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Tom Benson’s grandson Ryan LeBlanc says mental competency lawsuit is effort to ‘put the family back together’

Advocate photo by SOPHIA GERMER -- Ryan LeBlanc in the CBD in New Orleans, Monday January 18, 2016.

Ryan LeBlanc has heard the talk alleging that he, his mother and sister are pushing a mental competency lawsuit against the family patriarch, Saints and Pelicans owner Tom Benson, because they want to wrest away Benson’s $2 billion business empire after he cut them off more than a year ago. But there’s no question LeBlanc is… Continue reading →

Suspect in numerous bank, armed robberies arrested in New Orleans after allegedly threatening motorist

Christopher Simms

A suspect in numerous bank robberies and armed robberies in the New Orleans area and across the southeastern U.S. threatened to shoot at a motorist in downtown New Orleans on Monday before he was arrested by state troopers patrolling the city for Mardi Gras, officials said. In a separate matter, State Police said, troopers busting… Continue reading →

Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders take top spots in New Hampshire primaries Tuesday

FILE - In this Oct. 23, 2015, file photo, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at the Trump National Doral Miami resort in Doral, Fla. An overwhelming majority of Republican voters believe Donald Trump would be the GOPs strongest candidate in a general election, according to a new Associated Press-GfK poll that highlights a sharp contrast between the partys voters and its top operatives regarding the billionaire businessmans ultimate political strength. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz, File)

MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) -- Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Bernie Sanders swept to victory in Tuesday's New Hampshire primaries, adding crucial credibility to their upstart candidacies and underscoring voters' insistence on shaking up American politics. Trump and Sanders entered Tuesday's contest as favorites in New Hampshire, but needed to deliver on expectations after second-place finishes in Iowa's leadoff caucuses. Trump appealed… Continue reading →

From Metairie to French Quarter, family-friendly to raunchy, throngs celebrate Mardi Gras in many ways

Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER -- Zulu's king Jay H. Banks, greets his subjects during the Zulu Social Aid and Pleasure Club parade on Jackson Avenue on Mardi Gras, Tuesday, February 9, 2016.  Arteila Eudora Bennets-Banks is queen. The theme was "Zulu: Celebrating 100 Years of Incorporation."

They say there’s a Mardi Gras for everybody. And neither strong winds nor morning wind chills in the 30s threatened that adage Tuesday, when throngs flocked to New Orleans’ streets to send the 2016 Carnival season out in style. Hundreds of thousands of residents and visitors created new memories with parents, siblings,… Continue reading →

Low water pressure Thursday on part of Pine Street

Residents and businesses on Pine Street between Earhart Boulevard and Walmsley Avenue in New Orleans will experience low water pressure from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday, the Sewerage & Water Board said. Workers will be installing a water main to serve the area.… Continue reading →

Baton Rouge, New Orleans compete for $40 million transportation prize in Smart City Challenge

Baton Rouge and New Orleans are among 77 cities nationwide competing for up to $40 million in federal funds to make transportation safer, easier and more reliable. The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Smart City Challenge asked midsize cities to submit plans for using data, technology and creativity to shape the way people and goods move.… Continue reading →

Photos: Signature floats, bands mark Zulu's 'Celebrating 100 Years of Incorporation' theme

Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER -- Zulu's king Jay H. Banks, offers a toast during the Zulu Social Aid and Pleasure Club parade on Jackson Avenue on Mardi Gras, Tuesday, February 9, 2016. Arteila Eudora Bennets-Banks is queen. The theme was "Zulu: Celebrating 100 Years of Incorporation."

The Zulu Social Aid and Pleasure Club began its march down Jackson Avenue where King Jay H. Banks toasted his Queen Arteila Bennets-Banks in front of Gertrude, Geddes, Willis Funeral Home. The Walking Warriors, The Tramps, the signature floats the “Big Shot” “Witch Doctor” and “Governor” and great bands combined to mark Zulu’s “Celebrating 100 Years of Incorporation”… Continue reading →

Man dies after hitting New Orleans EMS vehicle head-on early Tuesday on Tulane Avenue

A 25-year-old man died in a crash early Tuesday near Tulane Avenue and South Johnson Street, New Orleans police said. According to the New Orleans Police Department, the man was driving a gray Nissan Maxima riverbound on Tulane Avenue at a high rate of speed when he lost control. The Nissan struck the “concrete neutral ground” and then crashed head-on with… Continue reading →

Jefferson Parish deputies fatally shoot man after chase from Oakwood Mall into New Orleans

A police chase that began at a mall on the West Bank of Jefferson Parish went into New Orleans’ Central City neighborhood Monday night and ended with Jefferson deputies fatally shooting a man they said tried to back a car into them, Sheriff Newell Normand said. Normand said the incident began about 7:55 p.m., when three… Continue reading →

Live updates: Krewes, costumes, coconuts can only mean one thing: It must be Mardi Gras

Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER -- Zulu's king Jay H. Banks, greets his subjects during the Zulu Social Aid and Pleasure Club parade on Jackson Avenue on Mardi Gras, Tuesday, February 9, 2016.  Arteila Eudora Bennets-Banks is queen. The theme was "Zulu: Celebrating 100 Years of Incorporation."

