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Jury convicts Kenner man in 2010 block party shooting death

Tory Clark

A Jefferson Parish jury found Tory Clark guilty of second-degree murder Friday, handing down a verdict that will send the 20-year-old to jail for at least 35 years for the shooting death of Terrance Augustine near a Kenner block party in 2010. Clark, who was 15 at the time, could have been convicted of a lesser… Continue reading →

Kenner city offices to be without phone, computer services Monday

Several Kenner municipal offices will not have telephone or computer services Monday after a motorist on Friday night knocked down a power pole south of City Hall, officials said Sunday evening. In a news release, Kenner spokesman Bob Ross asked anyone needing to conduct municipal business on Monday to call (504) 468-7240 for temporary phone numbers… Continue reading →

Jefferson Parish schools deputy superintendent applies for top job

About 30 days after the Jefferson Parish public school system began its search for a new superintendent, the outgoing superintendent’s hand-picked successor submitted the first application for the job. The system received an application from Deputy Superintendent Michelle Blouin-Williams on Wednesday evening, School Board President Cedric Floyd said. Applications must be postmarked by Thursday,… Continue reading →

Verbal agreement reached to lease West Jeff Medical Center for 45 years

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

LCMC Health and Jefferson Parish officials have verbally agreed on terms of a 45-year deal that would lease West Jefferson Medical Center to LCMC for $225 million and $340 million in capital improvements, officials said Wednesday. Jefferson Parish Council President Chris Roberts announced the agreement in principle a week after the council set a… Continue reading →

In pursuit of settlement, ex-Jefferson Parish administrator made unusual sacrifices

Heather Hilliard

While she pursued a wrongful-termination lawsuit against Jefferson Parish, emergency preparedness expert Heather Hilliard never stopped teaching a class as an adjunct professor in Tulane University’s Homeland Security Program. But to make ends meet, Hilliard also had to take a job at a retail store in Houston, six hours away by car. She would stay… Continue reading →

Jefferson council to consider legalizing ride-sharing services like UberX

Associated Press file photo by Julio Cortez -- Smartphones display Uber car availability in New York. Uber is offering car service in 250 cities in 50 countries now, up from 60 cities in 21 countries just a year ago.

When the City Council voted in September to allow the premium service known as Uber Black to operate luxury cars with professional drivers in New Orleans, many assumed it was only a matter of time before the cheaper, more widely used UberX service that involves individuals driving their own vehicles would follow. More than… Continue reading →

Ex-Jefferson School Board member: Board’s vote was meant to embarrass him

Mike Delesdernier

In December, at his last meeting as a Jefferson Parish School Board member, Michael Delesdernier voted in favor of reimbursing himself for legal fees he incurred in a case he opened against a colleague, but then he returned the check of $14,750.85 that he received as a result of the affair. A School Board… Continue reading →

Jefferson School Board rescinds check to ex-member for legal fees

Mike Delesdernier

About a month after the Jefferson Parish School Board permitted a now-ousted member to vote to reimburse himself for legal fees incurred in a case he opened against a colleague, the board decided Wednesday night to rescind a check of more than $14,000 generated by the affair. Michael Delesdernier in December voted to have taxpayers foot… Continue reading →

Jefferson Parish approves settlement in wrongful termination lawsuit

The Jefferson Parish Council on Wednesday agreed to settle the only remaining major allegation from a wrongful termination lawsuit filed in federal court by a former parish administrator fired in 2012. Council President Chris Roberts announced that the parish would proceed to settle with plaintiff Heather Hilliard after a lengthy executive session at the Joseph S.… Continue reading →

Jefferson Parish Council sets 30-day deadline to finalize lease with potential West Jefferson hospital operator

West Jefferson Medical Center

After more than two years of seeking a private operator for West Jefferson Medical Center, the Jefferson Parish Council on Wednesday decided to give the firm LCMC Health just 30 days to either finalize a lease or cease negotiations with parish leaders. Council President Chris Roberts announced the deadline after a four-hour executive session that was… Continue reading →

Theater at Jefferson Parish Performance Arts Center will carry name of late state Sen. Ken Hollis, council decides

