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#News - New Orleans & South Louisiana

#News - New Orleans & South Louisiana

Mother praised for making 5-year-old ‘pay rent’

Posted: 17 Jan 2018 07:51 PM PST

ATLANTA – A mother’s method of teaching her young daughter the importance of money is earning high praise on social media.

“I make my 5 year old pay rent,” the post on Essence Evans’ Facebook page reads. Evans says she gives her daughter $7 as allowance, but, just like in the real world, only a portion will go to the things her daughter really wants.

“I make her give me $5 dollars back,” wrote Evans, a mother of one from Atlanta, according to Yahoo. “$1 for rent $1 for water $1 for electricity $1 for cable and $1 for food.”

The remaining two dollars are her daughter’s to spend as she wants. But where are the other $5 going?

“Now, what she doesn’t know is the $5 is actually going away in her savings account which I will give back to her when she turns 18,” Evans wrote. “So if she decides to move out on her own she will have $3,380 to start off.”

Evans urged people to share her lesson in finances with other mothers, adding, “when they see how much real bills are they will appreciate you for giving them a huge discount.”

Evans’ advice has been shared hundreds of thousands of times and has thousands of comments, largely positive.

“Thank God for the wisdom He gave you to do this at an early age,” Lorrie Pope-Wiggins wrote. “We always want better for our kids, but they also need to know that life is real, and nothing is handed out.”

“You are brilliant for teaching this to your child in this way!!” Melissa Thomas commented. “I have done similar with my kids, and I am now the proud parent of 2 young ladies who know and respect what they can earn more than something given to them.”

‘New California’ movement hopes to create 51st state from rural counties

Posted: 17 Jan 2018 07:11 PM PST

SAN DIEGO – A group has launched a campaign to divide California into two states.

The New California movment hopes to divide California into two states. — one made up of coastal counties and the other comprising rural counties.

It isn’t the first attempt to split California, but unlike a failed campaign in 2016 to divide California into six states, the campaign to create New California would split the state into one made up of rural counties and another made up of coastal counties.

The movement was founded by Robert Paul Preston and Tom Reed. Their website claims that the current state government has established a “Tyranny over the Counties of New California.”

“After years of over taxation, regulation, and mono party politics the State of California and many of its 58 Counties have become ungovernable,” the organizers write. “The nature of the State becoming ungovernable has caused a decline in essential basic services such as education, law enforcement, fire protection, transportation, housing, health care, taxation, voter rights, banking, state pension systems, prisons, state parks, water resource management, home ownership, infrastructure and many more.”

The New California movement issued a “Declaration of Independence,” dated Jan. 15, 2018, that uses similar language to the U.S. Declaration of Independence. The document states that the counties of New California “strive to be free from the State of California, and that as a Free and Independent State, have full power to establish and maintain law and order.”

Power is still out in some homes in St. Bernard Parish

Posted: 17 Jan 2018 07:07 PM PST

Meraux, La. -- In St. Bernard Parish, after a brutal freeze Tuesday night, many families were without power until nine in the morning the following Wednesday.

Still in good spirits though, s several homeowners say at least their pipes didn't freeze as they were huddled together, waiting for their power to get turned back on.

One teen from Meraux says it's still cold out there, but he's doing his best to brave the brunt of what Mother Nature has in store.

"They have snow on all the houses and by my house there's snow on the ground, it's really cold and we had a fire last night so it was kind of better, but my mom was trying to make sure the pipes weren't going to freeze or anything," says Charles Nehlig from Meraux.

According to Entergy's website, some homes may still be without power Thursday morning in St. Bernard Parish, but crews are working to get power completely restored as soon as possible.

Click here for a link to Entergy's outage map.

Jefferson Parish dropping water pressure; St. Charles Parish water system overwhelmed

Posted: 17 Jan 2018 06:11 PM PST

JEFFERSON, La. – Jefferson Parish will be reducing the system pressure from a normal pressure of 56 psi to 45 psi to conserve water and better control water consumption during the winter weather.

Meanwhile, St. Charles Parish is asking residents, businesses and industry to minimize water usage until further notice. The East and West Bank Waterworks facilities are near full capacity, and officials are trying to avoid a complete shutdown of the parish’s entire municipal water system.

