The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) announces the Judge Seeber (Claiborne Avenue) Bridge will be closed to vehicular traffic beginning Friday, August 2, 2013, at 8 p.m. thru August 24, 2013, at 11:59 p.m., for cleaning and painting of the east and west towers.
During the closure, the contractor will begin the first phase of work on the mechanical and electrical components of the structure, including containment, protecting the cables, detaching electrical conduits, degreasing, installing the scaffolding, and blasting and priming the structure. This work is estimated to take 7-10 days.
The contractor will have the bridge in the “up” position to the required containment enclosures and construction equipment to perform this work. Motorists should use St. Claude Avenue as an alternate route.
DOTD appreciates your patience and reminds you to please drive caution through the construction zone and be on the lookout for work crews and their equipment.
Motorists can access up-to-date travel information by dialing 511 or by visiting www.511la.org. Out of-state travelers can call 1-888-ROAD-511 (1-888-762-3511).
Man booked with stalking woman he didn’t have any relationship with; Separately, a burglary arrest was made; Also, woman booked with unauthorized entry
A Meraux man has been booked with stalking a Violet woman whom he didn’t have any relationship with and had once met, Sheriff James Pohlmann said.
Also, separately a Marrero man was booked with burglary of a Chalmette residence and a Chalmette woman was arrested for unauthorized entry of a neighbor’s apartment during which she committed battery on the other woman and criminal damage to property, the sheriff said.
Christopher Cheairs, 49, 4113 Najolia Lane, was booked July 27 with stalking a woman he didn’t know and had met her once where she worked, then began contacting her and following her, Sheriff Pohlmann said.
The victim told sheriff’s deputies that in late May, Cheairs – whom she didn’t know – happened to come to the place where she worked, spoke with her, and since had been stalking her by sending text messages and photos trying to go out with her and had followed her at least once.
Investigating officers were shown evidence of numerous texts from him, the
When confronted by a deputy, Cheairs denied any stalking or harassment.
He was arrested and booked into St. Bernard Parish Prison on the stalking count but was released on bond on Aug. 1.
In an unrelated arrest, Rickey Bordelon, 29, of Marrero was booked recently with simple burglary of a Chalmette residence after a neighbor called about 3:30 a.m. and reported a possible burglary in progress, the sheriff said. The caller said someone had entered a residence through a window and a second person was outside.
When deputies arrived, they found Bordelon coming out of the door of the residence involved and a second man, who was intoxicated, was outside.
Bordelon claimed to know the homeowner who was away and said he had a key from her, which he couldn’t produce. Contacted, the owner said Bordelon didn’t have permission to be there and that she hadn’t seen him in a year and wanted to press charges.
Bordelon was taken into custody on the burglary count and is jailed in lieu of bond set at $25,000. The man who was out front of the home, Decorian Jefferson, 21, of Marrero, admitted he had been drinking and said he had gone there with Bordelon but had remained outside. Jefferson was booked with disturbing the peace by being drunk in public.
In the other arrest, Ana Zapata-Dolmo, 24, 3124 Tournefort St., Apt. 104, Chalmette, was booked the evening of July 25 with unauthorized entry of an inhabited dwelling, simple battery, criminal damage to property and disturbing the peace.
The suspect had argued with a 25-year-old neighbor who lived in another apartment, then, as the neighbor tried to go back into her place, Zapata pushed in the front door, knocking the other woman down, and went inside, the sheriff said.
The suspect threw the victim back outside the apartment and they struggled before the Sheriff’s Office was called.
Zapata was arrested on the four counts and a man identified as her boyfriend, Cecilio Romero, 36, who lived with her, was booked with disturbing the peace by yelling obscenities at the victim, the sheriff said.s been released om bomd
Zapata has been released on bond.
St. Bernard Drug Court graduates congratulated by Sheriff Pohlmann and Judge Klees on getting this far but reminded they must keep working at sobriety
New graduates of St. Bernard Drug Court – the program to help individuals who have been arrested because of crimes caused by dependence on drugs or alcohol – were congratulated by Sheriff James Pohlmann and Judge Robert Klees but reminded they must keep working at sobriety.
