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The Advocate is Louisiana's largest daily newspaper. Based in Baton Rouge, it serves the southern portion of the state, including Baton Rouge and Lafayette. A separate edition for New Orleans, The Times-Picayune | The New Orleans Advocate, is published.

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Sunday, September 30, 2012

New Orleans taxis start new era Monday | Shreveport Times

New Orleans' taxi fleet is being forced to modernize — over the objections of protesting taxi cab drivers. Starting Monday, the city's fleet of about 1,600 cabs will have to be equipped with air conditioning, surveillance cameras, credit card machines and global positioning devices. The vehicles also will need to be no older than 11 years, with that age limit reduced even further to seven years in 2014. Cabs without these upgrades will fail their next biannual inspection.

Read more via Shreveport Times

New Orleans to be Largest City Without Daily Newspaper | Newsy

The saying “out with the old, and in with the new” is hitting home in New Orleans. The city’s daily newspaper, The Times-Picayune, announced starting this fall it will only publish Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. Jobs will also be cut as the paper makes some more modern changes.

Read more via newsy

Lower 9th Ward urges city to fight blight | WDSU

People in the Lower 9th Ward are demanding the city of New Orleans do a better job of fighting the blight. One homeowner in the ward said he has been trying to get the city to tear down the blighted home next door for four years. He said he fears the home is in imminent danger of collapsing onto his house.

Read more via WDSU

New Orleans second-line parade vendors, artists now will need city permits |

When "Treme" star Wendell Pierce heard of the city's proposed permits for vendors at second-line parades, he took to Twitter last weekend with a common, gut reaction to such propositions: "We challenge this idea that the culture serves the City, while the City doesn't serve the Culture," he wrote in a string of more than 20 tweets. "Harassment & restriction of street culture."

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Saturday, September 29, 2012

Orleans Parish Sheriff Marlin Gusman wants city of New Orleans included in jail lawsuit |

Orleans Parish Sheriff Marlin Gusman wants the city of New Orleans included in an ongoing lawsuit about conditions at the jail facilities he runs, arguing in federal court that the city needs to contribute more money to his operations as he prepares to enter into a consent decree with the U.S. Department of Justice. In a motion, Gusman said he is willing to change how he runs the jail but will need money to do it. He also accused Mayor Mitch Landrieu and the New Orleans City Council of failing to provide him with adequate funding...

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First Bogalusa Blues and Heritage Fest is Saturday |

The Bogalusa Blues and Heritage Festival was conceived about exactly nine months ago, and the gestation period has been remarkable by all accounts.

On Saturday, Sept. 29 the inaugural BBHF will take place. Hundreds and maybe thousands of people are expected to attend the event that will focus on music, education and family fun.

Organizers say they have been getting calls from people around the region expressing an interest in attending.

The musical lineup includes Blues Artist of the Year Tab Benoit, Kenny Neal, Carolyn Wonderland, Luther Kent, Homemade Jamz, Wes Lee and Big Daddy O and more...

Read more via gobogalusa

Another cement lawn, but this one gets cited by city inspector | The Lens NOLA

Neighbors may find it simply hideous. (Skateboarders may disagree.) But in a city as prone to flooding as New Orleans, leaving some open landscape to soak up rainwater is kind of a no-brainer.

The inspector’s report cites the “100-percent” front yard paving job and notes that it deviates from the plan submitted. The upshot: “No C of O until remedied.”

Read more via The Lens NOLA

NOPD, NOFD running large budget deficits | WWL-TV

The police and fire departments in New Orleans are having a tough time sticking within their budgets.

Out of a $119 million budget, the NOPD is now running close to $4 million deficit. The NOFD, which received an $83 million line item is about $1.3 million in the hole.

Read more via WWL-TV

Friday, September 28, 2012

NBC Developing Marching Band Comedy Set In New Orleans | Deadline Hollywood

NBC has put in development The Swamp, a single-camera musical comedy from writer-director Tom Brady, Werner Entertainment and Warner Bros. TV. Set in musically rich New Orleans, The Swamp follows the misadventures of a scramble-style college marching band and its unlikeliest of mentors. Named after the name of the off-campus house where the band members reside, the show is described as a contemporary character comedy with social commentary and musical performances. Brady executive produces with Werner’s Tom Werner and Mike Clements.

Read more via Deadline Hollywood

Blue Dog artist George Rodrigue survives cancer, returns to painting |

Artist George Rodrigue, known for his paintings of a beseeching, yellow-eyed blue dog is recovering from months of cancer treatment. Rodrigue said that while preparing for surgery to eliminate back pain, doctors discovered that he suffered from a rare form of lung cancer that had spread to other parts of his body. After undergoing a series of “very tough” radiation treatments and chemotherapy at Methodist Hospital in Houston, Rodrigue said that doctors are satisfied the cancer has been eliminated...

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In New Orleans, a fight for print readers begins as The Times-Picayune goes to 3 days a week | Washington Post

When The Times-Picayune decided to print three days a week, a nearby publication saw a chance to expand in the newspaper’s backyard and fill a void that for some in the New Orleans area is as much a part of the morning routine as beignets and French coffee.

The Advocate of Baton Rouge, a family-owned daily published 70 miles north, will begin a daily New Orleans edition Monday, setting up an old-fashioned newspaper war. The battle for print readers comes even as more people get their news online and from cellphones — generally from newspaper websites — and more news media share stories to save money.

Read more via Washington Post

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Residents celebrate lighting of New Canal Lighthouse | WVUE

There was a big celebration on the New Orleans lakefront Wednesday night for the lighting of the New Canal Lighthouse.

For some, it was a night for sharing those fond memories. For others it was cause for a party with lots of music and dancing all to celebrate this salute to history...