Jefferson Parish officials are urging residents to conserve water tonight through tomorrow morning. Please wrap exposed pipes and don't run your faucets. Please turn off any irrigation systems, underground sprinkler systems, and limit the use of appliances that use water such as dishwashers and washing machines.

Residents in Jefferson Parish will notice a difference in their water pressure for the next 12-24 hrs. This is a planned and precautionary drop in pressure as stated above.

New Orleans charter school principal goes all out for ‘Frozen’ school closure song

Posted: 17 Jan 2018 05:39 PM PST

NEW ORLEANS -- A New Orleans charter school principal is making waves for her adorable rendition of a "Frozen" song to announce that school will be closed Thursday.

Edward Hynes Charter School is one of the thousands of New Orleans metro area schools closing Thursday because of winter weather.

Principal Michelle Douglass decided to announce her school's closure with a video and a song.

It's her own version of "Do you want to build a snowman?" from the Disney movie "Frozen."

Douglass isn't the only principal who has gotten creative with a school closure announcement.

A Kentucky school principal recently rewrote the words to Mariah Carey's "Hero" for his school closure announcement. He quickly went viral.

Mandeville police searching for retirement home car burglary suspects

Posted: 17 Jan 2018 05:30 PM PST

MANDEVILLE, LA -- The Mandeville Police Department is searching for a pair of car burglary suspects.  The case is the latest to roll on the Wheel of Justice.

According to the MPD, the case started with a suspicious activity call regarding two people at the Northlake Shopping Center.  Police say they received a tip about two young men pulling door handles on cars in the shopping center's parking lot.  They say the caller also snapped a photo of the pair.

A short time later, police say they received a call about a car burglary at the Heritage Manor nursing home at 1820 West Causeway Approach.  In this case, a car's window was smashed and the burglars stole a woman's purse.

Within hours, police say that stolen credit cards were being used at a Walmart in Slidell.  They were able to use the store's security camera footage to identify two suspects.  They also say the pair in the store's security footage is the same two who were photographed in the parking lot of the shopping center.

To see the surveillance footage, click on the video button above for the latest Wheel of Justice report.

If you know something about the case, you can contact the Mandeville Police Department at 985-626-9711.

Or you can phone-in a tip to CrimeStoppers at 504-822-1111.  Remember, you don't have to reveal your name or testify in court to be eligible to collect a CrimeStoppers reward.

So far, more than 363 people have been booked after their cases rolled on the Wheel of Justice.


Mom left kids in freezing car during 80-minute job interview at hospital, police say

Posted: 17 Jan 2018 05:06 PM PST

INDIANAPOLIS – Police say a mother left her two young kids alone in a freezing car for more than an hour outside a hospital in Indianapolis, where dangerously cold temperatures have gripped the city.

The 26-year-old mother allegedly left her 4-year-old son and 7-year-old daughter alone in her car in the parking lot at Community Hospital North while she went for a job interview, according to WXIN.

A police report details how the two kids eventually went to the front desk where they "appeared to be cold with a pale skin tone and (were) slightly shivering. The kids advised they were freezing… and walked in on their own because they were cold and scared."

According to the report, the temperature outside the car was just 5 degrees. Using a laser thermometer, law enforcement measured the temperature inside the car and found it to be just 10 degrees.

"No matter what temperature it is, it's always a bad idea to leave young children in a car by themselves," said Indiana State Police Sgt. John Perrine.

Sgt. Perrine and Wayne Township Fire Captain Mike Pruitt locked themselves inside a car last June and live-streamed the ordeal for 40 minutes to illustrate the dangers of hot cars.

Perrine says extreme cold can be just as dangerous.

"Hypothermia sets in instantly. As soon as you get in these cold temperatures, in a matter of minutes your body goes into a hypothermic state and it can be detrimental to anyone, especially a child," said Perrine.

Although the mother claimed she left the car running, the officer at the scene noted the windows were all frosted over and by checking surveillance video the deputy calculated the kids were alone in the car for 1 hour and 19 minutes.

Although arranging child care can be tricky, police say there are always safer options than leaving children alone inside a car at any temperature.

"Take the children inside with you. I know finding a babysitter is not always an option, but take them inside. It's not always convenient, but safety isn't always convenient and you have to make sure you do things the safe way," said Perrine.

