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New Orleans Attorney Profiles 2015
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Landrieu asking City Council to hire emergency contractor to fix Canal Street sinkhole

Advocate staff photo by SHERRI MILLER -- A large sinkhole has appeared on Canal Street near Harrah's Casino in New Orleans, Friday, April 29, 2016.

Mayor Mitch Landrieu has requested the New Orleans City Council pass an emergency declaration to hire contractors to repair the massive hole that opened near the foot of Canal Street.. The declaration is the first step toward repairing the more than 20-foot-long chasm near the Shops at Canal Place, which opened up last Friday after the wooden… Continue reading →

Major post-Katrina road reconstruction programs in New Orleans have been completed, officials announce

Nine years after the launch of widespread road reconstruction projects initially aimed at repairing streets damaged during Hurricane Katrina, area officials marked the completion of the last segment of two major programs Wednesday. The Submerged Roads and Paths to Progress programs, paid for with $208 million in federal emergency funding, have resulted in repairs to more… Continue reading →

Mayor Mitch Landrieu pushing to authorize more short-term rentals than Planning Commission wants

Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER -- New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu talks about progress in the city in the last year.

Mayor Mitch Landrieu is pushing a plan to allow New Orleans homeowners to convert their entire homes into short-term accommodations for visitors — a move that would direct the City Planning Commission to reverse its previous stance on the subject. That could prove a controversial position on one of the most contentious issues facing city officials… Continue reading →

Mayor Mitch Landrieu-endorsed bill aims to free New Orleans police from investigating minor crashes, but there's big opposition

Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- State Rep. Walt Leger III, D-New Orleans, watches the voting board in the House Chamber as 'yes' votes light up green for his HB953 Sunday afternoon. The bill, which would soften the impact of the Common Core academic standards, won final legislative approval on a vote of 70-to-17.The bill is likely to be the most substantive legislation on the subject to emerge from the 2014 session.

A bill in the Legislature that would relieve New Orleans police officers of the duty of investigating many traffic accidents in the city is facing fierce opposition from the state’s insurance industry, which says it relies on law enforcement to determine who is at fault in accidents. Rep. Walt Leger III, D-New Orleans, filed Continue reading →

‘An answered prayer’: Nonprofit pays for boy’s repaired heart, vies for donations on Give NOLA Day

Advocate staff photo by SHERRI MILLER -- Walter Mercado, shows the scar on his 8 month old son, Francis' chest, at the home of Amy Barrios, a host family with the HeartGift organization, in New Orleans on Monday, April 18, 2016. Francis was born with a congenital heart defect, and received the surgery and care he needed, free of charge, from the non-profit HeartGift organization.

Walter Mercado, a native of the Philippines, remembers the day doctors told him that a heart defect could claim his infant son’s life before his first birthday. Francis Steven was only 3 days old, but a hole in his heart was restricting blood flow to his lungs, causing his skin to turn blue and his body… Continue reading →

Audubon Commission defers action on plan for more public input, will seek to make it stronger

Advocate photo by SOPHIA GERMER -- Kelly Duncan leads the Audubon Commission meeting at the Audubon Tea Room in New Orleans, Thursday April 28, 2016. The Audubon Commission allowed the public to comment on the controversy over the fly and the denied soccer complex followed by comments on what to do next time they consider removing more than an acre of public green space.

The Audubon Commission will make a few more tweaks to a proposal aimed at ensuring it gets adequate public input on projects that would infringe on green space in Audubon Park or other Audubon facilities. After critics at a public hearing argued the first proposal would still allow too many projects to slip through the cracks,… Continue reading →

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu: 'We are a city, we are a country that is drunk on violence'

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu embraces Patrina Peters, who lost her son Damond to gun violence in 2010, before he spoke about violence at Tulane University's Dixon Hall in New Orleans, La. Wednesday, April 27, 2016.

Mayor Mitch Landrieu mounted a defense of his administration’s murder reduction strategy... Continue reading →

After 'The Fly' controversy, Audubon group to increase public notice about proposed additions to park

In the wake of widespread opposition to a since-scuttled plan to build a soccer complex on the riverfront section of Audubon Park, the Audubon Commission is rolling out a plan that would require more public input before significant areas of green space under its control could be converted to other uses. The proposal, expected to be… Continue reading →

State attorney general denounces NOPD policy he says makes New Orleans a ‘sanctuary city’

State Attorney General Jeff Landry asked the U.S. Justice Department on Wednesday to clarify whether the federal government forced New Orleans to become a so-called “sanctuary city” under the terms of a consent decree intended to reform the New Orleans Police Department. “Sanctuary city” is a label for cities with policies or laws limiting local law… Continue reading →

New Orleans working with national and local nonprofits on green drainage and planning strategies

New Orleans is partnering with national and local nonprofits on software that can tie together the city’s various efforts to bring its drainage and planning strategies in line with environmental principles and to take into account the effects of climate change, officials said this week. The partnership among the city, the Trust for Public… Continue reading →

UNITY of Greater New Orleans unveils plan to drastically reduce homelessness by 2020

UNITY client Brandy Haley and her daughter Aniyah,5, during UNITYs 24th annual meeting and luncheon held Monday, April 25, 2016 at Lakeview Christian Center in New Orleans.

