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Construction to cause low water pressure in parts of New Orleans

The Sewerage & Water Board said construction will cause low water pressure in parts of New Orleans on Monday and Tuesday: Customers in a small section of the French Quarter will experience low pressure from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Monday and Tuesday as workers install valves on fire service lines. The area affected… Continue reading →

Higher education leaders to Legislature: give us funding or give us tuition autonomy

File photo of LSU President

As Louisiana lawmakers spar over the $600 million shortfall in next year’s budget, leaders of the state’s colleges and universities are bracing for what is likely to be higher ed’s 16th cut in nine years. The most recent version of the budget, passed by the Louisiana House, cuts higher education systems by about 12… Continue reading →

Armed robberies, carjackings reported across New Orleans Saturday and Sunday, police say

A dozen robberies – many involving weapons – were reported on Saturday and early Sunday in New Orleans, according to police. The New Orleans Police Department reported the following robberies and carjackings in a preliminary offense log early Sunday: --Around 7:45 p.m. Saturday, two women, ages 21 and 22, were sitting in a vehicle in the 2600 block of Cupid Street when… Continue reading →

Black gold, red ink: Oil’s spiral drowns the Tuscaloosa Marine Shale and a hoped-for economic boom

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- TMS RA Verberne 5 is a well that Goodrich is drilling horizontally this week in Tangipahoa on LA-1061. Controversy over an exemption to severance taxes for horizontal drilling, which is necessary for fracking. It's about to cause a huge amount of activity in the Florida parishes.

Black gold has turned to red ink for major players in the once promising Tuscaloosa Marine Shale. From 2011 to early 2014, with oil prices topping $100 a barrel, the Tuscaloosa Marine Shale might as well have been abbreviated TM$. Dozens of landmen swept through East and West Feliciana, St. Helena and Tangipahoa parishes, leasing… Continue reading →

Pelicans guard Bryce Dejean-Jones reportedly breaking into wrong apartment when fatally shot

Associated Press photo by Tyler Kaufman – Pelicans guard Bryce Dejean-Jones is surrounded by Miami’s Chris Andersen, right, and Gerald Green during a preseason game Oct. 23.

New Orleans Pelicans guard Bryce Dejean-Jones was shot and killed early Saturday morning after breaking into a Dallas apartment that apparently was not the one he sought to enter. Dejean-Jones, who was 23 years old, was in Dallas for his daughter’s birthday. According to a police report posted to the Dallas Police Department’s official blog, officers… Continue reading →

NOPD reports fewer ‘unfounded’ calls, but surge in a similar category raises questions about crime follow-up

Advocate Staff Photo by Eliot Kamenitz---A New Orleans Police car driven by officer Michael Murhammer rolls down Vicksburg Street as part of the community policing program on Wednesday, August 14, 2013.

While the New Orleans Police Department has succeeded in all but ending the practice of writing off calls for help as “unfounded” if the caller leaves the scene before an officer arrives, a sharp rise in the number of calls given a similar designation raises questions about whether the change has had concrete results.… Continue reading →

Twin sister wants justice in unsolved killing of pregnant woman, Mardi Gras Indian big chief in New Orleans East

Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER -- Britnee Stewart is the twin sister of Breon Stewart, who was gunned down in a double murder outside a New Orleans East apartment last year. Breon was nine months pregnant when she died.

