Associated Press

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Coastal Desk
7:37 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

Hurricane Center Will Start Issuing Separate Warnings On Storm Surge

Coastal residents will start seeing separate warnings about storm surge in addition to warnings about tropical storm- and hurricane-force winds.
Ian Britton Flickr

If tropical weather approaches the U.S. next year, coastal residents will see separate warnings about storm surge in addition to warnings about tropical storm- and hurricane-force winds.

National Hurricane Center officials said Thursday that separate warnings for storm surge should provide emergency managers and the public with better information about tropical weather hazards.

Storm surge is considered the greatest threat to life and property from a tropical cyclone. It can strike at different times and in different places than a storm's winds.

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Latest News
7:30 am
Thu December 11, 2014

Possible Settlement Reached Over Disability Lawsuit With New Orleans Schools

A tentative agreement has been reached in a 2010 federal lawsuit that claimed New Orleans schools failed to fulfill obligations to students with a variety of disabilities — including autism, hyperactivity and bipolar disorder.

U.S. District Judge Jay Zainey said in an order made public yesterday that an "agreement in principle" had been reached in the lawsuit filed by the Southern Poverty Law Center on behalf of 10 students.

Settlement efforts had been going on for months.

Attorneys involved declined comment because the agreement is not yet final.

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7:25 am
Thu December 11, 2014

IG Finds Progress And Problems At NOPD Evidence Room

The New Orleans Police Department evidence room has tightened controls since $200,000 went missing five years ago.

But an Inspector General’s report finds some evidence in criminal cases remains at "high risk of theft or misplacement."

The 29-page report found the evidence room is plagued by a lack of documentation, poor record-keeping and vague guidelines.

It says staff members fail to conduct inventories each year and whenever a key-holder position changes. The report says that violates best practices and NOPD policy. 

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Latest News
8:03 am
Tue December 9, 2014

St. Tammany Flood Board Holding First Meeting

A new levee board created to build flood protection projects in St. Tammany Parish is meeting for the first time today.

The nine commissioners of the St. Tammany Levee, Drainage and Conservation District will meet in Mandeville.

Nola.com/The Times-Picayune reports the board is made up of gubernatorial appointees from communities throughout the parish.

The board was set up by the Legislature this year. It will work as other levee boards do in Louisiana — looking after the parish's flood control needs. As a political subdivision of the state, it has taxing authority.

Latest News
7:56 am
Tue December 9, 2014

Cassidy To Meet With McConnell Over Committee Assignments

Republican Congressman Bill Cassidy is returning to Washington to begin preparations for his transition to the Senate.

Cassidy has a meeting later Tuesday with incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. They are expected to discuss upcoming committee assignments.

He knows he's getting on the energy committee. That's a promise McConnell made to Cassidy to help undercut Democratic incumbent Senator Mary Landrieu touting her committee position as essential to Louisiana.

Cassidy posted a 12-point victory in Saturday's runoff over Landrieu. 

Latest News
7:43 am
Mon December 8, 2014

St. Bernard Parish Voters Reject Multiple Financial Ballot Measures

Voters in St. Bernard Parish rejected several tax measures to pay for a number of public services.

It’s seen a sign of growing frustration over the cost of rebuilding their parish since Hurricane Katrina.

Nola.com/The Times-Picayune reports that most tax renewals pass in most elections. But the rejection of several financial matters in Saturday’s election could show the discontent in a parish that’s much smaller post-Katrina.

Voters also recently rejected a proposed new tax for their parish hospital.

Latest News
8:20 am
Fri December 5, 2014

Republicans Outspending Landrieu In Senate Runoff

Louisiana Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu is heading into tomorrow’s runoff against Republican congressman Bill Cassidy with almost no financial help from outside allies.

In all, 97 cents of every political dollar spent outside the two campaigns since November 5 has been to help Cassidy.

Landrieu's backers all but walked away from her after she failed to capture the majority of the vote in last month’s primary. Under Louisiana law, that put her into a runoff with Cassidy.

Since then, Republicans have spent heavily to boost the three-term House member.

Latest News
8:18 am
Fri December 5, 2014

Flu Hitting Louisiana Hard

Louisiana health officials say residents are being hit hard by the flu.

And a vaccine might not be that effective.

The New Orleans Advocate reports the designation of “widespread” usually doesn’t happen until January or February.

But the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lists Louisiana and Alaska as the only states with “widespread” outbreaks of influenza for the week ending November 22.

The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals is reporting an uptick in influenza reports.

Latest News
5:26 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

Police Cracking Down On Causeway Speeders

Causeway police are cracking down on speeders, careless drivers and other offenders on the 24-mile bridge.
Sean_Marshall Flickr

Causeway police are cracking down on speeders, careless drivers and other offenders on the 24-mile bridge crossing Lake Pontchartrain in the wake of two recent fatal accidents in which vehicles went off the bridge and into the water.

The bridge's general manager tells The Times-Picayune that enforcement has really been ratcheted up.

Latest News
7:57 am
Thu December 4, 2014

Guilty Plea In Oil Spill Fraud

A LaPlace man has pleaded guilty to fraud in connection with damage claims from the 2010 Gulf oil spill.

U.S. Attorney Kenneth Polite's office says 33-year-old Charlie English pleaded guilty yesterday to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

Prosecutors said English worked as a claims adjuster for the Gulf Coast Claims Facility. In September 2010, he began providing fraudulent documentation for people who made phony claims for loss of fishing income. The claims resulted in more than $257,000 in illegal payouts.

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