Associated Press

A potentially deadly brain-eating amoeba has been discovered in the St. Bernard Parish Water System at a leaking sampling station that serves more than 44,000 people.

The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals notified the water system and parish officials last night.

Mayor Mitch Landrieu's administration has backed off a legal challenge to the design of the Orleans Parish Prison.

The 14-hundred bed jail is now under construction.

The city is satisfied — at least for now — that the new lockup can house special-needs inmates, as required by law.

The city withdrew its objections after Sheriff Marlin Gusman presented a breakdown outlining where certain groups of inmates would be held inside the $145 million facility.

It marks an abrupt reversal for city leaders.

Last month they issued a stop-work order on construction.

Governor Bobby Jindal says his budget cut proposal for next year will be presented to lawmakers with a list of "options."

The state faces a $1.6 billion shortfall for the upcoming fiscal year. The Jindal administration is considering state financing cuts up to $400 million for public colleges, and $300 million to health care services.

Jindal's budget proposal is due to lawmakers at the end of next month.

Jindal says his budget proposal will be paired with "suggested solutions" that could reduce some cuts, but would require legislative approval.

Saints and Pelicans owner Tom Benson is asking a judge to dismiss a lawsuit filed by family members he recently removed as heirs of his NFL and NBA teams.

Benson’s lawyers filed an answer to the lawsuit yesterday in civil district court in New Orleans. He says he made a "deliberate, reasoned and difficult decision" to change his succession plan so that Gayle Benson, his wife of 10 years, inherits control of the teams.

The company that manages the Superdome and Smoothie King Center is in line for a contract renewal through 2022.

A panel of lawmakers and other state official agreed yesterday to the five-year contract extension for the SMG company. The action also must win approval from lawmakers through mailed ballot.

Ron Forman is chairman of the Louisiana Stadium and Exposition District. He says SMG is taking a $300,000 annual cut in fees, and will pay $5 million toward facility improvements under the new deal.

SMG has held the contract for nearly 40 years.

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.

Now it’s BP’s turn in court.

The oil company will be calling witnesses as it makes a case for civil penalties lower than the $13.7 billion the federal government wants from the 2010 oil spill.

The second week of a three-week trial is set to begin today in New Orleans.

Last week, government experts testified about environmental, economic and social damage caused by the spill.

BP attorneys disputed much of that testimony, and have argued the recovery of the environment and the Gulf economy has been strong.

Governor Bobby Jindal has told Christians at a weekend prayer gathering that the nation needs a spiritual revival.

Outside that gathering at the LSU basketball arena, hundreds protested his appearance.

Jindal as considering a run at the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. He said the rally was a religious event, not a political one.

At the prayer meeting, he talked about his personal Christian conversion, and urged the crowd to plant seeds of faith in everyone they meet.

A government witness at the trial to determine civil penalties against BP for the 2010 oil spill says the disaster hurt a wide array of industries over a broad geographic area.

Charles Mason also testified yesterday that the harm was only modestly countered by BP's spending and investment in the region.

U.S. Justice Department attorneys are pushing for the maximum $13.7 million Clean Water Act penalty for BP.

BP says the figure should be less.

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.