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Saturday, November 30, 2019

Southern clinches SWAC West title, 30-28 over Grambling [ Local Stories]

Southern clinches SWAC West title, 30-28 over Grambling



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Burrow, No. 1 LSU dominate Texas A&M, 50-7 [ Local Stories]

Burrow, No. 1 LSU dominate Texas A&M, 50-7



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1,000 students win tickets to Bayou Classic [ Local Stories]

Tech entrepreneur Calvin Mills helps 1,000 kids enjoy the Bayou Classic for free.



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SE Louisiana rallies past Villanova 45-44 in FCS 1st round [ Local Stories]

SE Louisiana rallies past Villanova 45-44 in FCS 1st round



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Nicholls wins FCS playoff opener, 24-6, over North Dakota [ Local Stories]

Nicholls wins FCS playoff opener, 24-6, over North Dakota



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Buechele, Jones lead SMU over Tulane 37-20 [ Local Stories]

Buechele, Jones lead SMU over Tulane 37-20



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Rain tonight, nicer Sunday [ Local Stories]

Some rain overnight will give way to a clearer and cooler Sunday.



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Ruby Slipper Reopens [ Local Stories]

The Ruby Slipper along Canal Street is back open after its closure from the Hard Rock construction collapse.



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NOPD: Two shot including 14-year-old in Lower Ninth Ward [ Local Stories]

The New Orleans Police Department is investigating a double shooting in the Lower Ninth Ward.



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Hurricane season comes to an end: A look back at the biggest storms [ Local Stories]

Finally. It's November 30 and hurricane season 2019 is over at the end of the day.



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A cloudy, warm and humid Saturday [ Local Stories]

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Friday, November 29, 2019

Where Y'at magazine's entertainment picks for the weekend of November 29, 2019 [ Local Stories]

Where Y'at magazine's entertainment picks for the weekend of November 29, 2019



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'We loved him, we adored him:' Loved ones celebrate life of young entrepreneur Devin Espadron [ Local Stories]

'We loved him, we adored him:' Loved ones celebrate life of young entrepreneur Devin Espadron



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Rain chances increase late Saturday into Sunday [ Local Stories]

We'll enjoy a quiet night and a quiet Saturday before rain chances increase Saturday night ahead of a cold front.



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Local leaders asks residents to shop at small businesses [ Local Stories]

Leaders are encouraging people to take part in the annual Small Business Saturday.



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Worker who survived New Orleans hotel collapse deported [ Local Stories]

A construction worker hurt in last month’s collapse of the Hard Rock Hotel construction site in New Orleans has been deported to his native Honduras.



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A partly cloudy and mild Friday [ Local Stories]

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NOPD investigating three shootings [ Local Stories]

NOPD says three people were shot within a 5 hour period. One victim has died.



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Thursday, November 28, 2019

Severe risk early Sunday [ Local Stories]

The rain is expected to move out early morning Sunday. Forecast models indicate not much accumulation on the South Shore, but 1/4 to 1/2 inch on the Northshore. Wind shifts to the Northwest Sunday at 10-20 mph. Cooler weather is forecast. Highs will be in near 70. Cooler Monday through Wednesday with mostly sunny skies. Highs Monday will be in the upper 50s, and near 60 Tuesday.

https://ift.tt/2w6NC6r



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A family first: Saints linebacker AJ Klein shares renewed purpose for football [ Local Stories]

A family first: Saints linebacker AJ Klein shares renewed purpose for football



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Geaux Saints [ Local Stories]

Grab a jacket going out to watch the Saints Game. Looking good team! Weather cooperates for Black Friday Shopping. Weather is warm and breezy most of the day for Saturday with a slight rain chance. Rain and storms overnight into Sunday morning with that risk for severe storms. Great weather Sunday through Thursday!



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WATCH LIVE: Countdown to Kickoff: Saints vs. Falcons [ Local Stories]

On Thanksgiving night the Saints will take on the Dirty Birds, the Atlanta Falcons, starting at 7:20 p.m. on WDSU.



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Falcons’ Julio Jones missing game against Saints [ Local Stories]

Wide receiver Julio Jones is missing the Atlanta Falcons’ game against the New Orleans Saints with a shoulder injury.



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Sheriff puts on annual Thanksgiving celebration [ Local Stories]

Orleans Parish Sheriff Marlin Gusman puts on the annual Thanksgiving Day Celebration.



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NOFD: Partially paralyzed woman dies in house fire [ Local Stories]

NOFD: Partially paralyzed woman dies in house fire



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Brass knuckles, pepper spray, taser used in H&M robbery in New Orleans [ Local Stories]

Brass knuckles, pepper spray, taser used in H&M robbery in New Orleans



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A cloudy and mild Thanksgiving [ Local Stories]

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Davis’ 41 points lead Lakers past Pelicans, 114-110 [ Local Stories]

Los Angeles Lakers extended their winning streak to nine games



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Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Rain late Saturday and early Sunday [ Local Stories]

Weather cooperates through most of Saturday, with rain chances going up late Saturday into early Sunday. Highs Sunday will be in the morning, then fall off in the afternoon into the 60s. Sunny and cool weather for the first of the week.

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Off and On Clouds [ Local Stories]

Weather cooperates for early morning races Thanksgiving. Temperatures will be in the upper 40s and mid 50s. The Art Market at Palmer Park is this weekend. Rain chances go up late Saturday and early Sunday. Lots of Bayou Classic Events. Weather is great Friday night, warmer Saturday with rain moving in after the Bayou Classic.

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Thousands flying to New Orleans for Thanksgiving holiday [ Local Stories]

The influx of travelers is a critical test to see how smooth the new billion-dollar airport can run.