The sheriff and Judge Klees, retired chief judge of a state appeals court and now temporarily appointed as a district judge in St. Bernard, were the guest speakers on Monday, July 29, as five people graduated Drug Court in state District Judge Kirk Vaughn’s court.
Judge Vaughn said Drug Court, in operation for both adult and juvenile offenders in St. Bernard since before Hurricane Katrina, has proven to be effective in helping people with drug and alcohol problems, “We have relapses and recidivism’’ in the program, he said. “It’s not a perfect solution but it is the best we have come up with.’’ There were about 15 people who had been accepted into the Drug Court program before the graduation of the five.
Four young men and a woman had progressed through the program, maintaining sobriety, and were graduated in the ceremony, with family or friends present. All four men, who said they didn’t believe they could make it through, thanked the judge and professionals who worked wth them. The woman wasn’t able to be in court because she is pregnant and is due to have the baby shortly.
Sheriff Pohlmann told the graduates to “stay focused on sobriety and move on with your life,’’ also saying they should avoid people, places and situations that led them into drugs or uncontrolled drinking.
He said parents “must recognize the warning signs’’ that their children could be heading into trouble with drugs, including loss of interest in pursuits they used to have, such as academics, sports, dancing and other things, or associating with friends that parents don’t know.
Klees said it’s sad when people make choices that close doors in their lives, such as using drugs or alcohol, leading to them getting arrested. But the judge said the Drug Court graduates are obviously getting back on track and “have put in a lot of effort’’ to become responsible members of society.
“Never close another door on yourself,’’ Judge Klees told the graduates.
The Drug Court graduates present were: Blake Chenevert, Christopher Havers, Scott Indovina and Courtney Miller. The fifth graduate was Ashley Estopinal, who couldn’t be in court.
Don Muller is administrator for St. Bernard’s Drug Court. Capt. Charles Buras is the probation officer.
St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office breaks ground on sub-station building at the parish line on St. Claude Avenue; Will house detective divisions and could aid in crime prevention
Ground-breaking ceremonies were held Friday, July 26 on the long-awaited St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office sub-station replacement building on St. Claude Avenue at the parish line in Arabi, a project that coupled with a future sub-station on West Judge Perez Drive in Arabi could aid crime prevention, Sheriff James Pohlmann said.
“We are excited. This is an important day for us,’’ Sheriff Pohlmann told a crowd which included sheriff’s employees, representatives of FEMA – which is funding the work – and the contracting, engineering and architecture firms doing the job.
Completion date is estimated to be the Spring of 2014. ICON Construction Group of Jefferson Parish is building the structure.
The Sheriff’s Office is glad to get moving on replacing two sub-stations that stood at the parish lines of New Orleans, next to the Jackson Barracks National Guard base, prior to Hurricane Katrina, the sheriff said.
When built by then-Sheriff Jack Stephens in the 1990s, the sub-stations served as the quarters of the detective and patrol divisions.
The St. Claude station will again house detectives from the Criminal Investigation Bureau and the Juvenile Division, as well as crime scene investigations. But Sheriff Pohlmann said the sub-stations also were a psychological deterrent to criminals from outside St. Bernard who could see police were there and would know if they committed crime they would have to leave the parish past those stations.
“I know it worked as a crime prevention measure,’’ Sheriff Pohlmann said. “It still has that potential and could be essential for us.’’
The St. Claude building will be the first structure in St. Bernard someone would see as they enter the parish on St. Claude Avenue and will be on part of the ground where the first sheriff’s sub-station was built. The lots it will stand on used to be the sites of two buildings, one which was a bank and later the business, Hair Tech, and the other the old H & R Block building.
The sub-station on St. Claude will be a 8,200 square-foot, multi-story building to cost about $2.15 million, paid by FEMA as a replacement for the building there before Hurricane Katrina. It will be 65 feet wide and 57 feet deep.
The Sheriff’s Office hopes to soon begin a second sub-station on West Judge Perez Drive near the parish line and built its own sub-station on Paris Road near the boundary with New Orleans, all paid by FEMA. “We need to make sure we spend every dollar wisely,’’ the sheriff said. There is currently a leased building on Paris Road serving as a sub-station that will be vacated.
