Attorney Profiles
New Orleans Attorney Profiles 2015
Letter to the editor
Send a letter to the editor to voice your opinion.
East Baton Rouge Parish Homicide Map
A map listing homicides or suspected homicides in EBR Parish.
Gas Prices in BR
Current gas prices in BR area.

St. Tammany officials puzzled by voters’ rejection of charter amendments

Before last weekend’s election, St. Tammany Parish Councilman Steve Stefancik confidently predicted voters would approve all nine proposed amendments to the parish’s home rule charter. Indeed, the results were lopsided — but in the opposite direction. Voters said yes to only one change to the 15-year-old charter, with the other eight going down to defeat, many… Continue reading →

Advocates for criminal justice reform, hot-button issue in governor’s race, hope John Bel Edwards sticks to promises

John Bel Edwards

. The red-meat rhetoric about John Bel Edwards unleashing thousands of “dangerous thugs” upon Louisiana neighborhoods has settled into the campaign dustbin. Now, as the governor-elect moves into transition mode, advocates for criminal justice reform in the state with the nation’s biggest per-capita prison population are hoping he’ll breathe life… Continue reading →

Multiple meetings about Port Marigny development site have resulted in little progress

Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD --  The former Pre-Stressed Concrete Products plant, photographed Sunday, Aug. 9, 2015, in Mandeville.

In a city where the length of public meetings often bears no relationship to the small size of the population, Mandeville’s marathon gatherings to discuss a proposed lakefront development are setting new records. The owners of Port Marigny, a planned 78-acre mixed commercial and residential development just east of the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway, presented their conceptual… Continue reading →

Woman picking up her grandson victim of carjacking near Slidell, Sheriff’s Office says

St. Tammany Sheriff’s Office detectives are investigating a carjacking that happened Tuesday night near Slidell, according to Capt. George Bonnett. A woman was sitting outside a Pebble Beach Drive home near Eden Isles waiting for her grandson when she noticed a dark colored vehicle stop nearby, Bonnett said. A man got out of the dark vehicle,… Continue reading →

What's next? After tax hike fails, some West Bank levees won’t be elevated

Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER -- John R. Monzon, regional director of the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-West, steps over a protection fence along a section of levee in Marrero which is being compromised by feral hogs rooting for food. The fenced area shows no damage from hogs that can be found on other parts of the levee.

The West Bank’s flood protection authority will have to prioritize which sections of levee to elevate in the current round of levee lifts after West Jefferson voters Saturday rejected a 5.5-mill property tax increase for flood protection. Executive Director John Monzon said the South Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-West will make decisions based on which levee sections… Continue reading →

Daniel Becnel blames loss to Natalie Robottom in St. John Parish on racially divisive campaign

Danny Becnel jr

Daniel Becnel Jr., the brash trial lawyer who made an unsuccessful attempt to oust St. John the Baptist Parish President Natalie Robottom in Saturday’s election, is apparently not ready to hang it up. In a note to supporters on Monday, Becnel blamed his loss on national civil rights leader Al Sharpton’s involvement in the… Continue reading →

New Orleans’ 5-year-old recreation commission has made strides but still faces challenges, report says

New Orleans’ experiment with a public-private model for providing recreation programs is still going through growing pains, for while the New Orleans Recreation Development Commission has made strides in opening facilities and garnering resources, it still faces challenges with staffing and defining a vision for the organization going forward, according to an independent report. The report,… Continue reading →

‘New sheriff in town’ promises changes at St. Tammany Sheriff’s Office

Slidell Police Chief Randy Smith

For nearly a year, Slidell Police Chief Randy Smith stayed on message in a campaign that he says covered every square mile of St. Tammany Parish, telling voters that new leadership and positive change were needed in the Sheriff’s Office. Now that he’s won the job, defeating five-term incumbent Jack Strain in Saturday’s runoff,… Continue reading →

John Bagneris wins New Orleans East House race, despite attack over unpaid taxes

John Bagneris

John Bagneris defeated Alicia Plummer Clivens for the Louisiana House of Representatives seat in District 100 on Saturday, capturing 55 percent of the vote. Bagneris, 65, replaces term-limited Austin Badon representing a swath of New Orleans East. The race between Bagneris and Clivens, both of whom are Democrats, turned on who would be the better… Continue reading →

Jimmy Harris wins House District 99 race with 61 percent of the vote

Jimmy Harris

Attorney James “Jimmy” Harris cruised to victory Saturday over pastor Ray Crawford for the House of Representatives 99th District seat. With all precincts reporting, Harris, who also works as congressional aide, captured 61 percent of the vote compared to 39 percent for Crawford. Harris also led Crawford in the Oct. 24 primary, capturing 47 percent… Continue reading →

