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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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Latest News
7:33 am
Wed June 25, 2014

Louisiana Gay Marriage Laws Head To Federal Court In New Orleans

A federal judge is set to hear arguments on whether Louisiana must recognize same-sex marriages legally performed in other states.

This morning's hearing before U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman deals with lawsuits filed earlier this year by gay married couples. Those couples say Louisiana violates their rights to equal protection and due process by refusing to give them the rights of opposite-sex married couples.

The state and opponents of gay marriage want Feldman to reject the suits. They argue that each state has the right to define marriage in its own way.

Latest News
7:31 am
Mon June 23, 2014

Mayors Conference Considers Climate Change Resolution

U.S. mayors gathered in Texas will decide whether to endorse a call for cities to use nature to fight the effects of climate change.

Attendees of the U.S. Conference of Mayors are set to vote Monday on a resolution encouraging cities to use natural solutions to "protect freshwater supplies, defend the nation's coastlines, maintain a healthy tree cover and protect air quality," sometimes by partnering with nonprofit organizations.

It's backed by Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell, Houston Mayor Annise Parker and Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton.

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Latest News
4:35 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

'Big Oil' Lawsuit Survives In 4-4 Vote

A south Louisiana flood control board isn't ready to give up yet on its lawsuit against 97 oil, gas and pipeline companies over coastal wetlands damage — despite a new law aimed at squelching the suit.

A motion to kill the suit died on a 4-4 tie vote Thursday during a meeting of the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East.

Gov. Bobby Jindal opposes the lawsuit. His four newest appointees voted to kill the suit. Four others voted against killing it. One member of the nine-member board was absent.

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Latest News
8:04 am
Tue June 17, 2014

Former Education Chief Pastorek Returning To New Orleans

Former state education superintendent Paul Pastorek is returning to New Orleans.

He tells the Associated Press that he’s leaving his corporate job in Washington, DC, and will be working once again in education policy.

Pastorek says he’s establishing a company that will offer advice to those working in education.

He’s stepped down as the chief administrative officer of Airbus Group.

Latest News
7:32 am
Wed June 11, 2014

Court Told Fisherman Should Return BP Claim Money

A court-appointed investigator says a fisherman should return more than $50,000 in BP oil spill claim money.

Louis Freeh, the former FBI director appointed to investigate claims arising from the 2010 disaster, filed a federal court motion Tuesday to force the return of the money.

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Latest News
5:13 pm
Tue June 10, 2014

Federal Water Projects Bill Funds Levees And Flood Gates

The Morganza flood control structure, part of the "Morganza to the Gulf" project funded by the Water Resources Development Act.
Tobin Wikimedia

Capping a rare instance of congressional compromise, President Barack Obama signed a $12.3 billion water projects bill Tuesday, financing improvements ranging from a harbor expansion in Boston to levees and flood control gates in Louisiana.

Obama singled out two of the bill's main negotiators for praise — Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer of California and Louisiana Republican Sen. David Vitter.

The new law will pay for 34 new projects over the next 10 years. Its price tag is half the amount of the last water projects bill seven years ago.

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Latest News
4:18 pm
Fri June 6, 2014

Hefty Fines Could Hit Drivers Without Insurance

Louisiana drivers who don't maintain insurance face a steep increase in fees.
Jaycarlcooper Wikimedia

In the final hours of the legislative session, lawmakers passed a $53 million fee hike on drivers who don't maintain car insurance as required by law.

Most of the money is slated largely to go to state police to boost trooper salaries. Other beneficiaries include local sheriffs and district attorneys.

The measure by Rep. Barry Ivey raises fees for the reinstatement of driving privileges if a driver has been caught without insurance.

Latest News
7:53 am
Fri June 6, 2014

Legal Scholars Warn Levee Lawsuit Could Affect BP Spill Claims

Soiled coastline after the BP oil spill.
Credit Jason Saul / WWNO

Opponents of a bill that would derail a levee board's lawsuit against 97 oil and gas companies say experts are finding the legislation threatens claims against BP.

Seventy legal scholars say the bill threatens state and local litigation over the 2010 BP oil spill.

The levee board’s lawsuit says oil drilling and production has damaged the wetlands that protect New Orleans from hurricanes. It demands the companies repair that damage.

Governor Bobby Jindal opposes the lawsuit, and wants to sign a bill that would make it invalid.

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