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New Orleans Attorney Profiles 2015
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Gunman in Texas was well-known to FBI before attack outside building of cartoon contest depicting Prophet Muhammad

Associated Press photo by BRANDON WADEPersonnel remove the bodies of two gunmen Monday in Garland, Texas. Police shot and killed the men after they opened fire on a security officer outside the suburban Dallas venue, which was hosting a contest for Prophet Muhammad cartoons Sunday night, authorities said.

WASHINGTON — Since 2006, the FBI had been investigating Elton Simpson — one of the men suspected in the Texas shootings outside a contest featuring cartoons of the Muslim Prophet Muhammad. Agents recorded the young man from Phoenix talking about fighting nonbelievers for Allah. About plans to travel to South Africa and link up with “brothers”… Continue reading →

WWL-TV report: Judge dismisses bankruptcy protection for Market Street Power Plant project

. After six years filled with scandal, a federal judge has dismissed bankruptcy protection for the iconic old Market Street Power Plant project. The former Entergy-owned double-smoke-stack building on the riverfront played a role in the Ray Nagin corruption case, with the former mayor collecting $100,000 in 2010 and 2011 from Michael Samuel, a Miami-based investor and developer who wanted… Continue reading →

Propeller business incubator doubling its effort

The Propeller program for developing startup companies in New Orleans is going to a two-track system designed to more than double the number of social ventures it serves per year. The program will support social entrepreneurs throughout the startup cycle: from the idea stage to beta to growth. It also will provide more tailored resources for ventures… Continue reading →

Being in that number had some Jazz Fest patrons singing sad songs about the large crowds

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--A packed crowd on the second Saturday of Jazz Fest moves around the food booths in New Orleans, La. Saturday, May 2, 2015.

Sixty food booths at Jazz Fest, and Jane Finney Haas left hungry. “I got caught in this literal gridlock,” she said. “No one was moving. No one could see. For 45 minutes everyone was in this tidal wave.” Haas left the Zatarain’s/WWOZ Jazz Tent about 3:15 p.m. Saturday in pursuit of a bowl of… Continue reading →

Louisiana Senate passes bill for medical marijuana

Louisiana has had a medical marijuana law on the books for 24 years, but no one’s been able to use it because of a lack of rules and regulations. On Monday night, the Louisiana Senate endorsed legislation to rectify that stumbling block. The Senate Continue reading →

House panel volleys refundable tax bill; eventually clears committee on second try after behind-the-scenes politicking

Advocate Photo by MARK BALLARD -- House Ways and Means Chairman Joel Robideaux, R-Lafayette, seated, confers with Rep. Major Thibaut, D-New Roads, during Monday's committee hearing.

The Legislature’s effort to raise enough money to prevent potentially draconian cuts to Louisiana’s colleges and universities continued its rocky path Monday when the House tax panel rejected a measure to eliminate $100 million of business tax breaks only to reverse itself 90 minutes later and narrowly approve taking them away. It took behind-the-scenes cajoling by House… Continue reading →

New Orleans Convention Center board approves plans for new park

The first step in a massive overhaul of the area surrounding the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center has won approval from the meeting hall’s board. The facility’s governing board last week approved a resolution to begin construction of a $65 million linear park along Convention Center Boulevard from Poydras to Henderson streets, at the center’s… Continue reading →

Total two-week attendance for Jazz Fest reaches approximately 460,000 at the Fair Grounds Race Course

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--A packed crowd on the second Saturday of Jazz Fest moves around the food booths in New Orleans, La. Saturday, May 2, 2015.

. Organizers of the two-week Jazz Fest said the festival attendance at the Fair Grounds Race Course was approximately 460,000. Jazz Fest featured acts like Elton John, The Who, Jimmy Buffett, John Legend and a host of other performers from April 24 to May 3. The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and Foundation, Inc. is the nonprofit organization… Continue reading →

Tuition bill allowing Louisiana colleges, universities to set tuition, not lawmakers, moves on to full Senate

Legislation that aims to give tuition-setting authority to Louisiana colleges and universities is heading to the full Senate for consideration. The Senate Committee on Revenue and Fiscal Affairs signed off on Senate Bill 155 on Monday without opposition. The bill would ask Louisiana voters to decide by constitutional amendment whether college and university systems… Continue reading →

An event fund bill designed to attract major sporting events to Louisiana endorsed by Senate panel

Efforts to establish a special fund to entice national sporting and other events to Louisiana picked up steam Monday. The Senate Finance Committee endorsed legislation that would establish the Major Events Incentive Program. A fund would be created into which would be deposited increases in state taxes generated as a result of certain “qualified” events… Continue reading →

Travis “Trumpet Black” Hill, 28, dies while on tour in Japan

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--Travis 'Trumpet Black' Hill performs with The New Birth Brass Band on the Congo Square Stage on the first day of Jazz Fest in New Orleans, La. Friday, April 24, 2015.

