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Candidates seeking Jefferson Parish judgeships

Adrian Adams

Sitting judges typically don’t draw challengers if they decide to run again, and that custom held true with one exception this year in 24th Judicial District Court in Gretna, where two empty seats attracted seven hopefuls and one judge drew a challenger from a case over which he recently presided. Judge Robert Pitre… Continue reading →

Fired Kenner inspector can have job back, board rules

The Kenner Civil Service Board has reinstated a city employee fired in May, finding that his dismissal — officially blamed on reckless driving — was in fact “arbitrary and … without reasonable cause.” Joey Metzler, an electrical inspector with Kenner’s Code Enforcement Department who was fired on March 25, will be reinstated with back pay after… Continue reading →

Firm drops plan to add oil storage tanks at Marrero plant

A petroleum distribution company has dropped plans to add more storage tanks as part of an overhaul of its Marrero facility. Magellan Midstream will go forward with other aspects of the project but not the addition of 13 tanks to the 53 that are already on the property, company spokesman Tom Byers told the Jefferson Parish… Continue reading →

Former Marrero chapel now serving as adult care facility

Originally constructed in 1940, the former St. John Bosco Chapel on Barataria Boulevard in Marrero has undergone a $1.6 million renovation and reopened as as an adult day healthcare center of Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans.

The former St. John Bosco Chapel on Barataria Boulevard in Marrero has found new life as a senior daytime care facility after a $1.6 million renovation by the Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans. The Mexican Baroque-style chapel, just south of 10th Street, will be blessed by Archbishop Gregory Aymond on Tuesday. Its renovation… Continue reading →

Jefferson School Board races pit candidates backed by competing groups

Gene Katsanis

Residents on Jefferson Parish’s East Bank will essentially be presented with a referendum on the parish School Board as they go to the polls on Nov. 4. The five East Bank races are primary battlegrounds in an electoral fight between board members backed by business groups — including the Jefferson Chamber and Jefferson Business Council —… Continue reading →

Jefferson School Board members exchange accusations at court hearing

Cedric Floyd, left, and Michael Delesdernier

Finger pointing. Shouting. Bumping chairs. Although the allegations sound like they could come from one of Jefferson Parish’s public schools, they form the heart of a dispute that saw two members of the parish’s School Board facing off in court Friday. Board members Michael Delesdernier and Cedric Floyd have been bitter foes over the… Continue reading →

Plans for new Levee District building in Kenner to be restudied

Officials will re-evaluate plans for a new East Jefferson Levee District headquarters in Kenner after hearing opposition from residents worried that the project would create problems for neighbors and for mourners at nearby historic cemeteries. The new building is planned for an area of south Kenner next to two traditionally African-American burial… Continue reading →

Suspect in dancer’s dismemberment is returned to New Orleans

Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER -- Terry Speaks is escorted by Kenner Police after being extradited from New Jersey. He is a suepect in the murder of Jaren Lockhart.

Days after he was released from a federal prison in an unrelated incident, Terry Speaks was back behind bars in Jefferson Parish on Wednesday, facing charges that he and his wife stabbed a Bourbon Street dancer in the heart two years ago before hacking up her remains and tossing them into the Gulf of… Continue reading →

Would you believe? Jefferson Performing Arts Center is nearly finished

Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER -- The Jefferson Performing Arts Center, is nearing completion after 7 years of work Monday, October 13, 2014.

In a development that many people in Jefferson Parish probably thought would never happen, construction teams are putting the final touches on the Jefferson Performing Arts Center. Workers are installing carpeting and making other minor additions. Cleaning crews are moving through the building, wiping down the glass panels that permeate the design. On the stage, crews… Continue reading →

Two candidates for Harahan mayor say they are prepared for the job

Tina Miceli

The race for mayor of Harahan has drawn two candidates, one with prior political experience on the City Council and the other making her first foray into the political arena. The election is Nov. 4. The winner will succeed Mayor Vinny Mosca, who chose not to run again. Both candidates say they… Continue reading →

Ten have hats in the ring for Harahan council’s five seats

Carrie Wheeler

Ten people, including two incumbents, are vying to fill five spots on the Harahan City Council in the Nov. 4 election. All of the candidates run citywide. The top five vote-getters are elected. Seeking to keep their seats are council members Tim Baudier and Dana Huete, while outgoing Mayor Vinny Mosca is… Continue reading →

Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office deputy shoots bank robbery suspect after chase

Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER -- Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office personnel investigate scene where a deputy chased a bank robbery suspect into the Lincolnshire subdivision in Marrero. A deputy shot the suspect in the leg after he crashed his getaway vehicle into a house in the 1200 block of Constantine St. Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2014.