Britnee Stewart never imagined life without her twin sister. Breon Stewart was born three minutes before her, and for the next 23 years, she remained in the lead as the pair grew up, their lives never straying far from each other. Both of them performed as majorettes and played softball and volleyball on the same teams.… Continue reading →

TOPS, once untouchable in Legislature, to see modest changes to limit growth

Louisiana House Appropriations Committee Chairman Cameron Henry, R-Metairie, left, speaks with Rep. Johnny Berthelot, R-Gonzales, ahead of Gov. John Bel Edwards' budget cut presentation to the committee, Tuesday, April 12. Edwards is proposing to close a $750 million budget shortfall with cuts to the TOPS free college tuition program, safety net hospitals for the poor and public schools.  (AP Photo/Melinda Deslatte)

TOPS has long been a sacred cow of the Louisiana Legislature. Though many have tried, few have succeeded in passing substantive changes that would limit the scope of the statewide scholarship program. But this Legislature is on its way to passing an unprecedented number of changes for TOPS. While the measures are relatively mild, it’s the… Continue reading →

Sinkhole forms on Canal Street alongside ongoing construction, snarls traffic before temporary fix

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--The river bound lanes of Canal Street at Rampart were closed as part of it began to sink in New Orleans, La. The street had been closed to one lane due to construction and a large hole that had been cut in the ground. Recent rain and traffic might have contributed to the hole.

New Orleans' ongoing battle with sinkholes continued Saturday, as another hole has formed on the 1100 Southbound block of Canal Street. Continue reading →

Planning Commission opposes more intense bed-and-breakfasts, alluding to its short-term rental study

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--A sign on Burgundy Street in the French Quarter advertises an apartment for rent in New Orleans, La. Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016. Many long term residents in the French Quarter are worried that the neighborhood will soon be only rentals, both long term of 30 days or more and short term of a few days or weeks.

The New Orleans City Planning Commission’s denial of a long-shot request to allow more intense bed-and-breakfast operations in historic areas of the city suggests there’s still stiff opposition among commissioners to permitting short-term rentals of entire homes in residential neighborhoods. The commission voted unanimously against the bed-and-breakfast request Tuesday, following a brief discussion that directly alluded… Continue reading →

Group offers ‘mental health first aid’ training in St. Tammany

Tiffanie Lyon, an associate pastor at Slidell’s First United Methodist Church, still replays in her mind the way she handled a mental health crisis that unfolded at her other job, one with a company that finds employment for people with disabilities. One of her clients was in distress, and Lyon said she instinctively did some things… Continue reading →

Mike the Tiger has LSU police escort as doctors perform run-through on cancer treatment

Photos provided by LSU  --  Mike VI, was anesthetized and taken to Mary Bird Perkins Ð Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center for a radiation treatment simulation, the first step in his treatment for spindle cell sarcoma.

The team treating LSU’s live tiger mascot did a live run-through Saturday of how radiation therapy for spindle cell sarcoma would be done. A 420-pound Bengal-Siberian tiger mix, Mike VI was anesthetized and transported about 8 miles from his enclosure outside the LSU Peter Maravich Assembly Center to Mary Bird Perkins-Our Lady of the Lake Cancer… Continue reading →

Business Briefs for May 29, 2016

Financial services giant Morgan Stanley has named New Orleans as its eighth Healthy Cities location, launching the program with a playground build at Lake Forest Charter School. The Healthy Cities program, working with Second Harvest Food Bank of Greater New Orleans, targets needy children and their… Continue reading →

Initial unemployment claims in Louisiana rise

First-time claims for unemployment insurance in Louisiana for the week ending May 21 increased to 3,165 from the previous week’s total of 2,969. The state labor department said there were 3,166 claims for the comparable week a year earlier. The four-week moving average, which is a less volatile measure of claims, increased to 2,881 from… Continue reading →

Sweet relief: Governor signs bill that will prevent lemonade stands from being ticketed

Advocate file photo by BRAD BOWIE -- Imogen Hebert, 8, serves a cup of lemonade to Chris Declouet on National Lemonade Stand Day in Lafayette.

