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In-depth news and investigations for New Orleans

Fatman Set the Pace

Grammy Award-winning snare drummer “Fatman” Hunter, who was killed by a car on Mardi Gras morning and laid to rest today, spoke his mind and created a distinct second-line groove.

Recent Posts

Keeping a Lid on Carnival Trash

They put out recycling bins and picked up cans during and after parades. In the end, this group of plucky nonprofit groups, with support from the city’s Recycle Dat! initiative, tripled the recycling totals for Uptown parades, diverting an impressive amount of trash from the River Birch landfill.

Civil Rights Icon in a Gown

In 1966, Karen Becnel made civil-rights history, as the first Black Carnival queen to be presented at Municipal Auditorium – a place where her grandfather had helped to dress the kings of the traditional old-line krewes like Rex and Comus.

Shoebox Floats Everywhere

They are a longtime Carnival tradition that focuses on little ones — and education advocates say that the current shoebox-float renaissance may be a sign that public schools are seeing the positive side of once-repudiated New Orleans traditions.

From Back-a-Town to St. Charles, on Foot.

As my mom and two aunts prepared food for us 10 cousins, we worried that we were missing out on the fun on St. Charles Avenue. We weren’t worried about seeing Rex, the krewe that parades after Zulu. In the eyes of a 10-year-old, that was boring.

Gun-arrest data raises questions about profiling

Last year, on Mardi Gras Day, New Orleans police made more gun arrests than any single day in at least 13 years, maybe more, according to arrest data kept on the City Council website, which only goes back that far.  Officers arrested 40 people. Most were on Bourbon Street. More were charged with the same misdemeanor…

More News



Proposed cuts to City Year program would do most harm to at-risk kids in under-resourced schools

“You can teach me stuff like vowels, words, and reading. You can teach me how to be calm.”   With that, City Year’s work in Louisiana was perfectly summed up by a first grader.  Each year, thousands of City Year AmeriCorps members – also known as student success coaches – embrace this unique role in 29…

About the Lens

The Lens aims to engage and empower the residents of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. We provide the information and analysis necessary to advocate for more accountable and just governance.

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