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Politics blog: Black voters made up slightly larger share of Dec. 6 vote than Nov. 4 primary

Black voters — the most solidly Democratic constituency in the state — made up a slightly bigger share of the turnout for the Dec. 6 runoff election than they did in the Nov. 4 open primary, but it wasn’t enough to change the partisan divide in the electorate, dooming Democratic U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu to defeat. To… Continue reading →

New Orleans casino market down 7.3% in November

The New Orleans casino market saw its winnings drop by 7.3 percent in November when compared with the year before. The three riverboats, Harrah’s land-based casino and slots at the Fair Grounds brought in $51.4 million during the month, according to figures released Thursday by State Police. That compares with the nearly $55.5 million in winnings during… Continue reading →

Politics blog: Karen Carter Peterson weighs in on Bobby Jindal’s prayer rally

State Sen. Karen Carter Peterson

State Sen. Karen Carter Peterson, a New Orleans Democrat who chairs the state Democratic Party, has released a statement on plans for a prayer rally featuring Gov. Bobby Jindal at LSU next month. To read the complete blog entry, please click here.… Continue reading →

Group of 8 people attack, rob 3 men Wednesday night in New Orleans

Eight people in a group attacked and robbed three men on Wednesday night in New Orleans. Shortly after 10 p.m., New Orleans police report that a 21-year-old man was walking in the 1000 block of Governor Nicholls Street when a group of eight people approached him. One of the group members pulled out a gun and robbed the victim… Continue reading →

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal on criticized prayer rally: 'It's not a political event; it's a religious event'

Advocate staff photo by RICHARD ALAN HANNON -- Gov. Bobby Jindal announces his administration's move to pull out of Common Core during a press conference on Wednesday at the Louisiana State Capitol.

. NEW ORLEANS -- Gov. Bobby Jindal on Wednesday defended his role as headline speaker at a prayer rally on Louisiana State University's campus next month that has drawn the ire of protesters who say the group hosting the event promotes discrimination and an anti-gay agenda. The Jan. 24 prayer rally is expected to draw thousands of people… Continue reading →

Former WDSU-TV meteorolgist shot outside Waco-area TV station

This image provided by KCEN-TV shows an undated photo of KCEN-TV's meteorologist Patrick Crawford. Authorities from multiple law enforcement agencies are combing the area around a remote Central Texas television studio where the morning meteorologist was shot in a parking lot Wednesday Dec. 17, 2014 after an argument. Jim Hice, the station's news director, says Crawford was wounded in the shoulder and the abdomen. The shooter fled. No motive has been released. (AP Photo/KCEN-TV)

EDDY, Texas -- Authorities are searching for a gunman who shot a Central Texas and former New Orleans television meteorologist during an altercation in the station parking lot. The Department of Public Safety says the attack happened around 9:15 a.m. Wednesday outside KCEN-TV in Eddy, 75 miles north of Austin. The suspect ran away. Investigators are seeking a motive for… Continue reading →

U.S., Cuba reach historic accord

Alan Gross, waves as he and his wife Judy leave following his statement at his lawyer's office in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014. Gross was released from Cuba after 5 years in a Cuban prison. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

After a half-century of Cold War acrimony, the United States and Cuba moved on Wednesday to restore diplomatic relations — a historic shift that could revitalize the flow of money and people across the narrow waters that separate the two nations. President Barack Obama’s dramatic announcement in Washington — seconded by Cuban President… Continue reading →

Emails show LSU board member helped set up Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal's controversial prayer rally at PMAC

Bobby Jindal

A member of the LSU Board of Supervisors played a key role in helping select the university’s Pete Maravich Assembly Center as the site of a prayer rally that will feature Gov. Bobby Jindal next month. Emails obtained by The Advocate through a public records request show that Rolfe McCollister Jr., an LSU board member… Continue reading →

Causeway officials see hope in railings designed to keep vehicles out of Lake Pontchartrain

The truck speeds toward the bridge railing at over 60 mph. On impact, puffs of white can be seen as the tires explode, shards of glass and metal go flying and the back end of the truck rises off the ground, the wheels akimbo and still spinning. In slow motion, it’s like a ballet, hundreds of… Continue reading →

Judge berates lawyer in OPP case as new jail’s opening is delayed again

Advocate staff file photo by JOHN McCUSKER -- Marlin Gusman.

In a scalding lecture from the bench, U.S. District Judge Lance Africk on Wednesday berated a lawyer hired recently by Sheriff Marlin Gusman for filing a “self-serving” series of court documents in the middle of the night, just hours before a hearing on the status of court-ordered reforms at Orleans Parish Prison. The hearing underscored many… Continue reading →

Potential issue? Emails show close communication between New Orleans mayor Mitch Landrieu's administration, civil service chairman, Loyola president Kevin Wildes

Advocate file photo by Richard Alan Hannon -- Rev. Kevin Wildes speaks at a Senate Commerce committee meeting at the State Capitol Building in Baton Rouge in this May 2010 Advocate file photo.