Ultimately, the mother in this case was not arrested and was able to take her kids home. A report was made with CPS and sent to the child abuse division.

Why you should check your sprinklers during freezing weather

Posted: 17 Jan 2018 05:00 PM PST

HOUSTON – Officials are asking residents to make sure their sprinklers don't automatically turn on like they did for one Texas home, turning the front yard into an icicle-laden scene out of the movie Frozen.

The sprinklers were apparently on long enough to not only coat the trees and front lawn, but also to create a dangerous patch of ice on the road.

"We are forecast for another hard freeze tonight," the Harris County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management tweeted Wednesday. "Please make sure your sprinkler system is turned off."

With the temperatures expected to fall into the teens and low 20s overnight, the National Weather Service issued a hard freeze warning and reminded residents to take care of the four Ps – people, pets, pipes, and plants.

Boil advisory issued for New Orleans East, Venetian Isles, Lake Catherine and Irish Bayou

Posted: 17 Jan 2018 03:38 PM PST

NEW ORLEANS — The Sewerage & Water Board  has issued a precautionary boil water advisory for residents east of the Industrial Canal, including Venetian Isles, Lake Catherine and Irish Bayou. This doesn't include the Lower 9th Ward.

Drainage Pumping Station 10 in New Orleans East saw pressure drop below the threshold of 15 psi at 4:33 p.m. The pressure remained under the acceptable levels for 15 minutes.

The Sewerage & Water Board believes breaks exposed by higher temperatures thawing frozen pipes and an increase in water use in the afternoon led to the pressure drop.

During prolonged freezes, pipes with running water can still freeze and then break when they thaw. The Sewerage & Water Board has authorized the shutting off of water where major leaks have been detected, including large commercial properties.

Residents in the affected area are advised not to drink, make ice or brush teeth, until further notice. Residents who have compromised immune systems are advised not to wash hands, or shower or bathe. All other residents are advised to take the following precautions:

– Wash hands: Use soap and tap water, dry hands then apply hand sanitizer; the safest option is to wash with safe water.

– Shower or bathe: One may take a shower safely while being careful not to swallow any water. Use caution when bathing infants and young children so that no water is swallowed. A sponge bath reduces the chance of swallowing water. The time spent bathing should be minimized. Children and disabled individuals should have their bath supervised to ensure water is not ingested. Though the risk of illness is minimal, individuals who have recent surgical wounds, are immunosuppressed, or have a chronic illness may want to consider using bottled or boiled water for cleansing until the advisory is lifted. For those who want to be absolutely safe, use safe water until further notice per the Louisiana Office of Public Health – Infectious Disease Epidemiology Section.

The Sewerage & Water Board has been in contact with the Louisiana Department of Health.

Customers in other areas of the city are not affected and do not need to boil their water at this time.

The boil water advisory will remain in effect until further notice for customers in the affected area. S&WB will notify residents and businesses when the advisory is lifted. If you have any questions, please call 52WATER (529-2837).

Boil water advisories are issued out of an abundance of caution whenever the water pressure drops below 15psi. We agree with the recommendations of our regulatory partner, the Louisiana Department of Health, that it is prudent to issue these advisories out of an abundance of caution. The concern is that a pressure drop inside of a water pipe could allow contaminants into the pipe. Chlorine is a chemical that is added to water to combat contamination. The Sewerage & Water Board staff maintains a high chlorine residual and we aggressively and continually monitor our chlorine residual to ensure that our potable water has the ability to fight off bacteriological growth.


Anais St. John performs ‘What’s Love Got to Do with It’

Posted: 17 Jan 2018 03:32 PM PST

This year, Tina Turner is receiving a lifetime achievement award from the Recording Academy, which is in charge of the Grammys.

And, she's getting a special tribute from a local artist.

Anais St. John is debuting her show: "Simply the Best: the Tina Turner Story"  at the Joy Theater this Friday (Jan. 19) at 8:00 p.m.

She will sing the hits from the Queen of Rock and Roll. Anais stopped by the Twist Stage to perform some of the songs in the show.



Anais St. John performs ‘The Best’ on the Twist Stage

Posted: 17 Jan 2018 03:32 PM PST

This year, Tina Turner is receiving a lifetime achievement award from the Recording Academy, which is in charge of the Grammys.