Sheriff Pohlmann thanked FEMA, the Governor’s Office for Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, or GOHSEP, and officials of CDM Smith Inc., which handled the project, while working with FEMA and the Sheriff’s Office. Susan O’Brien and Jenny Campora, both of FEMA, were present at the ceremony. Program Manager Douglas Landry was there from CDM Smith Inc., as well as CDM Project Manager Drayfus Guient and Matthew Erchull, recovery administrator for the company.
ICON Construction official Lyle Landry and Project Superintendent Ron Cuccia were at the ceremony. From the Perez architecture firm were Senior Project Manager Joe Crowley and Project Manager Christian Pazos. The building’s interior designer, Kris Lowry, also attended.
From the Sheriff’s Office, Director of Administration John Vickers and Project Manager Pete Tufaro were heavily involved in working on the sub-stations, the sheriff said, and Tufaro will oversee construction.
Sheriff’s Dep. Henry Senez Jr. receives St. Bernard Kiwanis Life-Saver Award for reviving infant who had virtually stopped breathing
Knowing he had no time to hesitate, Dep. Sheriff Henry Senez Jr. fell back on instinct and training to restore a a heart beat to an infant boy who had virtually stopped breathing in the child’s Arabi home in 2012.
On Aug. 24, 2012, about 5 p.m., Dep. Senez, a 4-year veteran with the Sheriff’s Office who works in the Patrol Division, was dispatched to a home on Angela Avenue in Arabi regarding an unknown medical emergency.
He found a woman who was frantic and inconsolable because her infant boy, only months old, was unresponsive and not breathing. She told the deputy her child was premature, had developed a nasal infection and then suddenly he had stopped breathing at their home, and she called the Sheriff’s Office.
Senez’ quick actions in the next minutes of the emergency, managing to massage the chest of the tiny child until he revived a pulse saved the infant’s life without brain damage from lack of oxygen, as sometimes happens.
Dep. Senez was honored the night of July 23 with the St. Bernard Parish Kiwanis Club’s Life-Saver Award for his important work.
Senez, in accepting the award from Mitch Perkins of the Kiwanis Club, said he knew he had to do something rather than just wait for emergency medical technicians to arrive by ambulance and Fire Department first-responders.
“It was hard at first,’’ Senez told Kiwanis Club members, because of the situation of the child not breathing and the mother being emotional. “But you go back to your training,’’ and do what you have to try to do, he said.
“He was turning dark blue and had just a very faint pulse,’’ Senez said. Recognizing the urgency of the situation, the deputy began CPR on the infant, administering chest compressions as well as assistive breathing.
Deputy Senez continued his efforts for several minutes, unaided, and ultimately reestablished a slightly better pulse on the infant. When he learned from the mother that the child relies on assistive oxygen via a “nose tube” due to its premature birth – which had resulted in underdeveloped lungs – Deputy Senez reinserted the tube supplying the infant with oxygen.
“I heard him starting to try to suck in more air.’’
The Fire Department’s first responders arrived moments later and took over from the deputy.
The Fire Department captain who had been on the scene later contacted the Sheriff’s Office to make sure that superior officers knew Dep. Senez’ quick actions both saved the child’s life and prevented the likelihood of severe brain damage.
The child, after being taken to a hospital, recovered.
“I didn’t know until the next day he was being released from the hospital and was all right,’’ said Senez, a native of Meraux who lives in Violet with his wife, Melissa, and their children. She attended the ceremony with him.
“I felt like I had accomplished something,’’ he recalled, “more than you do on a day to day basis.’’
Sheriff James Pohlmann told the audience the department is proud when an officer does something special. “It’s not every day you have the opportunity to save someone’s life’’ as Dep. Senez did, the sheriff said. He agreed that in such a situation the officer “goes back to what you have been trained to do.’’
Sheriff’s deputies and parish firefighters are recognized by the Kiwanis Club with the Life-Saver Award in recognition of courageous service to the community.
Attending the ceremony for the St. Bernard Sheriff Office besides the sheriff and Senez were Col. John Doran, commander of enforcement operations; Maj. Adolph Kreger, head of the Patrol Division; Capt. C.J. Arcement, deputy head of patrol; Lt. Robert Broadhead, Lt Ray Whitflield and Sgt. Dick Beebe. Also participating in the ceremony for the Kiwanis Club was Shirley Pechon.