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Shoppers flood Lakeside Mall for sales [ Local Stories]

Now that Black Friday deals extend the entire week of Thanksgiving, Lakeside Mall has been bustling with eager holiday shoppers looking for sales.



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What should a NOLA house look like in 2020? - [Curbed New Orleans - All]


Shutterstock

What should a house in New Orleans should look like right now, given both the city’s architectural history and the impact climate change has had and will continue to have on the city?

Bathed in subtropical sunlight, Lake Pontchartrain’s south shore appears much as it has for almost 200 years: saltwater and sky stitched together by the occasional leaping fish, punctuated by a small wooden lighthouse.

An occasional speedboat breaks the illusion of timelessness. So does the fact that after Hurricane Katrina, the lighthouse was raised on 17-foot piles to accommodate flooding—both the sea surge associated with hurricanes and the flash floods that have become more frequent and severe in recent years.

New Orleans has always had to deal with annual river floods and hurricanes. But now, the below-sea-level city is sinking at a time when sea levels are getting higher, hurricanes are getting stronger, and floods are coming faster. And southern Louisiana is literally falling into the Gulf. According to a federal National Climate Assessment report, southeast Louisiana is at “exceptional risk from climate change effects.”

So what should a New Orleans home look like in 2020? How do we straddle the line between preservation and innovation? And what kind of home best mitigates the effects of climate change while protecting occupants from the deadliness of rising tides? We’ll examine a few types of housing stock—a retrofitted 1920s Craftsman home, a classic shotgun, a new condo development, and a warehouse-cum-artist’s studio—laying out the pros and cons of each in the era of climate change.

The origins of the Crescent City

Nestled in a crook of the Mississippi River on sediment deposited by its annual spring floods, New Orleans owes its existence to the same waters that are threatening to destroy it.

The majority of the city sits below sea level, with the exception of its oldest neighborhoods (the French Quarter, Marigny, Bywater, and parts of Uptown), which early settlers built on high natural levees.

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the Army Corps of Engineers built a system of levees to protect New Orleans from the Mississippi River’s springtime floods. But without the river’s sediment, New Orleans began sinking at a rate of up to 2 inches per year.

Around the same time, engineers drained New Orleans swamps with a series of canals and pumps. Architects populated these new neighborhoods (Lakeview, Lake Terrace, Gentilly) with midcentury modern homes and Craftsman bungalows that embraced garages, air conditioning, and national architectural trends but eschewed the features that had given New Orleans homes their signature look—and, more importantly, the same features that made it possible to withstand the water that was never far away.

“The movement after World War II of slab-on-grade construction, which you see in suburbs and newer parts of New Orleans, just wasn’t a good idea,” says Norma Jean Mattei, professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of New Orleans.

Unlike shotgun homes, which were raised on stubby brick piers to catch breezes and accommodate the river’s seasonal floods, these homes’ concrete foundations were set in the marshy, spongelike ground. When the ground shifts, the foundations crack. And when the heavy summer rains come, these low-lying areas are the first to flood.

“Before the levees were built, the Mississippi River would get high, water spread out, and for three months out of the year, our plants were living in that,” says landscape horticulturist Tammany Baumgarten. “A lot of subsidence issues we face in New Orleans—collapsing houses, sinking streets—are because the sponge is dry. By not allowing water to enter the subsoil, the city literally sinks.”

Meanwhile, shipping channels and oil and gas infrastructure perforated the marshy coastline that had served as a buffer between New Orleans and the Gulf of Mexico’s hurricanes—as well as the site of countless communities. Since the 1930s, Louisiana has lost a Delaware-sized chunk of land: more than 2,000 miles.

Throughout its history, New Orleans has teetered on the brink of destruction from disasters, be they hurricanes or yellow fever epidemics. The city is here today because its early inhabitants responded to harsh conditions in a beautiful way: by building raised vernacular homes with wide porches, high ceilings, transoms. As the climate grows ever more hostile, what kind of homes work, and what can New Orleanians live in in order to ensure the city endures for another 300 years?

The classic shotgun: a home built for its uniquely harsh environment

 Shutterstock

Head to Jackson Square and you’ll find artists selling paintings of New Orleans’s most recognizable icons: fleur-de-lis, crawfish, and shotgun homes. So named because you could fire a shotgun through the front door and watch it come out the back door without nicking a wall, the humble, shoebox-shaped homes were built to maximize comfort in a humid subtropical environment that experienced river flooding three months out of the year.

“Those folks built their homes to work with the environment that they were living in,” says Mattei. “It was a city environment, but you had tall ceilings and transoms for air flow, so you could keep the inside as cool as possible.”

Shotgun homes were raised to accommodate floodwaters, and they often were built as doubles—a configuration that placed two mirror-image units under one roof, creating affordable housing and increasing density. Cisterns collected stormwater, which also mitigated flooding from heavy rainfall.

Often, these homes were built from bargeboard—rough-hewed wood sourced from barges that had transported cargo down the Mississippi River. Having served their function, these barges were disassembled and resold as affordable building stock—adaptive reuse long before the term came into vogue.

In the centuries that have followed since early New Orleanians built shotgun homes and Creole cottages (square homes with steep, gabled roofs and dormer windows, built by French colonists), the climate has only gotten harsher. But at the same time, the shotgun has fallen out of vogue. Modern homeowners demand privacy, which is in short supply in a shotgun home’s hall-less, linear configuration of rooms (a classic shotgun requires a guest to traipse through a bedroom or two to get to the bathroom). And central air conditioning has made a shotgun’s primary cooling mechanisms—transoms and windows to allow for cross breezes, high ceilings to allow warm air to rise—almost obsolete. The same features that made shotgun homes appealing during their peak in the early 1900s make them inefficient to heat and cool today.

