Associated Press

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The city of New Orleans is offering musicians a chance to learn the business side of the industry at the "Y'Heard Me? Music Business Summit" on Saturday.

The free conference, to be held from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Ellis Marsalis Center, will give aspiring musicians the opportunity to learn from industry professionals about copyright and intellectual property law, artist management and goal setting, fan engagement and Internet marketing, licensing music to motion pictures, and small business development.

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In a move to protect the health of musicians and late-night workers, the New Orleans City Council has voted unanimously to ban smoking in bars and gambling halls.

New Orleans had been one of the last major American cities to allow people to smoke tobacco in bars. Smoking at indoor restaurants is no longer permitted. The new ban is expected to take effect in three months.

The ban was tweaked before being approved. For instance, New Orleans police won't have to enforce the ordinance and smoking will be allowed within 5 feet of bar entrances — not 25 feet away.

Tom Benson is not leaving the Saints and Pelicans to his daughter and her children after all.

He agreed to a succession plan that will give his wife, Gayle, control of New Orleans' two major professional sports franchises after his death.

The 87-year-old Benson says his decision is meant to ensure the clubs' "long-term stability and success."

He says the move will also preserve the teams’ tradition of working for the good of New Orleans and the region.

Governor Bobby Jindal  is defending his controversial view of Islamic communities overseas.

He says some countries have allowed Muslims to establish autonomous neighborhoods where they govern by a harsh version of Islamic law, and police decline to patrol there.

The Republican delivered his remarks yesterday about "no-go zones" during a speech to a London think tank.

Jindal is considering a presidential campaign in 2016 and later defended the statements after facing questions about his facts.

A federal judge says she will not stop construction on a new streetcar line in New Orleans while a group sues for more studies of the project.

The New Orleans Advocate reports that District Judge Nannette Brown says plaintiffs did not offer any evidence that the job involves federal money. That's a key requirement for such a lawsuit.

A local bond issue is paying for the $41.5 million North Rampart Street line.

The four candidates for Louisiana governor are set to meet in their first forum of the campaign.

Friday's event in Baton Rouge will focus on transportation issues. Louisiana has a $12 billion backlog of road and bridge work, and no clear plan for resolution.

Public Service Commissioner Scott Angelle, Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne and Senator David Vitter — all Republicans — and Democratic state Representative John Bel Edwards will take part.

The forum is sponsored by the American Council of Engineering Companies.

Industrial Development Board for the city of New Orleans has approved tax breaks worth at least $3.1 million for a proposed $63.5 million movie studio complex.

If completed, the Deep South Studios complex would be one of the biggest investments in the local film industry to date.

Applications are now being accepted from parents who wants to send their children to private school next year through Louisiana's taxpayer-funded voucher program.

The state education department says applications for the 2015-16 school year are due February 27. They're available at participating schools or online.

Next year, 129 schools are participating in the voucher program. Only 91 will accept new students.

Lieutenant Governor Jay Dardenne says a movie is in the works about the Battle of New Orleans.

Atchity Brothers Entertainment will produce the feature film, "Andrew Jackson — Battle of New Orleans."  It’s based on military historian Ron Drez's latest book, "The War of 1812: Conflict And Deception."

The Advocate reports the project is endorsed by the Battle of New Orleans Bicentennial Commission.

The U.S. Supreme Court won't step ahead of a federal appeals panel in New Orleans to hear an appeal over Louisiana's same-sex marriage.

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeal heard the case Friday.

But, in an unusual move, both supporters of same-sex marriage and the state had already asked the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the case before the appeal is decided.

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