Read more via WVUE

Sen. Mary Landrieu pushes for levee that would have protected St. John from Hurricane Isaac's surge |

Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., told residents of storm-battered St. John the Baptist Parish Wednesday that it’s time to scrap the federal process that has delayed the construction of a levee that would have protected thousands of parish residents from tidal flooding brought on by Hurricane Isaac. “When the rest of the country doesn’t get funded, it’s an inconvenience. It’s a problem, etcetera, etcetera. When we don’t get funded, we drown,” she said at a meeting of parish officials at the New Wine Christian Fellowship in LaPlace, whose property is being used as the area’s disaster recovery center.

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The Heart and Soul of Dixieland | Wall Street Journal

"You know what makes me feel old?" Harry Connick Jr. said to me recently. "When I learned that some of the musicians I work with are also playing in the Preservation Hall Jazz Band."

As its name implies, the idea behind the venerable New Orleans hall and its house band was to create a permanent home for the region's older forms of jazz—and continued employment for the rapidly aging musicians who played them. As it turned out, that wasn't completely necessary: Even though the city also developed a parallel heritage of rhythm and blues (later forms of jazz, like big-band swing and bebop, never really gained a foothold there), the classic "dixieland" style would always be the Crescent City's musical mainstay...

Read more via Wall Street Journal

As Louisiana Gov. Refuses To Expand Medicaid, New Orleans Pursues Its Own Solutions | ThinkProgress

City officials in New Orleans are taking matters into their own hands while Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-LA) continues to resist implementing an Obamacare provision that would expand the Medicaid program in his state to cover additional low-income Louisianans.

Despite the fact that about 20 percent of Louisiana residents lack health insurance — one of the highest rates of uninsurance in the nation, behind just Texas and Nevada — Jindal refuses to accept federal funds under Obamacare’s proposed Medicaid expansion to address this coverage gap...

Read more via ThinkProgress

Lil Wayne opens skate park in hometown New Orleans | The Associated Press

Lil Wayne is returning to New Orleans, his hometown, for the opening of the Trukstop skate park in the Lower 9th Ward — one of the most devastated sections of the city after levees failed during Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

The Grammy-winning rapper, who recently launched a skateboarding-inspired clothing line called Trukfit, is scheduled to open the park Wednesday with his corporate partners...

Read more via The Associated Press

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Reversing the Deadly Obesity Trend in New Orleans | WGNO

America is getting fatter according to a new report by the Trust for America's Health and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Worse yet, people in Louisiana are among the fattest. The report is called F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America's Future and it shows obesity rates topping 60% in 13 states by 2030. Here in New Orleans, Mayor Mitch Landrieu and Health Commissioner Dr. Karen DeSalvo are actively working to combat the problem...

Read more via WGNO

Court tosses Katrina ruling, says Army Corps not liable for flood damage | The Detroit News

A federal appeals court reversed itself Monday and threw out a judge's landmark ruling that the Army Corps of Engineers was liable for billions of dollars in Hurricane Katrina flood damage that property owners blame on the corps' maintenance of a New Orleans shipping channel.

The same three-judge panel from the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that sided with plaintiffs earlier this year withdrew that decision and replaced it with a new ruling in the federal government's favor.

Read more via The Detroit News

FEMA reaches out to Isaac survivors who don't have flood insurance | Amite Tangy Digest

After receiving federal assistance for past disaster-declared storms and hurricanes, thousands of Louisianians were required to purchase flood insurance policies through Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) programs.

In the Hurricane Isaac disaster, FEMA is reaching out to survivors who let those policies lapse.

The insurance policy, issued under a FEMA Group Flood Insurance Policy, is a three-year, nonrenewable, group flood policy funded by a portion of the survivor's FEMA grant money.

Read more via Amite Tangy Digest

Amid New Orleans Saints' futility, Drew Brees nears a record | Los Angeles Times

Drew Brees stands at the brink of NFL history, although he and the New Orleans Saints don't feel much like celebrating.

Brees, whose 0-3 team plays the Packers at Green Bay on Sunday, is one scoring pass away from tying Johnny Unitas' record for a touchdown pass in 47 consecutive games. That mark has stood for more than half a century...

Read more via Los Angeles Times

Monday, September 24, 2012

music of Treme "Knock with me - Rock with me" Season 3 premier | New Orleans Stuff

The music of Treme "Knock with me - Rock with me" played on TREME  (s3, e22) Story by David Simon & Anthony Bourdain Directed by Anthony Hemingway...

Read more via New Orleans Stuff

New Orleans' recesssion recovery leads the nation | WWL

New Orleans fared better than any other metro area in the U.S. in recovering from the recession during the second quarter of 2012, according to a report by the Brookings Institute.

In fact, that's the second quarter in a row that New Orleans was the top-performing metro area in the country.

Read more via WWL

HBO Renews Treme for Fourth and Final Season | TVGuide

HBO's Tremé, the New Orleans-set drama, has been renewed for a shortened fourth and final season, creator and executive producer David Simon revealed at a Season 3 premiere screening Saturday, according to The Times-Picayune.

Tremé, which centers on the culture of New Orleans post-Hurricane Katrina, averaged 2.2 million viewers last year, far below the averages of other HBO dramas like Boardwalk Empire and Game of Thrones. The series airs on Sunday at 10/9c on HBO.

Read more via TVGuide

Friday, September 21, 2012

Red open-top double-decker tour bus service launches in New Orleans | Washington Post

The bright red open-top double-decker tour buses seen all over New York, London and Paris are coming to New Orleans.

