Jefferson Parish

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Advocate report: Smoothie King HQ moving to Dallas

Posted By on Tue, Apr 24, 2018 at 3:28 PM

Smoothie King Center.
  • Smoothie King Center.

Goodbye, Metairie; hello, Dallas. Smoothie King’s CEO Wan Kim told the Dallas Business Journal he's moving his company to Texas sometime this summer. From The Advocate:

Smoothie King will reportedly keep a Metairie office to house 20 percent of its corporate team. And Smoothie King Center will continue be the name of the arena that's home to the New Orleans Pelicans. Smoothie King bought the naming rights to the arena in February 2014. The contract runs for 10 years with an option for 10 more.

In 2012, Smoothie King was coaxed with up to $2.4 million in taxpayer funds to drop its plans to move to Dallas and stay in Louisiana for at least five years.

Smoothie King opened its first location in Kenner in 1973. The company sells its smoothies in the United States, South Korea, Singapore, the Middle East and the Cayman Islands.

Goodbye, Smoothie King. At least we'll still have the Blender.

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Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Dreamgirls, South Pacific and Santaland Diaries highlight 2018-2019 JPAS season

Posted By on Tue, Apr 17, 2018 at 4:17 PM

Anais St. John will star in a musical show about Lulu White Aug. 18-26 at Teatro Wego!
  • Anais St. John will star in a musical show about Lulu White Aug. 18-26 at Teatro Wego!

The Jefferson Performing Arts Society (JPAS) announced its 41st season today. Shows include Dreamgirls and South Pacific. The full list of events at Jefferson Performing Arts Center (JPAC), Westwego Performing Arts Theatre and Teatro Wego! is below.


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Monday, January 8, 2018

Cyndi Lauper, John Oates, Michael McDonald to headline Family Gras 2018

Posted By on Mon, Jan 8, 2018 at 5:10 PM

Cyndi Lauper. - PHOTO BY TAÍS MELILLO/CREATIVE COMMONS
  • PHOTO BY TAÍS MELILLO/CREATIVE COMMONS
  • Cyndi Lauper.

This year's Family Gras will dig deep in the '80s oldies, with Cyndi Lauper, John Oates and Michael McDonald headlining the 11th annual family-friendly Gras in Metairie.

David Batiste and The Gladiators, Deacon John and the Ivories, Imagination Movers and Remedy are among the other artists on the two-day bill, which was condensed from three days this year due to the Super Bowl. Family Gras will take place Fri. Feb. 2 and Sat. Feb. 3 on Veterans Memorial Boulevard across from Lakeside Shopping Center.

Lauper is on tour with Rod Stewart this year, but the tour isn't coming here, so if you (or your mom, or both) want to see her within walking distance of the New Orleans Hamburger & Seafood Co., this is your chance.

(No one tell the Family Gras organizers what "She Bop" is all about, please.)

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Thursday, January 4, 2018

Jefferson Parish sheriff's race will redefine parish politics — and the battle to win is shaping up as a war

Posted By on Thu, Jan 4, 2018 at 5:46 PM

Interim Jefferson Parish Sheriff Joe Lopinto, left, and former sheriff’s spokesman Johnny Fortunato will face off in the March 24 election to decide who's the new lawman in charge.
  • Interim Jefferson Parish Sheriff Joe Lopinto, left, and former sheriff’s spokesman Johnny Fortunato will face off in the March 24 election to decide who's the new lawman in charge.

It didn’t take long for the gloves to come off in the Jefferson Parish sheriff’s race. Interim Sheriff Joe Lopinto and former sheriff’s spokesman Johnny Fortunato came out swinging right after qualifying Jan. 3. The attacks are likely to continue — and intensify — right up to Election Day, March 24.

Lopinto became interim sheriff after then-Sheriff Newell Normand abruptly announced in July that he was resigning to become a radio talk show host. Fortunato soon thereafter retired as department spokesman after serving 46 years as a deputy.

Both men logged time on the streets, and both later worked in administrative capacities.

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Wednesday, July 26, 2017

In Jefferson, a peaceful changing of the guard — but war is imminent

Posted By on Wed, Jul 26, 2017 at 6:44 PM

Former state Rep. Joe Lopinto (left) will become interim sheriff of Jefferson Parish after the resignation of Sheriff Newell Normand.
  • Former state Rep. Joe Lopinto (left) will become interim sheriff of Jefferson Parish after the resignation of Sheriff Newell Normand.


Things are rarely dull in Jefferson Parish politics. I still recall the factional wars of the 1980s and early ’90s between then-DA John Mamoulides and then-Assessor Lawrence Chehardy. No election was insignificant.

Some see the resignation of Sheriff Newell Normand and the rise of interim Sheriff Joe Lopinto as triggering another era of political warfare in Jefferson. Truth be told, war has been coming to Jefferson for some time. The factional leaders are Normand and Parish President Mike Yenni. Everyone else has to choose sides. Normand’s decision to turn in his badge for a talk-radio mic at WWL-AM is merely the latest run-up to open hostilities.

As sheriff, Normand often took sides at election time, but between elections he stayed in his lane. Now, as a radio talk show host, he can talk about any issue that concerns him. He will be a very interesting talk show host, to say the least.