Still, shotgun homes are an architectural style that made it possible for New Orleanians to exist safely and relatively comfortably in a flood-prone, humid subtropical region prior to central air—a set of conditions that could return, if the direst predictions by climate doomers come to pass.

The off-grid Irish Channel warehouse and old-school lifestyle

 Jonathan Evans

At her 7,000-square-foot residence-cum-studio, mixed-media artist Nicole Charbonnet says she cleaves to “that old template of living with your shop under your living space.” Charbonnet, a New Orleans native, devotes the bulk of the formerly abandoned mattress and broom manufacturing warehouse to her studio. She commutes from her small bedroom to her light-filled, industrial studio, where shelves stretch almost to the exposed ceiling beams, and textural, collaged canvases lean against the walls.

Common in the days of the 19th-century corner store, Charbonnet’s work-from-home model is regaining traction in the era of remote and self-employment as workers seek to minimize their carbon footprints. But that’s not the only decidedly retrograde aspect of her lifestyle. Her backyard also heavily resembles that of a 19th-century New Orleanian.

“I have rain barrels under gutters. I compost, but I have a pig and nine chickens, so there’s really not much food waste to compost because the animals enjoy it,” Charbonnet says. “The chickens are great egg layers. I go to the grocery story rarely in the summer, just for soy milk or whatever.”

Charbonnet’s vegetable garden provides most of her produce, and her off-grid solar system means she has no electricity bills. It also means that she has electricity even when severe weather knocks the neighborhood’s power out.

“The power goes off fairly frequently in New Orleans, and it’s nice to be able to hand my neighbor an extension cord if she needs to keep her fridge running,” Charbonnet says.

She doesn’t have to worry about flooding to the extent that New Orleanians in lower-lying neighborhoods do. Her location is in the high-and-dry Irish Channel, which sits on the Mississippi River’s natural levee. Charbonnet renovated the warehouse herself. She sourced recycled windows and doors from the Green Project and Habitat for Humanity and repurposed wood whenever possible. She shares the space with another artist, who rents a studio, and her son, who has his own apartment in the building.

“I love living like this. There’s a clarity, and it’s easy to focus,” she says. “It’s a very efficient way to live… Architecture reflects certain structures in our society, but it can also foment new ones.”

The tricked-out Craftsman in Fontainebleau

 Photo courtesy Seth Nerhbass

Patent attorney and New Orleans native Seth Nehrbass owns a circa-1920s raised-basement Craftsman home that was built for a world without air conditioning—which shows in the stucco-over-hollow-ceramic-tile construction that provides insulation and cave-like chill. A 100-year-old oak, a mantle of fig leaf ivy, and a system of 100 cistern-fed hanging baskets also shade the home.

“The house is easy to cool and keep cool,” Nehrbass says.

The oxymoronic-sounding raised basement is another New Orleans idiosyncrasy. In a city with a water table so high, you can’t bury a corpse, let alone build a subterranean rec room, it serves the functional role of a basement while raising the main living level, thus protecting it from floodwaters.

But Nehrbass wasn’t content to coast on his home’s intrinsic coolness, especially after Hurricane Isaac knocked his power out for four days in 2012. He added 30 solar panels to the terra-cotta roof, which supply the 2,400-square-foot home with power, reducing its dependence on the oil and gas industry. He also landscaped his yard with exotic and native plants that foster biodiversity. Four rain barrels keep the plants hydrated.

“Three of the barrels are drained by soaker hoses, so the rain slowly seeps into the ground, rather than running off quickly into the New Orleans drainage system,” Nehrbass says. “This helps a little with flood prevention, and with helping to prevent subsidence in our yard… Our yard has sunk over time, but allowing more water to soak in should help keep the ground moist enough to prevent or at least reduce future subsidence.”

Nehrbass’s home is a prime example of how older homes, which were built to be harmonious with a humid subtropical environment, can be retrofitted with 21st-century technology that combats climate change. And, as Nehrbass points out, that can be good for the planet as well as his wallet.

“[I made this addition] partly to save money, but also to have a smaller carbon footprint,” Nehrbass says.

The controversial new construction in the Irish Channel

 Photo courtesy Marty Brantley of Engel & Volkers

New Orleans has always capitalized on its culture, much of which it owes to its unique architecture and topology. So when it comes to new constructions and preservation, the conversation can get ugly. Solar panels still aren’t allowed in the French Quarter, and certain homeowners associations can be restrictive, especially those in historic districts.

“Our design guidelines have not dealt with sustainability in the past,” says Bryan D. Block, director of the Vieux Carré Commission, at a panel discussion about climate change and sustainable design. “That’s something that’s very much missing. It’s economically important [to address this] and important to us being good stewards of our city.”

But even in the most permissive neighborhoods, a new construction that deviates too much from the New Orleans vernacular can become the object of derision.

That was the case with architect and developer Jonathan Tate’s condo development in the Irish Channel. Built of corrugated metal to create visual consistency with the area’s neighboring warehouses, the freestanding homes fit together snugly enough to create high density, but loosely enough to harbor porches, walkways, and garages in the negative space.

Reactions were predictably vitriolic. “Lifeless generic architecture,” wrote one commenter on the Curbed NOLA Facebook page. “The aesthetics certainly don’t blend with the Irish Channel’s historical residential character,” wrote another.

But Tate’s objective wasn’t to build a row of Creole townhomes—or, in other words, create what architect Lee Ledbetter describes as “a Disneyland regurgitation of the past.”

Rather, Tate strives to meld the two and come up with something new that is built for its unique environmental challenges—just as the first shotgun homes were.

“When it comes to the paradox between climate change and historic archetypes, we are big believers in context,” Tate says.

