NOLA News in Brief

They say absence makes the heart grow fonder, and there is nothing like leaving the city for break to remind you that there is no place like NOLA. Business as usual continued while students were away, but there are plenty of upcoming events to get you back in the groove. See what you missed and what is coming up soon in this week’s NOLA News in Brief.

1. The Mac and Cheese festival is coming up this weekend! It is a day filled with pasta and cheese, but beyond just the basics, you can also find mac and cheese bits placed on the foods we all know and love, from cupcakes to nachos to grilled cheese sandwiches. If you love eating good, heavy food and are not lactose intolerant, this needs to be a stop on your weekend trip.

2. New Orleans is prioritizing alternative means of travel by adding 485 new bikes racks around the city. Though the street cars might be a convenient means of travel when you do not have to be anywhere on time, more racks increase the feasibility of biking around the city by limiting concerns about finding a spot to park. The increased emphasis on green travel is an important aspect of addressing climate change, especially in this city, and this move is a good first step toward that goal.

3. The voting registration deadline came and went, and this year continues to be a crucial year for all parties in the midterms. With the federal House of Representatives and the Senate up for grabs by Democrats — and Republicans in the defensive role — every vote is going to be critical in an election that is being framed as either a check on President Trump or an effort to maintain control by the conservative majority. If you are registered in your home state, do not forget to request an absentee ballot as soon as possible so that your voice can be heard when it matters most.

4. New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell opened the first low-barrier homeless shelter recently in response to a growing need for homeless shelters across the city. The shelter includes a community living space, beds, laundry and even a kitchen space for any homeless people that demonstrate need. Mayor Cantrell said the shelter is a step toward not leaving anyone in the city behind.