5th Ward Weebie funeral and public service scheduled Sunday at Armstrong Park

5th Ward Weebie, AKA Jerome Cosey. | Via Facebook.

Funeral services for late New Orleans bounce rapper 5th Ward Weebie are scheduled on Jan. 19 at Mahalia Jackson Theater at Louis Armstrong Park.

The rapper, born Jerome Cosey, died Jan. 9 at the age of 41 as a result of complications from a recent surgery, nola.com reported.

A private service for Cosey will start at 8 p.m. at 1419 Basin Street followed by a public viewing starting at noon. An alternative entrance to the park is located at 701 North Rampart Street.

Hailing from the Dumaine Street and St. Phillip Street area of the city’s 5th Ward, according to Music Rising, Cosey specialized in the bounce music genre.

Cosey’s career began in the 1990s and later became a prominent local artist within the genre, along with artists include Big Freedia (Freddie Ross) and DJ Jubilee (Jerome Temple).

In 2013, he released the hit single “Let Me Find Out” in 2013, which received significant local radio play.

The song caught the attention of rapper Snoop Doggy Dog (Calvin Broadus Jr.), who appeared in the song’s sequel, “Let Me Find Out, Pt. 2.”

The funeral service will be followed by an “Under the Bridge” memorial event at 3 p.m. at the corner of Claiborne and Orleans avenues.

Police seek to ID two suspects connected to Jan. 1 cell phone robbery on Burgundy Street

Courtesy of the NOPD.

New Orleans police are searching for two suspects wanted in connection to an alleged simple robbery in the French Quarter that occurred in the early morning hours of New Year’s Day.

The alleged robbery occurred at approximately 2:11 a.m. on Jan. 1 as the victim and her brother walked in the 300 block of Burgundy Street when they were approached by the suspects, according to the New Orleans Police Department.

One of the suspects took the victim’s cell phone from her hand and fled the scene on foot with the second suspect.

The victim’s brother reportedly chased the suspects, but was punched in the face and knocked to the ground, police said.

While the victim was on the ground, one of the suspects took his cell phone, police said.

New Orleans police released alleged surveillance photos of the suspects on Jan. 10 in the hopes the public can help identify them.

Anyone with information on this incident is asked to call NOPD Eighth District detectives at 504-658-6080. Anonymous callers can contact Crimestoppers at 504-822-1111 or toll-free at 877-903-7867.

French Quarter's Westin Hotel completes $30 million makeover

Observatory Eleven at sunset. Courtesy of The Westin New Orleans.

A French Quarter upscale hotel wants you to know that it has a new look.

On Thursday, The Westin New Orleans announced that it completed an expansive, and expensive, revitalization effort that spanned the entire hotel.

The $30 million dollar redesign added a total of 30,000 square feet across 18 rooms on the property.

Hotel developers worked with Canadian firm Moncur Design Associates, which incorporated some of the local aesthetic to include the city’s history, culture, architecture and natural elements like southern oaks with hanging moss.

Three new additions include a new bar restaurant and ballroom.

All three — Observatory Eleven, Bistro at the Bend and Riverbend Ballroom — are all located on the 11th floor of the hotel and overlook the Mississippi River.

Observatory Eleven is a circular bar and includes approximately 2,3000 square feet of space. Dan Levy runs the drinks program at the bar.

Chef Daniel Mills, formerly of The Roosevelt New Orleans hotel, runs Bistro at the Bend. Some of his signature dishes include blue crab beignets, Gulf Coast au gratin, blackened scallops and pimento cheese arancini. The restaurant seats 104 people.

The ballroom is 4,200 square feet and holds 280 people.

The hotel, which rises to 19 floors and includes 462 rooms, is located at 100 Iberville Street near Canal Place.

The Westin is a hotel chain owned by Marriott International, which is headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland.

Woman convicted in fatal 2017 stabbing on Decatur Street sentenced to weekends in jail, probation

Dannisha Green

A woman was sentenced by a Orleans Parish judge on Wednesday to serve probation and nearly a year’s worth of weekends in jail after pleading guilty to the fatal stabbing of her friend on Decatur Street in 2017, according to court records.

Dannisha Green, 22, pleaded guilty in August to manslaughter and aggravated battery in the killing of Brittany Seymour following an altercation on June 15, 2017.

Green and Seymour were arguing in the 200 block of Decatur Street shortly after 1 a.m. when the fight turned physical and shifted to the 300 block, according to the New Orleans Police Department.