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Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Normand steps down as Jefferson Parish sheriff; will join WWL-AM as radio host

Posted By on Tue, Jul 25, 2017 at 3:03 PM

Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand.
  • Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand.

Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand announced today he'll be stepping down as sheriff Aug. 31 and soon after will start a new career: as midday talk show host on WWL-AM, taking the slot held by Garland Robinette, who retired earlier this month.

In a statement provided by Entercom, the company that owns WWL-AM, Normand said, "I always listened to Garland and admired his voice in our community. He played a pivotal role in New Orleans' recovery & rebirth from Katrina. Plus, good leaders know when it's time to move on. I'm satisfied that Jefferson Parish is in great shape. The crime rate hasn't been this low since 1974. And strong leadership is ready to step in and take over a great team — one I care about deeply and will miss dearly,"

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Thursday, July 6, 2017

'Recall Yenni' campaign rebrands as 'Defeat Yenni,' targets Kenner Mayor Ben Zahn

Posted By on Thu, Jul 6, 2017 at 4:27 PM

Jefferson Parish President Mike Yenni.
  • Jefferson Parish President Mike Yenni.
Metairie attorney Robert Evans, who spearheaded the ultimately unsuccessful attempt to recall Jefferson Parish President Mike Yenni earlier this year, is now launching a new movement he calls "Defeat Yenni," targeting those he sees as Yenni's political allies — specifically Kenner Mayor Ben Zahn.

Evans has sent a letter to a selected list of registered voters in Jefferson Parish, asking for their support. "I am writing to you to once again ask for your support in making sure that Parish President Mike Yenni does not get re-elected," the letter reads, adding, "Wherever, a Yenni ally seeks election or re-election, I will advocate the defeat of that ally to weaken Yenni’s attempted re-election effort. The next election of a pro-Yenni ally is the re-election campaign of Mayor Ben Zahn of Kenner. Qualifying for that election is just 9 months from now. This summer, I will begin a Defeat Yenni campaign focused on exposing every connection that has existed and still exists between Mike Yenni, Ben Zahn and other allies to keep the public informed."

Evans' earlier petition recall effort ended in March, when the recall committee had gathered only about half the 90,000 signatures needed to force a ballot referendum.

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Three people arrested during demonstration at Sen. Bill Cassidy office

Posted By on Thu, Jul 6, 2017 at 2:55 PM

Three people were arrested outside U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy's Metairie office during a sit-in urging Cassidy to vote against the Senate's health bill. - PHOTO BY ALEX WOODWARD
  • PHOTO BY ALEX WOODWARD
  • Three people were arrested outside U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy's Metairie office during a sit-in urging Cassidy to vote against the Senate's health bill.

As part of a national demonstration urging Senators to vote against a repeal of the Affordable Care Act, three people were arrested July 6 while inside the Causeway Boulevard building that houses U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy's Metairie office.

Roughly 20 demonstrators demanding Cassidy vote against the Better Care Reconciliation Act joined a nationwide "sit-in" at Senate offices across the U.S., a multi-pronged effort coordinated by Democratic Socialists of America chapters as well as Democracy Spring, Our Revolution, #AllOfUs, Progressive Democrats of America, Ultraviolet, The People's Consortium, ResistHere.org and The Working Families Party. The national Sit-In to #StopTrumpcare also calls for single-payer health care through a Medicare For All platform.

The organizations also called for Senators to protect Medicaid, which likely faces a chopping block if the bill passes. More than 436,000 people in Louisiana have qualified for Medicaid coverage following the state's 2016 expansion of the health program.

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Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Sen. Bill Cassidy's town hall: Fractious and furious constituents shout down the senator

Posted By on Wed, Feb 22, 2017 at 8:02 PM

U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy at a fractious town hall today in Metairie. - CHERYL GERBER
  • CHERYL GERBER
  • U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy at a fractious town hall today in Metairie.

Town halls around the country are fractious affairs these days for Republican members of Congress, but the crowd of hundreds that showed up at the Jefferson Parish East Bank Regional Library in Metairie today for a town hall with U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy was so raucous and furious that CNN began carrying it live.

People began arriving around noon to line up and hold a parking lot rally before the doors opened at 3 p.m., so attendees already were tired of waiting when Cassidy arrived 22 minutes late to the 3:30 p.m. town hall. The senator apologized, saying he was touring New Orleans tornado damage, an explanation that didn't go over well in the crowd of 200 or so who were allowed in, which jeered and booed him. And that was just the start.

"If all you want to do is vent," Cassidy said early on, "this will not be profitable."

They did. It wasn't.

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Slideshow: Protesters, supporters at Sen. Bill Cassidy's town hall in Metairie

Posted By on Wed, Feb 22, 2017 at 3:05 PM

screen_shot_2017-02-22_at_2.55.07_pm.png


Congressional town hall meetings have become heaty affairs back home, and U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy's town hall today at the Jefferson Parish East Bank Regional Public Library is no exception. Several hundred people — mostly protesters — gathered outside starting at noon for the event, which was not scheduled to begin until 3:30 p.m.

Here are a few of the signs and people in the crowd.


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