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New Orleans Attorney Profiles 2015
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West Jefferson Medical Center’s credit rating plummets after bleak financial picture comes into clearer focus

Advocate staff photo by SHERRI MILLER -- West Jefferson Medical Center in Marrero on Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014.

In light of its bleak finances, the publicly owned West Jefferson Medical Center’s credit rating on $136.2 million in outstanding debt has fallen from investment grade to below investment grade, Moody’s Investors Service announced this week. Moody’s said its rating for the Marrero hospital could fall even further, given that the medical center isn’t… Continue reading →

Jefferson Parish School Board president denies verbally abusing secretary, says he’s ‘always been respectful’ of her

Cedric Floyd

Jefferson Parish School Board President Cedric Floyd denied Thursday that he recently blew up at the board’s secretary or was ever verbally abusive to her. School Board secretary Sharon Hunter went to the school district’s Human Resources Department last month and filed a grievance against Floyd, who has been accused on several occasions of… Continue reading →

Jefferson Parish presidency candidate Elton Lagasse tells Crimefighters to keep its endorsement after group votes to back his opponent

Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER --  Jefferson Parish Councilman Elton Lagasse in 2013.

Two days after participating in a Louisiana Crimefighters Inc. debate, Jefferson Parish presidency candidate Elton Lagasse on Thursday told the victims advocacy group to go ahead and keep their endorsement. Not that Crimefighters was going to give its endorsement to Parish Council member Lagasse anyway. Shortly after the debate, the group’s 50-member executive board had… Continue reading →

Jefferson Parish School Board president accused of verbally abusing secretary

Cedric Floyd

Cedric Floyd, president of the Jefferson Parish School Board, is facing more questions about his allegedly volatile temper. The latest incident to stir concern apparently began when Floyd decided last month that he wanted his photo taken with the $24.5 million check that BP had just cut the school district to settle oil spill damage claims.… Continue reading →

Councilman Elton Lagasse, Mayor Mike Yenni debate who is better prepared to keep Jefferson Parish safe

Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER --  Jefferson Parish Councilman Elton Lagasse in 2013.

With qualifying for the Oct. 24 primary a week away, Kenner Mayor Mike Yenni and Jefferson Parish Councilman Elton Lagasse — the two men competing to become Jefferson’s next parish president — debated Tuesday evening on who is better equipped to tackle public safety issues in the parish. Also showing up at the Metairie forum hosted… Continue reading →

Rep. Steve Scalise criticizes ‘dangerous’ Iran deal, plans town hall at Jefferson Parish Council chamber

Associated Press file photo by MELINDA DESLATTE -- Republican House Majority Whip U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La.

U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise, R-Jefferson, will discuss President Barack Obama’s proposed nuclear deal with Iran during a town hall meeting at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Jefferson Parish Council chamber on the East Bank, his office said Tuesday. Scalise, the House majority whip, will be joined by American Enterprise Institute scholar Michael Rubin,… Continue reading →

Dishes named after former Metairie restaurateur ‘Bozo’ Vodanovich prompt trademark lawsuit

Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER --  Chris "Bozo" Vodanovich ran "Bozo's" for generations. Ed McIntyre now runs "Mr Ed's Oyster Bar and Fish House" at the same location.

Among the dishes that diners can order off the menu at Mr. Ed’s Oyster Bar & Fish House in Metairie are “Mr. Chris’ Chicken and Andouille Gumbo” and “Mr. Chris’ Homemade Hamburger Steak.” Each is named after the late Chris “Bozo” Vodanovich, the man who once ran a popular seafood restaurant at… Continue reading →

Tattered flag that flew outside Kenner home during Katrina to serve as reminder of city emergency operations center’s importance

This framed American flag flew outside of a Kenner home during Hurricane Katrina on Aug. 29, 2005, and emerged from the storm tattered. It was hung outside of the city's Emergency Operations Center on the eve of the storm's 10-year anniversary to be a reminder of the importance of the emergency operations center in the event of future hurricanes and other disasters. (Photo provided by Kenner city spokesman Bob Ross)

A Star-Spangled Banner that flew outside a Kenner home during Hurricane Katrina 10 years ago and emerged from the storm tattered will be permanently displayed in the city’s emergency operations center to remind everyone of why that building exists, Mayor Mike Yenni said Friday at a dedication ceremony for the flag. “Like the city,… Continue reading →

Gretna lifts boil-water advisory; new tests show no E. coli in the water system

Gretna officials on Friday lifted a boil-water advisory they had issued a day earlier. They said they had concluded that fears about bacteria in the municipal water supply were unfounded. Follow-up inspections showed that Gretna’s water system was never contaminated despite an earlier test suggesting that E. coli and other coliform… Continue reading →

Kenner Planning Commission recommends approval of plan for apartment complex at old movie theater site

Kenner’s Planning Commission has recommended that the City Council approve a proposed apartment complex of three- and four-story buildings on a former movie theater property near the Esplanade Mall despite the objections of an adjacent neighborhood. Commission Chairman Robert Pastor said the plan to erect the Gateway at Esplanade complex was endorsed at a… Continue reading →

Jefferson Parish Councilman Chris Roberts draws another re-election challenger in Jimmy Lawson

At-large Jefferson Parish Councilman Chris Roberts has drawn a second challenger in his bid for re-election this fall. Former longtime parish councilman Jimmy Lawson announced Wednesday that he will run for Roberts’ seat during the Oct. 24 primary. Louis Congemi — the former Kenner mayor and parish councilman — declared he would do the same… Continue reading →

Man convicted in drunk-driving wreck that killed his 1-year-old son given 5-year sentence by Jefferson Parish judge

Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office -- Jeremiah Price

After being convicted in a 2013 drunk-driving crash that killed his 1-year-old son, Jeremiah Price told a Jefferson Parish judge on Wednesday that he has already suffered the worst sentence imaginable. “There’s not a minute, day or hour that I don’t think about my son,” Price told 24th Judicial District Court Judge E. Adrian… Continue reading →

Jefferson Parish inspector general urges tracking of BP settlement money

Jefferson Parish’s inspector general asked the parish Tuesday to create special accounting codes for the oil spill-related settlement money the parish is getting from BP to make it easier to track how the money is spent and support the goal of transparency in government. Inspector General David McClintock posted the letter on his office’s… Continue reading →

Judge delays execution of man who murdered Metairie-raised woman in Mississippi until death row inmate’s federal lawsuit is resolved

Edwina Marter, right, in front of the Mississippi home from which she was kidnapped in 1976.

A man on death row in Mississippi for the 1976 murder of a Metairie-raised woman should not be executed until it is determined whether the state’s lethal-injection drug combination is constitutional, a federal judge in Mississippi decided Tuesday. The ruling by U.S. District Judge Henry Wingate, of Jackson, came almost a month after the… Continue reading →

State firefighter retirement system sues Jefferson Parish fire protection officials

The Firefighters Retirement System of Louisiana has sued Jefferson Parish’s top fire protection official and several others in the East Bank Consolidated Fire Protection District for not paying into the system from which they collect benefits even though they work full time. The suit involves a practice by which employees retire and start collecting… Continue reading →

State ethics board clears two Harvey firefighters

The state Board of Ethics has dismissed charges against two Harvey volunteer firefighters accused of using their department’s checkbook and credit card for personal expenses. The board discussed the matter in executive session Friday before dropping the charges originally filed in 2012 against Harvey Volunteer Fire District No. 2 Chief Scott Berthelot and Deputy Chief Michael… Continue reading →

Jefferson Parish Councilman Chris Roberts responds to unflattering portrayal in ‘Katrina: After the Flood’ book

Jefferson Parish Councilman Chris Roberts

Jefferson Parish Councilman Chris Roberts makes a cameo appearance early in Gary Rivlin’s newly-released book “Katrina: After the Flood,” and the portrayal of the veteran politico in the early aftermath of the hurricane that devastated the New Orleans area in 2005 is not a flattering one. Roberts, however, questioned whether that portrayal was entirely accurate… Continue reading →

Owner of Lakeside News, closing after Aug. 31, says keeping newsstand open was ‘a fight I couldn’t win’

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--Lakeside News, next to Morning Call at the corner of Severn Avenue and 17th Street in Metairie, is closing at the end of the month seen here Friday, Aug. 21, 2015.

Lakeside News owner Michael Marcello remembers when his Metairie newsstand could count on dozens of regular customers spending a couple of hundred dollars on periodicals every week. But as anyone in the news or magazine business can tell you, many of those staunch print loyalists are dead or getting up in years. And… Continue reading →

Property owners now responsible for graffiti removal in wake of obscene drawings, Kenner City Council decides

Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER --  Graffiti mars a business in Kenner Wednesday, August 19, 2015. Kenner plans to toughen up its anti-graffiti laws, putting the onus of removing offensive graffiti on private property on the property owners.

The removal of graffiti defacing homes and businesses in Kenner now will be the responsibility of the owners of vandalized property, at least in most cases, the Kenner City Council decided Thursday. Officials said the new measure will not be an unreasonable burden on owners. After receiving a notice from the city to remove graffiti, an… Continue reading →

Former Jefferson Parish Councilman Louis Congemi to run for at-large seat now held by Councilman Chris Roberts

Louis Congemi

Former Kenner Mayor and Jefferson Parish Councilman Louis Congemi will run this fall for the office now held by at-large Parish Councilman Chris Roberts, Congemi announced Thursday. Roberts is seeking re-election to the seat. Congemi said previously he would run for one of the Parish Council’s two at-large seats. His announcement Thursday confirmed which… Continue reading →

Family sues Jefferson Parish School Board after teenage son suffers broken jaw, needs surgery as result of 'knockout game' at Bonnabel High

Photo provided by Google Maps -- Alfred Bonnabel Magnet Academy High School

They called it the “knockout game,” and apparently it was simple enough to play: Find an innocent fellow student and punch him once in the face with a set of brass knuckles as he’s walking to class. That’s according to the attorney who filed a lawsuit Thursday on behalf of Raymundo and Francy Posas and who… Continue reading →

Phallic drawings near day care center lead Kenner City Council to seek tougher graffiti law

Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER --  Graffiti mars a business in Kenner Wednesday, August 19, 2015. Kenner plans to toughen up its anti-graffiti laws, putting the onus of removing offensive graffiti on private property on the property owners.

Stacey Allesandro didn’t hesitate to complain when she spotted a 4-foot-long penis spray-painted onto a wooden fence near a children’s day care center in Kenner. She got in touch with members of the City Council and demanded it be erased. Trouble is, there wasn’t much officials could do. They discovered the city had no right to… Continue reading →

Jefferson Parish’s popular House of Shock is coming back from the dead

Advocate Photo by VERONICA DOMINACH -- The House of Shock has been a Halloween mainstay since the mid-1990s.

The people behind the House of Shock so firmly believed last Halloween would be its final night in business that before it closed, they had a man dressed like Jesus pretend to banish everyone there to the underworld. But a couple of things have happened since then for the faux-satanic-themed haunted attraction. First, flocks… Continue reading →