Top local news stories of 2018

See the top 5

Dave Cohen, WWL First News early edition
December 29, 2018 - 9:13 pm

It was quite a year in New Orleans and Southeast Louisiana.  What were the top local news stories?

The WWL Editorial Staff gathered nominations and then voted on the top five local news stories of 2018.

The NUMBER 5 local story of the year was the New Orleans Archdiocese taking steps to try and reassure local Catholics and the public at large that they are addressing the pedofile priest crisis that has plagued the church for generations. 

Archbishop Greggory Aymond held a special mass to ask for forgiveness and support of the church.

Aymond would later release a list of Catholic clergy who had credible allegations of sexual abuse of minors against them.

Listen to the report...

The NUMBER 4 local story of 2018 was the continued woes of the New Orleans Sewerage and Water Board. There were ongoing billing errors and confusion that left many people without water or under the threat of losing it.

We saw more street flooding and questions about failing pumps during the time they were needed most.

And we saw the board having to issue more boil water advisories amid problems with infrastructure, electricity and Entergy.

All of this after several changes in top personnel and repeated promises to fix things.

Listen to the report...

The NUMBER 3 local story of 2018 was New Orleans getting its first female mayor in the city's 300 years with the May inauguration of LaToya Cantrell.

Now with just more than seven months in office under her belt, Cantrell has seen falling crime rates more attempts to fix fiascoes with the New Orleans Sewerage and Water Board the removal of most of the speed and red light enforcement cameras and the wrapping up of the city's tricentennial celebration.

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The NUMBER 2 local story of 2018 was the New Orleans Saints run to the first overall seed in the NFC, home field advantage throughout the playoffs and a first round bye on what the team hopes is a second ever trip to the Super Bowl.

After the Saints started 2018 getting just a play away from going to the NFC Championship game, they began the new season in September determined to make a Super Bow run.

The first game of the new campaign, however, ended with the Saints losing to the Buccaneers.

After that the Black and Gold would go on a tear... winning ten in a row.

The Saints took down the Browns, the Falcons twice, the Giants, Redskins, Ravens, Vikings, Rams, Bengals and Eagles on that run.  They wouldn't lose again until November 29th in Dallas.

But in the end that wouldn't matter as the Saints rattled off three straight wins over Tampa, Carolina and Pittsburgh.

They won the NFC south for a second straight year, something the team had never done before.

With that the Saints won the number one seed in the NFC and homefield advantage throughout the playoffs in the new year.

Listen to the report...

And the NUMBER 1 local story of 2018?

The death of long time New Orleans Saints and Pelicans Owner Tom Benson at the age of 90... following a losing fight with the flu.

Benson owned the Saints for more than three decades and pulled them from the depths of despair and losing... and took the team all the way to football's promise land with a Super Bowl win.

The Payton and Drew Brees Era under Benson brought the first ever NFC Championship appearance by the Saints in the 2006 season, and then the Saints first Super Bowl appearance and Championship victory after the 2009 season.

Gayle Benson immediately started reassuring fans that should we keep her husband's legacy alive and continue the winning ways of the Saints and Pelicans... she told visitors that much at her husband's wake which drew crowds of fans, friends, family, football stars and many more.

Mrs. Benson certainly has carried on her husband's vision helping the Saints return to the playoffs this season with the top seed.

Click here to read Benson's obit...

Listen to the report...

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