City Sightseeing New Orleans launched the new service Wednesday with an inaugural tour of downtown with Louisiana Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu and tourism and hospitality officials. The service, which opens to the general public Thursday, will operate daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Read more via Washington Post

New Orleans Says No to Drones at Super Bowl | U.S. News & World Report

There won't be drones buzzing high over the Super Bowl in New Orleans this February, after all. But city officials say they could use drones at other high profile events, including Mardis Gras.

Multiple city officials, including Deputy Mayor of Public Safety Jerry Sneed, told The Lens, a New Orleans investigative journalism website, that the city had acquired a Department of Homeland Security drone to monitor crowds at the Super Bowl. But the city and DHS have apparently decided to reverse course and will use a manned helicopter instead...

Read more via U.S. News & World Report

Paul Ryan to Defend Medicare Plan at AARP | ABC News

Paul Ryan heads to New Orleans Friday to address the American Association of Retired Persons' (AARP) national convention. For the GOP vice presidential nominee, he's headed into the lion's den.

Of course he's had some practice. At the beginning of his candidacy, knowing how much his Medicare plan -- which would not affect today's seniors, but would fundamentally transform the program -- would be a Democratic target, he also walked into what could have been enemy territory...

Read more via ABC

So much for Satchmo: How about another downtown parking lot? | The Lens NOLA

A nine-story parking garage was supposed to be constructed on the 100 block of South Rampart Street. In order to make room for the structure four buildings needed to be destroyed, most notably, Morris Music, the music store of Louis Armstrong’s friend and mentor, Morris Karnofsky. As a young boy Armstrong worked for the Karnofskys, a Lithuanian Jewish family. More importantly, they helped nurture him and even loaned him the money to buy his first cornet.

In the city of New Orleans, there is no consequence if a developer tears down a historic building and then fails to develop the project he tore down the buildings to develop. No mayor in my lifetime has seen fit to secure a performance guarantee to insure that the promised work ever gets done...

Read more via

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

A Survivor of Hurricane Katrina Spreads the Word About Entrepreneurship | New York Times

Hurricane Katrina wiped out Kevin Langley’s New Orleans construction business. As both the city and the business struggled to recover, Mr. Langley came to believe that entrepreneurship was the solution to many of New Orleans’s — and the world’s — ills.

A member of the New Orleans chapter of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization, Mr. Langley poured his energy into developing the organization’s Accelerator program. A few years later, he was elected E.O.’s global chairman and embarked on a Forrest Gump-like entrepreneurship tour, popping up in places from Egypt to Pakistan where history was happening.

Read more via New York Times

Post-Isaac debris cleanup map shows patchwork progress in Uptown neighborhoods | UptownMessenger

A map of debris collection since Hurricane Isaac released by the city Monday shows strong progress in Uptown’s university area, Broadmoor, parts of Central City, and on either side of Magazine Street between Jefferson and Napoleon. In other many neighborhoods from the Lower Garden District to Audubon Park, however, the map indicates that debris contractors have yet to make their “first pass.”

Read more via UptownMessenger

Endeavour flies over New Orleans, en route to California | WVUE-TV

On its final flight Wednesday morning, Space Shuttle Endeavour flew at a low altitude over the NASA Michoud Facility in New Orleans.
New Orleans Local News, Weather, Sports, Investigations
Read more via WVUE-TV

Monday, September 17, 2012

The Diane Tapes Reading Series @ Maple Street Book Shop at Bayou St. John | Gambit New Orleans

Ben Kopel and Anne Marie Rooney host the monthly reading series featuring Ben Pelhan, Lara Glenum and Kristin Sanders. 6 p.m.

Read more via Gambit New Orleans

President Barack Obama AARP 2012 Life@50+ National Event & Expo

Enjoy the sights and sounds of New Orleans during Life@50+. Hear from Life@50+ speakers, performers and the people who make the Big Easy a great place to visit.

President Barack Obama and Chairman Paul Ryan will address the AARP members at Life@50+ in New Orleans on Friday, Sept. 21*. The President will speak live, via satellite, at 10:45 a.m. Chairman Ryan will speak live in the convention center at 11:30 a.m. Because of these appearances, we will be moving our opening show with Hoda Kotb and Emeril Lagasse to 8:30 a.m. Doors will open at 7:30 a.m. to allow time for security checks.

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New Orleans tweeting? | @nola411

Are you using Twitter? Follow @NOLA411 for news clippings from New Orleans, Louisiana and the Gulf Coast.


'Jock-A-Mo' singer-composer Crawford dies |

James Crawford, a New Orleans R&B singer who wrote and recorded the Mardi Gras hit "Jock-A-Mo," died while in hospice care, officials said. He was 77.

Crawford, known as "Sugar Boy," died early Saturday after a brief illness, The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune reported.

Funeral arrangements were incomplete.

"Jock-A-Mo," which took its lyrics from Mardi Gras Indian chants, was remade by the Dixie Cups as "Iko Iko." Artists such as Dr. John, the Grateful Dead and Cyndi Lauper also recorded variations of "Jock-A-Mo."

Read more via UPI

The BlueCat Screenwriting Workshop Returns to New Orleans | Film New Orleans

Gordy Hoffman, the Sundance award-winning writer/director (LOVE LIZA, A COAT OF SNOW) and founder of the BlueCat Screenplay Competition, returns to New Orleans to lead a screenwriting workshop on Sunday, September 30th, from 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Read more via Film New Orleans

Panthers sent New Orleans Saints packing | WBTV

The CATS started their home-opener up against the same team that ended their last season. This time the outcome was very different. The Panthers sent the New Orleans Saints packing with a score of 35 to 27...

