Starting Wednesday (Nov. 28), another stretch of Claiborne Avenue in the Carrollton area will be reduced to two lanes until at least March of next year as a new underground drainage canal is built under the neutral ground, officials announced today. The eastbound lanes of a three-block stretch of Claiborne between Burdette and Pine streets will be detoured to the westbound side, allowing workers access to an intersection of canals under Lowerline Street, according to an announcement by the Sewerage and Water Board. In September, officials closed the two westbound lanes of South Claiborne from Cambronne Street up to the Jefferson Parish line through the Hollygrove and west Carrollton areas for an anticipated two-year time span. That earlier closure allows construction of Phase I of the new canal, which will start at the Jefferson Parish end and work its way down Claiborne.
A Thai restaurant’s request for alcohol sales at its Maple Street location and a proposed fast-food restaurant in a service station on South Claiborne Avenue will return to the City Planning Commission on Tuesday, after their initial trips through the city bureaucracy were derailed by the council standoff in May. The Singha Song restaurant in the 7700 block of Maple won initial approval from the City Planning Commission in March to serve alcoholic drinks with its Thai cuisine, despite some neighbors’ concerns that liquor sales would allow the building to one day repeat its history as a college bar. The owners of the Shell gas station on South Claiborne at Jackson Avenue had originally secured permission to remodel the building into two units, one for a convenience store and the other for retail purposes, according to the City Planning staff report. The actual construction created three units, however, one of which the owners then re-applied for permission to use as a fast-food restaurant. At that same March meeting, the commissioners recommended denial of the request because the owners had not complied with requirements regarding the configuration of the pumps, the parking lot and the landscaping.
Police arrested a man on the Claiborne Avenue end of the parade route Tuesday for illegal possession of a gun, and at least six other weapons cases were reported that afternoon along St. Charles Avenue. Shortly after 1 p.m., concerned citizens alerted an Orleans Parish Sheriff’s deputy to a man who had a gun, according to an NOPD news release. The officer saw the “distinct shape of a handgun” in the man’s waistband, stopped him and seized a 9-mm from him, which the officer then turned over to an NOPD Second District officer assisting with the arrest, police said. Kendal Edwards, 23, was charged with illegal possession of a weapon and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, according to jail records.
A man was shot shortly after 5 p.m. near South Claiborne and South Carrollton, one of the busiest intersections in Uptown New Orleans, leaving a sprawling crime scene that stretched from beside Palmer Park to the side yard of the Walgreens across the street. The victim was toward the river side of Claiborne when he was shot, police and witnesses said, and then came running across the street to the Walgreens pharmacy for help. Walgreens manager Chris Sperling said that when he first saw the man come running toward the store, he closed the store’s front doors in case the gunmen were still outside. He called 911, and ran out to where the man had sat down in the grass outside the store, and then ran to the next-door fire department to get medical help. The victim was bleeding from his hand and said his shoulder had also been hit, Sperling said.
Seven armed robberies — including two carjackings and a home invasion — have been reported within sight of South Claiborne Avenue in the university area over the last week, pitting Uptown residents who ventured outside to put out the trash, repair a car, wait for a shuttle or make a cell phone call against gun-carrying muggers on almost a nightly basis. The most two recent cases took place Monday evening. At 4:22 p.m., the victim was in his backyard in the 5800 block of South Tonti near Nashville Avenue in Broadmoor, working on a truck, when a stranger showed up armed with a silver handgun and robbed him of his keys, credit cards, a cell phone and a $1 bill, according to the report. About three hours later, a victim in the 6100 block of Delord Street (a small side street between State and Calhoun just off Claiborne) was taking the trash to the curb when a man with a bandana over the lower part of his face and a black gun in his hand, the report states. He demanded the victim’s phone and car keys, then drove off in his white 2003 four-door Mercedez Benz sedan (with a Louisiana license plate of MOA 159), the report states.
A man was robbed at gunpoint while leaving a bank that was subject to a similar robbery two weeks ago, and a Tulane police officer was injured chasing a suspect in a separate robbery moments later Wednesday morning, authorities said. And a third robbery attempt was reported Wednesday afternoon at the Walgreens on St. Charles Avenue at Felicity Street, though details of that case were not immediately available. In the first case, a man was leaving the Capital One bank on Claiborne near Calhoun around 9:30 a.m. when he was approached by a gunman who demanded his money, said Lt. Chuck Little, dayshift commander for the NOPD’s Uptown-based Second District. The second case took place before 10 a.m. near Freret and Calhoun, and appears from initial reports to have been a simple robbery, such as an iPhone snatching, Little said.
A teenager who allegedly ordered a sandwich from the Subway on Claiborne Avenue and then robbed the cashier at gunpoint Monday was identified and arrested the following day, police said. About 9 p.m. Monday, a customer at the store on Claiborne near Toledano ordered a sandwich, waited for it to be made and was told his total at the register, according to news release from the NOPD Sixth District. At that point, “the customer pulled a pistol from his waistband and demanded all the money from the register,” the clerk handed the money over and the gunman left. Trayvis Johnson, 17, was identified by detectives as a suspect, and the Subway clerk picked Johnson’s photo out of a lineup. He was found on Tuesday in the 2700 block of Amelia Street and arrested on an armed robbery charge, and jail records show he is also charged with violating his parole.
The recent robbery of a business owner as he approached a South Claiborne Avenue bank to make a deposit could be related to similar incidents elsewhere in the city, police officials told residents Tuesday amid updates on various cases around Uptown New Orleans. The victim had parked and was walking up to the Capital One branch near Calhoun with a bag on his back containing deposits from his business when a stranger ran up and tried to grab the bag away, then pulled a gun as they struggled, police said at the time. That pattern has been seen elsewhere in the city, Lt. Chuck Little said Tuesday during the monthly meeting between Second District officials and community members. More specifically, similar robberies have been reported in the Lakeview-based Third District and the Seventh District, which covers New Orleans East, Sgt. Chris Billiot has said.
A businessman was robbed at gunpoint Friday morning as he attempted to make a deposit at a Claiborne Avenue bank, and while investigators do not believe he was followed or targeted, they are searching for video in the area that may help identify his assailant. The victim had parked his car about 9:50 a.m. and was walking to the Capital One branch on South Claiborne Avenue near Calhoun Street to make a business deposit when a stranger approached and tried to grab the bag he was carrying with the money in it off his back, said Sgt. Chris Billiot of the NOPD Second District persons-crimes division. A struggle ensued, and the robber pulled a gun, then made off with the bag, Billiot said. The victim does not seem to have been followed to the bank, and in fact hadn’t even planned on going there, he told detectives.
The rejection of a controversial Carrollton coffeeshop, the approval of alcohol sales at a new Walgreens on Claiborne, and other land-use matters on Oak Street, in Milan and in the Garden District were given final decisions this week by the New Orleans City Council. Closing Konbini | A coffee shop/corner store on at 2101 South Carrollton that briefly opened for business without the proper license or zoning was sent back to the drawing board by a sympathetic but ultimately unyielding Councilwoman Susan Guidry during Thursday’s meeting. The building is zoned for residential use but had been an office for years, until it sat vacant long enough to lose its temporary commercial use. Its proprietors said they gathered 500 signatures from the neighborhood in support of their idea, but the more intense commercial use and spot zoning that the project represented were overwhelmingly opposed by neighborhood organizations in the area. “It’s very painful to say no to a business ready to open,” Guidry said, saying she regretted the financial impact to the owner of rejecting his application.