New flood insurance maps to be topic 

The City of New Orleans and FEMA will hold a workshop at 10 a.m. Thursday in the City Council chamber at City Hall, 1300 Perdido St., to provide information on the latest updates to flood insurance rates and resources.

On Sept. 30, FEMA's new Flood Insurance Rate Maps will be finalized and go into effect for New Orleans. These maps are available online at www.Maps.RiskMAP6.com, where residents can view information about their property.

Because of significant improvements in drainage and flood protection, more than 53 percent of all properties in New Orleans will benefit from more affordable flood insurance.

The new rate maps will affect about 85,000 policies in New Orleans. As of September 2015, the average flood insurance policy was $961.

“FEMA’s new flood maps for New Orleans will make a huge difference for our residents, potentially saving hundreds of thousands of dollars on flood insurance,” Mayor Mitch Landrieu said. 

Residents and other property owners are encouraged to attend. The workshop is free, but seating is limited, so attendees must register in advance. Go to nola.gov/mayor/press-releases/2016/20160907-pr-fema-to-host-flood-insurance-workshop/ to register.

The workshop will also be broadcast live on NOA-TV.

Replica of Mars Curiosity Rover coming to UNO

A $75,000 replica of the Mars Rover Curiosity, a car-sized robot that has been collecting information from the surface of the red planet since 2012, is coming to the University of New Orleans this month.

The half-sized model of the six-wheeled, one-ton Curiosity will be on display at the University Center Sept. 22-23 for viewing by school groups and will be open to the public from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 24.

The Rover Curiosity employs technology designed to assess whether Mars is or ever has been capable of supporting life. Designed to capture information about the planet’s rocks, soil and more, it can check the elemental composition of rocks from a distance.

A robotic arm also drills and scoops soil samples, takes photographs, and sieves and parcels out samples into analytical laboratory instruments within the rover.

Visitors also will be able to view other exhibits and demonstrations provided by the UNO College of Sciences and College of Engineering, industry partners and local organizations focused on STEM outreach.

The Pontchartrain Astronomy Society will provide telescope viewing of Mars from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sept. 23, weather permitting. This is free and open to the public.

For more information, go to marsrover.uno.edu.

Guidry to hold town hall on housing issues

New Orleans City Councilwoman Susan Guidry will host a town hall meeting and resource fair from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday at Central St. Matthew's United Church of Christ, 1333 S. Carrollton Ave.

The event will focus on housing and property issues, blight, home ownership and repair, first-time homebuying, foreclosure prevention, home ownership protection and more. Officials from both government and community organizations will be available to meet with residents.

The event "aims to serve as a portal for residents to become informed about issues and opportunities in the neighborhood," Guidry said. "Additionally, this is an opportunity for my staff and me to hear first-hand from residents about the issues they are facing, and how we can work together to solve them."

Code Enforcement and Safety and Permits will begin the town hall at 6 p.m., followed by presentations from community organizations. The city agencies will also staff resource tables throughout the event. 

Representatives from organizations such as the Department of Public Works, Sewerage & Water Board, Advocacy Center, AARP, Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center, Urban League, Neighborhood Development Foundation and others will answer questions and address complaints.

African American Male Wellness Walk slated

The first regional National African American Male Wellness Walk Initiative will begin at 9 a.m. Saturday at Joe Brown Park, 5601 Read Blvd.

The free event also will feature entertainment including DJ Captain Charles, DJ Jubilee, Kermit Ruffins, the Zulu Ensemble, the Walker-Landry High School Band, the Sonz of Jazz Brass Band and the Young Men Olympian Jr. Benevolent Society.

Presented by New Orleans East Hospital, the event aims to increase the number of annual doctor visits, to improve education on healthy habits and to encourage exercise.

Participants will have access to free health screenings, including for diabetes, blood pressure and HIV, beginning at 7 a.m. The walk is scheduled to start at 9 a.m., with performances to follow.

For information or to register, visit aawalk.org/new-orleans-la.