Read more via WBTV

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Drew Brees's Favorite New Orleans Restaurants: Drago's Seafood Restaurant | Men's Journal

For Brees, moving from San Diego to the Crescent City in 2006 meant more than just adjusting to a humid, subtropical climate – it meant learning to love the Big Easy's signature Louisiana Creole cuisine. "When I first got to New Orleans, I had never given oysters a chance," he admits. "But then I tried Drago's signature charbroiled oysters. That's one of the best bites of food in existence," says Brees. Five years later, the six-time Pro Bowler is hooked. "I always order a dozen," he says. "Sometimes two!"

Read more via Men's Journal

Saints at Panthers: 5 Questions With a Saints Fan | Cat Crave (blog)

...talking with Gene Higginbotham, the Editor/Lead Writer for “Who Dat Dish” – the New Orleans Saints’ version of catcrave here on Fansided. Since we play twice a year and will have another chance to chat later in the season with more of a track record to look at, I thought I’d see what I could about the Saints’ issues on Bountygate and their opener as well...

Read more via Cat Crave

Slidell residents recreate personalities through crawfish art | St. Tammany News

It’s tales of the crawfish in Melanie Giroir’s household.

Her and her son Bo Corken, 21, have tag teamed to recreate the personalities of their friends and family through taxidermy-crawfish artwork and have coined their project—“Bayou Bugs.”

The mother and son tag team have been creating such pieces going on two years...

Read more via St. Tammany News

In Plaquemines Parish, hard against the water means hard times | Alexandria Town Talk

As residents and officials across southern Louisiana continue cleaning up and rebuilding from Isaac's destruction, many in this parish are asking why their communities were so relentlessly hammered by floods -- and whether it's worth rebuilding.

Plaquemines Parish, 12 miles south of New Orleans, is a skinny spit of land that follows the Mississippi River down to the Gulf of Mexico. It was one of the worst-hit areas during Isaac, which entered Louisiana just west of the parish.

Work crews last week launched the massive clean-up effort of Plaquemines. Workers righted downed power lines, as giant pumps continued pumping water out of the parish. On a stretch of Louisiana Highway 23, an excavator plucked bloated cattle carcasses from the side of the road and piled them into a flatbed truck. Some 2,000 head of cattle drowned during the storm, according to parish officials...

Read more via Alexandria Town Talk

14 more whooping cranes to join flock in Louisiana | Houston Chronicle

More than a dozen young whooping cranes are expected to arrive this fall in southwest Louisiana, doubling the number in a flock being reintroduced near the area where the state's last wild flock lived in the 1930s, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries says.

Twenty-six whoopers have been brought to Louisiana, but predators and disease killed nearly half of them. Whooping cranes are some of the world's largest and rarest birds.

Read more via Houston Chronicle

Saturday, September 15, 2012

New Orleans schools training students for burgeoning digital media field |

At least two local colleges are preparing students to enter the digital media field as Louisiana draws more businesses that perform post-production work for the film and entertainment industry. Delgado Community College launched a Digital Media Education Center in June to help train people in the growing industry. And the University of New Orleans Department of Film, Theater and Communication Arts says enrollment in its program has grown during the past decade.

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New flash sale website hopes to even playing field for local boutiques |

New Orleans area residents don’t need to be reminded of the importance of shopping local. Supporting boutiques and locally owned businesses is part of the culture down here, even though it can be, at times, less convenient than just firing up your computer and hitting click on a pair of shoes from a chain site. Now a new flash sale website,, hopes to even the online playing field for local boutiques.

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After Isaac, New Orleans man indicted for threat against FEMA | The Republic

A 43-year-old New Orleans man has been accused of threatening to blow up a FEMA facility and now faces 10 years in prison.

On Friday, U.S. Attorney Jim Letten said a federal grand jury indicted Anthony Tucker Mendoza on one count of threatening to destroy a FEMA facility with explosives.

Read more via The Republic

New Orleans: No night preaching on Bourbon Street | NECN

Bare breasts, drunken revelry and almost anything else is tolerated along New Orleans' Bourbon Street, but after dark, the city is saying street preachers are forbidden.

Two weeks ago, a small group of street preachers were arrested during a gay pride festival, perhaps the first people to be booked under a nearly year-old ordinance against aggressive solicitation on Bourbon Street. Those who crafted the law say it's a public safety measure to help with crowd control and discourage con-artists, but the street preachers believe it's a violation of their free speech rights protected under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

Specifically, the law bans loitering on Bourbon to spread "any social, political or religious message between the hours of sunset and sunrise."

Read more via NECN

Friday, September 14, 2012

The New Orleans Video Access Center Celebrates 40th Anniversary with a “Decades Bash” | HollywoodSouth Blog

The New Orleans Video Access Center, or NOVAC, is thrilled to be celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. To celebrate, NOVAC is hosting a Decades Bash fundraiser, with music, food, drink and film from 4 decades of serving the community. NOVAC invites community members to join us Friday, September 21, from 7 – 10 pm at Republic NOLA for an evening to remember!

As the oldest media arts nonprofit in the South, NOVAC has incubated more local filmmakers than any other arts organization in the region.
Celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, NOVAC is a 501 (c) 3 film & media-arts nonprofit organization with a mission to cultivate a sustainable film community by providing access to resources, education and locally generated content. NOVAC’s programs are supported in part by a Community Arts Grant made possible by the City of New Orleans. NOVAC’s programs are also made possible by a Decentralized Arts grant from the Louisiana Division of the Arts, with support from the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Economy, the National Endowment for the Arts and IATSE Local 478.
Read more via The HollywoodSouth Blog

Mystikal gets another shot at rebuilding his career |

In those weeks and months after his release, Michael “Mystikal” Tyler pronounced himself a changed, more mature, man, one who was well aware of his slight margin for error. What is more likely to determine his career trajectory going forward is the quality of his music, how quickly he learns the new rules of the game, and the competence of the team with which he surrounds himself...