Onlookers eventually separated the two but noticed that Seymour was suffering from a stab would, the NOPD said.

Seymour, who was reportedly out celebrating her 22nd birthday, later died at a local hospital.

Green turned herself in less than a week later, the NOPD said.

The original indictment filed against against Green in 2017 included a second-degree murder charge, but that was dropped by prosecutors on August 26, according to court records.

Green pleaded guilty to her remaining charges on that same day, records show.

Then on Jan. 8, Green appeared before Orleans Parish Criminal District Court Judge Camille Buras to be sentenced.

Before Green’s sentence was handed down, court records show, several victim impact statements were read in open court, including from the victim’s mother, Kimi Seymour.

Buras then ordered Green to serve five years of probation, 200 hours of community service and 49 weekends in the Orleans Parish Justice Center starting on Jan. 24, according to court records.

Additionally, court records show, Green has to submit to one year of drug and alcohol screening, attend anger management counseling and observe a curfew from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m.

The judge also gave Green a 10-year suspended prison sentence, meaning that she could serve the entire term if she fails to report to jail on the weekend.

Buras accounted for Green’s lack of a criminal record and a video turned over to NOPD that allegedly showed bystanders failing to intervene in the fight, according to nola.com

Hit-and-run death of French Quarter tourist Josh Woodruff unsolved 4 years later

NOPD released a camera image of the dark-colored sedan suspected of hitting and killing Joshua Woodruff on New Year’s Day 2016.

The death of a French Quarter tourist who was struck and killed by a car as he celebrated the New Year’s holiday in 2016 remains unsolved four years later.

New Orleans police believe that Joshua Woodruff was struck by a car at the corner of Dumaine and Decatur streets at approximately 3 a.m. on New Year’s Day in 2016.

Woodruff became stuck under the car and was dragged throughout the French Quarter before the driver entered the U.S. Highway 90 expressway, said New Orleans Police Department Detective Robert Barrere.

The driver drove across the Mississippi River bridge before Woodruff was dislodged along the Westbank Expressway approximately six miles away near the General de Gaulle exit, said Barrere.

Barrere added that the car exited the expressway at the Algiers exit at approximately 3:30 a.m.

The tail light pattern of the car that allegedly struck Joshua Woodruff in the French Quarter on New Year’s Day 2016. Courtesy of the NOPD.

Several dozen more images of the vehicle suspected of hitting Woodruff were obtained from nearby surveillance cameras were released nearly two years after his death.

Despite their blurriness, Barrere said the images that were released are some of the better images police were able to capture of the car.

The car is described as a dark-colored sedan with a silver windshield trim and distinctive headlight and tail light patterns, Barrere said.

“I believe someone knows who did this,” said Barrere at a press conference in 2017. “The person who did knows he did this.”

Crimestoppers is offering up to $5,000 that leads to the arrest and indictment of the suspect.

Anyone with information on this incident is encouraged to contact detective Barrere at 504-658-5300. Anonymous callers may call Crimestoppers at 504-822-1111 or 877-903-7867.

Police arrest suspect in Jan. 7 Bourbon Street shooting

Dominic Massa. Courtesy of the NOPD.

A man was arrested Tuesday evening for an alleged shooting on Bourbon Street that occurred earlier in the day, according to New Orleans police.

The New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) arrested Dominic Massa, 25, on Jan. 7 following an investigation into the shooting in the 100 block of Bourbon Street that left a female victim injured

According to the NOPD, the victim was shot in the elbow at approximately 6:58 a.m. and later transported to a local hospital via ambulance.

During the investigation, the NOPD said, police determined that Massa was the shooter.

Massa was arrested without incident by NOPD Eighth District detectives with assistance of the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office.

Massa was booked on suspicion of aggravated battery by shooting, the NOPD said.

Anyone with additional information on this incident is asked to contact NOPD Eighth District Detectives at 504-658-6080.

NOPD investigates shooting on Bourbon Street

Brendan Riley | Flickr CC

New Orleans police are investigating a Tuesday morning shooting that occurred on Bourbon Street.

An initial report tweeted by the New Orleans Police Department shortly after 7:30 a.m. showed that a female victim was shot in the elbow in the 100 block of Bourbon Street.

The victim was transported to the local hospital via ambulance.

No other details were immediately available.

City to French Quarter residents: give us your recycled Christmas trees on Jan. 8 to help restore Louisiana's coastline

skooksie via Flickr | CC

French Quarter residents on Wednesday are encouraged by city officials to recycle their Christmas trees in an effort to help restore Louisiana’s coastline.

