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Marrero vandals plead guilty to 2013 pellet gun rampage

It’s not clear what Christopher Flanagan and Dacotah Hamilton were thinking when they subjected more than 200 cars to a series of pellet gun shooting sprees on the West Bank in late 2013. But it probably didn’t involve hundreds of insurance claims, 25 months of legal wrangling and a conviction that will have each of them paying back… Continue reading →

Sandra ‘18’ Wheeler Hester settles case with Café du Monde, but claims against Kenner cops are dismissed

Sandra Wheeler Hester

Almost three years after spilling coffee on herself at Café du Monde in Kenner and then being jailed on allegations that her reaction was so profane it drove away other customers, public meetings gadfly Sandra “18” Wheeler Hester amicably settled a lawsuit for damages that she filed against the business. But the outcome of… Continue reading →

Kenner to revive curbside recycling collections

Councilman and Acting Kenner Mayor Mike Sigur signs a contract with Ramelli Janitorial Services Inc. on Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016, that is expected to soon resurrect Kenner's curbside recycling program. To the left is Ramelli co-owner Tommy Ramelli, and to the right is Ramelli consultant Nick Nicolosi. (Advocate staff photo by Ramon Antonio Vargas)

For the first time since Hurricane Katrina, Kenner will soon provide its residents with curbside recycling service, according to government officials. The program is part of a deal — approved by the City Council in December and signed Thursday — ensuring that Ramelli Janitorial Services Inc. will continue picking up trash in Kenner for… Continue reading →

Proposed Jefferson Parish School Board travel restriction defeated by well-traveled members

Early last year, a newly elected slate of Jefferson Parish School Board members voted to ditch the previous board’s restrictions on how much members could travel at the public’s expense. The result: Board members in 2015 spent more than $66,000 on out-of-town conferences and other trips, which was more than triple the annual average over the… Continue reading →

Land in north Kenner should be future campus of Haynes Academy, Jefferson Parish School Board decides

A narrowly divided Jefferson Parish School Board voted late Tuesday to dedicate 12 of 20 acres of land it owns in north Kenner as the future home of Haynes Academy for Advanced Studies, whose 790 students in sixth through 12th grades attend a campus that many feel is outdated and needs more room to expand. The… Continue reading →

Wrongful-death suit says Carnival float tractor driver was killed by drunk motorist being chased by a deputy in Harvey

Photo of Don Dauzat

The family of a man who was killed after towing a float for last year’s Krewe of Excalibur Carnival parade in Metairie has filed a wrongful-death lawsuit. Don J. Dauzat, 52, was struck and killed by an allegedly drunk motorist who the plaintiffs claim was being chased by a Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office deputy.… Continue reading →

$8.1 million would pay for guardrails along canals on parts of three major East Jefferson roads, study says

It would cost at least $100 million to install enough barriers to prevent cars from veering into any of the uncovered drainage canals on the east bank of Jefferson Parish, according to a recently completed engineering study. But for the relatively reasonable sum of about $8.1 million, the parish could install guardrails next to drainage canals… Continue reading →

Kenner prosecutor doubling as paid domestic-violence counselor accused of breaking ethics regulations

A Kenner city prosecutor who was the sole owner and operator of a company paid to teach court-ordered counseling classes for domestic violence offenders broke state ethics regulations with the arrangement, ethics officials said in a complaint released Thursday. Louisiana’s Board of Ethics charged Christopher Weddle with violating a law prohibiting public employees… Continue reading →

State Supreme Court decision could cost Kenner hundreds of thousands in firefighter pension contributions

Advocate staff file photo by MATTHEW HINTON -- Kenner fire department firefighters respond to an apartment fire. Louisiana’s highest court this week ordered the city to factor in incentive pay, holiday pay and similar compensation when calculating pension contributions for firefighters.