For Tate, that means placing eco-friendly homes (insulated windows, tankless gas water heaters, ductless HVAC systems) on small, tight, often nonconforming lots. His homes snuggle three bedrooms and two bathrooms into 1,400 square feet without feeling cramped, thanks to smart design.

“We are trying to reverse the course of what’s happening to U.S. housing. It’s bloated and getting bigger and bigger,” Tate says. “How do you reduce the overall footprint of the home itself, but still make a livable home for somebody?”

Water management is also at the forefront of his designs. Tate aims to keep all stormwater on the site with ground treatments, rather than pushing it into the street.

But the dialogue between old and new is always on his mind.

“There’s a fine line line between making a home appear as though it were constructed in 2019, but at the same time feeling like it is part of a historic, pre-existing neighborhood fabric,” Tate says. “This isn’t just about the history of housing or replicating a norm or type. It’s about incorporating a new vision for what housing should be.”


Source: Curbed New Orleans - All


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12 Essential French Quarter Bars - [Eater New Orleans - All]


Josh Brasted

A round up of French Quarter favorites — some highbrow, others low, and all manner in between

If there’s another American neighborhood with a higher concentration of bars, do tell. No need to even include Bourbon’s many strip and night clubs among the count. At just one square mile, New Orleans’ oldest neighborhood contains a wide spectrum of watering holes, from upper crust establishments, where a sazerac or a French 75 will set you back $14, to dimly lit holes where a plastic cup of dissolution can be had for $3.

But there’s no need to settle on just one type of drinking experience here as French Quarter bars are within walking distance of one another. Indeed one of the great pleasures of drinking in the Quarter is meandering, go cup in hand, between bars.

Given the choices, paring down a list to only a dozen Vieux Carre spots is harder than it may seem and and no doubt such lists are bound to provoke heated debate among locals and savvy visitors. After some three hundred years, drinking rituals run deep.

But here’s a round up of some favorites — some highbrow, others low, and all manner in between.

Restaurants are listed geographically. Have feedback on our essential French Quarter bars? Leave a comment or send an email.


Source: Eater New Orleans - All


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17 New Orleans Restaurants Where Dessert Steals The Show - [Eater New Orleans - All]


Bolivian Chocolate Cake at Compere Lapin Bolivian Chocolate Cake at Compere Lapin | Courtesy of Compere Lapin

From satsuma almond cake to chocolate cremeaux to pistachio pavlova, you’ll want to save room for dessert at these restaurants

Pastry chefs are sometimes the unsung heroes of the restaurant world. Their names don’t always appear on restaurant websites or menus, and they rarely get the same sort of attention that the celebrity chefs of the world receive. It’s a shame, because the dessert course is a diner’s final impression of a restaurant, and those impressions count.

At each restaurant listed here, diners are guaranteed to have a stellar sweet or a fabulous dessert menu greeting them. From Caribbean-inspired cakes to pavlova and loads of pies, tarts, and brûlées thrown in for good measure, this list of new and classic restaurants is sure to please every sweet tooth in town.

Please note: These are the best desserts found at restaurants, not bakeries or sweet shops. As always, the map is arranged by geographically, not by ranking.

Have another favorite destination for dessert? Share in the comments or send a tip.


Source: Eater New Orleans - All


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17 New Orleans Restaurants Where Dessert Steals The Show - [Eater New Orleans - All]


Bolivian Chocolate Cake at Compere Lapin Bolivian Chocolate Cake at Compere Lapin | Courtesy of Compere Lapin

From satsuma almond cake to chocolate cremeaux to pistachio pavlova, you’ll want to save room for dessert at these restaurants

Pastry chefs are sometimes the unsung heroes of the restaurant world. Their names don’t always appear on restaurant websites or menus, and they rarely get the same sort of attention that the celebrity chefs of the world receive. It’s a shame, because the dessert course is a diner’s final impression of a restaurant, and those impressions count.

At each restaurant listed here, diners are guaranteed to have a stellar sweet or a fabulous dessert menu greeting them. From Caribbean-inspired cakes to pavlova and loads of pies, tarts, and brûlées thrown in for good measure, this list of new and classic restaurants is sure to please every sweet tooth in town.

Please note: These are the best desserts found at restaurants, not bakeries or sweet shops. As always, the map is arranged by geographically, not by ranking.

Have another favorite destination for dessert? Share in the comments or send a tip.


Source: Eater New Orleans - All


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'Nobody is coming to this area,' Canal business owner says [ Local Stories]

'Nobody is coming to this area,' Canal business owner says



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World's Largest Turkey Fry event in JP brings dozens to the Thanksgiving table [ Local Stories]

For the better part of a quarter of a century, the Dawn Busters Kiwanis have cooked turkeys leading up to Thanksgiving for one reason; the children.



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Gretna puts on Christmas events [ Local Stories]

City officials from Gretna tell us about the events coming up this season.



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City ordered to refund more than $25M in fines for traffic camera tickets issued from 2008-2010 [ Local Stories]

A Louisiana appeals court agrees the City of New Orleans should refund $25.6 million in fines paid to the city for traffic camera ticket violations issued from 2008 through most of 2010.



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NOPD: Man wanted for simple kidnapping [ Local Stories]

The New Orleans Police Department has obtained an arrest warrant for a man wanted on suspicion of simple kidnapping.



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Anthony Davis weighs in on ESPN reporter's comments on racism while he was a Pelicans player [ Local Stories]

Anthony Davis weighs in on ESPN reporter's comments on racism while he was a Pelicans player



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Circa-1912 manse by Audubon Park asks $1.9M - [Curbed New Orleans - All]


Thanks to a 2019 renovation, it melds the best of old and new

Audubon Park area is one of New Orleans’ most rarified neighborhoods. This circa-1912 manse speaks to the wealth present in the area at the turn of the century. It sits less than a block from the park and its collection of lagoons, live oaks, trails, and playground equipment. A swimming pool, patio, and generously sized front yard round out the home’s outdoor living options.