And, she's getting a special tribute from a local artist.

Anais St. John is debuting her show: "Simply the Best: the Tina Turner Story"  at the Joy Theater this Friday (Jan. 19) at 8:00 p.m.

She will sing the hits from the Queen of Rock and Roll. Anais stopped by the Twist Stage to perform some of the songs in the show.

We Dat Chicken & Shrimp opens for the homeless to get free food and shelter

Posted: 17 Jan 2018 03:04 PM PST

NEW ORLEANS -- Greg Tillery got his start selling chicken and shrimp out of a food truck, and even back in those days he gave to the homeless whenever he could.

Now he pays rent on Canal, at 1407, but says his policy is still the same: homeless are always welcome at his businesses. "I don't care about the money, I have enough to help feed them when they're hungry," said Tillery.

With the weather dropping below freezing, homeless shelters are reaching capacity. We Dat Chicken and Wings is just steps from the underpass at Canal and I-10, where hundreds of homeless people camp.

"We have heat, they are always welcome to come in here and warm up, charge their phones, and get a plate of hot food," said Tillery.

On Wednesday when the city was under a freeze warning, Tillery's restaurant was packed with dozens of homeless.

"We're very thankful for him, his food is amazing and it's freezing outside," said one person who wishes to remain anonymous.

Tillery is known among the homeless as the guy who offers his services year round. He brings cleaning supplies and food to the people under the bridge at Canal any chance he can get.

"I encourage them to come here, for me it's not about money it's about people. I love people," said Tillery.

Tonight they will be open until midnight providing free food and heat to those in need.

It’s so cold, the Gulf of Mexico is steaming!

Posted: 17 Jan 2018 02:59 PM PST

NEW ORLEANS -- Just like your breath gets steamy on a cold day, the Gulf of Mexico is steaming because it's so cold.

Video above shows the "sea smoke" coming from the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Alabama.

According to The Washington Post, sea smoke is a pretty common sight up north, as in over the Great Lakes.

But here in the Gulf of Mexico? Almost never, scientists say.

More from the Post:

Temperatures were so cold Wednesday morning, in fact, that the 64-degree Gulf of Mexico was literally steaming. Meteorologists call it "sea smoke" but it's the exact same science as a boiling pot of water or your steamy breath on a cold day. Cold, dry air meets warm water; water evaporates into air until it can't hold any more; water vapor condenses and steam forms.


Businesses struggle to stay open during winter weather

Posted: 17 Jan 2018 02:32 PM PST

METAIRIE, LA -- Rouses on Veterans Memorial Boulevard was open today for customers even though the parking lot and the store's sidewalk froze overnight.

The management team at Rouses made sure that customers who shop at Rouses are safe by putting salt on sidewalks and in the parking lot.

Rouses remained open but the biggest challenge the store faces is employees not being able to make it into work. At least a dozen employees called in because they either lived on the North Shore or in New Orleans East.

With the road conditions being hazardous, the best option would be for them to stay home.

Roads are starting to reopen, but temperatures will drop tonight and likely close major thoroughfares again.

Former classmate charged in stabbing death of Ivy League student found buried in park

Posted: 17 Jan 2018 01:55 PM PST

ORANGE COUNTY, Calif. - A former classmate has been charged with murder in the killing of 19-year-old Blaze Bernstein, whose body was found in a shallow grave in a park a week after he was reported missing by his parents.

Samuel Woodward is shown in a booking photo released by the Orange County Sheriff's Department on Jan. 12, 2018.

Samuel Woodward is shown in a booking photo released by the Orange County Sheriff's Department on Jan. 12, 2018.

DNA evidence found at the crime scene and in the suspect's parked vehicle led police to arrest Samuel Lincoln Woodward on suspicion of murder on Jan. 12th in connection with Bernstein's death, according to KTLA.

The murder charge, as well as a sentencing enhancement for personal use of a knife, against Woodward was announced by District Attorney Tony Rackauckas during a news conference.

Woodward, who is 185 pounds, allegedly stabbed Bernstein, who was 135 pounds, multiple times before burying his body in the dirt perimeter of Borrego Park, the DA's Office stated in a news release.

