May 252017

By Claire Byun

A plan to expand the Orleans Justice Center to include 89 beds for mentally-ill inmates is headed to the City Planning Commission after approval from City Council.

The proposal requires the CPC to start planning for a new 89-bed facility next to the Mid-City jail housing mentally-ill prisoners and is backed by the New Orleans Sheriff’s Office. The council approved the motion 5-1 after hours of debate and public comment at their meeting last week.

The second proposal, which was not approved by council but backed by Councilmember Susan Guidry, asks the commission to retrofit the Orleans Justice Center to house mentally-ill prisoners while reporting back to the council during planning. Continue reading »

May 242017

A similar vehicle to the one carjacked on Sunday.

Police are searching for three suspects who carjacked a woman on North Rendon Street in the early morning.

The victim said on Sunday, she was driving in the 800 block of North Rendon Street when an unknown black male stood in the street in front of her. She stopped the car to avoid hitting him and two additional suspects approached her vehicle. One suspect opened her car door and ordered her out of the vehicle, police said. Continue reading »

May 192017

Mid-City crime nearly doubled last month compared to the year before, and officials are placing some of that blame on the now-dismantled Jefferson Davis monument.

The Mid-City Security District responded to 48 total crimes in April, according to New Orleans Police Department figures. The year before there were 27 reported crimes. Jim Olsen, MCSD commissioner, said the controversy surrounding the removal of the Jefferson Davis monument last week took up much of the police department’s resources. Continue reading »

May 092017

An example of an evacuation checklist provided by the Foundation for Louisiana.

By Claire Byun

With hurricane season just around the corner, local emergency groups are stressing preparedness in the event of a disaster. Are you ready?

The Mid-City Neighborhood Association hosted a hurricane preparedness forum at their monthly meeting Monday. Three emergency agencies underscored how essential planning for a storm is – especially in a city like New Orleans – and what residents can do to protect themselves, their families and businesses. Continue reading »

May 022017

Some pro-monument supporters stand alongside counter protesters after NOPD cleared the neutral ground around Jefferson Davis (Claire Byun/cbyun@nolamessenger.com).

By Claire Byun

Mid City’s Jefferson Davis Monument was the epicenter of protests and counter protests Monday evening, leading police to barricade the neutral ground around the statue.

A small group of monument supporters clashed with hundreds of counter protestors Monday evening for more than an hour. The pro-monument group – who have camped out at the statue since Friday – mostly stood up against the statue of the first and only Confederate president while counter protestors stared, screamed, and sang. During the tense standoff, police created a pathway for Confederate supporters through the crowd. The small pro-monument group was shepherded away in a pick-up truck. Continue reading »

Apr 302017

Pro-monument protestors can be seen in front of the Jefferson Davis monument across from The Holy Ground bar.

By Claire Byun

A popular Mid-City Bar is at the center of controversy after pro-monument protestors say they were refused service by bar staff. The bar’s staff, however, said they haven’t refused anyone, but have been barraged with negative reviews by those supporting the Confederate flag.

The Holy Ground, a popular local bar on the corner of Canal Street and South Jefferson Davis Parkway, has received poor online reviews from pro-monument protestors camping out at the Jefferson Davis Monument, staff say. Those protestors say the bar has refused them service and “trash talks” them while “liquoring up the enemy.” Continue reading »

Apr 302017

Via Entergy.

About 400 Mid-City residents are still without power Sunday afternoon after heavy thunderstorms rolled through the area.

About 1,800 people along North Claiborne from Canal Street to City Park Avenue were without power for a few hours, according to Entergy maps. About 400 are without power now in the Fairgrounds neighborhood near the Racetrack. Continue reading »

Apr 282017

A sampling of crimes around Mid-City over the past week (via CrimeMapping.com).

By Claire Byun

There’s been an uptick in auto thefts around the New Orleans Police Department’s First District over the last week, though officials said those crimes were spread out across the district.

First District officials reported nine auto thefts over the last week compared to seven from the week prior. Some of last week’s crime trend was probably perpetrated by the same person, police said, but this week the crimes are spread out.

Sgt. Kenny Temple, who oversees property crimes in the First District, said there were 36 reported property crimes over the last week. Seventeen of those were thefts, and two were residential burglaries. Continue reading »

Apr 262017

The required bicycle equipment ordinance would add a flashing or steady red light mounted on the rear to the already-required rear red reflector. (Flickr/Britt Reints).

By Claire Byun

Citywide bicycle operation and equipment requirements underwent a little shakeup last week, and the changes are meant to make the roads safer for everyone.

The New Orleans City Council unanimously passed amendments to meant to improve bicycle safety at their latest meeting. The bike amendments were part of the council’s consent agenda and faced no opposition from the public at the meeting.

City Councilmember Jared Brossett introduced amendments to current ordinances regarding bicycle safety, operation and equipment requirements. Brossett brought those amendments to the council’s Jan. 12 meeting but they were pushed to the council’s latest meeting.

Brossett added the ordinances to the Transportation and Airport committee’s docket a few months ago, and that committee recommended approval of all the amendments. Brossett serves as chair of that committee. Continue reading »

Apr 252017

By Claire Byun

The Mid-City Security District is considering adding a few neighborhoods to its boundaries when the state-approved statute comes up for renewal in 2019.

It’s also considering dropping a neighborhood if enough residents want out.

Jim Olsen, district commissioner, said the tax-based district is up for renewal in 2019, and it must be approved by voters to run for another four years. Continue reading »