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1:12 am
Thu July 10, 2014

Critical Habitat Designated For Loggerhead Turtles

Federal agencies designate hundreds of thousands of square miles in the Gulf and in the Atlantic as critical habitat for loggerhead sea turtles.
(public domain)

Federal agencies say 685 miles of beaches and nearly 200,000 square miles of the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico are critical habitat for threatened loggerhead sea turtles.

Conservation groups say it's the largest such designation ever.

It includes 88 nesting beaches from North Carolina through Mississippi, plus waters just off of those beaches, floating algae mats where baby turtles live and other marine areas.

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Latest News
8:05 am
Wed July 9, 2014

Tulane University On Verge Of Being Smoke-Free

Credit Tulane Public Relations

Tulane University says its campus will be 100 percent smoke free beginning August 1.

Scott Tims, director of Tulane University Student Health Services, says the goal is to protect non-smokers from exposure to second-hand smoke while encouraging current smokers to quit.

NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune reports Tulane will join more than 1,300 college and university campuses nationwide that have adopted smoke-free policies.

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Latest News
8:09 am
Tue July 8, 2014

Drop In First-Time Unemployment Claims

First-time claims for unemployment insurance in Louisiana for the week ending June 28 decreased from the previous week's total.

The state labor department figures released Monday show the initial claims decreased to 2,577 from the previous week's total of 2,604. For the comparable week a year earlier, there were 3,027.

The four-week moving average, which is a less volatile measure of claims, decreased to 2,791 from the previous week's total of 2,891.

Latest News
8:06 am
Tue July 8, 2014

Louisiana Oil Train Details Kept Secret

Train tanker cars in California.
Credit Steve Rainwater / Flickr

Louisiana officials are refusing to disclose the details of crude oil shipments railroads haul through the state.

The state Department of Public Safety and Corrections says the information freight railroads are required to provide to Louisiana is considered confidential.

Louisiana was responding to a records request from The Associated Press.

Federal officials say they don't consider the information railroads provide to states sensitive information that must be withheld to protect the public.

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Latest News
5:50 pm
Mon July 7, 2014

Essence Festival Hits Record Attendance At 550,000

The Essence Festival 2014 set attendance records for the event.
Corey Seemen Flickr

The Essence Festival marked its 20th anniversary by setting a record for annual attendance with more than 550,000 participants celebrating four days of R&B music, community and black culture at the Superdome and the New Orleans Morial Convention Center.

That's about 10,000 more people than attended the 2013 festival, which included a sold-out performance by Beyoncé. Organizers say the 2014 festival has earned the distinction of being the largest gathering in its history.

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Latest News
5:43 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

One Victim Of Bourbon Street Shootings Dies

One of the 10 victims of a weekend shooting on New Orleans' Bourbon Street has died.

Louisiana State Police Superintendent Mike Edmonson asked for a moment of silence after announcing the death Wednesday of the 21-year-old woman from Hammond.

Edmonson spoke at a news conference to discuss Mayor Mitch Landrieu's request for a permanent contingent of troopers to help with law enforcement in New Orleans.

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Latest News
7:27 am
Fri June 27, 2014

Free HIV Testing Offered In New Orleans

It’s National HIV Testing day on Friday — and there are several options available for a free test.

Nola.com/The Times-Picayune reports federal health officials rank Baton Rouge and New Orleans second and third nationally in the rate of new HIV infections.

Walgreens is offering free screenings at several locations Friday from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Also look for free testing during Essence Festival weekend.

There will be a mobile unit outside Walgreens at 900 Canal Street on July 3, and at the Morial Convention Center July 4-6.

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Latest News
5:24 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

More Students Entering College Without Needing Remedial Work

More Louisiana students than last year scored well enough on the exam to enter college without remedial work.
Maksim Wikimedia

More Louisiana high school students are earning college-ready ACT scores.  

The Department of Education said today that more than 23,000 students scored an 18 or higher this year. That’s almost 1,500 more students than last year who scored well enough on the exam to enter college without remedial work.

The number of graduates who scored well enough to earn scholarships through the state TOPS program also increased by more than 1,000 students.

Latest News
7:44 am
Thu June 26, 2014

Algiers Electricity Bills Set To Increase

Algiers electricity bills are set to soar.

A New Orleans City council committee has approved a resolution to hike the rates by 31 percent over the next four years. The council’s utility advisers reached an agreement in principle with officials of Entergy Louisiana.

The New Orleans Advocate is reporting the deal also directs the company to transfer Algiers service to Entergy New Orleans.

Entergy Louisiana serves about 22,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers in Algiers.

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Latest News
7:42 am
Thu June 26, 2014

Judge Agrees To Review Gill Pratt Jury Verdict

Former New Orleans City Councilwoman Renee Gill Pratt, in 2009.
Credit Derek Bridges / Flickr

Former New Orleans City Councilwoman Renee Gill Pratt has gotten a reprieve — at least for now — on reporting to prison for a racketeering conviction.

A federal judge has agreed to look into whether jurors in her 2011 trial were affected by a prosecutor's anonymous online remarks.

Pratt was convicted in a plot to steal more than $1 million from taxpayer-funded charities.

She is among the federal defendants claiming their cases were tainted by the online comments of former Assistant U.S. Attorney Sal Perricone.

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