A historic New Orleans cemetery will soon be off-limits to tourists on their own because of repeated tomb vandalism.

Starting in March, entry to St. Louis Cemetery Number One will be restricted to relatives of those buried there. Others must be accompanied by a tour guide registered with the Catholic Archdiocese of New Orleans, which owns the property.

That cemetery may have started the city's tradition of above-ground crypts

In late 2012, someone covered the reputed tomb of voodoo priestess Marie Laveau with pink paint.

Skylar Primm / Flickr

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries says a female whooping crane released about a year ago has been shot in Vermilion Parish and had to be put to death.

Spokesman Adam Einck said Wednesday there's a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to the conviction of whoever shot the endangered bird.

He says the bird was found Nov. 2 with an apparent bullet wound in her upper left leg and was euthanized the next day at the Louisiana State University veterinary school.

New Orleans' most visited neighborhood rarely sees the type of violent crime that plagues other parts of the city. Recently, several high-profile robberies have rattled the region and led to criticism of the police department and the mayor, both of whom are rethinking safety measures.

Over the next few weeks, more and more visitors will roam the city's famous French Quarter, drinks in hand, for Mardi Gras. In less than 2 square miles, the French Quarter combines hotels, restaurants, street performers, and all-night bars with historic homes and tight-knit neighbors.

Residents and businesses in the French Quarter will be holding a rally Tuesday in Jackson Square, calling for more police protection. 

They want action by Mayor Mitch Landrieu, Councilwoman Nadine Ramsey and New Orleans Police Superintendent Michael Harrison.

Landrieu asked Governor Bobby Jindal on Friday to send troopers to support the city while it works to fill vacancies in police department ranks.

The head of state police tells Times-Picayune that option would leave other parts of the state short-handed.

The New Orleans Police Department set out this year to show that the city's 2013 homicide numbers, the lowest in nearly three decades, were not a fluke.

The New Orleans Advocate reports that as of late Wednesday afternoon, New Orleans had recorded 150 homicides in 2014. That’s a marginal decrease from the 156 counted in 2013. Officials say it is encouraging sign.

Homicides fell 19 percent from 2012 to 2013.

City leaders say they had not aimed to reduce the city's murder rate by any specific percentage in 2014.

French Quarter residents are warning people to walk in groups to avoid violent crime.

They posted signs in the neighborhood that say, “Caution. Walk in Large Groups. We (Heart) NOPD. We Just Need More.”

Police Superintendent Michael Harrison says he’s temporarily assigning an eight-person task force to the Quarter. New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu says state and federal agencies should contribute more resources. He says the area generates sales tax that benefits the state, and is a national historic district.

A grand jury has indicted an Orleans Parish sheriff's deputy in connection with a stabbing inside Orleans Parish Prison.

The Sheriff's Office said 42-year-old John Dupart was charged with counts of malfeasance in office and principal to aggravated battery. The Sheriff's Office says Dupart did not follow procedures, which resulted in an altercation at the jail.

Dupart is not accused of taking part in any violent act himself. His attorney says the allegation is that Dupart didn't stop a fight.

A LaPlace man has pleaded guilty to fraud in connection with damage claims from the 2010 Gulf oil spill.

U.S. Attorney Kenneth Polite's office says 33-year-old Charlie English pleaded guilty yesterday to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

Prosecutors said English worked as a claims adjuster for the Gulf Coast Claims Facility. In September 2010, he began providing fraudulent documentation for people who made phony claims for loss of fishing income. The claims resulted in more than $257,000 in illegal payouts.

A trial date has been set for a civil rights case against state police who tackled two young African American men during last year’s Mardi Gras.

The federal case drew claims of excessive force and criticism of the troopers involved.

The New Orleans Advocate reports the incident was captured on surveillance video two days before Mardi Gras.

It prompted an internal State Police investigation that cleared all the officers involved.

New Orleans police will lead the investigation into the death of an inmate at the Orleans Parish jail.

NOPD spokesman Tyler Gamble says state police could play a supporting role in the investigation.

The New Orleans Advocate reports Sheriff Marlin Gusman spoke with police Superintendent Michael Harrison yesterday, and agreed the NOPD will take the lead.

The case centers on the death of inmate Willie Lee.

Coroner Jeffrey Rouse determined Lee died in March of a heart attack after a fight. He classified the death as a homicide.