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

After the Jefferson Parish Council voted Wednesday to name the theater at the parish’s nearly completed performing arts center in honor of her late husband, state Sen. Ken Hollis’ widow said her family was “very grateful” that the efforts of a man who secured millions in funding for the project were being recognized in such a fashion.… Continue reading →

Jeff councilman proposes selling naming rights to new arts center

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

A Jefferson Parish Council member says he hopes the parish may have an irresistible offer for would-be philanthropists willing to make a generous donation to the parish’s new Performing Arts Center: their name on the side of the building. On Wednesday, the council will consider naming the theater inside the arts center after a state senator… Continue reading →

Jefferson inspector general, councilman spar over leak of memo

A new Jefferson Parish Inspector General’s Office report on the leak last year of a confidential memo about the parish’s efforts to lease its two public hospitals has sparked criticism from a council member who has criticized the office in the past and who argued the latest investigation was “absolutely politically motivated” and an attempt to “embarrass” his… Continue reading →

Harahan police officer resigns after allegations made against him

A Harahan police officer resigned this week after allegations that he had an inappropriate relationship with a witness to a 2013 burglary were forwarded to the defense attorneys on the case, an official with the Jefferson Parish District Attorney’s Office said Friday. Detective William Sandino resigned Wednesday, although he did not mention the allegations in his… Continue reading →

Gretna looks to grant more power to historic commission

Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER --  Adams Street in old Gretna features Eastlake and bracket shotgun houses Friday, January 2, 2015.

Gretna is considering granting the advisory board that oversees the city’s two historic districts the authority to approve or reject construction and redevelopment projects in them. The seven-member Historic District Advisory Council now only makes recommendations that are passed on to the City Council, but Councilman Joe Marino will propose an ordinance Jan.… Continue reading →

Intruder fatally stabbed at Marrero home

A Jefferson Parish man defending his wife during an attempted break-in Friday at his Marrero home fatally stabbed the intruder — a killing the authorities said appeared to be justifiable. The couple, Earl Jones, 47, and Dana Walker, 34, suffered injuries and were taken to the hospital. Jones was expected to be treated… Continue reading →

Man dies in Marrero fire

A 77-year-old man died while trying to save his Marrero home from a fire Monday night, according to the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office. Emergency responders were called to 1208 Lincoln Ave. about 8:20 p.m. and arrived to find the single-family residence engulfed in flames, Sheriff’s Office spokesman Col. John Fortunato said in a news release. Firefighters… Continue reading →

State charges Jefferson constable with ethics violations

The state Board of Ethics has filed charges against outgoing Jefferson Parish 2nd District Constable Antoine “Tony” Thomassie for allegedly using public money for food, entertainment and other personal expenses, and for hiring his wife in violation of state laws against nepotism. Thomassie, who lives in Marrero, lost his bid for re-election earlier this month. He has… Continue reading →

Naming a superintendent just one of many issues before new Jeff School Board

Superintendent James Meza; Chief Academic Officer Michelle Blouin-Williams

Two months ago, Michelle Blouin-Williams seemed to be on an easy path to becoming the next superintendent of the Jefferson Parish school system. Now the system’s chief academic officer, she had the support of School Board members. She had the blessing of outgoing Superintendent James Meza, who promoted her to the district’s second-highest position and started… Continue reading →

Negotiations for private takeover of West Jefferson hospital hit new snags

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

Negotiations to lease parish-owned West Jefferson Medical Center to a private operator appear once again to be in trouble, with a key negotiator for the Jefferson Parish Council accusing LCMC Health of radically altering its offer for the hospital, potentially lowering the value of the deal by $29 million. Also, once again, LCMC officials have sought to… Continue reading →

Jeff School Board member casts decisive vote to have board pay his legal fees

Michael Delesdernier

In what appeared to be a violation of the state’s Code of Ethics, a Jefferson Parish School Board member voted Wednesday night to reimburse himself for legal fees stemming from a case he brought against another board member. Michael Delesdernier’s vote to have taxpayers pay the roughly $8,000 in legal fees he racked up… Continue reading →