new orleans

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A court watchdog group says a judge in New Orleans often interferes with criminal defendants' rights to counsel by sharply limiting the time public defenders spend with newly arrested defendants making their first court appearance.

 The criticism of state district court Magistrate Judge Harry Cantrell comes in a report released Wednesday by Court Watch NOLA, which observes and reports on New Orleans' criminal courtrooms.

45-Year-Old Man Murders Infant Daughter

11 hours ago

An 18-month-old is dead following a gruesome murder.  New Orleans Police says the father, 45-year-old Mark Hambrick told police “God made him do it.”  Police Chief Michael Harrison says Hambrick called himself into police several hours after he killed the child.

Hambrick gave a detailed description to police of himself and the child and told them he would be found on his porch when police came on the property.  Harrison says the father remained strangely calm during the arrest.

Man Arrested In Death Of His 18-Month-Old Daughter

11 hours ago
Chris / Flickr.com / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/

 A 45-year-old Louisiana man has been arrested and accused of stabbing and suffocating his 18-month-old daughter.

 New Orleans Police say they've arrested Mark Hambrick, of New Orleans, on one count each of second-degree murder and second-degree cruelty to a juvenile. It was unknown if he's represented by an attorney.

 The toddler was found Tuesday, just after 7 a.m., suffering from multiple stab wounds to the body. Detectives learned the victim had also been suffocated. She was pronounced dead on the scene.

Stabbing, Dismemberment Conviction Stands In Louisiana

12 hours ago
Brian Turner / Flickr.com / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

 The Louisiana Supreme Court says it won't hear an appeal from a man convicted of killing a French Quarter dancer and dismembering her body.

 All seven justices initialed the "action sheet" denying the request from Terry Speaks, who is serving life in prison for the 2012 murder of 22-year-old Jaren Lockhart.

 He acted as his own attorney, with another inmate preparing the document.

Funeral Set For Slain New Orleans Police Officer

12 hours ago
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 A Saturday funeral has been scheduled for a New Orleans police officer who was shot to death last week.

 The police department says services for 29-year-old Marcus NcNeil are set for 10 a.m. Saturday at Household of Faith Church in New Orleans, with interment following at Mt. Olivet Cemetery.

 The department says the Marcus McNeil Benefit Fund has been established at Whitney Bank to accept donations for McNeil's family.

 McNeil had a wife and two children. 

The Latest: Prosecutor Predicts Vindication In Lawsuit

12 hours ago
Ed Bierman / Flickr.com / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

The New Orleans district attorney is predicting he and his assistants will be vindicated amid allegations that they seek arrest warrants and high bails for witnesses and victims who decline to speak to prosecutors.

 Leon Cannizzaro issued a statement Tuesday saying no individual person who is aggrieved by his office's policies and practices has contacted him.

Loyola Law Symposium Set On Children Of Prisoners

12 hours ago
Louisiana Travel / Flickr.com / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

The College of Law at Loyola University in New Orleans will play host to public officials, academics and experts on the ways in which the incarceration of a family member affects children. 

 Topics will include the effect of mass incarceration on families and the mental health implications of parental incarceration for children.

 The keynote speaker for Friday's daylong meeting will be Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards. He is expected to address the state's efforts to reduce prison populations, including a criminal justice reform bill passed this year. 

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The Latest on the oil rig explosion near New Orleans (all times local):

 9:25 a.m.

 A Louisiana sheriff says three people remain in critical condition, with two of them in a burn unit after an explosion at an energy plant on a lake near New Orleans.

 At a Monday morning news conference, Jefferson Parish Sheriff Joe Lopinto said a fire on the rig was still burning. Authorities expected the blaze to eventually burn itself out.

 Authorities say one person remained missing after the blast and U.S. Coast Guard crews were searching for him.

Behind The Scenes: New Gorilla At Audubon Zoo

Oct 11, 2017
Anne Davis 773 / Flickr.com / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/

New Orleans' Audubon Zoo has a new gorilla, but she may be spending more time indoors than on view for a while.

 The western lowland gorilla's name is Tumani, Swahili for "Hope" - and zookeepers hope she and the zoo's current female, Praline (PRAH-leen), attract a male expected later.

 Zoo spokesman Frank Donze (DON-zee) says first, they have to make friends with each other, then with a third female. Then a male can join them. 

 Tumani's coming from Colorado's Cheyenne Mountain Zoo . 

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An author who grew up poor in coastal Mississippi and now teaches at Tulane University is among this year's MacArthur fellows, receiving a so-called genius grant of $625,000: $125,000 a year for five years. 

 Jesmyn Ward says in a Tulane video that the fellowship offers freedom and time, which she feels are the two most important gifts for an artist. 

 Ward won the National Book Award in 2011 for her second novel, "Salvage the Bones." It's about a poor African-American family in coastal Mississippi as Hurricane Katrina forms, approaches and devastates the coast. 

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