Bernstein, a pre-med student at the University of Pennsylvania, was visiting his parents in Lake Forest for winter break when he left home Jan. 2nd and went to Borrego Park with Woodward, who had previously attended the Orange County High School of the Arts in Santa Ana with Bernstein.

Woodward later told investigators Bernstein went into the park and did not return. Bernstein was reported missing by his parents the next day.

Bernstein's body was found Jan 10 in a shallow grave after investigators said the recent rains had exposed part of his body, the Orange County Sheriff's Department announced.

Woodward, who officials said had abrasions on his arms and dirt on his hands following Bernstein's death, is also accused of lying to investigators about the injuries to his hands. Investigators believe Woodward also attempted to clean up his car and acted in a manner which would avoid leaving his DNA for law enforcement.

If convicted, Woodward faces 26 years to life in state prison, the DA's Office stated.

He was expected to be arraigned Wednesday afternoon.

Bernstein's father responded Tuesday to recent reports that included details of their son's death.

"We are saddened to hear, on the day we laid our son to rest, that gruesome details of the cause of his death were published," Gideon Bernstein wrote on the "Help Us Remember Blaze Bernstein" Facebook page.

Blaze Bernstein is seen in a photo released by the Orange County Sheriff's Department.

On Monday, the Orange County Register reported Blaze Bernstein had been stabbed more than 20 times, according to an affidavit. The report also revealed that Woodward told investigators that Blaze Bernstein had kissed him on the lips, prompting Woodward to push him away.

The investigators noted that Woodward had clenched his jaw and fists while recounting the story.

Gideon Bernstein also wrote about a possible motive in the killing, which authorities have not officially determined.

"There is still much discovery to be done and if it is determined that this was a hate crime, we will cry not only for our son, but for LGBTQ people everywhere that live in fear or who have been victims of hate crime," the post read.

The family stated it is time to set aside "fear, ignorance and judgement," and to "Be good. Do good and honor Blaze's memory."


City opens up shelter for homeless

Posted: 17 Jan 2018 01:44 PM PST

NEW ORLEANS — The City of New Orleans opened up a shelter for people who don’t have a warm place to go in these freezing temperatures.

The city run shelter is at the Allie Mae Williams Center in Central City.  They open when the temperatures dip below 35 degrees for more than 4 hours, and if all the shelters in town are full, which they are.

Dr. Joe Kantor, the Director of Health for the City of New Orleans said, “No one will be turned away tonight.  When the existing shelters reach capacity we will open an auxiliary shelter for the overflow.  Last night we took in 77 individuals.  We will be open tonight, and we will not turn away anyone.”

If you have a non-emergency, you can call the City of New Orleans information line at 504-821-2222.

Google’s face match feature doesn’t work in some states

Posted: 17 Jan 2018 01:26 PM PST

The Google Arts & Culture app, which matches your face to a historical painting, has gone viral. But some people in two states claim they don’t have access to the popular new feature.

Google confirmed to CNN Tech that the face-matching tool is not available in Illinois and Texas. The company declined to comment on why.

However, experts believe the issue stems from laws in Illinois and Texas that put restrictions on how companies can use biometric data such as facial scans and fingerprints. The Chicago Tribune was first to report on the laws affecting the feature’s availability.

The feature, which propelled the app to the top of the list of most downloaded iPhone apps over the weekend, uses basic computer vision to scan your face. It then matches your selfie with doppelgängers from its digital collection of paintings pulled from its museum partners all over the world. Google said it deletes your photo after a match is made.

On Wednesday, Google said people have taken more than 30 million selfies on the app.

Related: Google app matches your face to a famous painting

In 2008, Illinois passed a law that requires companies to let users know when biometric identifiers are collected and how they will be used. It’s also necessary to obtain consent from users before collecting and storing that data. In 2009, Texas passed a similar law.

Google’s art app informs all users the company will collect and analyze their photos if they use the feature. Users must agree to this process for it to work.

The company declined to say how it knows which users are in Texas and Illinois. But some apps can restrict content based on a user’s IP address.

However, some experts believe the app’s feature doesn’t violate state laws.

“This app isn’t being rolled out in these states because of privacy law,” Alvaro Bedoya, director of the Georgetown Law Center on Privacy & Technology, told CNN Tech. “It isn’t being rolled out in these states because powerful companies want those privacy laws to go away. They’re trying to prove a point by not letting consumers in those states use the app.”