. On Saturday, trumpeter Travis Hill posted photos on his Facebook page showing himself onstage in Tokyo. “I love Japan,” he wrote. “It’s my home outside of New Orleans.” But late Sunday night, friends heard that Hill had gone to a Japanese hospital with trouble swallowing and a fever, stemming from an abscess in a… Continue reading →

Bloomberg Economic Evaluation: Under Gov. Bobby Jindal's watch, Louisiana's economic health eroded more than all but four other U.S. states

Governor Bobby Jindal appears in an episode of "Duck Dynasty." Courtesy of A&E.

Gov. Bobby Jindal, a potential Republican presidential candidate, is trying to close a $1.6 billion budget hole without touching as much as $415,000 per episode in tax breaks that may be due to “Duck Dynasty.” The A&E television reality show takes part in the nation’s most generous entertainment-tax credit program. Jindal is proposing no changes, arguing that… Continue reading →

Stephen Perry urges bigger political role for the New Orleans tourism industry

Advocate file photo by BILL FEIG -- Stephen Perry

Having just slammed Louisiana’s controversial religious liberty bill a few weeks ago, a leading New Orleans tourism official said Monday that his industry needs to become a more active political player. “It’s time to become a political force because we employ the most people, we generate the most revenue and we generate the entire cultural economy,”… Continue reading →

Tom Benson’s lawyers want courtroom closed as lawsuit on his mental capacity proceeds

Associated Press photo by BILL HABER - New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson poses for a photo with his wife Gayle Benson and his granddaughter, Rita Benson LeBlanc, before an NFL football game against the Minnesota Vikings in New Orleans Sept. 21.

In lawsuits such as the one in New Orleans involving questions about Saints and Pelicans owner Tom Benson’s mental capacity, it’s not uncommon for the courtroom to be closed to the public for at least some of the proceedings. But Benson’s lawyers apparently don’t want to take any chances. They filed a motion Monday asking Civil… Continue reading →

Attorneys for 10 of the 13 defendants in the Telly Hankton case seek a venue change

Telly Hankton (Courtesy WWL-TV)

Somewhere between the potent “Telly Hankton Daiquiri” featured at a St. Charles Avenue frozen drink shop and a New Orleans homicide detective’s artistic rendering of Hankton’s mug shot in spent bullet casings, the mystique surrounding a man once dubbed the city’s most dangerous criminal became too much. So say attorneys for 10 of 13 defendants… Continue reading →

Group Benefits oversight OK’d by House panel

Advocate Photo by MARK BALLARD -- Commissioner of Administration Kristy Nichols speaks to the press Friday after announcing the Jindal administration's plan to eliminate the mid-year budget deficit.

The financial operations of the Louisiana Office of Group Benefits would get independent oversight under legislation that cleared its first legislative hurdle Monday. The legislation comes in reaction to the Jindal administration’s handling of the health insurance program for about 230,000 state employees, teachers, retirees and their dependents. The administration has been hit with a Continue reading →

David Vitter, Scott Angelle praises oil, gas industry at Baton Rouge event

Two of the four major candidates for governor spoke at an oil and gas industry event in Baton Rouge on Monday. U.S. Sen. David Vitter and Public Service Commissioner Scott Angelle, both Republicans, took turns praising the industry, which is the state’s largest employer. “Things are changing fast and Louisiana is trying to adapt to those… Continue reading →

Baby’s body discovered in Slidell apartment complex's trash compactor

Photo provided by Slidell Police

A maintenance employee at Slidell’s Canterbury House Apartments made a grisly discovery inside a trash compactor about 9:15 a.m. Monday: the body of a baby. Slidell police said they had no further details, such as the cause of death, pending results of an autopsy by the St. Tammany Parish Coroner’s Office.… Continue reading →

Film study: What's to like -- and dislike -- about new Saints quarterback Garrett Grayson

Associated Press file photo by Matt York -- Mobility has been a strong point for former Colorado State quarterback Garrett Grayson.

If someone said the quarterback up on the screen studied Drew Brees’ motions in the pocket and attempted to translate those skills to his own game, there would be no reason to question the validity of the statement. The way he slides around outstretched arms, averting danger, and climbs the pocket is reminiscent of the… Continue reading →