Carter easily wins state Senate District 7 seat

Former state Rep. and City Councilman Troy Carter easily beat longtime state Rep. Jeff Arnold to become the next state senator representing District 7 on the West Bank. With all precincts reporting, Carter received 57 percent of the vote, compared to 43 percent for Arnold. Carter said his time as a city councilman and state… Continue reading →

Melissa Henry wins in St. Tammany Clerk of Court race

Update: 10:30 p.m. Melissa Henry is the new St. Tammany Parish Clerk of Court, defeating Matt Faust by just over 3,000 votes. Henry won by 52 percent, a margin she held most of the night. Update: 9:15 p.m.: Melissa Henry maintains the lead in race for St. Tammany Clerk of Court with 44 precincts in: she still… Continue reading →

Proposed law would require New Orleans retailers to charge customers for both plastic and paper bags

Getting groceries home in New Orleans soon could become more expensive for shoppers who don’t supply their own bags. City Councilwomen Susan Guidry and LaToya Cantrell introduced an ordinance last week that would require retailers to charge customers for both plastic and paper bags — a move aimed at encouraging shoppers to bring their own reusable… Continue reading →

St. Tammany Parish to sell part of Southeast Louisiana Hospital campus to private hospital company for $6.7 million

St. Tammany Parish has reached an agreement in principle to sell part of the Southeast Louisiana Hospital campus near Mandeville to Northlake Behavioral Health Systems for $6.7 million, officials announced Friday. The sale, which is expected to be completed early next year, will turn over 35 acres and 13 buildings to the private company, which already… Continue reading →

Tammany president Pat Brister backs Jack Strain, touts charter amendments

St. Tammany Parish President Pat Brister, who won a second term in October, is throwing her support behind three candidates and a raft of home rule charter amendments in the sprint to the Nov. 21 runoff election. Brister, who did not endorse any candidates in the primary, sent out mailers this week supporting incumbent Sheriff Jack Strain… Continue reading →

French Quarter groups file suit to block high-rise hotel in 100 block of Royal Street

An array of French Quarter and preservationist groups is calling on the courts to reverse the City Council’s preliminary approval of a 190-foot-tall hotel and condominium development near Royal and Iberville streets. The lawsuit, filed late Thursday afternoon in Civil District Court, accuses the council of violating the city’s Master Plan by giving the green light… Continue reading →

Council members propose shifting money from NOPD to city’s 911 call center

With New Orleans’ 911 center facing problems in answering calls as quickly as desired, two City Council members are proposing to add up to $2 million to the operation’s budget to increase its staff in the coming year. Council President Jason Williams and Councilwoman Susan Guidry announced the plan Wednesday, a day before the full council… Continue reading →

Developers vying to revamp Piazza d’Italia parking lots get more time on proposals

Three development teams vying to revamp two city-owned parking lots near the city’s Piazza d’Italia monument will have an extra month to submit detailed plans for consideration, officials said Wednesday. The extension comes a few weeks after two New Orleans City Council members urged the Canal Street Development Corp., the public benefit… Continue reading →

West Jefferson Medical Center recognized as Joint Commission ‘Top Performer’

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

West Jefferson Medical Center in Marrero earned recognition for excellent surgical care and treatment of heart attacks, heart failure, pneumonia, care provided to mothers and their babies during the period around childbirth, and a disease that causes deep vein thrombosis as well as pulmonary embolism, hospital officials announced Wednesday. The hospital’s performance in those… Continue reading →

All 64 properties sold at NORA’s online auction; winning bids total $2.9 million

The New Orleans Redevelopment Authority sold all 64 vacant properties up for grabs in its first online-only auction, with winning bids totaling $2.9 million, officials announced Wednesday. More than 160 bidders participated in the auction, which was held Nov. 9-10. NORA partnered with Hilco Real Estate LLC to conduct the auction, as it has… Continue reading →

St. Charles Parish budget calls for more spending than revenue in 2016

The St. Charles Parish Council has adopted a 2016 operating and capital budget calling for about $92.4 million in spending and $77.2 million in revenue. No one spoke on the budget at the council meeting Monday night, and it passed unanimously. The excess in spending over revenue is expected to drop the parish’s… Continue reading →

Orleans Sheriff’s Office seeking $3.5 million from city to keep jail running, make payroll

The Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office says it needs another $3.5 million to keep the city’s jail running through the end of the year, including an emergency cash infusion to make its next payroll. The request from the Sheriff’s Office will be hashed out at a special City Council meeting Tuesday morning, just before council members take… Continue reading →

St. Tammany DA rails against charter change, and other area political news

The St. Tammany Parish Council and 22nd Judicial District Attorney Warren Montgomery have been at odds for months over a proposed home rule charter amendment that would remove the District Attorney’s Office as the legal representative of parish government. With that amendment and eight others about to go before voters Saturday, Montgomery is renewing his… Continue reading →