The heavily fenestrated stucco abode features a recessed entrance with an arched doorway, which leads to a chandelier-hung central foyer. Medallions, mantels, hardwood floors, and high ceilings bring the antique charm. In the kitchen, exposed brick walls juxtapose marble waterfall countertops, and a stained-glass accent window provides a spot of color to liven up an otherwise subdued, neutral palette.

All in all, the 5,200-square-foot abode has six bedrooms and five-and-a-half bathrooms, plus a sunroom and an office. The asking price is $1,999,900.

Via: Delisha Boyd


Source: Curbed New Orleans - All


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Margaret's Weather Picture for November 27, 2019 [ Local Stories]

Margaret's Weather Picture for November 27, 2019



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WDSU Baby of the Day for November 27, 2019 [ Local Stories]

WDSU Baby of the Day for November 27, 2019



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Videocast: AM showers and storms, areas of fog [ Local Stories]

Showers and thunderstorms will continue this morning along and ahead of a cold front. Areas of dense fog will also be possible.



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Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Marginal risk severe NW portion of area [ Local Stories]

Marginal risk severe storms overnight for the NW portion of the viewing area. The risk is for damaging winds in storms or even an isolated tornado. Upper low is moving away from the area, so the greater risk for severe storms is really far to our north.



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I-10 West temporarily closed Tuesday night after shots fired on interstate [ Local Stories]

I-10 West temporarily closed Tuesday night after shots fired on interstate



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LSU Tigers fall to No. 2 spot in College Football Playoff poll [ Local Stories]

The Tigers secured the No. 1 spot for two weeks in a row.



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Developer: Hard Rock site will now be demolished, not imploded [ Local Stories]

After concerns over the safety of surrounding buildings near the Hard Rock Hotel site, the developer for the site has opted for a different demolition plan.



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Teacher inspired to fill in for 'Chocolate Santa' after he canceled his holiday appearances over health issues [ Local Stories]

Theron Murphy said he would put on the red suit and make sure no child missed an opportunity to see Chocolate Santa this year.



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A little cooler Thanksgiving [ Local Stories]

Weather cooperates for outdoor activities Friday. Mostly sunny with highs in the mid 70s. Warmer Saturday with highs near 80. A cold front moves through late Saturday and early Sunday with the potential for some strong storms. There will be a risk for severe storms. The sun will come out Sunday with highs in the upper 60s. Beautiful the first of the week and cooler. Highs will be in the low 60s. Lows will be in the 30s and 40s.

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Why Don’t We Appreciate Local Music, And Why We Should - [OffBeat Magazine]


GUEST COLUMNIST:  Shain Shapiro.

Shain Shapiro is a principal in Sound Diplomacy, a firm whose mission is to help create, support and sustain places to live for, rather than just places to live. Its strategic practice defined the “music cities model,” which uses music and culture in a deliberate and intentional way to deliver economic, social and cultural growth in cities and places. Sound Diplomacy was hired by GNO, Inc. to perform a study on New Orleans, which should be released in early 2020.

We take for granted what we use every day. Take clean water. For those lucky enough, we turn on the tap, and water comes out. Not only do we not realize that the simple act of turning on the tap is a privilege, but also by doing so we ignore the complex infrastructure that led to water coming out. From wells to filtration, desalination to distribution, dredging to waste management, an intricate system must function so we can take a drink.

When something is wedded into the fabric of everyday life, we ignore the systems that create, sustain and support it. The same cognitive dissonance is occurring with music and culture. When you hear a song that moves you, it’s about that moment with that song, not the recording, production and marketing functions that led to that moment happening. But without these systems and practices, those moments disappear; that tap runs dry. Music, like any other resource, is not infinite. If we do not teach, invest and support it, it disappears. Given music is our universal language – we all speak it – it must be better understood for its capabilities to support, sustain and improve communities around the world. This is happening in cities all over the world. It’s the merging of planning, resource management, resilience and intentionality around music, called music urbanism.

As an industry, music grew by 9.7% last year, fueled by the rise in streaming. Goldman Sachs research argues it will more than double by 2030, to more than $131 billion by 2030. It is omnipresent in our cities, towns and places, wherever we live. From baby namings to bar mitzvahs, communions to quinceaneras, even the adhan call to prayer, music is everywhere. Over the past decade, a growing number of cities are recognizing that in order to maximize the economic, social and cultural value of music, it must be considered in land use, regeneration, tourism, education and economic-development policies. This emerging field has created a new moniker – music cities – for places that think about music in policy, rather than simply enjoy it in practice. And those cities are creating this new music urbanism.

Thinking about music in this manner – as a deliberate and intentional policy – is new. Traditionally, cities have tended to interact with music in two primary capacities: through licensing sound and noise and creating musical experiences, including festivals, community events and tourist opportunities.

But, in both cases, this historical focus is narrow. There is no direct link to the holistic value of music on communities. This is what music urbanism addresses. Companies – such as Amazon in their HQ2 competition – frequently refer to a place’s quality of life as a core consideration. Along with breweries, outdoor space and walkability, music is a core urban indicator. A nation’s music education system is a wealth generator, such as Sweden’s. Musical participation increases access and promotes health benefits; it creates jobs and supports a wide number of sectors, from food and beverage to retail. Music in public transit can calm commuters’ nerves. These outcomes are wider than regulation and tourism. Viewed as a whole – as a music urban ecosystem – strategizzing its input and output can increase value, improve communities and drive investment.

