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7:40 am
Wed August 27, 2014

Government Watchdog Group Says It's Time To Sell Empty World Trade Center

The New Orleans World Trade Center.
Credit djnaquin67 / Flickr

A government watchdog group says New Orleans should sell the World Trade Center that sits empty by the Mississippi River.

The city had reached a tentative lease agreement last year with Gatehouse Capital Corporation to redevelop the old high rise. But negotiations broke off in April, ending plans for the building being converted into a luxury hotel and residential complex.

The Bureau of Governmental Research noted yesterday that it was the third time redevelopment efforts failed.

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Latest News
7:38 am
Tue August 26, 2014

La. College Incentive Fund Still Not Spent

Two months after lawmakers agreed to create a $40 million higher education incentive fund, no decisions have been made about how to divide the money.

A council of Louisiana college, economic development and labor officials had hoped to have recommendations to the Board of Regents this week. But on Monday, the group pushed that expectation to September.

The Workforce and Innovation for a Stronger Economy, or WISE, Fund was designed to steer money to college programs that help fill high-demand jobs and skills.

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Latest News
7:32 am
Mon August 25, 2014

State GOP Sticking With Endorsement Plan

Louisiana's Republican Party has refused to consider a proposed change for endorsements. A proposal encouraging Republicans who lose in the federal primary to unite behind a Republican in the runoff also never got to the floor Saturday.

The state GOP executive committee's early endorsement of Congressman Bill Cassidy's challenge to Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu irked some supporters of retired Rob Maness, a tea party favorite from Madisonville. They proposed requiring the party's elected ruling body, the State Central Committee, to make endorsements after candidates qualify.

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Latest News
7:46 am
Thu August 21, 2014

Federal Officials Reviewing LSU Hospital Deals

Gov. Bobby Jindal's revised financing plan for six LSU hospital privatization deals is running into questions from federal health officials who rejected a previous version.

The state health department on Wednesday released the three-page question letter from the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, or CMS.

Jindal privatized nearly all the LSU hospitals without waiting for federal officials to sign off on financing arrangements that rely on millions of federal Medicaid dollars.

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Latest News
7:43 am
Thu August 21, 2014

Oil Lease Sale In New Orleans Draws Big Bids For Gulf Of Mexico

No masks, no costumes at the auction of leases for offshore drilling.
Credit Eve Troeh / WWNO

The federal government has sold more than 400,000 acres in the western Gulf of Mexico off the Texas coast for oil and gas exploration and development.

U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management official Michael Celata says yesterday's sales, if approved, will bring in about $110 million.

Celata says deep-water tracts drew the highest bids.

Conoco Phillips paid about $61 million for a single tract in the ultra-deep-water Alaminos Canyon area.

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Latest News
7:43 am
Wed August 20, 2014

Drive-by Shooting Suspect Involved In Jail Fight

A suspect in a deadly drive-by shooting in New Orleans' Lower 9th Ward got into a fight with another inmate on his first day inside Orleans Parish Prison.

Court records show Blair Taylor, one of two men police say opened fire Aug. 10 on a crowd of mostly women and children, was attacked by another inmate last Thursday — hours after being booked on murder charges.

Latest News
7:39 am
Wed August 20, 2014

Judge Backs Use Of Common Core Materials

A state judge has ruled against Gov. Bobby Jindal in a lawsuit filed by Common Core supporters, lifting a contract suspension Jindal enacted to derail the multi-state education standards.

Judge Todd Hernandez issued a written ruling Tuesday.

He said Jindal's suspension of contracts the education department planned to use to buy testing material aligned with Common Core is causing harm to parents, teachers, administrators and students.

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Latest News
7:59 am
Tue August 19, 2014

More Arrests In Lower 9th Ward Drive-by Shooting

A third man and a woman have been arrested in connection with a drive-by shooting in the Lower 9th Ward that killed two people and injured five.

Two boys and their mother were among the wounded.

New Orleans police say 23-year-old Joseph Nelson III is accused of being one of two gunmen who fired into a group on Aug. 10. Police say 25-year-old Ashley Shorts allegedly helped one of those two avoid detection.

Nelson was booked yesterday with two counts of first-degree murder and five of attempted first-degree murder.

Latest News
8:01 am
Thu August 14, 2014

Fatal Tugboat Accident At Industrial Canal

 

The Coast Guard says a tugboat captain is dead after the arm of a crane struck a bridge and fell back onto the tug's pilothouse.

The accident happened early Thursday morning on the Industrial Canal north of the Mississippi River in New Orleans.

Authorities say the tugboat was pushing a barge with a crane. The crane's arm struck a drawbridge and fell back on the tug. Coast Guard spokesman Jonathan Lally says the drawbridge was open at the time of the accident.

He says the state inspected the bridge and it was reopened to vehicle traffic.

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Latest News
7:57 am
Thu August 14, 2014

Treasury Department Releases Plan To Handle BP Fines

The U.S. Treasury Department has set out 97 pages of rules for investing and allocating money that BP PLC and other defendants will pay in Clean Water Act fines for the Gulf of Mexico oil spill of 2010.

The rules released yesterday formally set up a trust fund for money that state and local governments will get under the RESTORE Act and procedures for getting that money.

The total is expected to be billions of dollars, but nobody knows what it will be.

U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier has scheduled the third of three trials on the question in January.

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