Stephanie Grace: From Confederate monuments to police response times, New Orleans gave Carnival krewes plenty to mock this year

Advocate staff photo by ELIOT KAMENITZ-- The Knights of Chaos parade uptown with 225 members including the captain and his lieutenants of horseback along with 16 floats to the theme "Chaos Theory"  in New Orleans, La. Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016.  The club members tossed float-specific and lighted throws.

Some news stories practically exist to be lampooned. So as this election-year Carnival season approached, the burning question was whether any target of ridicule could possibly trump Trump. Amazingly enough, the answer was yes. So give it up, ladies and gentlemen, for Gen. Robert E. Lee and his long-dead Confederate compadres, who made the job of… Continue reading →

Rex made a splash at 1884-85 world’s fair

Photo provided by Arthur Hardy -- Rex at World's Fair

Though not officially recognized as such, the first world’s fair in New Orleans was staged not in 1984 in the Warehouse District but 100 years earlier, on the site of what is now Audubon Park. The World’s Industrial and Cotton Centennial Exposition ran from Dec. 16, 1884, until June 1, 1885. Some 22 countries participated. The main… Continue reading →

Zulu, Rex and Argus take to the streets early on Fat Tuesday

Advocate staff photo by Rusty Costanza --  A rider in the Krewe of Zulu hands out a coconut on Mardi Gras Day Tuesday, February 17, 2015.

Fat Tuesday has finally arrived, and wall-to-wall parades are scheduled. Starting things off at 8 a.m. is the Zulu parade, titled “Zulu: Celebrating 100 Years of Incorporation.” Look for 10 brand-new floats that bear Zulu’s legendary characters — the Big Shot, Witch Doctor, Ambassador and Governor. Other special floats include “Mr. Big Stuff,” “Mayor” and “Province… Continue reading →

Oldest living monarchs of Rex and Zulu share a celebration

Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD -- John Phillips, Rex in 1983, right, and Arthur Vigne, the king of Zulu in 1988, celebrate Lundi Gras Monday, Feb. 8, 2016, during a party at Woldenburg Village on the West Bank. Phillips, 93, and Vigne, 86, are the oldest living kings of Rex and Zulu.

Every Lundi Gras, kings from the two main organizations that parade in New Orleans on Mardi Gras meet face-to-face on the riverfront, an event that since 1993 has signified a growing friendship between krewes that have long shared St. Charles Avenue on Fat Tuesday but for many years had little to do with each other. This… Continue reading →

Photos: Zulu, Rex arrive for Lundi Gras celebration, closing out dynamic Carnival season

Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD -- Members of Zulu arrive by boat at Woldenberg Park Monday, Feb. 8, 2016, for a Lundi Gras celebration on the Riverfront.

The court and monarchs of Rex and Zulu arrived at the foot of Canal Street Monday to begin their reign over 2016 Mardi Gras.… Continue reading →

For Zulu King Jay Banks, a reign that focuses on service

Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD --  Jay H. Banks and Artelia E. Bennett-Banks, 2016 king and queen of Zulu, photographed Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2016, at their home in New Orleans.

Jay H. Banks knows better than the average Zulu member that with power comes responsibility. So while it’s good to be the king, Banks feels it’s more important to serve. That’s why he and his wife, Artelia Eudora Bennett Banks, decided that his election — on his fourth try — as the Zulu king would translate… Continue reading →

'This is still a resurgence in its infancy': New groups helps revive tradition of Mardi Gras Baby Dolls

Advocate photo by SOPHIA GERMER -- Dianne Honore tries a hat on Evangeline Marsalis, 4, at Cafe Rose Nicaud in New Orleans, Saturday February 6, 2016. The new Baby Doll group of 5 women, The Black Storyville Baby Dolls debuts this Mardi Gras. The group highlights the history, culture and work of black New Orleanians through their route on Fat Tuesday.

Last weekend, as the Black Storyville Baby Dolls grabbed a quick cup of coffee together, they carried glue guns, glitter and fabric so that they could work on their Baby Doll costumes while they talked. Historian and longtime New Orleans tour guide Dianne Honoré, 51, held up her satin top and frowned a little at the fit.… Continue reading →

New Orleans chef, 'Top Chef' contestant will cook on ‘Today’ show Tuesday

Photo by Denny Culbert -- Isaac Toups

New Orleans chef Isaac Toups, currently competing on Bravo TV’s “Top Chef,” will appear on the “Today” show Tuesday morning on NBC. For hosts Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb, Toups will make his version of crawfish étoufée as his idea for a romantic Valentine’s Day meal. Toups will use Louisiana ingredients including crawfish, rice, and… Continue reading →