Two convicted felons arrested in car with two semi-automatic handguns, a bag of bullets and marijuana
Two convicted felons with extensive criminals records for drugs and gun violations, one living in Chalmette and the other in eastern New Orleans, were arrested in a car in Chalmette where sheriff’s deputies found two semi-automatic handguns, a paper bag of bullets and some marijuana, Sheriff James Pohlmann said.
Corey Booth, 32, 8519 Regiment St., Chalmette, and Jonathan Evans, 26, 3216 Salmen St., New Orleans, both of whom have served time in prison, were booked with being convicted felons in illegal possession of firearms, with possession of marijuana and with possession of firearms while in possession of a controlled dangerous substance. Booth also was booked on traffic charges.
Booth was driving a vehicle that was stopped about 12:20 a.m. Tuesday by Deputy Sheriff’s Ryan Melerine and Phillip Hebert after he disregarded a stop sign at Patricia Street and De La Ronde Drive in Chalmette, the sheriff said.
Deputies observed in plain view what appeared to be a marijuana cigarette in the car, which tested positive for the drug, then afterward found a paper bag containing 9 mm bullets on the passenger side floorboard, the sheriff said.
After that, two loaded semi-automatic handguns were found on the floor board behind the center console, Sheriff Pohlmann said. Both men denied ownership of any of the items.
Both are being held in St. Bernard Parish Prison. Booth is being held in lieu of $50,000 bond and Evans in lieu of $25,000 bond and he also has a hold as a parole violator.
N.O. man arrested for stealing 300 gallons of used cooking oil from a restaurant was driving wildly as he fled, using turning lane of La. 46 to pass vehicles
Frank Nelson, 57, 7543 Tricia Court, was booked with theft of about 300 gallons of used cooking oil, worth more than $500 at re-sale, which was kept behind a restaurant, and with reckless operation of a vehicle following the 9:30 a.m. incident.
Nelson is being held in St. Bernard Parish Prison in lieu of bond set at $10,000.
The owners of the restaurant arrived about 9:30 a.m. and found a large pick-up truck with a Texas license plate and an oil tank and hoses attached to the rear was parked behind the restaurant, the sheriff said. When the driver pulled out of the parking lot they found their 300-gallon drum kept in that area was missing the used cooking oil it held from the restaurant.
The owners started following the truck while calling the Sheriff’s Office for help, Sheriff Pohlmann said.
Sheriff’s deputies responded and Capt. Walter Dornan saw the wanted vehicle being driven west-bound at a high rate of speed and using the center turning lane on La. 46, which has two lanes divided with a turning lane, to pass other vehicles also west-bound, Sheriff Pohlmann said.
Dornan was able to stop the driver of the truck at La. 46 and West Beauregard. Nelson got out of the truck and told Dornan he was sorry for stealing the oil from the restaurant, the sheriff said.
Nelson was jail, where he was also booked with not having a valid driver’s license.
Violet man booked with obstruction of justice after death of another man he reported may have overdosed in his home; Death is unclassified
In an unusual case, a Violet man was booked with obstruction of justice after the death of another Violet man he reported was possibly overdosing on drugs and who was pronounced dead in the arrested subject’s home, Sheriff James Pohlmann said.
The death of Rodney Sanchez, 57, 2201 Colonial Blvd., on Wednesday, July 17, is unclassified pending toxicology tests, the sheriff said.
Lance Espadron, 35, 2725 Guerra Drive, was booked by sheriff’s detectives the same day for the obstruction of justice count after Sanchez was pronounced dead. He said he found Sanchez down the block from his residence – possibly overdosing on drugs – and brought him back to the Guerra Drive home, Sheriff Pohlmann said.
The sheriff said Espadron was arrested because he destroyed evidence in the case and may face more serious charges, possibly including negligent homicide, depending on the outcome of toxicology tests.
Espadron is being held in St. Bernard Parish Prison in lieu of bond set at $10,000.
The suspect acknowledged he flushed a syringe down a toilet in his home after calling the Sheriff’s Office and before deputies arrived, Sheriff Pohlmann said, saying it was Sanchez’ and he didn’t want to be caught with it.
