question about Mardi Gras? Arthur Hardy has an answer. He'll take your questions in a live chat Wednesday at noon. Continue reading →

Vets, others share stories of WWII at museum

Advocate photo by Michael Patrick Welch - World War II veterans Thomas Blakey, left, and Bill Cassidy share their experiences with visitors at the National World War II Museum in New Orleans. Blakey was an almost daily volunteer until his passing last week.

New Orleans’ massive World War II museum is many things to many people. For the hundreds of schoolchildren who pass through every week, the museum is where they learn about an incomprehensible scene from world history. And for the World War II veterans who volunteer each day, the museum is where they confront war memories in a variety… Continue reading →