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New Orleans Attorney Profiles 2015
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A map listing homicides or suspected homicides in EBR Parish.
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Current gas prices in BR area.

Gretna man gets a stiffer sentence after appealing a conviction last year of raping and beating a woman in a Marrero storage yard

A Gretna man convicted last year of brutally raping and beating a woman in a Marrero storage yard was resentenced Monday to a slightly harsher term after the state 5th Circuit Court of Appeal found he is not eligible for parole. Terrence Payne had appealed to the 5th Circuit asking for a new trial.… Continue reading →

Terry Speaks requests new murder trial, says he wasn’t mentally fit to represent himself

Photo provided by the Kenner Police Department -- Terry Speaks

Terry Speaks, convicted last month of killing Bourbon Street dancer Jaren Lockhart and cutting up her body, has requested a new trial, saying the judge never asked whether he had a history of mental illness before granting his request to defend himself at his second-degree murder trial. Speaks, who represented himself through jury selection… Continue reading →

Jefferson councilman: It’s ‘shameful’ parish department doesn’t recommend increasing parish workers’ minimum wage

Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER --  Jefferson Parish Councilman Mark Spears, pictured here in 2013.

Jefferson Parish Councilman Mark Spears this week called it “shameful” that the parish’s Personnel Department doesn’t recommend increasing the minimum wage for parochial workers from $8.79 to $10.51 an hour. A formula developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology indicates that the minimum “living wage” for a single adult with a full-time job and residence… Continue reading →

10 months after announcing candidacy, Michael O’Brien prepares to formally launch Jefferson council run

For 10 months after announcing himself as the first candidate in the running for the Jefferson Parish Council this October, West Bank businessman Michael O’Brien kept a relatively low profile. That’s about to change, as he formally kicks off his campaign to challenge incumbent District 2 Councilman Paul Johnston with an event on… Continue reading →

Kenner City Council to reconsider four-year auditing contract in special meeting on Thursday

The Kenner City Council will hold a special meeting Thursday evening to reconsider a four-year auditing contract it awarded last month. The issue arose after it became evident that not all council members used the same methodology when they scored the five firms that submitted proposals before they voted on June 18. Councilwoman… Continue reading →

Attempt to block Westwego from awarding $1.3 million water storage tank contract fails

Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER --   The Westwego water plant.  Westwego has scrapped a plan to replace its  water treatment facility behind City Hall, deciding instead to repair and modernize the facility.

A construction company’s attempt to block Westwego officials from awarding a $1.3 million contract to replace the municipal water storage tank to a rival bidder failed on Wednesday. Command Construction’s request for a preliminary injunction in the case was denied by Jefferson Parish Judge Stephen Enright, court records show. Command then dropped its lawsuit… Continue reading →

Jefferson Parish fires off cease-and-desist letter to Uber

FILE - In this photo taken Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014, a man leaves the headquarters of Uber in San Francisco. A ruling filed Tuesday, June 16, 2015 in the case of a single Uber driver could have much broader implications for the popular ride-hailing service and for companies like it that rely on part-time workers for on-demand services. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File)

The ride-hailing service Uber offered its services in Jefferson Parish for just three days before it attracted a cease-and-desist letter from the Parish Attorney’s Office. The letter from Parish Attorney Deborah Foshee threatens the company with fines, litigation and even criminal prosecution if it does not stop operating without permission from the parish.… Continue reading →

'It’s overwhelming': Jefferson Parish issues first same-sex marriage license in Louisiana to clerk office employees

Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER --  Celeste Autin and Alesia LeBoeuf were the first to get a marriage license at the Jefferson Parish Courthouse on Monday, June 29, 2015.

Jefferson Parish began issuing same-sex marriage licenses to anyone who applied for them on Monday, Clerk of Court Jon Gegenheimer said. Gegenheimer’s office made the decision about 10 a.m. after speaking with his agency’s legal counsel, attorney John Litchfield. Litchfield spent the weekend reviewing the U.S. Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision on Friday to legalize same-sex… Continue reading →

Two teens arrested after chase of stolen truck across Crescent City Connection; driver tried to run down Jefferson Parish deputy

A chase of an allegedly stolen vehicle began on the West Bank of Jefferson Parish and ended on the east bank of Orleans Parish after the driver tried to run down a Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office deputy, Sheriff Newell Normand said Sunday night. Normand said 2nd District officers were alerted about 4:40 p.m. about a stolen… Continue reading →

Harahan council finally passes 2015 budget

 Harahan Mayor Tina Miceli

It took until late June, but Harahan finally has a 2015 budget. The City Council on Thursday unanimously approved a $5.9 million spending plan that gives the police and fire departments almost all of what they requested. The Harahan Police Department got $1.74 million of a requested $1.8 million, and the Fire… Continue reading →

Jefferson Parish takes wait-and-see approach after same-sex marriages are legalized

A man takes a photo of a large rainbow flag hanging at City Hall in San Francisco, Friday, June 26, 2015, following a ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court  that  same-sex couples have the right to marry nationwide.  (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

Though the U.S. Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriages nationwide on Friday morning, Jefferson Parish Clerk of Court Jon Gegenheimer said his office would not issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples until he got the go-ahead from his in-house legal counsel. John Litchfield, the attorney for the parish clerk of court, said he understands there could… Continue reading →

$3 surcharge approved for tickets sold to events at Jefferson Performing Arts Center

Advocate staff photo by RUSTY COSTANZA --  This is the Jefferson Parish Performing Arts Center photographed on Monday, June 8, 2015.