Music in the built environment

Examined across a lifespan, music is an ecosystem that can improve all our lives. Exposing infants, toddlers and children to music has many benefits. Music in school demands cognitive, organizational and management skills; children in bands and choirs must work well with others, and showing up is a prerequisite. Research has shown that attending a concert every few weeks can add years to one’s life, while listening to music when we’re old can ease dementia and loneliness.

In our built environment, as we live in denser communities, better building codes, materials and streetscaping creates places for interaction, congregation and spontaneity. Festivals in and of themselves are pop-up urban places; supporting them can provide permanent facilities for the communities around them, as in the case of Nyege Nyege in Uganda. Music can be a tool to engage communities to tackle issues of prejudice, discrimination and unrest. In Madison, Wisconsin, a music and equity task force has widened a needed conversation about institutional racism. But these initiatives are siloed and approach music as a solution to a particular problem; not as a core strategic element in developing, fostering and maintaining community cohesion and economic growth.

This is what is slowly changing around the world as music urbanism takes shape.

Source: Sound Diplomacy

What are cities and places doing?

Many cities, regions and towns are in the process of developing music strategies. The best examples are those focusing on music as a holistic, community benefit, across economic development, tourism and inclusive growth. In France, the state is setting up a Center for National Music, tasked with researching the impact of music on each region. One of the most active, the Loire, collects economic data on the value of its music sector. In the United States, aside from Nashville and Austin (who have longstanding music policies), two dozen cities are leading the practice of music urbanism. New Orleans launched its NOME initiative, aimed at increasing the value of intellectual property for the city’s musicians. In Indianapolis, Indiana, the city’s strategy is focused on elevating local musicians, fostering tourism and increasing inbound investment.

In New York, an initiative geared to supporting female musicians was launched this spring. London has altered its planning law, to better support and prioritize cultural infrastructure, combating music-venue closures. Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide have music policies, with the first operating a music office within the city council. Chengdu has an expansive growth strategy, including creating a new music district and 14 new concert halls. Many metropolises around the world have partnered with UNESCO to be music cities, which work to elevate the role of music in local governance. There’s a separate Music Cities Network as well, focused on information-sharing and best practice.

The University of Colorado at Denver, Visible College in Memphis and Monash University in Australia offer music cities courses, and the first academic book dedicated to music cities and music urbanism, Andrea Baker’s The Great Music City, was published this year.

Overtures for the future

Much of this work is dedicated to growing cities’ music industries, rather than exploring the role of music on local civic society as a whole. Most networks of music cities are either informal or prioritize information-sharing, rather than analyzing detailed land-use policy and appointing agents of change in forums, commissions and community groups. Moreover, certain genres of music are more supported than others. There are robust policies in place through arts councils and cultural outfits to support classical music, but little support exists, for example, for emerging MCs. In the UK, one subgenre of hip-hop, has been all but criminalized in a country where youth clubs, community recording studios and mental health support have been decimated by austerity.

This is music urbanism’s task: creating competitive advantage for cities who wish to engage. Music is the most personal artform we have. It is cross-generational and transcendent of culture, creed and race. But like water, music is not a renewable resource. It is dependent on land use, resource allocation and community engagement policies to flourish and be impactful. And this is a new way to explore the role of music, one outside of the commercial sector, as the goal here is better cities, along with more music consumers and thriving artists.

If we do not treat music consciously in urban policy so all cities have music officers, policies and processes, we lose out.

The post Why Don’t We Appreciate Local Music, And Why We Should appeared first on OffBeat Magazine.


Source: OffBeat Magazine


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Family calls out Chuck E. Cheese in Metairie, alleging racist behavior [ Local Stories]

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25 places to see in New Orleans - [Curbed New Orleans - All]


An aerial view of New Orleans.

25 places you have to see

Eighteen million tourists can’t be wrong—New Orleans is a prime destination. Whether you count yourself in their number or are lucky enough to live here full time, you’ll find more ways to stay entertained than there are hours in the day. Here are 25 essential things to do in New Orleans, whether you’re in town for a weekend or a lifetime.


Source: Curbed New Orleans - All


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WDSU Baby of the Day for November 26, 2019 [ Local Stories]

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Margaret's Weather Picture for November 26, 2019 [ Local Stories]

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What should a NOLA house look like in 2020? - [Curbed New Orleans - All]


Bathed in subtropical sunlight, Lake Pontchartrain’s south shore appears much as it has for almost 200 years: saltwater and sky stitched together by the occasional leaping fish, punctuated by a small wooden lighthouse.

An occasional speedboat breaks the illusion of timelessness. So does the fact that after Hurricane Katrina, the lighthouse was raised on 17-foot piles to accommodate flooding—both the sea surge associated with hurricanes and the flash floods that have become more frequent and severe in recent years.

New Orleans has always had to deal with annual river floods and hurricanes. But now, the below-sea-level city is sinking at a time when sea levels are getting higher, hurricanes are getting stronger, and floods are coming faster. And southern Louisiana is literally falling into the Gulf. According to a federal National Climate Assessment report, southeast Louisiana is at “exceptional risk from climate change effects.”

So what should a New Orleans home look like in 2020? How do we straddle the line between preservation and innovation? And what kind of home best mitigates the effects of climate change while protecting occupants from the deadliness of rising tides? We’ll examine a few types of housing stock—a retrofitted 1920s Craftsman home, a classic shotgun, a new condo development, and a warehouse-cum-artist’s studio—laying out the pros and cons of each in the era of climate change.

The origins of the Crescent City

Nestled in a crook of the Mississippi River on sediment deposited by its annual spring floods, New Orleans owes its existence to the same waters that are threatening to destroy it.

The majority of the city sits below sea level, with the exception of its oldest neighborhoods (the French Quarter, Marigny, Bywater, and parts of Uptown), which early settlers built on high natural levees.