Residents in the French Quarter, who are serviced by Empire Services, must place their trees at the location of their regular garbage collection before 4 a.m. on Jan. 8, said city spokeswoman LaTonya Norton.

Coastal restoration — producing barrier islands, marshes and swamps along the coast — is crucial to reducing incoming storm surge and flooding, according to the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA).

The CPRA estimates that, without mitigating action, the Louisiana coastline could use up to 4,120 square miles in the next 50 years.

The trees help slow erosion, trap sediment and provide a buffer to slow down waves while keeping them out of landfills, according to the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana.

Only natural, unflocked trees that are free of all strands and trimming — including ornaments, tinsel, lights, tree stands, etc. — can be recycled, Norton added. Unflocked trees are those without artificial frosting.

Flocked and artificial trees and trees in bags, or trees with trimming that has not been removed, will be collected with garbage and transported to the landfill, Norton said, adding that trees should not be placed on the neutral grounds because it delays the collection process.

Many New Orleans residents are now in the process of disposing their trees following Twelfth Night, which signifies the end of the Christmas holiday and marking the beginning of the Mardi Gras season.

The effort to restore the coastline with recycled Christmas trees is a collaboration between the city’s Department of Sanitation and its solid waste contractors, the Louisiana National Guard and the city’s Office of Resilience and Sustainability, which funds the project, Norton said.

The agencies will work together to collect, sort and bundle trees, which will be placed in selected coastal zones, Norton said.

In 2019, more than 6,000 Christmas trees were collected in Orleans Parish after the holidays. They were airlifted by the Louisiana National Guard into Bayou Sauvage National Wildlife Refuge as part of a program to create new marsh habitat.

City Council postpones January meetings by one week due to cyberattack recovery

New Orleans City Hall. Bart Everson | CC Flickr

The New Orleans City Council postponed both of its January meetings by one week due to the ongoing recovery from a December cyberattack, Councilwoman Helena Moreno said on Monday.

The meetings that were scheduled for Jan. 9 and Jan. 23 will instead be held on Jan. 16 and Jan. 30, respectively.

“We are delaying our regular meetings this month by one week to help give staff more time to prepare material and documents in order to give the public the council meeting they expect,” Moreno said in an emailed statement.

The attack, which occurred on Dec. 13, affected more than 4,000 of the city’s computers and devices, including the city council’s, and severely disrupted the city’s ability to conduct business over the internet and phone.

The attack is under investigation.

By Dec. 23, half of the city’s computers were re-imaged partly due to the assistance of nearly 90 volunteers helping the Information Technology and Innovation team in the response effort, said Mayor LaToya Cantrell.

About 15 percent of devices that were affected were deemed damaged and put aside, Cantrell said.

Cantrell estimated the recovery at $792,000, which doesn’t include the cost of replacing some equipment, adding that the total cost may double.

Little by little, nola.gov is coming back online, although access to critical documents and information is still limited for many city departments, boards and agencies, Moreno said.

The City Council will meet briefly on Thursday morning in a special meeting to amend the official calendar and put land use and other legal deadlines on hold due to the “ongoing state of emergency,” Moreno said.

Residents can still make 3-1-1 requests for service; pay sales, use, and parking taxes; and pay parking and camera tickets.

Council offices are open for regular business this week, although access to official emails and documents may be limited, Moreno added.

Regular phone numbers and temporary email addresses have been posted on nola.gov for all council-related inquiries.

The city will continue to release updates and information via Facebook and @NOLACityCouncil on Twitter.

Police identify suspect wanted for attempted armed robbery on Ursulines Avenue

David Dixon. Picture courtesy of the NOPD.

An arrest warrant was obtained for a suspect wanted in an alleged Jan. 3 attempted armed robbery on Ursulines Avenue, the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) said.

After an investigation, detectives determined that David Dixon, 34, approached the victim at approximately 1:28 a.m. in the 600 block of Ursulines Avenue.

Dixon was armed with a gun and allegedly demanded the victim’s property at gunpoint, the NOPD said. Dixon was reportedly unsuccessful and fled the scene, the NOPD said.

Anyone with information on this incident or the whereabouts of Dixon is asked to contact NOPD Eighth District detectives at 504-658-6080. Anonymous callers can contact Crimestoppers at 504-822-1111 or toll-free 877-903-7867.