Bedoya argued that the app provides adequate information and asks for consent, thus fulfilling the privacy laws’ requirements.

Tech companies have previously lobbied against the biometric privacy laws that restrict collection of consumer data. In 2016, a bill was introduced to revise the Illinois law to exempt scans from preexisting photos. The bill did not pass.

Meanwhile, over 30 class-action lawsuits were filed in Illinois the second half of 2017 over alleged violations of the biometrics law, according to law firm K&L Gates.

One lawsuit against Google claimed the company violated the state’s law by collecting and storing biometric information in Google Photos without the users’ consent. Similar lawsuits have been filed against Snapchat and Facebook.

In Texas, only the attorney general can file lawsuits on the issue.

Google said it’s working to expand availability of the feature, which is currently only available in the U.S.

How to warm up with Carnival-flavored coffees

Posted: 17 Jan 2018 01:15 PM PST

METAIRIE, La. -- With these frigid temperatures, those who did brave the cold on Wednesday headed straight for some hot coffee.

So what is so special about CC's Coffee House that helps different people brave their caffeine addiction?

Shea Brumfield, who's been working at the coffee house for a decade, says it's because of the Carnival-flavored drinks that people love to celebrate Mardi Gras.

"It's kind of part of your routine, you get up in the morning, you have your coffee and you start your day. It's how you let yourself know, hey! It's time to go world! Let's get up and get going," says Brumfield.

Two of the drinks have a theme that coincides with this festive time of year.

One is the king cake latte, and the other is a Mardi Gras Mambo.

"The king cake latte is very popular. We've had that for a couple of years now and people still ask for it year round," says Brumfield.

"[It has] espresso, steamed milk, caramel and brown sugar cinnamon. It's really good. It really does taste like you are drinking a king cake," says Brumfield.

"Then our second one is the Mardis Gras Mambo, so that is coconut and chocolate flavored. Also, really good. You can get them hot, iced, or frozen but it's pretty cold outside so probably hot," says Brumfield.

Both drinks rolling into the shops just weeks before the big parades roll through town.

H&M hires diversity manager

Posted: 17 Jan 2018 01:14 PM PST

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H&M has appointed a diversity manager after dealing with the fallout from using a black child to advertise a hoodie with the slogan “coolest monkey in the jungle.”

H&M announced that it appointed company insider Annie Wu as “Global Leader for Diversity and Inclusiveness” for H&M group.

“The recent incident was entirely unintentional, but it demonstrates so clearly how big our responsibility is as a global brand,” H&M said in a message posted to its social media accounts. “Our commitment to addressing diversity and inclusiveness is genuine, therefore we have appointed a global leader, in this area, to drive our work forward.”

H&M would not explain to CNNMoney what her new job responsibilities will be. Wu will also continue in her job as the company’s global manager for employee relations, according to a company spokeswoman.

Wu’s appointment occurs just days after the company was chastised on social media for its ad in an online British catalog featuring a black child wearing a hoodie with the slogan “coolest monkey in the jungle.”

H&M took down the ad and no longer sells the hoodie, which it says it “recycled.” The company apologized for the incident on January 9: “We have got this wrong and we are deeply sorry.”

A few days later, on January 13, H&M closed its stores in South Africa after protesters swarmed locations there. Two musicians – Gerald Gillum, known as G-Eazy, and Abel Tesfaye, known as The Weeknd, cut their business ties with H&M.

Road closure updates: Causeway, other major highways start to reopen

Posted: 17 Jan 2018 01:06 PM PST

METAIRIE, La. — One lane has reopened on the Pontchartrain Causeway in both directions.

The speed limit is 45 mph.

Restrictions are still in place on the Causeway. No motorcycles are allowed.

Meanwhile, I-310 North has reopened, but I-310 South remains closed from Destrehan to I-10.

U.S. 90 has reopened from the Des Allemands bridge to St. Mary Parish.

U.S. 190 in both directions is open from the Amite River Bridge (Denham Springs) to LA 25 (Covington).

Motorists are advised to limit movement to emergency travel only.

Follow New Orleans Traffic on Twitter and 511.org for updates on road closures.