Here we are: the end of the decade and beginning the 2020s. After all the partaking of the festivities of the holiday season, New Orleans’ stamina has to hold fast with Carnival season just days away. While many of us have been busy with the bustle of the holidays, the news didn’t stop in the Crescent City as the year came to a close. Unfortunately, news is filled with feelings across the spectrum of human emotion — and that includes the tragic heartache of the loss of a local sports journalist. While I put a focus on the lighter fare of what’s happening in New Orleans on Very Local, we acknowledge and honor the memory of those we lose. Carley McCord — a local sports journalist — died in a plane crash Saturday. We will provide information below on the story that rattled us all over the past few days, and while we try to move forward amid the tragedy, our thoughts and deepest sympathies are with all who knew her. – Clint
City mourns loss of local sports journalist Carley McCord
One of five people killed in a plane crash Saturday in Lafayette was a local sports journalist. Carley McCord, 30, was en route to Atlanta to watch the LSU Tigers play Oklahoma in the Peach Bowl. The small, twin-engine airplane crashed less than 2 miles from the airport. Several others were injured. McCord was a freelance reporter for several networks, including the WDSU sports team, Cox Sports Television and ESPN3. She was the daughter-in-law of Steve Ensminger — the offensive coordinator for LSU. An outpouring of condolences filled social media over the weekend. Statements on her death were issued by local sports teams and WDSU. “Carley’s passion for sports journalism and her deep knowledge of Louisiana sports, from high school to the professional ranks, made her an exceptional journalist,” WDSU said in a statement. The cause of the crash is under investigation. (WDSU)
Louisiana has nation’s highest imprisonment rate
After criminal justice reforms passed in 2017, Louisiana ranked second as America’s prison capital to Oklahoma for the first time in decades, a report from NOLA.com reported. However, that title was short-lived. After similar changes in Oklahoma, Louisiana returned to the top spot in prisoners per capita. According to the newspaper, Oklahoma’s incarceration rate was recently reported at 653 per 100,000 residents compared to Louisiana’s 683. Both states remain firmly above all others in prisoners per capita, the paper reported. (NOLA.com)
Saints to play Vikings in wild card round of NFL playoffs
The Saints are the path to playoffs and will host the Minnesota Vikings in the wild card round. The Black and Gold finished the season with a 13-3 record. The team bested the Panthers 42-10 on Sunday. The game against the Vikings will take place Jan. 5 at 12:05 p.m. If the Saints triumph over the Vikings, they will travel to Green Bay next. (WWLTV)
New Orleans airport complaints, delays continue on baggage system
Baggage woes and delays at the new New Orleans airport seem to be a continuing issue. According to NOLA.com, officials said issues related to the new terminal’s baggage handling system had been remedied Saturday, but complaints about missing bags and delayed flights continued to surface Sunday. Flyers took to social media, reporting conveyor belt-related issues for checked bags arriving at and departing MSY hours after the airport said Saturday that all baggage handling systems were functioning properly. (NOLA.com)
What’s Happening This Week
Want to get a jump-start on those New Year’s resolutions? The NOAGE Walking Group takes to the Lafitte Greenway every Monday. No matter what your age, gender, body type or fitness level, everyone is welcome. Whether that’s running, jogging, leisurely walking or using a wheelchair or walker, this group is for you. If you are worried that you’ll be left behind, don’t. Someone will walk with you. If you are the fastest person there, we’ll see you at the finish line.
So you’ve got your NYE party plans down but need something to wear the kids out? Celebrate NYE early at the Louisiana Children’s Museum. At the stroke of noon on the event lawn, bells will ring, bubbles will flow and beach balls will bounce! There will be a second line and special activities like face painting, paper bag hat decorating and more crafts and activities.
There are lots of NYE parties across the city, but the big bash is at Jackson Square. A fleur-de-lis drops during the countdown to midnight, and there’s a fireworks show over the Mississippi River at the stroke of 12.
Wednesday – Happy New Year!
It’s not New Orleans without a little booze to wake you up! The Mayhaw is hosting a brunch with a bottomless bloody mary bar to kick off the roaring 2020s! Food features breakfast classics from Auction House Market vendors.
This dance party started in 1984 — as we hit 2020, there’s no sign of it stopping. Sure, there are regulars who attend every week, but newcomers are always welcome at this thriving party in the Quarter. Click here to read more about this decade’s old disco.
Celebrate the best in pop culture when Wizard World returns to New Orleans, January 3-5 at Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. Meet “Outlander” stars featuring Sam Heughan plus “Smallville” headliners Tom Welling, Michael Rosenbaum and others, as well as world-class artists, exhibitors and cosplayers, and participate in entertaining, interesting programming panels all weekend long. Tickets start at $35, kids 10 and under free. www.wizardworld.com.