NOPD crime statistics may be underreported, audit finds | NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune –
A mix of computer bugs and human error led to the New Orleans Police Department underreporting serious crimes in 2012, according to a report released Monday by the state legislative auditor’s office.
This follows a May 18 NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune story in which John Simerman and Gordon Russell detailed how the city’s crime stats — a high murder rate but an otherwise low violent-crime rate — baffled criminologists. New Orleans Police Superintendent Ronal Serpas said the audit, which was based on 911 calls, used cherry-picked data and wasn’t a “valid statistical analysis.” Inspector General Ed Quatrevaux says his office will release a separate analysis of crime stats in the coming weeks.
Sudden delay of Nagin trial a surprise | WWL-TV – Reporter David Hammer looks into possible reasons behind U.S. District Judge Ginger Berrigan’s recent decision to delay former Mayor Ray Nagin’s trial on federal corruption charges.
She [Berrigan] may have been waiting to see if plea negotiations bore fruit before she took away the specter of an immediate trial, an obvious incentive to get the two sides talking. Nagin was in town Tuesday and sources close to the case confirmed to Eyewitness News that there was an offer still on the table for Nagin to get five years or less in prison. But as had been the case in the days leading up to the indictment last January, Nagin was not ready to accept a deal.
Louisiana’s ‘phantom curriculum’ creates frustration | The News Star – Despite making an agreement with the feds to create a state curriculum aligned with Common Core standards, the state has saddled local school districts with the responsibility, according to Scott Richard, executive director of the Louisiana School Board Association.
Implementation of i3 education grants being questioned | The Louisiana Weekly – “Despite being the recipient of an $800,000 federal grant, John McDonogh Senior High School is having serious money problems.”
Government & Politics
Criminal, municipal and traffic court judges all say they need more money from city | The Lens – On the third day of budget hearings, only the District Attorney’s Office says it’s fine with the proposed budget.
State seeks to recoup grant money | The Advocate – “While the governor has been successful in reducing the amount of state operating budget dollars going to nonprofits, [State Treasurer John] Kennedy wants state government to use its full muscle to reclaim what he estimates is $2 million in grant money for which there was no accounting.”
N.O. City Hall cafeteria sit-in marks 50 years | The New Orleans Advocate – Fifty years ago police dragged the Rev. Avery Alexander from a City Hall cafeteria where he was part of a “sit-in” protesting segregation.
Bipartisan deal in U.S. Congress to delay flood insurance hike | Reuters – Big news if true: Congressional sources say that a bipartisan agreement has been reached “to delay by at least four years a flood insurance rate hike” that took effect on Oct. 1, as part of the Biggert-Waters Act. It will be interesting to see how Congress chooses to underwrite this continued subsidization of flood insurance rates.
Hurricanes on holiday: What happened to the storms? – Forecasters predicted a busy year for hurricanes, but the 2013 season has been unusually quiet. In an opinion piece, Lens coastal desk reporter Bob Marshall reminds us to stay vigilant, since hurricane season has another month to go, and late-season storms are always a possibility.
Inside Report: Finding buried oil from BP disaster takes some ingenuity | The New Orleans Advocate – In-depth explanation of how a huge tar mat from the 2010 BP oil spill went undiscovered, and uncleaned, for three years.
Saving St. Charles Avenue | Uptown Messenger – Columnist Owen Courreges wants to ensure that Loyola University keeps its promise not to tear down a St. Charles Avenue mansion eyed to become part of its educational campus.
Universities and repurposed structures have never been a comfortable relationship. Old houses are relatively small, with inconvenient floor-plans, high maintenance costs and low energy efficiency. Universities tend to prefer larger, angular buildings of stone, glass and steel.
After Hurricanes, the ‘Road Home,’ the Long Way | The New York Times – “The legacy of the Road Home in New Orleans is one of two different recoveries. While some areas of New Orleans did come back, others did not. Now, with many states still trying to rebuild since Hurricane Sandy hit last year, officials involved agree: the lessons from Katrina’s housing recovery must be learned.”