new orleans

Fire engulfed a three-story, 150-year-old mansion in New Orleans, but a 92-year-old woman and two other residents escaped unharmed.

Christopher Montgomery tells the New Orleans Advocate that his brother-in-law, sister, and their 92-year-old mother got out safely after the fire broke out Wednesday. '

The Times-Picayune reports that an elderly poodle also escaped from the home's second fire in 12 years. Authorities said the fire apparently started in the basement. The cause is unknown.

Five people waiting at a downtown New Orleans bus stop were wounded by gunfire during a police shootout with an armed robbery suspect, authorities said, in a city weekend marred with multiple shootings.

The shootout that injured the five bystanders happened Sunday night, and officials said the robbery suspect was killed during an exchange of gunfire between the suspect and officers with the New Orleans Police Department and the Louisiana State Police that stretched over two city blocks.

Authorities say someone has been shot to death in a car on Interstate 10 just west of New Orleans. The St. Charles Parish Sheriff's Office said deputies responding to a crash around 3:25 a.m. Sunday on the westbound Bonnet Carre Spillway bridge found a car with several bullet holes.

Deputies said in a statement a man was dead and several others were taken to the hospital with injuries that didn't appear life threatening. Investigators said it appeared the car that was shot may have collided with a white vehicle before the shooting.

What to do with all those beads from parades during Carnival season around New Orleans? Unwanted beads can be tossed at a big truck at the end of parades.

The truck operated by the ARC of Greater New Orleans will follow most Metairie parades. WWL-TV reported Jefferson Parish approved an ordinance allowing people to throw beads at the truck at the end of the parade. The beads will be taken to a center, and employees will repackage and resell the beads.

Patrix /

As New Orleans prepares for the height of the Carnival season, the city's mayor outlined security and infrastructure preparations and said the city is "more than prepared for Mardi Gras 2019."

At a news conference Tuesday, LaToya Cantrell and her administration laid out plans for this year's festivities. They highlighted a large exercise to be held Friday to prepare emergency responders, the expanded use of gutter buddies to keep beads and debris out of the drainage system, a temporary halt to construction on Bourbon Street and a plea for residents to keep their guns at home.

A Louisiana minister has been sentenced to three years of probation and ordered to pay more than $202,000 in restitution for stealing government funds.

U.S. Attorney Peter G. Strasser, in a news release, says U.S. District Judge Jay C. Zainey sentenced 59-year-old Otho Schilling, of Mt. Hermon, on Tuesday. Court records show Schilling, while pastor of a church in Bush, required the church to pay his personal expenses.

A New Orleans-based company is suing the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry over the agency's testing of medical marijuana.

The Advocate reports Reactwell LLC's lawsuit filed in Baton Rouge claims its bid to test the crop as an independent laboratory was improperly rejected last year.

Marijuana grown by Louisiana's two approved producers is supposed to be tested by an independent laboratory to ensure the crop's safety, but the agency says no laboratories were qualified. The lawsuit argues the company was qualified.

The Audubon Zoo in New Orleans is reopening its jaguar exhibit after months of redesign after the big cat escaped last summer and killed nine animals.

The Audubon Zoo is returning Valerio to display Tuesday after the July 15 escape. The escape occurred before the zoo opened. Five alpacas, an emu and three foxes died from injuries in the attack.

Zoo officials say the jaguar chewed through a fence of the exhibit. Zoo employees were able to sedate the jaguar and have been caring for the 160-pound (73-kilogram) cat out of public view since the attack.

A man accused of killing three people and wounding another in 2017 has been ruled incompetent to stand trial in the slaying of a former Baton Rouge official.

The Advocate reports Judge Trudy White announced Wednesday that 37-year-old Ryan Sharpe isn't able to competently assist his attorney in a trial over the slaying of a former BREC commissioner.

A New Orleans man was convicted of manslaughter Wednesday in a 2016 slaying that also involved his nephew — a 15-year-old boy who later died when a guard at the New Orleans jail failed to notice he had hanged himself in his cell. Tyrance Chancellor, 36, faces up to 40 years in prison when he is sentenced Feb. 22, the New Orleans District Attorney's Office said in a statement.