A suspected bank robber was shot in the leg after he leveled a gun at a Jefferson Parish deputy following a brief chase Thursday morning, the Sheriff’s Office said. Brandon Gray, 38, of Marrero, was taken to Interim LSU Hospital in New Orleans for treatment before being booked, said Col. John Fortunato, a Sheriff’s Office spokesman.… Continue reading →

Jefferson Parish Council defers vote on inspector general matter

E. Ben Zahn, Jefferson Parish Council Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Jefferson Parish Council on Wednesday deferred voting on a request that state law be changed to address an apparent discrepancy between the Louisiana code of evidence and the investigative powers the parish has granted to its Inspector General’s Office. The precise nature of the discrepancy remains murky, but it apparently centers on… Continue reading →

14-month-old Kenner girl dies after father accidentally runs over her

A 14-month-old girl was crushed to death when her father accidentally ran over her with his car Wednesday morning, Kenner police said. The toddler was identified by the Jefferson Parish Coroner’s Office as Judy Vasquez. The girl’s parents went outside their home in the 2400 block of Taffy Drive about 9 a.m. to put coordinates… Continue reading →

Kenner Housing Authority rapped in new state report

A report from the Louisiana Legislative Auditor’s Office released Monday found about two dozen problems with the Kenner Housing Authority’s 2012 financial statements, including missing documentation, inadequate controls and incomplete records. The report also includes the findings of two reports from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development issued earlier… Continue reading →

Kenner charter revision committee sets meetings schedule

Kenner’s Charter Advisory Committee has scheduled meetings to come up with recommended changes to the city’s charter. The group — which is made up of representatives appointed by the mayor, City Council members and the chief of police — will meet in the council chambers at 7 p.m. on the second Thursday of every month, although this… Continue reading →

Blouin-Williams in line to be next Jefferson schools chief

Superintendent James Meza; Chief Academic Officer Michelle Blouin-Williams

Jefferson Parish Schools Superintendent James Meza has formally lined up the district’s chief academic officer to take the reins after he leaves the system, promoting Michelle Blouin-Williams to deputy superintendent and outlining a transition plan for the coming months. The move is part of a plan, supported by the School Board, to insulate… Continue reading →

Destrehan High teachers post bond, leave jail

Rachel Respess, left, Shelley Dufresne

Two Destrehan High School teachers arrested on charges that they had sex with a 16-year-old student at a Kenner apartment last month have been released from jail. Rachel Respess, 24, and Shelley Dufresne, 32, surrendered to Kenner police Wednesday and were taken to the Jefferson Parish Correctional Center, where they were booked on… Continue reading →

Kenner to hold lottery for money to fix 10 blighted homes

Photo provide by The City of Kenner -- The interior of the vacant house at 50 Grenada Drive was visible as work crews tore it down last month. Kenner has been working to to reduce the number of blighted homes, most recently with a federally funded lottery that will provide grant money to 10 owners of blighted property.

Kenner homeowners who are violating the city’s housing code can enter a lottery this month that could net them as much as $60,000 to fix up their blighted home. On Oct. 23, the city’s Community Development Department will randomly choose 10 applicants for the grant program, which is funded by the federal Department of… Continue reading →

Man cited as ‘primary suspect’ in Metairie apartment fire that killed three

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON-- Jefferson Parish Fire and Sheriff Investigators remove a body at 2308 Harvard Ave in Metairie, La. Tuesday, June 10, 2014 where three people were killed and one person injured during a two-alarm fire at the apartment building there.

A man questioned as a person of interest in a Metairie apartment fire that killed three people this year has been described in new court documents as the “primary suspect” in the alleged arson. The suspect, Terrill Normand Jr., 58, remains jailed in Jefferson Parish on unrelated charges that he beat a man unconscious with a… Continue reading →