Police blotter: Two armed robberies and a battery reported in Uptown neighborhood

Two armed robberies and an aggravated battery were reported in Uptown neighborhoods during the weekend, according to the New Orleans Police Department. The battery occurred Sunday (June 5) in the 9000 block of Olive Street. Two men were in a fight at about 10:30 a.m., police said, when one was struck with an unknown object. The victim, 33, was taken to the hospital. A suspect, 59-year-old Kevin Williams, was arrested on scene.

Sobriety checkpoints planned for Thursday night

The NOPD Traffic Division will conduct sobriety checkpoints in New Orleans on Thursday and Friday (June 9-10) and again on June 23 to 24. The checkpoints will operate at undisclosed locations from 9 p.m. on Thursday to 5 a.m. on Friday and from 9 p.m. on Thursday, June 23, to 5 a.m. on Friday, June 24. Motorists will experience minimal delays during these checkpoint operations, the NOPD said, and should have the proper documentation available if requested (i.e., proof of insurance, driver’s license, etc.).

Employees at the Maple Street Starbucks will be first in Louisiana to unionize

The polls closed for the Maple Street Starbucks union election at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday (June 4), and 15 minutes later, the count was announced. The workers at the 7700 Maple Street location had voted overwhelmingly to unionize. With the final count 11-1 in favor of forming a union, this Starbucks will be the first in Louisiana to unionize. A total of 14?votes were cast, but two were contested.?

The Maple Street coffeehouse joins more than 100 Starbucks stores nationwide that have unionized in the past seven months, since a Buffalo, New York, store became the first in December 2021. The Maple Street Starbucks workers will be a part of the national union known as Workers United.?

Reporters, supporters and off-the-clock baristas waited for the results outside the polling place across the street from the coffeehouse, as the temperature soared over 90 degrees.

Workers at the Starbucks on Maple voting on whether to form a union

At the Maple Street Starbucks on Thursday morning (June 2), amid patrons with baby strollers and sleek laptops, union organizers and supporters held a “sip in” for the coffeehouse workers. Those workers are holding a union election this Friday and Saturday. If the vote passes, the store at 7700 Maple St. will be the first unionized Starbucks in Louisiana, part of a spate of newly unionized Starbucks across the country. At the sip-in, the organizers invited supporters to sit in the cafe and hold signs for the workers to boost morale in anticipation of the upcoming election.

Viewpoint: What kind of deal is attorney Billy Gibbens cutting for DA Jason Williams?

With District Attorney Jason Williams’ tax fraud trial scheduled to start in six weeks, now is the time that a seasoned defense attorney like Billy Gibbens would be putting the final touches on the best deal he could strike for his client, in this case Williams. Williams and his former law partner Nicole Burdett are charged with trying to inflate $700,000 in tax write-offs between 2013 and 2017. Though the attorneys at Tuesday’s pretrial hearing said they were “ready for trial,” they could have meant that federal prosecutors are not yet ready to announce the terms of any agreement. The best deal Gibbens could hope for would probably involve Williams pleading guilty to one or two counts and receiving a suspended sentence with house arrest and a big fat fine. In that scenario, Williams would also forfeit his law license and be removed from office. After three years, Williams could ask the Louisiana Supreme Court to reinstate his law license and, if successful, practice civil law.

Upperline owners put the restaurant up for sale

Corporate Realty announced last week that the beloved Upperline Restaurant is on the market. The owners — proprietor JoAnn Clevenger, her husband Alan Greenacre and their son Jason Clevenger — are selling the restaurant at Upperline and Pitt streets. The art-filled restaurant known for its creative interpretations of Creole and Cajun standards served its last meal in March 2020. The owners announced in November 2021 that the restaurant would not reopen from the pandemic shutdown. Clevenger, who is 83, told NOLA.com’s Ian McNulty in 2021: “We would sell Upperline with the name and the recipes, but I only want to sell to someone who is not going to damage what we built here; they could change it, but I have to trust they won’t damage it.”

The 4,293-square-foot property currently has a liquor license and is outfitted with fixtures, furniture and equipment, according to Corporate Realty.

Audubon-Riverside homes to be featured in 2022 Shotgun House Tour

The Preservation Resource Center’s Shotgun House Tour focuses on how the historic cottages can be adapted for a modern family. For this year’s tour on June 11 and 12, the PRC will open the doors to five private shotgun homes in the Audubon Riverside neighborhood, promising “smart, innovative renovations that showcase the livability and versatility of the city’s favorite house type.” As a bonus, the tour also includes the restored Hales Cottage on the campus of Children’s Hospital. Hales Cottage is one of the oldest buildings in Uptown New Orleans, with parts of its timber wall frames dating to the late 18th century. The tour headquarters is in St.

Eye Wares clinic and optical shop to open at Magazine and State

Local optometrist Dr. Lauren Agnew purchased the 20-year-old Eye Wares clinic and optical boutique two weeks before Covid-19 shut down optometry practices across the nation in March 2020. Despite the rough start, she is opening her third practice Friday (June 3) in the newly constructed building at the site of the former Shell station at Magazine and State streets. After multiple delays due to Covid and Hurricane Ida, the official public grand opening is scheduled for Friday. The commercial building at 6001 Magazine is also home to a Starbucks, Club Pilates and the Audubon Facial Plastic Surgery. With Eye Wares, the building will be fully occupied.