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Braithwaite neighbors speak out after report shows potential massive chemical spill | WWLTV

As he looks over the destruction of his own home, Jesse Schaffer remembers the harrowing days after Hurricane Isaac, when he rescued dozens of people by boat in the Braithwaite area.
And he can't forget what he experienced when he passed the Stolthaven storage facility.

Company officials said at least three tanks leaked during Isaac. Two contained base oil. The third contained a chemical called octene, said Steve Turchi, regional director for Stolthaven Terminals. Turchi said 218 metric tons of the substance leaked. In addition, more than 140 rail cars went off the tracks, 80 of which carried hazardous materials. By Thursday, 132 of the cars had been placed back on the rails.

Read more via WWLTV

A Food Evolution in New Orleans Sets Trends for Entrepreneurs in the Industry | Forbes

In New Orleans, the food is never too spicy, babies come from cakes, natural disasters are commemorated in sugary cocktail concoctions, the sandwiches come dressed to impress, local food is honored with weekend-long festivals, and weekends begin promptly at lunchtime on Friday. With distinct food and traditions that date back to the city’s founding, New Orleans has always taken its food seriously, and, as a result, has resisted changing its food patterns in the past.
The Seared Tuna Salad from City Greens is made using from fresh ingredients from their hydroponic farm.

However, these days, New Orleans is lingering on the edge of tradition and progression. With new industries igniting the region and a prolific influx of young entrepreneurs and professionals contributing to the city’s renaissance, the culinary domain has also witnessed its own evolution.

Read more via Forbes

7 New Orleans restaurant patios that beckon when temperatures dip |

Autumn doesn’t officially arrive until Sept. 22, but the ever-so-slight dip in temperatures this week gave us that little thrill and got us thinking about where we like to eat outside. A few restaurants leap to mind when we think of dining al fresco...

DINAH ROGERS / THE TIMES-PICAYUNE The Joint, 701 Mazant Street, Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2012.
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Thursday, September 13, 2012

New Orleans Jazz Orchestra (NOJO) Celebrates a Decade | OffBeat Magazine

Ten years sounds like a long time, but if you live in New Orleans, you know it takes a lot longer to really accomplish anything substantial. There are just so many hoops one has to jump through. Mayfield and his business partner, and Executive Director of NOJO, Ron Markham (a remarkable pianist in his own right) have accomplished a lot in 10 years. They’ve made strong connections; they’ve solidly established the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, and they developed music and educational programming that certainly brings New Orleans jazz into the consciousness of eager partners both inside and outside New Orleans who want to be part of spreading the gospel of our music worldwide...

Read more via OffBeat Magazine

Hurricane Survivors Have Choice With Recovery Grants |

“What can I purchase with disaster assistance money?” That question is being asked by many Louisiana Hurricane Isaac survivors who have received grants from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

A vast majority of the grants FEMA is providing to Louisianians are for emergency home repairs or replacement. Recipients may spend these grants in any way that helps them achieve the goal of permanent safe, sanitary and functional housing. Instead of spending the money to improve the habitability of their damaged homes, some recipients may choose to apply the funds to purchasing other housing.

“Survivors do have some choices in how they use housing assistance, as long as they understand they must stay within the guidelines,” said Federal Coordinating Officer Mike Hall of FEMA. “With things in turmoil after the hurricane, we want to get folks into safe housing as soon as possible.”

FEMA also provides grants for temporary housing and other needs.

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New Orleans to receive millions from FEMA to cover Isaac costs | KSLA-TV Shreveport

New Orleans will receive $27.3 million in grants from the federal government to help cover some of the city's costs stemming from Hurricane Isaac. The grants from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, were announced Wednesday...

Read more via KSLA-TV

Hurricane Prep Failures in Every Sector of the Oil Industry | Louisiana Bucket Brigade

Hurricane Isaac was in the region for approximately three days, beginning on August 28th. During that time, over 100 reports about oil industry accidents were filed with the National Response Center (NRC), the federal single point of contact for oil spills. Some reports were filed by industry, others by eye witnesses. The following information is based on a review of all of the NRC reports filed.

Adjusting for reports that reported the same accident and irrelevant reports, there were 93 total accidents in the oil industry...

Read more via Louisiana Bucket Brigade

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Hurricane Isaac Crop Damage Estimates Reach $100 Million For Louisiana | Huffington Post

Good weather over the next several weeks could do a lot to reduce a preliminary estimate of $100 million in Louisiana crop damage from Hurricane Isaac, LSU AgCenter economist Kurt Guidry said Tuesday. Of course, bad weather would do the opposite.

Since several crops were thought likely to have near-record harvests before the storm, the state's agricultural sector could still have a good year if skies stay blue, Guidry said. The preliminary figure is less than damage from last year's drought or from other storms in recent years, and less than farmers feared, he said. Which isn't to say that all damage was light. Some farmers lost entire crops.

Read more via Huffington Post

Katrina floodwall case heads to New Orleans trial | Businessweek

The Army Corps of Engineers is back on trial, seven years after Hurricane Katrina's epic storm surge shredded the flood protection system it had built for New Orleans.

The trial will be the second to pit New Orleans residents against the corps over damage from flooding in Katrina's aftermath. The storm struck Aug. 29, 2005, leaving about 80 percent of the city under water after levees and floodwalls failed.