In a decision that apparently will cost Kenner’s government hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not more, Louisiana’s highest court this week ordered the city to factor in incentive pay, holiday pay and similar compensation when calculating pension contributions for firefighters. The Supreme Court’s decision upheld a ruling last year by a state 5th… Continue reading →

Jefferson Parish Council rejects proposed Marrero gas station

Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER -- The parish president, seven council members, the sheriff, clerk of court and coroner all took the oath of office Wednesday, January 6, 2016 at the Jefferson Performing Arts Center.

Facing loud objections from residents concerned about saving some live oak trees on the site and preserving the adjacent neighborhood’s quiet atmosphere, the Jefferson Parish Council on Wednesday defeated a proposal to build a RaceTrac gas station at Wichers Drive and Barataria Boulevard in Marrero. The vote was unanimous, with one abstention. An attorney… Continue reading →

State Supreme Court refuses to hear appeal of Katrina flooding verdict

Advocate file photo by Paul Rutherford. Photo shot on 9-5-05.  15045 met entrance PR   Jesse Pulley walks through water down San Carlos Ave. after retrieving what he could from his home in Jefferson Parish on Monday afternoon. Jefferson Parish residents were allowed to go back to their homes for the first time since Hurricane Katrina.

The Louisiana Supreme Court will not review a lower court’s decision rejecting a class-action lawsuit that blamed Jefferson Parish and former Parish President Aaron Broussard for damage stemming from the parish’s decision to evacuate pump station operators during Hurricane Katrina. The high court said Monday it has denied the plaintiffs’ writ application, with only… Continue reading →

4 of 5 plaintiffs disqualified from wrongful-death lawsuit filed after deadly Kenner police shooting

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON-- Lisa White, the sister of Don White, left, and Adrian Gaines, a long time family friend of the Whites, don't understand why Don White was shot by a Kenner Police Officer on Nov. 8, 2013. Lisa White and Adrian Gaines were photographed on Monday, Nov. 11, 2013.

Four women who claim to have had children by a suspected car thief who was killed by a Kenner police officer in 2013 have been disqualified as plaintiffs in a federal wrongful-death lawsuit against the city. Only the suspect’s mother can continue to pursue the case against Kenner, U.S. District Judge Ivan Lemelle decided… Continue reading →

Update: Suspect in fatal shooting surrenders, taken into custody, Kenner police say

Dayan Sanchez

Update, 11 a.m. Monday: Dayan Sanchez surrendered to authorities Monday morning and was taken into custody, police said. Sanchez, 21, was booked on charges of manslaughter, distribution of marijuana, felony carrying of a firearm by a person convicted of certain felonies, illegal carrying of a firearm while in possession of a controlled substance, illegal discharge of a firearm, and aggravated assault,… Continue reading →

Jefferson grand jury indicts three in connection with murder, rapes

A Jefferson Parish grand jury has handed up indictments in three cases, charging one man with murder and two others with separate rapes. One of the two was 16 at the time of the alleged crime. Antoine Green, who turned 17 this month, was charged with aggravated rape and aggravated burglary in a July 10 incident… Continue reading →

Destrehan teacher accused of having sex with student confessed to affair, police allege in affidavit

Kimberly Naquin

UPDATE, TUESDAY, JANUARY 19, 2016: Accused last week of having a sexual relationship with a female student, Destrehan High School teacher Danielle Naquin was released from the Jefferson Parish jail on Monday afternoon due to prison overcrowding after her bail had been set at $100,000. Naquin had been jailed in Jefferson on 10 counts of… Continue reading →

Benson’s former personal assistant must go to NFL commissioner to pursue back pay claims, Saints assert

Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER -- Saints and Pelicans owner Tom Benson looks over the Smoothie King Center with former longtime personal assistant Rodney Henry. Henry is now suing the Saints.