He also said he found the syringe in Sanchez’s pants after Sanchez collapsed in his residence and used it to give the dying man a shot of salt water in an attempt to save his life. Espadron said he had seen the salt water technique work before, He also claimed he gave Sanchez CPR before calling authorities to report Sanchez was possibly overdosing.
Sheriff Pohlmann said he should have called 911 as soon as Sanchez collapsed. Several people have been booked with negligent homicide in recent years for failing to call the Sheriff’s Office when they could have when they knew someone was overdosing.
Sanchez and Espadron are believed to have known each other and investigating sheriff’s detectives suspect the two had done drugs together that day, rather than Espadron finding him on a street.
Sanchez was unconscious on the floor in Espadron’s residence in mid-afternoon, not breathing, when deputies arrived. Emergency medical technicians worked on Sanchez but he was pronounced dead at 3:42 p.m.
Espadron, in his statement to the Sheriff’s Office, admitted he went into New Orleans earlier the day of July 17 to purchase a small amount of heroin, used it in the city, then got rid of the needle before returning to St. Bernard Parish, the sheriff said.
His statement was he was driving on his street, only blocks from home, Espadron said, when he saw Sanchez stumbling on the street, then stopped and brought him to the Guerra Drive home.
Man arrested in Chalmette was wanted for armed robbery in N.O. and a $2,500 computer he stole was recovered; He was also booked on a marijuana count
Yon Flowers, 18, of New Orleans, who was also booked with possession of marijuana, was arrested July 12 while sitting in a parked truck with another man in the 2000 block of Paris Road, the sheriff said. The stolen computer was in the truck.
The Sheriff’s Office had received information which led to the early morning arrest, Sheriff Pohlmann said. New Orleans police had identified Flowers as the suspect in the armed robbery in which the computer was stolen.
Flowers also had several other outstanding warrants for his arrest in the city. He was initially booked into St. Bernard Parish Prison on charges of possession of stolen property and marijuana possession, then later was transferred to New Orleans for prosecution of the armed robbery count, Sheriff Pohlmann said. The stolen laptop computer was turned over to New Orleans police.
The man with the suspect, who was the driver of the truck, had no involvement in the armed robbery and was allowed to leave after Flowers’ arrest, the sheriff said. The man works in St. Bernard Parish and had brought Flowers, whom he knew, to Chalmette earlier that morning.
St. Bernard mother booked with cruelty to a juvenile after her 14-month-old son tested positive for marijuana in a hospital; She admitted he may have eaten remains of pot cigarettes she threw in back yard
A St. Bernard Parish mother has been booked with cruelty to a juvenile, a felony, after her 14-month-old son tested positive for marijuana in a hospital and she admitted he may have eaten remains of pot cigarettes she threw in the back yard after smoking, Sheriff James Pohlmann said.
Jaranique Goins, 21, who was living in Violet with her mother, surrendered Monday night to the St. Bernard Parish Sheriff’s Office, Sheriff Pohlmann said, after being informed a district court judge had issued a warrant for her arrest, alleging cruelty to a juvenile.
She spent the night in jail and was released Tuesday on $10,000 bond. When she bonded out she listed an address in Meraux, different from her mother’s, where the incident happened in Violet.
“This was irresponsible behavior on her part but fortunately the child has been checked out at Children’s Hospital and was later released,’’ Sheriff Pohlmann said.
Goins and her mother brought the boy to St. Bernard Parish Hospital in Chalmette at about 2 a.m. Friday, July 12, after he appeared unresponsive in his bed, the sheriff said.
He said tests were done at the hospital and it was determined the boy had marijuana in his system. The 14-month-old was transported to Children’s Hospital for further observation and St. Bernard Hospital officials notified the Sheriff’s Office of its findings.
Detectives from the sheriff’s Juvenile Division questioned the mother, who admitted she smoked marijuana and sometimes threw the remains of pot cigarettes in the backyard, Sheriff Pohlmann said. She also said the boy did play back there at times, suggesting he may have eaten the marijuana remnants.
Based on those statements, the sheriff said, detectives sought an arrest warrant from a judge for cruelty to a juvenile, which was granted.
Goins surrendered at St. Bernard Parish Prison in Chalmette on Monday night after she was informed of the warrant for her arrest.
The state office that deals with child protection services has been notified of the incident, the sheriff said.