Children will be able to operate lemonade stands without state interference under a bill signed Friday by Gov. John Bel Edwards. The change was among nearly three dozen bills signed into law. The legislation, Senate Bill 99, prohibits the imposition of any tax or assessments on a minor engaging in a business with sales of less… Continue reading →

Fire chief shoots back at union leader, calls out 'blatant lie' in spat over response time for Marigny Street fire

New Orleans Fire Department Superintendent Tim McConnell shot back Friday at the firefighters union leader in a dispute about the response to a fire in St. Roch this week that claimed three houses. Firefighters union President Nick Felton had claimed firefighters were delayed in responding to the fire in the 1600 block of Marigny… Continue reading →

Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Lafayette area Business Honors for May 29, 2016

Ashley Gary Higginbotham, Judiciary Commission of Louisiana

BATON ROUGE AREA Jerry Ceppos, dean of LSU’s Manship School of Mass Communication and its William B. Dickinson distinguished professor, has been named a fellow of the Society of Professional Journalists. The honor is awarded for extraordinary contributions to the profession. Ceppos, who previously worked for the San Jose Mercury News and… Continue reading →

Former Oklahoma insurance executive to head La. Citizens Property Insurance

Oklahoma insurance executive Richard Newberry has been picked to head the Louisiana’s property insurer of last resort. Newberry’s first day as the chief executive officer of Louisiana Citizens Property Insurance Corp. will be Tuesday, said state Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon. That’s also the start of hurricane season. Donelon said Newberry’s 23 years of experience… Continue reading →

Gov. John Bel Edwards issues call for second special session, 'bold decisions' to close budget gap

Advocate file photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- Gov. John Bel Edwards on Friday ordered the state Legislature to begin a second special session in order to close the budget gap.

Louisiana legislators will get a 30-minute break when the regular session ends June 6 and then have 18 days to sort out a final version of the budget that begins July 1. Gov. John Bel Edwards on Friday ordered the state Legislature to begin a second special session a half-hour after the regular session ends,… Continue reading →

Up to 16 named storms projected for upcoming 'near normal' hurricane season, NOAA announces

FILE- In this Oct. 3, 2015 file photo, Dillon Christ, front, and Kyle Barnell paddle their canoe down a flooded street in Charleston, S.C. The U.S. government is set to release its forecast for how many hurricanes and tropical storms are expected to form over Atlantic and Caribbean waters in the next six months. It’s an annual reminder from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration that coastal living comes with significant risks. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton, File)

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicted Friday the 2016 hurricane season will be near normal, but reaching that conclusion was more challenging for federal scientists than usual. The forecast calls for the development of 10 to 16 named storms, four to eight of which could become hurricanes, with one to four of… Continue reading →

DA drops murder charge against Jerome Morgan for 1993 killing

Advocate photo by JOHN SIMERMAN -- Innocence Project New Orleans clients Jerome Morgan, right and Robert Jones are pictured here in this undated file photo. Murder charges have been dropped against Morgan for a 1993 slaying. Robert Jones, 43, is awaiting retrial in a 1992 armed robbery, kidnapping and rape case after his own conviction was overturned in 2014. Both are clients of .

Jerome Morgan, who spent nearly two decades behind bars for the slaying of a 16-year-old youth in a Gentilly motel ballroom before a judge threw out his conviction two years ago, won’t be retried in the 1993 killing. Orleans Parish District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro grudgingly dropped the murder charge Friday. Cannizzaro refused to proclaim… Continue reading →

Sheriff Marlin Gusman rejects claims of chaos at New Orleans jail: 'Couldn't be further from the truth'

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--Marlin Gusman leads a group of clergy and supporters to the front of the Orleans Parish Justice Center and Jail in New Orleans, La. Tuesday, May 24, 2016. The press conference comes a day ahead of a U.S. Department of Justice receivership hearing at Federal Court to remove Gusman from control of the jail.

Orleans Parish Sheriff Marlin Gusman expressed confidence Friday that he will overcome an effort by the federal government to take control of the city’s jail, accusing the U.S. Justice Department of “dwelling on the past.” The sheriff, addressing reporters after a third day of testimony in U.S. District Court, said he took particular exception to the claim… Continue reading →