The former longtime personal assistant to Saints and Pelicans owner Tom Benson must go to the commissioner of the National Football League to pursue the back pay he says he is owed, the Saints asserted Friday in a federal court filing. The response came almost two months after Rodney Henry sued the Saints… Continue reading →

Jefferson saw 36 percent drop in murders, 5 percent fewer major crimes in 2015

Crime in Jefferson Parish continued to decline in 2015, Sheriff Newell Normand said Thursday, with murders falling by 36 percent and deputies counting the fewest serious offenses since 1974. The parish saw appreciable drops in burglaries, robberies and rapes compared with the previous year, accounting for a 5 percent decline overall in the number of major… Continue reading →

Jefferson Parish School Board will ask for higher property tax to finance new school buildings

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--Students leave Washington Elementary School in Kenner, La. Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2016. The Jefferson Parish School Board will ask voters on April 9 to approve a bond issue and property tax increase that would finance $200 million in new and renovated school buildings. Washington is on a proposed list but the list needs to voted on by the board and finalized before the April 9 bond issue.

The Jefferson Parish School Board decided Tuesday night to ask voters April 9 to approve a bond issue and property tax increase that would finance $200 million in new and renovated school buildings. If voters agree, they can expect to be charged up to 3 mills in additional property tax for a maximum of about 20 years.… Continue reading →

Bed Bath & Beyond sues Clearview Mall over refusal to transform store into two new shops

Advocate photo by KAREN MARTIN -- A Bed Bath & Beyond sign

Almost two years ago, the owners of Bed Bath & Beyond at Clearview Mall in Metairie told their landlords that they wanted to convert the popular, two-story store into a Cost Plus World Market on the first floor and a Buy Buy Baby on the second floor. The mall refused to give permission for the makeover.… Continue reading →

Two Tulane legislative scholarships up for grabs through Jefferson program this year

Advocate Photo by MICHELLE MILLHOLLON -- State Sen. Dan Claitor, R-Baton Rouge, and Sharon Courtney, vice president of government affairs at Tulane University, discuss legislation Wednesday, May 21, 2014 about granting legislative scholarships. Two Jefferson Parish lawmakers are awarding their 2016-17 scholarships through the Jefferson Dollars for Scholars program.

A Jefferson Parish program that usually awards college scholarships to public high school graduates also will award two Tulane University scholarships on behalf of two state legislators this year. The Tulane scholarships may go to either public or private high school graduates or to current Tulane students. Jefferson Dollars for Scholars, which has… Continue reading →

Harahan mayor vetoes 2016 budget passed by hostile council

Advocate staff photo by A.J. SISCO -- Harahan Mayor Tina Miceli at a Council meeting Thursday, April 16, 2015.

Harahan Mayor Tina Miceli has vetoed the $3.8 million 2016 operating budget passed at a Dec. 30 meeting at which four City Council members voted to strip $95,000 in line items, many of them funding responsibilities of the mayor. The council called the meeting over the objections of the mayor and Councilwoman Sue Benton, who pointed… Continue reading →

Warfare between Harahan mayor, council unlikely to be resolved soon

A year into Harahan’s break with the past, many are wondering if the city itself is broken. Harahan started 2016 without a city attorney or a chief financial officer, and a fissure between first-term Mayor Tina Miceli and some City Council members has turned into open warfare, with a reliable four-member bloc on the five-member council… Continue reading →

Jefferson Parish spokeswoman Kriss Fairbairn Fortunato to become Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser’s communications director

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON-- Jefferson Parish public information officer Kriss Fortunato holds the U.S. flag on a windy opening of the newly redesigned Family Gras site across form Lakeside Mall on the Veterans Boulevard neutral ground in Metairie, La. Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014. The site has been redesigned as part of the parishs beautification program, and will now be available to accommodate more events like Family Gras.

Kriss Fairbairn Fortunato will be leaving her job as Jefferson Parish government’s public information officer to become the communications director for Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser, she said Saturday. Fortunato said she was not sure exactly when her last day with the parish or her start date on Nungesser’s staff would be, but she acknowledged they would… Continue reading →

Kenner gets new city attorney, City Council member

Kenner City Attorney Leigh Roussel

Kenner has a new city attorney and a new City Council member. Leigh Roussel became Kenner’s chief legal adviser after the City Council ratified her nomination for the position during a meeting Thursday. She will replace her former boss, Mike Power, who resigned to serve as the Jefferson Parish attorney under former Kenner… Continue reading →