By Thanksgiving, if all goes according to plan, every family known to be living on the streets of Orleans or Jefferson parishes should be housed. Within three years, advocates should be able to house every homeless person who is disabled or younger than 25. And by 2020, the two parishes’ homeless populations should be slashed by… Continue reading →

Jazz Fest inspires renewed backlash in fight over Airbnb, other short-term rentals

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--A sign on Burgundy Street in the French Quarter advertises an apartment for rent in New Orleans, La. Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016. Many long term residents in the French Quarter are worried that the neighborhood will soon be only rentals, both long term of 30 days or more and short term of a few days or weeks.

The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival is becoming the latest flashpoint in the fight over short-term rentals in New Orleans. Renting out rooms or entire apartments or homes during the annual two-weekend event has been a longstanding tradition for some residents, but the advent of Airbnb has turned the practice into a major business. And… Continue reading →

New Orleans City Council considers allowing electric vehicle charging stations on public property

The New Orleans City Council is considering whether to let residents install electric vehicle charging stations next to curbs, a move that would be a boon for drivers of such vehicles who live in homes without off-street parking. No decision has been made, but as a three-member panel pitched electric car charging solutions during a meeting… Continue reading →

Jefferson Parish to use future sales tax revenue for improvements around Ochsner campuses

Location of New Economic Development District

Jefferson Parish has created an economic development district around Ochsner Health System’s Jefferson Highway campuses and will use some of the future sales tax revenue collected there for public infrastructure and beautification projects to complement the hospital operator’s planned $360 million expansion. The Parish Council approved the district’s creation at its meeting last week.… Continue reading →

Citing judge’s order, Gretna won’t release cost of legal settlement

Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD -- A fence at the home of lawyer Mark Morice in Gretna, photographed Friday, Feb. 12, 2016, was erected after the city of Gretna tore down its predecessor in 2011 for being too tall. Morice sued Gretna city attorney Mark Morgan over the incident.

Gretna officials have denied a public-records request seeking to find out how much the city spent to settle a protracted legal dispute with a local resident that began with an illegal fence and grew into seven lawsuits in both state and federal courts. The dispute, which at one point in 2014 was reported already to have… Continue reading →

Harahan council votes ‘no confidence’ in Mayor Tina Miceli after insults fly

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

The Harahan City Council passed a vote of no confidence in Mayor Tina Miceli by a 3-1 margin this week and adjourned its meeting early after a fractious debate over a former department head’s resignation letter. Shortly after the meeting started late Thursday, the city’s former chief building official took to the microphone before a packed… Continue reading →

New Orleans City Council to take up new gun restrictions backed by key figures

Guns would be banned in schools and on playgrounds in New Orleans, and anyone convicted of domestic abuse would be barred from carrying concealed firearms, under a proposed ordinance backed by two City Council members and Mayor Mitch Landrieu. The ordinance, introduced at Thursday’s council meeting, would also require that gun owners report the loss or… Continue reading →

Potential problems? City of New Orleans again pushes back deadline for bids on Confederate monument removal

The Advocate file photo

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Jefferson Parish councilmen back off ordinances to prevent employees from doing outside work

Jefferson Parish Councilmen Chris Roberts and Paul Johnston pulled two measures that would have prevented certain full-time parish employees from having outside employment, saying steps the parish president’s administration took to guard against potential impropriety have addressed their concerns. Robert, an at-large councilman, last month proposed an ordinance that would prevent full-time attorneys with the… Continue reading →

Jefferson Parish Council holds off endorsing state Senate bill changing way parish tourism agency is funded

Following a lengthy debate about whether proposed legislation would streamline financing for the Jefferson Parish Convention and Visitors Bureau or loosen parish oversight of its operations, the Jefferson Parish Council deferred a vote Wednesday on a measure endorsing a state Senate bill that would alter how parish tax dollars are funneled to the agency.… Continue reading →

Vice President Joe Biden, in New Orleans, says reform required to improve cancer research

Vice President Joe Biden criticized the incentive structure underlying cancer research and the barriers to collaboration in a speech Wednesday in New Orleans to a national meeting of scientists and doctors studying the disease. Biden, who lost his son Beau to cancer last year, was tapped by President Barack Obama to lead a “moonshot” attempt to… Continue reading →

World Trade Center's revamp in New Orleans may move forward, appeals court rules

Advocate staff file photo by JOHN McCUSKER -- Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s administration has taken its courtroom spat with a losing bidder on the World Trade Center redevelopment to the Legislature, working with a state lawmaker on a bill that could make lawsuits over such public development projects financially risky.

A state appeals court on Wednesday denied a request to halt the World Trade Center redevelopment in New Orleans, reaffirming a lower court’s decision to let the project move forward while the case plays out. One of the losing applicants after the city requested proposals for redeveloping the former World Trade Center building at the foot… Continue reading →

The Lens: Napoleon Ave. neutral ground plan called 'outrageous,' 'stupid' by some leaders

Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER -- Cars pass a pair of ducks swimming in a pond created by recent heavy rain on the neutral ground on Canal Boulevard Tuesday, April 19, 2016.

Historians say the term “neutral ground” for street medians in New Orleans dates back to the 1800s, when Anglophones and Creoles — who had no great love for one anther — decided they could use the space on Canal Street to discuss business without crossing into the other’s side of town. But there is nothing neutral about… Continue reading →