Read more via Businessweek

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Carnival switch for 2013 Super Bowl approved by New Orleans City Council |

The New Orleans City Council has approved the schedule for the 2013 Carnival season, which includes shifting the the first big parade weekend to an earlier weekend to accommodate the Super Bowl. The council's unanimous vote was more a perfunctory matter, cementing a new schedule that has been in the works since February. The shift moves 10 parades ...

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Issac tar balls came from BP oil spill, tests confirm | The Guardian

Laboratory tests show that globs of oil found on two Louisiana beaches after hurricane Isaac came from the 2010 BP spill.
Clean-up workers collect tar balls of oil on a contaminated beach in Grand Isle, Louisiana. Photograph: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Tests run by Louisiana State University (LSU) for state wildlife officials confirmed that oil found on Elmer's Island and Grand Isle matched the biological fingerprint of the hundreds of millions of gallons of oil that spewed from BP's Macondo well.

On Wednesday, BP said oil from its spill had been exposed by Isaac's waves and that the company would work to clean it up. The spill began after the explosion of the BP-leased drilling rig Deepwater Horizon on the night of April 20, 2010. The blast killed 11 workers and started the nation's worst offshore oil spill. Beaches, marshes and seafood grounds from Louisiana east to Florida were fouled for months.

BP has been running TV ads touting Gulf Coast tourism and urging people to "come on down."

Read more via The Guardian

Isaac-tossed Plaquemines residents get help from Louisiana National Guard |

Four days after he returned from his Hurricane Isaac evacuation, Eugene Edwards peeked out his mobile home's door in Plaquemines Parish's Davant community Thursday to investigate what was stirring in the sweltering heat across his front lawn on Louisiana 15. A National Guard truck had stopped at the end of his driveway, and out jumped several Louisiana Air National Guardsmen, who offered military Meals Ready to Eat, bottles of water, much-coveted ice and tarps. The troops hauled boxes of food and bags of ice to Edwards' home before continuing north in search of others who might need aid. Edwards took stock, rejoicing that his community largely survived Isaac's wrath, even if most Davant residents had yet to return home.

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Near-disaster in La. raises questions about evacuations | USA TODAY

With Hurricane Isaac still pouring down, a park ranger in southern Mississippi spotted an alarming sight: two 100-foot hunks of earth missing from the downstream face of Percy Quin Dam, the only barrier holding back the Tangipahoa Lake from the dangerously rain-swollen Tangipahoa River.

A few phone calls later, amid National Weather Service and media reports that the dam would fail, the Tangipahoa, La., parish president Gordon Burgess, just over the state line and downstream of the lake, called for nearly half of the rural parish to evacuate. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal sent 200 buses to fetch evacuees and helicoptered with Burgess over Mississippi to survey the earthen dam himself.

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Washington Redskins vs New Orleans Saints | Bleacher Report

As season openers go, this is a game of storylines for the Washington Redskins and New Orleans Saints. The 'Skins are looking to define themselves as more than their rookie quarterback, while the Black and Gold seek redemption from this offseason's Bountygate and the year-long suspension of Sean Payton.

More than anything, both teams want to start their seasons off on the right foot, which should make for an exciting week 1 match-up.

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Friday, September 7, 2012

Judge refuses to toss Chinese drywall claims | Bradenton Herald

A federal judge in New Orleans has refused to dismiss claims from homeowners who say a Chinese drywall manufacturer's product damaged their property.

Taishan Gypsum Co. Ltd. argued that U.S. courts don't have jurisdiction over claims against the Chinese company, but U.S. District Judge Eldon Fallon rejected that argument Tuesday. Fallon also refused to vacate a $2.6 million default judgment he entered against the company after it initially refused to respond to the suits.

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Mayor, City officials provide wrap-up of Isaac Recovery | City of New Orleans

City Officials & Mayor's wrap-up of Isaac Recovery

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A summary of the storm related response by City departments and agencies follows:

Mayor Landrieu declared a state of emergency on Sunday, August 26. The City of New Orleans Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness immediately activated its Emergency Operations Center coordinating disaster response and recovery resources with 45 City, State, Federal and Non-Profit agencies to ensure effective and efficient response to Hurricane Isaac. Altogether over 150 personnel worked around the clock at the direction of Lt. Col. Jerry Sneed, Deputy Mayor of Public Safety and Homeland Security.

NOPD started to implement storm preparation plans days before Isaac’s arrival. On Tuesday, August 28, officers started to work12-hour shifts with 550-600 officers on each shift. All 8 police districts reported 100% attendance. Furthermore, NOPD was supported by 1,400 Louisiana National Guard troops who conducted stationary and roving patrols as well as security at the Point of Distribution locations, Emergency Shelter locations and Food Stamp distribution centers.

Top 15 Field Trip Spots in New Orleans |

New Orleans has a reputation for being an adult playground, but visitors and residents of all ages can find a dazzling array of museums, historical homes, theaters and zoos and aquariums in the area -- all offering unique family and field trip opportunities. While New Orleans attractions number in the hundreds, let this list of 15 get you started on your tour of the Big Easy...

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NOLA Meetup: for entrepreneurs and tech enthusiasts | Silicon Bayou News

There’s a new meetup in town: the NOLA Meetup, modeled after New York City’s own tech meetup. Spearheaded by founders Brendan Finke and Joe McMenemon, NOLA Meetup is the not-to-be-missed networking event for techies, entrepreneurs, and aspiring businessmen.

The NOLA Meetup, which will take place on the third Tuesday of each month from 6pm to 8pm on the upper level of Lucy’s Retired Surfer’s Bar and Restaurant, aims to provide a career and community platform created by and customized for New Orleans’s tech community. The kickoff event is scheduled for Tuesday, September 18th, 2012.