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the Army Corps of Engineers built a system of levees to protect New Orleans from the Mississippi River’s springtime floods. But without the river’s sediment, New Orleans began sinking at a rate of up to 2 inches per year.

Around the same time, engineers drained New Orleans swamps with a series of canals and pumps. Architects populated these new neighborhoods (Lakeview, Lake Terrace, Gentilly) with midcentury modern homes and Craftsman bungalows that embraced garages, air conditioning, and national architectural trends but eschewed the features that had given New Orleans homes their signature look—and, more importantly, the same features that made it possible to withstand the water that was never far away.

“The movement after World War II of slab-on-grade construction, which you see in suburbs and newer parts of New Orleans, just wasn’t a good idea,” says Norma Jean Mattei, professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of New Orleans.

Unlike shotgun homes, which were raised on stubby brick piers to catch breezes and accommodate the river’s seasonal floods, these homes’ concrete foundations were set in the marshy, spongelike ground. When the ground shifts, the foundations crack. And when the heavy summer rains come, these low-lying areas are the first to flood.

“Before the levees were built, the Mississippi River would get high, water spread out, and for three months out of the year, our plants were living in that,” says landscape horticulturist Tammany Baumgarten. “A lot of subsidence issues we face in New Orleans—collapsing houses, sinking streets—are because the sponge is dry. By not allowing water to enter the subsoil, the city literally sinks.”

Meanwhile, shipping channels and oil and gas infrastructure perforated the marshy coastline that had served as a buffer between New Orleans and the Gulf of Mexico’s hurricanes—as well as the site of countless communities. Since the 1930s, Louisiana has lost a Delaware-sized chunk of land: more than 2,000 miles.

Throughout its history, New Orleans has teetered on the brink of destruction from disasters, be they hurricanes or yellow fever epidemics. The city is here today because its early inhabitants responded to harsh conditions in a beautiful way: by building raised vernacular homes with wide porches, high ceilings, transoms. As the climate grows ever more hostile, what kind of homes work, and what can New Orleanians live in in order to ensure the city endures for another 300 years?

The classic shotgun: a home built for its uniquely harsh environment

Head to Jackson Square and you’ll find artists selling paintings of New Orleans’s most recognizable icons: fleur-de-lis, crawfish, and shotgun homes. So named because you could fire a shotgun through the front door and watch it come out the back door without nicking a wall, the humble, shoebox-shaped homes were built to maximize comfort in a humid subtropical environment that experienced river flooding three months out of the year.

“Those folks built their homes to work with the environment that they were living in,” says Mattei. “It was a city environment, but you had tall ceilings and transoms for air flow, so you could keep the inside as cool as possible.”

Shotgun homes were raised to accommodate floodwaters, and they often were built as doubles—a configuration that placed two mirror-image units under one roof, creating affordable housing and increasing density. Cisterns collected stormwater, which also mitigated flooding from heavy rainfall.

Often, these homes were built from bargeboard—rough-hewed wood sourced from barges that had transported cargo down the Mississippi River. Having served their function, these barges were disassembled and resold as affordable building stock—adaptive reuse long before the term came into vogue.

In the centuries that have followed since early New Orleanians built shotgun homes and Creole cottages (square homes with steep, gabled roofs and dormer windows, built by French colonists), the climate has only gotten harsher. But at the same time, the shotgun has fallen out of vogue. Modern homeowners demand privacy, which is in short supply in a shotgun home’s hall-less, linear configuration of rooms (a classic shotgun requires a guest to traipse through a bedroom or two to get to the bathroom). And central air conditioning has made a shotgun’s primary cooling mechanisms—transoms and windows to allow for cross breezes, high ceilings to allow warm air to rise—almost obsolete. The same features that made shotgun homes appealing during their peak in the early 1900s make them inefficient to heat and cool today.

Still, shotgun homes are an architectural style that made it possible for New Orleanians to exist safely and relatively comfortably in a flood-prone, humid subtropical region prior to central air—a set of conditions that could return, if the direst predictions by climate doomers come to pass.

The off-grid Irish Channel warehouse and old-school lifestyle

At her 7,000-square-foot residence-cum-studio, mixed-media artist Nicole Charbonnet says she cleaves to “that old template of living with your shop under your living space.” Charbonnet, a New Orleans native, devotes the bulk of the formerly abandoned mattress and broom manufacturing warehouse to her studio. She commutes from her small bedroom to her light-filled, industrial studio, where shelves stretch almost to the exposed ceiling beams, and textural, collaged canvases lean against the walls.

Common in the days of the 19th-century corner store, Charbonnet’s work-from-home model is regaining traction in the era of remote and self-employment as workers seek to minimize their carbon footprints. But that’s not the only decidedly retrograde aspect of her lifestyle. Her backyard also heavily resembles that of a 19th-century New Orleanian.

“I have rain barrels under gutters. I compost, but I have a pig and nine chickens, so there’s really not much food waste to compost because the animals enjoy it,” Charbonnet says. “The chickens are great egg layers. I go to the grocery story rarely in the summer, just for soy milk or whatever.”

Charbonnet’s vegetable garden provides most of her produce, and her off-grid solar system means she has no electricity bills. It also means that she has electricity even when severe weather knocks the neighborhood’s power out.

“The power goes off fairly frequently in New Orleans, and it’s nice to be able to hand my neighbor an extension cord if she needs to keep her fridge running,” Charbonnet says.

She doesn’t have to worry about flooding to the extent that New Orleanians in lower-lying neighborhoods do. Her location is in the high-and-dry Irish Channel, which sits on the Mississippi River’s natural levee. Charbonnet renovated the warehouse herself. She sourced recycled windows and doors from the Green Project and Habitat for Humanity and repurposed wood whenever possible. She shares the space with another artist, who rents a studio, and her son, who has his own apartment in the building.

