2011 was an interesting year in New Orleans
Like the rising Mississippi river, that threatened our very exsistance, or our reform minded police chief that hired his buddies to run some high paying details.
Beloved former Archbishop Phillip Hannan passed away and was buried under St Louis Cathedral. The city’s murder rate continued to be the highest in the country. Arnie Fielkow, city council president, after years of civic duty in new Orleans, resigned and moved back to Chicago.
St. Augustine high school, after nearly 60 years, stopped paddling their students, one of the last schools in America to do so. Ex-Jefferson Parish president Aaron Broussard, and his pals, were indicted. Both the new Charity and VA hospitals broke ground and are under construction on a 67 acre tract near downtown.
Speaking of downtown, the Superdome, after 36 years got a new name: Mercedes-Benz. Tulane announced that after 36 years of playing in the dome, they’ll be heading back Uptown to play football in their very own $60 million on-campus stadium. Drew Brees keeps making us proud while a Drew Brees type, Chris Paul, left us after 6 great seasons and is now playing hoops for the Los Angeles Clippers.
Orleans Parish public schools are getting rebuilt to the tune of $25 million dollars a month for the next 6 or 7 years. The new, nearly $900 million, twin span bridges opened linking New Orleans east with Slidell.
As we fade into 2012, a week from next Tuesday, #1 LSU plays for college football’s national championship in downtown New Orleans. And the Saints will be hosting at least one playoff contest and maybe more. The new look Hornets are the youngest team in the NBA and are presently undefeated. And the Final 4 comes to town in April.
It was an interesting 2011 and 2012 already looks at least as interesting. Have a safe and happy New Year.