To finance the upkeep of the new $54.5 million Jefferson Performing Arts Center, a $3 fee will be added to the cost of every ticket sold for events there, the Jefferson Parish Council has decided. Parish President John Young’s administration requested the fee at the suggestion of facility operator SMG, which also manages the… Continue reading →

Jefferson Parish Council hires 6 firms to come up with plan for barriers along canals

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--Elizabeth Braddock, age 32, and her daughter Karissa Wise, 6, died when Braddock lost control of her sport utility vehicle and it flipped upside down into the canal in the 4400 block of Veterans Memorial Blvd. on April 14, 2015 during a heavy rainstorm. Jefferson Parish has hired 6 engineering firms to study placing guardrails along the roadways of the 340 miles of unprotected canals in the parish. Photo taken in Metairie, La. Thursday, June 25, 2015.

Six local engineering firms will begin studying options for making major roadways that run alongside Jefferson Parish drainage canals without barriers safer for motorists. At least five vehicles crashed into Metairie drainage canals between early April and the beginning of this month. Four of the accidents occurred on West Esplanade Avenue and one on Veterans Memorial… Continue reading →

Jefferson IG questions lack of plan for spending proceeds from hospital lease

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

The Jefferson Parish Inspector General’s Office raised concerns recently over the planned lease of the public hospital in Marrero to a private operator, saying parish officials don’t have a detailed plan for spending the proceeds. Inspector General David McClintock brought the issue up with the Louisiana Attorney General’s Office, which is reviewing the agreementContinue reading →

Why Jefferson Parish sheriff bucks nationwide body-cam trend

Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER -- Close up of a body camera being used by the New Orleans Police Department.

When it comes to technology in law enforcement, the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office regards itself as a trailblazer. From his sprawling network of automatic license plate readers to the drones he plans to deploy for crime-scene documentation, Sheriff Newell Normand takes no small pride in standing on the cutting edge. “Our agency has been… Continue reading →

See photos, details of beautification efforts for West Esplanade Avenue in Metairie

Photo provided by Jefferson Parish -- This location at the corner of Lake Avenue and Old Hammond Highway is part of the West Esplanade beautification project.

When Jefferson Parish Councilwoman Cynthia Lee-Sheng set out last fall to install better lighting, plant new greenery and perform some landscaping along West Esplanade Avenue in Metairie, her hope was that the value of property flanking the thoroughfare might rise as a result. As it turns out, Lee-Sheng’s $360,000 beautification project has started materializing… Continue reading →

Kenner council approves measure that brings construction of new airport terminal closer

Image provided by New Orleans Mayor's Office -- Artist's rendering of the transformed Louis Armstrong Airport.

The Kenner City Council this week approved a conditional-use application for the construction of a new North Terminal and related improvements at Louis Armstrong International Airport. Officials hope the new terminal increases the number of airlines and flights at the airport, which is in Kenner but is owned by the City of New Orleans.… Continue reading →

Ochsner and four partners officially launch new health network

Advocate staff photo by John McCusker -- Ochsner Dr. George 'Jody' Morris IV shows off the hospital system's ob-gyn facilities in New Orleans in 2013.

Jefferson Parish-based Ochsner Health System has officially launched a network that it says will give patients access to 25 medical facilities and more than 3,000 physicians across Louisiana. The facilities and doctors initially making up the Ochsner Health Network belong to five founding partners, officials said Thursday: Ochsner itself; St. Tammany Parish Hospital in Covington; Lafayette… Continue reading →

One Harvey volunteer fire official is convicted; another one is acquitted in theft case

Michael Reason

The Harvey Volunteer Fire District No. 2 deputy chief accused of using public money to buy items such as expensive sunglasses and a penis-enlargement pump was guilty of stealing, a Jefferson Parish state judge decided Thursday. But 24th Judicial District Judge Glenn Ansardi ruled that the West Bank fire district’s chief, who also was… Continue reading →

Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana organizer sues Avondale racetrack, alleging track owes hundreds of thousands of dollars

Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD -- The pit crew of driver Stefano Coletti attend to his car before the IndyCar Grand Prix of Louisiana Sunday, April 12, 2015, at NOLA Motorsports Park in Avondale.

A contentious lawsuit has erupted between the two companies that put on Louisiana’s first IndyCar racing event this year in Avondale. The dispute could put a question mark next to an event that local officials hoped would become a regular attraction and spur development on the West Bank of Jefferson Parish. A subsidiary… Continue reading →

Woodmere Community Center opens doors in West Jefferson

After years in development, the $1.25 million Woodmere Community Center has officially opened its doors to the residents and civic groups of one of the largest subdivisions in the state. The 3,000-square-foot center, which was first proposed in 2008, will be staffed with a supervisor and a counselor and is open for use by the West… Continue reading →

Gretna council approves raises for mayor, police chief increasing their salaries from $70,000 to $90,000

The Gretna City Council on Wednesday approved 29 percent raises for the city’s mayor and police chief. The raises, which go into effect next month, increase the salaries of Mayor Belinda Constant and Police Chief Arthur Lawson from $70,000 to $90,000 a year. The raises came over the objections of about a half-dozen residents who… Continue reading →

After delays, the Jefferson Parish Council approves raises for the East Jefferson firefighters

Advocate staff photo by REBECCA RATLIFF -- John Young, President of Jefferson Parish

The firefighters who protect most of Metairie and Old Jefferson will see a roughly 9 percent raise in their pay starting in July. It will be retroactive to January. The Jefferson Parish Council approved the raise Wednesday following months of back-and-forth negotiations between the East Bank Consolidated Fire Department and the parish. The two sides… Continue reading →