“I love living like this. There’s a clarity, and it’s easy to focus,” she says. “It’s a very efficient way to live… Architecture reflects certain structures in our society, but it can also foment new ones.”

The tricked-out Craftsman in Fontainebleau

 Photo courtesy Seth Nerhbass

Patent attorney and New Orleans native Seth Nehrbass owns a circa-1920s raised-basement Craftsman home that was built for a world without air conditioning—which shows in the stucco-over-hollow-ceramic-tile construction that provides insulation and cave-like chill. A 100-year-old oak, a mantle of fig leaf ivy, and a system of 100 cistern-fed hanging baskets also shade the home.

“The house is easy to cool and keep cool,” Nehrbass says.

The oxymoronic-sounding raised basement is another New Orleans idiosyncrasy. In a city with a water table so high, you can’t bury a corpse, let alone build a subterranean rec room, it serves the functional role of a basement while raising the main living level, thus protecting it from floodwaters.

But Nehrbass wasn’t content to coast on his home’s intrinsic coolness, especially after Hurricane Isaac knocked his power out for four days in 2012. He added 30 solar panels to the terra-cotta roof, which supply the 2,400-square-foot home with power, reducing its dependence on the oil and gas industry. He also landscaped his yard with exotic and native plants that foster biodiversity. Four rain barrels keep the plants hydrated.

“Three of the barrels are drained by soaker hoses, so the rain slowly seeps into the ground, rather than running off quickly into the New Orleans drainage system,” Nehrbass says. “This helps a little with flood prevention, and with helping to prevent subsidence in our yard… Our yard has sunk over time, but allowing more water to soak in should help keep the ground moist enough to prevent or at least reduce future subsidence.”

Nehrbass’s home is a prime example of how older homes, which were built to be harmonious with a humid subtropical environment, can be retrofitted with 21st-century technology that combats climate change. And, as Nehrbass points out, that can be good for the planet as well as his wallet.

“[I made this addition] partly to save money, but also to have a smaller carbon footprint,” Nehrbass says.

The controversial new construction in the Irish Channel

 Photo courtesy Marty Brantley of Engel & Volkers

New Orleans has always capitalized on its culture, much of which it owes to its unique architecture and topology. So when it comes to new constructions and preservation, the conversation can get ugly. Solar panels still aren’t allowed in the French Quarter, and certain homeowners associations can be restrictive, especially those in historic districts.

“Our design guidelines have not dealt with sustainability in the past,” says Bryan D. Block, director of the Vieux Carré Commission, at a panel discussion about climate change and sustainable design. “That’s something that’s very much missing. It’s economically important [to address this] and important to us being good stewards of our city.”

But even in the most permissive neighborhoods, a new construction that deviates too much from the New Orleans vernacular can become the object of derision.

That was the case with architect and developer Jonathan Tate’s condo development in the Irish Channel. Built of corrugated metal to create visual consistency with the area’s neighboring warehouses, the freestanding homes fit together snugly enough to create high density, but loosely enough to harbor porches, walkways, and garages in the negative space.

Reactions were predictably vitriolic. “Lifeless generic architecture,” wrote one commenter on the Curbed NOLA Facebook page. “The aesthetics certainly don’t blend with the Irish Channel’s historical residential character,” wrote another.

But Tate’s objective wasn’t to build a row of Creole townhomes—or, in other words, create what architect Lee Ledbetter describes as “a Disneyland regurgitation of the past.”

Rather, Tate strives to meld the two and come up with something new that is built for its unique environmental challenges—just as the first shotgun homes were.

“When it comes to the paradox between climate change and historic archetypes, we are big believers in context,” Tate says.

For Tate, that means placing eco-friendly homes (insulated windows, tankless gas water heaters, ductless HVAC systems) on small, tight, often nonconforming lots. His homes snuggle three bedrooms and two bathrooms into 1,400 square feet without feeling cramped, thanks to smart design.

“We are trying to reverse the course of what’s happening to U.S. housing. It’s bloated and getting bigger and bigger,” Tate says. “How do you reduce the overall footprint of the home itself, but still make a livable home for somebody?”

Water management is also at the forefront of his designs. Tate aims to keep all stormwater on the site with ground treatments, rather than pushing it into the street.

But the dialogue between old and new is always on his mind.

“There’s a fine line line between making a home appear as though it were constructed in 2019, but at the same time feeling like it is part of a historic, pre-existing neighborhood fabric,” Tate says. “This isn’t just about the history of housing or replicating a norm or type. It’s about incorporating a new vision for what housing should be.”


Source: Curbed New Orleans - All


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Videocast: Isolated severe threat Wednesday AM [ Local Stories]

The Isolated severe threat will be north of I-12 early Wednesday morning. Gusty winds may cause power outages for portions of the viewing area.



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Food Network's "Restaurant Impossible" comes to Plaquemines Parish [ Local Stories]

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Monday, November 25, 2019

Few showers Tuesday [ Local Stories]

It's going to be a little cooler Thanksgiving morning.

Low temperatures Tuesday will be close to midnight. Lows in the low to upper 50s and highs will be in the upper 60s to the low 70s. Mostly cloudy Friday with a warm up. Highs climb into the mid to upper 70s. Mostly cloudy Saturday with highs upper 70s to near 80 and a 30% rain chance. Rain chances go up overnight into Sunday with another cold front. Highs Sunday will be in the low 60s, and sunny with highs in the upper 50s Monday.

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Man accused of tricking women into changing diaper pleads guilty [ Local Stories]

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Press Conference: Updates to the 46th annual Bayou Classic [ Local Stories]

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Margaret's Weather Picture for November 25, 2019 [ Local Stories]

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