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Thursday, September 6, 2012

BP says old oil from spill exposed by Isaac | Bradenton Herald

Waves from Hurricane Isaac uncovered oil previously buried along Gulf Coast beaches, exposing crude that wasn't cleaned up after the BP spill in 2010.

Since Isaac made landfall more than a week ago, the water the storm has receded and tar balls and oil have been reported on shores in Alabama and Louisiana, where officials closed a 13-mile stretch of beach Tuesday.

BP said Wednesday some of that oil was from the spill, but said some of the crude may be from other sources, too.

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Safety Tips About Mold following Hurricane Isaac


NEW ORLEANS, LA – Today, the City of New Orleans offered safety tips to residents who as a result of Hurricane Isaac may find themselves facing the growth of mold.

City health officials caution that the health effects from mold can be serious for those with pre-existing health conditions such as allergies and asthma.

Mold thrives in continuously wet conditions and can start to grow within 24 hours after a flood. Mold spores can cause allergy symptoms, headaches, bronchitis, asthma attacks, lung irritation and skin rashes. People with asthma or other pulmonary illnesses, compromised immune systems, infants and the elderly are more likely to develop mold-related illnesses.

If large areas of mold growth are present, professional mold assessment and/or clean up assistance may be needed. Professional mold contractors must have valid licenses with the State Licensing Board for Contractors.
Residents are encouraged to reach out to their own doctors or clinics if they are having symptoms. If residents don't have a doctor, they can find a low or no cost clinic at In order to control mold, City health officials offer the following suggestions:

• Flooded homes should be thoroughly dried out, a process that may take several days or weeks.

• Wet carpet and padding should be removed and discarded.

• Porous materials – those that absorb water – such as sheetrock, some paneling, fiberglass insulation, cellulose insulation, mattresses, pillows, wallpaper and upholstered furniture should be discarded.

• Sheetrock and other porous wallboards should be removed to at least 12 inches above the water line. Check for wicking, the upward movement of moisture to higher levels.

• Clean wall studs where wallboard has been removed and allow them to dry completely.

• Floors, concrete or brick walls, countertops, plastic, glass and other non-porous materials should be washed with soap and water and then with a solution of one to two cups of bleach to a gallon of water and allowed to completely dry.

• Wear rubber gloves and eye protection when using bleach and make sure area is well ventilated. Don't mix bleach and ammonia. Consider using an N-95 rated dust mask if heavy concentrations of mold are already growing.

• Materials that cannot be effectively cleaned and dried should be placed in sealed plastic bags to prevent the spread of mold spores.

• People allergic to mold and people with asthma or other respiratory conditions should not do mold cleanup.

For more information on mold-related issues, including cleanup and moisture control, residents are urged to visit the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) website at or contact


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

FEMA disaster recover centers open in St Bernard and Orleans Parishes

FEMA/State Disaster Recovery Centers (DRC) opened Monday in St. Bernard and Orleans parishes to assist homeowners, renters and business owners who sustained damage to their home or personal property as a result of Hurricane Isaac.

Specialists from the state of Louisiana, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) are on hand to answer questions and provide information on the types of assistance available to survivors.

The DRCs are located at:

St. Bernard Parish
3220 Jean Lafitte Blvd.
Chalmette, LA 70043
Hours: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday, 9/3, Labor Day only.
Tuesday forward: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. until further notice

Orleans Parish
19808 Chef Menteur Hwy.
New Orleans, LA 70129
Hours: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday, 9/3, Labor Day only.
Tuesday forward: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. until further notice

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A Disaster Recovery Center is a readily accessible facility or mobile office where applicants may go for information about FEMA or other disaster assistance programs, or for questions related to your case.

Search for a Disaster Recovery Center

The presidential disaster declaration for Hurricane Isaac now makes available federal assistance to eligible survivors in nine parishes: Ascension, Jefferson, Lafourche, Livingston, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. John and St. Tammany.

You can register for assistance at a Disaster Recovery Center or you can register online or by calling 1 (800) 621-FEMA (3362). The TTY number is 1 (800) 462-7585 for those who are speech- or hearing-impaired

Public's anger at lengthy power outage after Isaac boils over |

The New Orleans City Council has called a hearing for this morning to hammer Entergy's officials about the recovery. On its eve, as of 6 p.m. Monday, Entergy had restored power to 89.6 percent of the homes and businesses in New Orleans that lost it after the storm, leaving 16,772 still in the dark. In Jefferson Parish, just 69 percent of power has been restored, with 52,566 left to go.

A 90-year-old man without power at his home died of heat stroke in Jefferson Parish, where Parish President John Young has been the loudest critic of Entergy's "snail's pace" response to Isaac, a Category 1 hurricane.

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Power Update: 7000 Without Power in New Orleans | NOLA Defender

Entergy expects to have more than 90 percent of power in New Orleans restored by midnight tonight. The number of Orleans Parish customers without power in the wake of Hurricane Isaac fell steadily today by more than 15,000, bringing the number of customers without power to just over 13,000 as of about 8:30 p.m. Monday night.

Read more via NOLA Defender

Obama Pledges Help for Hurricane Victims Outside New Orleans | Environment News Service

The President met today with politicians of both parties – Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, a Republican; Senator Mary Landrieu, a Democrat and her brother Mayor Mitch Landrieu of New Orleans, also a Democrat; Senator David Vitter a Republican; and Congressman Cedric Richmond, a Democrat. From St. John the Baptist Parish 30 miles west of New Orleans, Parish President Natalie Robottom and Sheriff Mike Tregre were also at the meeting...

Read more via Environment News Service

Monday, September 3, 2012

Power returned 85 percent of New Orleans, says mayor | WWLTV

The majority of New Orleanians have power, according to Mayor Mitch Landrieu.