The Rev. Kevin Wildes, president of Loyola University and until recently the chairman of the Civil Service Commission, consulted often with Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s administration as the mayor pushed through a hotly debated package of changes to city rules protecting civil servants, email correspondence between Wildes and the Mayor’s Office shows. Wildes,… Continue reading →

Woman killed, man wounded in Terrytown shooting, and other area police news

Byron Coleman

A woman was killed and a man was in critical condition after both were shot Tuesday night in Terrytown, the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office said. The shooting happened in the 2100 block of Esplanade Place just after 10:30 p.m. After gunshots were reported, deputies received another… Continue reading →

Six alleged members of ‘6th Ward Wild Side’ gang accused of racketeering conspiracy

A state grand jury late Wednesday indicted six alleged members of the “6th Ward Wild Side” gang, accusing them of a racketeering conspiracy that wraps together a half-dozen murders from 2011 and 2012, along with other crimes allegedly committed to bolster a thriving heroin and cocaine business. The 15-count indictment describes a gang, also known as… Continue reading →

Jeff School Board member casts decisive vote to have board pay his legal fees

Michael Delesdernier

In what appeared to be a violation of the state’s Code of Ethics, a Jefferson Parish School Board member voted Wednesday night to reimburse himself for legal fees stemming from a case he brought against another board member. Michael Delesdernier’s vote to have taxpayers pay the roughly $8,000 in legal fees he racked up… Continue reading →

Video game company to open development studio in N.O. CBD

Video game developer High Voltage Software Inc. will expand into New Orleans in January with the opening of a video game development studio in the Central Business District, Gov. Bobby Jindal and company CEO Kerry Ganofsky announced Wednesday. The company, which is based in the Chicago area, is expected to employ 80 people in New Orleans.… Continue reading →

Scalise condemns Obama moves on Cuba

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise of La., left, walks with Rep. Steve Southerland II, R-Fla., walk from a closed-door meeting of House Republicans on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, Aug. 1, 2014, to discuss the border crisis. House Republicans expressed optimism that a revised, $694 million bill addressing the surge of immigrants at the U.S.-Mexico border would win over reluctant conservatives and give a divided GOP a political win. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise on Wednesday blasted President Barack Obama’s plans to begin normalizing relations with Cuba, arguing that doing so would “encourage bad behavior” and could lead other nations to imprison Americans in hopes of gaining concessions from the United States. The proposed foreign policy shift, kicked off by the release of an American… Continue reading →

St. Bernard courthouse to bear Rowley’s name

The St. Bernard Parish Courthouse in Chalmette will be renamed in honor of the parish’s longtime district attorney, Jack Rowley, who died last month at age 83. The Parish Council approved the measure Tuesday. Rowley’s career in St. Bernard politics spanned more than half a century. He was sheriff for 16 years… Continue reading →

Killer found not guilty by reason of insanity in Jefferson Parish court

Albert Green

Albert Green sat alone in the jury box in a Gretna courtroom Wednesday, listening calmly as two forensic psychologists testified about his mental state during a string of evaluations over the past two years. Now on a regimen of Klonopin, Cogentin and Abilify, the 51-year-old’s serene demeanor and trimmed, gray-flecked beard had him looking the part… Continue reading →

NOPD releases video of robbery, beating

The New Orleans Police Department has released video footage of the robbery and beating of a man in the 100 block of Dauphine Street in a Dec. 11 incident. The 46-year-old victim was walking along the street shortly before 8 p.m. when three assailants attacked him and knocked him to the ground, rendering him unconscious. The assailants… Continue reading →

Arguments erupt as Louisiana lawmakers debate implementing new special education law

A new state law that overhauled Louisiana’s special education system triggered more arguments Wednesday, including finger pointing on whether state or local officials are to blame for the biggest parental complaints. State Superintendent of Education John White said that few grasped the implications of the measure earlier this year when it won lopsided approval… Continue reading →

Louisiana's Public Service Commission refuses to sell vehicles that Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration want for $1.4M

The Louisiana Public Service Commission refused Wednesday to sell half its vehicles, as ordered by the Jindal administration, to help fill a hole in the state budget. The five elected commissioners said they represent sprawling districts and need the automobiles to perform their duties. Besides, their cars already are paid for and they would have to rent… Continue reading →

Sony cancels ‘The Interview’ Dec. 25 release

A poster for the movie

NEW YORK (AP) — Sony Pictures has canceled the Dec. 25 release of “The Interview” after hackers threatened terrorists attacks and the largest multiplex chains in North America pulled the film. In a statement, Sony said it was cancelling “The Interview” “in light of the decision by the majority of our exhibitors not to show the film.”… Continue reading →

Oyster impresario Chris ‘Bozo’ Vodanovich dies at 86

Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER --  Chris

Bozo’s restaurant never gave off much glitz, not at its original location tucked away in Mid-City nor during its second chapter on a Metairie side street off Causeway Boulevard. But the memorably named restaurant was renowned for the quality of its raw oysters and fried seafood, and during a heyday that stretched for decades… Continue reading →

Documents: New details emerge in Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal's prayer rally; LSU Board of Supervisors member Rolfe McColliser involved in planning

Associated Press photo by Parker Michels-Boyce -- Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal delivers the keynote speech May 10 at the Liberty University commencement ceremony in Lynchburg, Va.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal's much-publicized prayer rally "The Response" began with talks of having the event in the fall, according to public records obtained by The Advocate. The records also show LSU Board of Supervisors member Rolfe McColliser has been involved in the plans. Continue reading →

Video game studio adding 80 jobs to CBD

High Voltage Software will open a video game development studio in New Orleans next month, a move that will add 80 direct jobs in the city’s Central Business District. HVS, a major independent video game developer founded in 1993 and based in the Chicago area, has shipped 95 game titles and worked with such… Continue reading →

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal to return to Iowa for private meetings with pastors

Associated Press file photo -- Gov. Bobby Jindal

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is planning to return to Iowa in early January. Per an invitation obtained by The Advocate, Jindal will have two events planned on January 6 to meet with pastors. Check out our politics blog for more details on Jindal's plans.… Continue reading →