New Orleans wrestler Luke Hawx leaps from the ring to the screen

Luke Hawx had a rough start growing up. Now he's a top wrestler — and a budding action movie star
In a Metairie middle-school gym, worlds away from Hollywood glitz, Luke Hawx is sweaty, grimy and bruised, held back by a dozen men nearly as big as he is. He struggles against the dense human embankment preventing him from crossing the 10 feet between him and his sneering antagonist — the creepily ageless hardcore-wrestling icon Stevie Richards, who's just called Hawx a coward in front of Hawx's hometown crowd.   The audience is booing and stomping, urging their folk hero to defend his honor — the city's honor — against this trash-talking interloper.

The facts of life: the state of sex ed in Louisiana

With high rates of STDs and unplanned pregnancies among young people in Louisiana, legislators and advocates hope to improve sex education
In a Catholic middle school, Jenni Perkins learned not to have sex before marriage. At Perkins' charter high school, a P.E. teacher said the same, after he separated the class into boys and girls and demonstrated how to use a condom by putting his entire hand into one.

Young lives behind bars

Louisiana considers abolishing life without parole for some juvenile offenders
When Misty Jenkins was 16, she accompanied a boyfriend who robbed and killed a cab driver. Jenkins says she feared her boyfriend would kill her if she didn't ride in the car with him.

Deacon John Moore: "I'm an entertainer"

The New Orleans singer and bandleader receives the Big Easy Awards' Lifetime Achievement in Music
IN THE MIDDLE OF A SET AT THE DEW DROP INN, Deacon John Moore felt a tug on his arm and looked down to see Allen Toussaint, who Moore says had likely double-parked a tomato-red Cadillac outside the club. That was the night Moore jokes he was "discovered."

2017 Big Easy Award winners announced for music and theater

The Revivalists named Entertainer of the Year
Bandleader and guitarist Deacon John Moore thanked a who's who list of New Orleans musicians, producers and friends from his six-decade career — including Allen Toussaint, Dave Bartholomew, Benny Spellman, Earl Palmer and many others — while accepting a Lifetime Achievement Big Easy Award at the Orpheum Theater April 24.

Big plans abound for development on Lake Pontchartrain

Developers hope to restore the lakefront as a major recreation destination
FOR DECADES, the shore of Lake Pontchartrain from West End Park to South Shore Harbor was a prime destination in New Orleans for dining, boating, family gatherings and entertainment. Neglect and environmental issues diminished its draw over time, however, and Hurricane Katrina nearly wiped out parts, destroying the remaining restaurants at West End Park, wreaking havoc in Orleans Marina, heavily damaging the New Canal Lighthouse, flooding Lakefront Airport and other structures, spreading concern that a generation would grow up without making new memories there.

Making them listen: how to reach Louisiana's elected officials

In-person visits, emails, phone calls, petitions? What gets the attention of your politicians — and what doesn't
In the months following President Donald Trump's inauguration, civic engagement — in the form of marches, rallies and boisterous town hall meetings — was all over the news, as it was in 2009 after Barack Obama was inaugurated and America saw the nascent stirrings of the tea party movement.   Public gatherings are actually a small (but important) part of civic engagement.

New Orleanians try to reach their reps in the age of Trump

Patience, persistence, and the willingness to show up in person — frequently
For a time, it looked as if representatives were cowering. In the wake of President Donald Trump's election, some members of Congress seemed as though they were actively avoiding outraged constituents in their districts.

How to find who represents you in government

People to know and ways to reach officials in D.C. and Louisiana
U.S. SENATE: If you live in Louisiana, your U.S. senators are Bill Cassidy and John Neely Kennedy. U.S. HOUSE AND STATE LEGISLATORS: Visit www.legis.la.gov and select "Who are my legislators?"

Snow patrol: diving into New Orleans snowballs

Chatting – and eating – with the author of a guide to snowball stands
It's a muggy spring afternoon in early March, and the temperature gauge on my dashboard is inching toward 90 degrees. Even with the windows rolled down, the broken air conditioner in my rickety Subaru seems to be quietly laughing at me, while the sweat trickling down my forehead is a palpable reminder that a New Orleans summer is near.

Megan Braden-Perry's favorite snowballs

And where to find them
Rodney's Snowball Stand9231 Lake Forest Blvd., (504) 241-2035What to get: Creamy butterscotch snowball, cotton candy cream snowball, chili cheese nachos topped with jalapenos Just Chillin3799 Highway 22, Mandeville, 985-778-0373What to get: Homemade ice cream, the Hummingbird (nectar snowball stuffed with honeycomb ice cream)

Judges clear path for Confederate monuments to come down

The city will move four statues into a warehouse
New Orleans has permission to take down three monuments to the Confederacy and one statue honoring a white supremacist revolt, after decades of debate over their presence, message and the reasons they were made — and nearly two years after city officials voted to have them removed.   Now the city hopes to move relatively quickly, following last week's rulings from federal court judges that sided with the city in a pair of lawsuits that had delayed the removal.

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