With New Orleans avoiding most of Hurricane Isaac's damage, the large swath of power outages and the length of time has tested the patience of residents.

Frustration with the rate of return to power filtered all the way to local government, as City Council President Stacy Head called for a committee meeting to examine Entergy's response to restore power to New Orleans after Isaac.

Read more via WWLTV

New Orleans opens a new cooling center for Hurricane Isaac victims |

New Orleans officials opened an emergency cooling shelter Sunday at the Dryades YMCA in Central City, 2220 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd., for residents who still do not have power at their homes after Hurricane Isaac. The new shelter replaces one that was closed late Saturday. The cooling shelter at the Behrman Center in Algiers had to be closed after its air conditioning failed.

The city also is operating a cooling shelter at the St. Bernard Recreation Center at 1500 Lafreniere St. in Gentilly.

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Convoying begins to lower Plaquemines | WWL First News

Parts of lower Plaquemines parish are opening for residents to come check their homes and property. With a police escort, homeowners, workers and other people with interests on the west bank of Plaquemines will get to take a look today.

"Power's still out and we're trying to let those people go back as well as the people with business down there," Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser said Monday morning. "You see a few generators going down, hopefully to get some of the stores up and running."

Read more via WWL

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Central La. Guardsmen provide relief to Isaac victims | Alexandria Town Talk

"This is what soldiers do -- help people," said Staff Sgt. Carly Marques with the 199th Brigade Support Battalion Headquarters and Headquarters Company based in Alexandria.Marques lives in Leesville and was active duty Army until he joined the Louisiana National Guard in November. He works at Fort Polk when he's not on National Guard duty.

Read more via Alexandria Town Talk

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Tangipahoa evacuation lifted along Tangi River | WWL

The mandatory evacuation of areas within 1/2 mile of the Tangipahoa River as a result of the threat of the Lake Tangipahoa Dam has been rescinded, according to parish officials.

Residents in areas where the flood waters have receeded may return to their homes.

Officials say there is still substantial flooding along the Tangipahoa River which according to the national weather service is expected to crest at Hwy 190 sometime tomorrow and will stay above flood stage through September 7th.

Read more via WWL

Most of New Orleans still without power; patience 'wearing thin' | Los Angeles Times

photo credit: David J. Phillip/Associated Press / September 1, 2012
Residents of the Gulf Coast, meanwhile, were trying to cope with damage inflicted by the slow-moving storm. Then a hurricane, Isaac made landfall Tuesday, the day before the seventh anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. It then proceeded to pummel the region for several days, largely sparing New Orleans but devastating southern, low-lying parts of Mississippi and Louisiana with flooding.

In Mississippi, where two deaths have been attributed to Isaac, recovery efforts were underway Saturday even though some areas were still dealing with flooding and power outages.

Read more via Los Angeles Times

Entergy map on New Orleans power outages

Isaac Restoration Update from Entergy

Outages at 9 p.m.:
  • Entergy Arkansas: 2,679
  • Entergy Gulf States Louisiana: 47,527
  • Entergy Louisiana: 273,106
  • Entergy New Orleans: 100,022
  • Entergy Mississippi: 13,919
  • Total Systemwide: 437,363

Percent of customers restored:
Entergy Arkansas: 83 percent
Entergy Gulf States Louisiana: 68 percent
Entergy Louisiana: 36 percent
Entergy New Orleans: 21 percent
Entergy Mississippi: 78 percent
System: 43 percent

View Entergy Outage Map
We continue to assess damage and restore power outages caused by Hurricane Isaac. We expect to make significant progress today and through the weekend restoring power to customers in areas where the storm caused less damage to our electrical system. We appreciate your patience. Please check back periodically for updates. - message on Entergy website
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Armstrong International Airport, bus routes back up after Isaac

Commercial airlines have resumed service at the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport after Hurricane Isaac. All ticket counters are open and the first flights are scheduled to depart just after 10 a.m. and continue throughout the day. Check with individual airlines for booking.

The city's bus service resumed service on a limited basis on Thursday, and expanded the number of operating routes Friday.

Check the city's emergency website for continuous updates on storm recovery.

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Isaac renews debate about Louisiana levees: Is it worth billions to build them in rural areas? | Washington Post

Eric Gay/Associated Press
When Hurricane Isaac whirled into the Gulf Coast this week, the federal levee system protecting New Orleans did its job. But the patchwork of floodwalls shielding subdivisions outside the city and rural fishing and farming communities was no match for the drenching storm.

In June, the corps scrapped plans to build a $1 billion levee system to protect areas between the Mississippi River and Bayou Lafourche southwest of New Orleans. The agency said it could not find an economically feasible way to build levees or raise enough homes to guard parts of nine parishes against a storm with a mere 1 percent chance of occurring in any given year, also known as 100-year protection...

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Floodwaters recede, leaving a sopping mess in Louisiana |

Isaac dumped as much as 16 inches of rain in some areas, and about 500 people had to be rescued by boat or high-water vehicles. More than 5,000 people were still staying in shelters.

Crown Point, Lafitte and other nearby settlements that jut inland from the Gulf are accustomed to high water driven by hurricanes. But Isaac, a relatively weak storm by the standards of Betsy and Katrina, pushed in much more water than expected after it stalled after landfall...

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Romney tours New Orleans area to 'draw attention' to damage |

In Louisiana, Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney toured the New Orleans area, saying he wanted to understand the extent of devastation and "obviously to draw some attention ... so that people around the country know that people down here need help."

The White House earlier announced that President Barack Obama will tour damaged Louisiana areas on Monday. Jindal said he invited the president and that the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency had already visited.

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