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Environment
10:27 am
Thu February 20, 2014

Conservation Groups To Feds: Speed Up Sea Turtle Analysis

Four conservation groups say they'll sue the National Marine Fisheries Service because it's taking too long to analyze shrimping's effects on threatened and endangered sea turtles.

A letter sent Wednesday began a 60-day settlement period required before suing under the Endangered Species Act.

Fisheries spokeswoman Allison Garrett says the agency doesn't comment about pending or active litigation. She says the analysis is underway.

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Latest News
9:24 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

Chef Susan Spicer To Reign As Grand Marshal Of Nyx

New Orleans celebrity chef Susan Spicer will reign as Grand Marshal for the Mystic Krewe of Nyx when the all-female krewe rolls at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 26, on the city's traditional Uptown parade route.

The New Orleans Advocate reports Spicer will lead the krewe's 1,230 members in its third annual parade.

Spicer owns Bayona in the French Quarter and Mondo in Lakeview. She was inducted into James Beard's "Who's Who of Food and Beverage in America" in 2010 and is the author of "Crescent City Cooking."

Politics
9:17 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

Pro-Vitter PAC Challenges State Campaign Donor Limit

Sen. David Vitter.

A super PAC supporting Republican U.S. Sen. David Vitter is asking a federal judge to throw out the state's donor limits to political action committees.

The Fund for Louisiana's Future filed a lawsuit in New Orleans federal court Tuesday, challenging the limits as an unconstitutional limit on political speech.

Louisiana currently caps contributions to PACs at $100,000 for each election cycle. Super PACs can raise and spend unlimited funds to help candidates at the federal level.

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Latest News
1:08 am
Tue February 18, 2014

Cooling Plan In Store For Louisiana Death Row

The entrance to Angola Prison, where death row inmates are housed.
msppmoore Flickr

The state corrections department says the only way it can lower heat levels on Louisiana's death row to a federal judge's requirements is by installing air conditioning.

U.S. District Judge Brian Jackson ruled in December that death row gets so hot it violates U.S. constitutional protections against cruel and unusual punishment. He demanded a plan to cool the cells so the heat index never goes above 88 degrees.

Windows and fans are currently the primary sources of ventilation on death row.

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Latest News
3:19 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

With Charges Dropped, Former New Orleans Police Officer Wants Job Back

A former New Orleans police lieutenant wants his job back and back pay after prosecutors dropped federal charges against him in the alleged cover-up of Henry Glover's burning and fatal shooting.

Travis McCabe was accused of doctoring a police report to make it seem like former Officer David Warren was justified when he fatally shot Glover four days after Hurricane Katrina.

McCabe was convicted in December 2010, but a federal judge granted him a new trial after ruling that an early draft of the report, discovered after the trial, likely would have produced an acquittal.

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Latest News
2:00 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

Appeal Planned In Jefferson Parish Katrina Flooding Lawsuit

Attorneys who brought a class-action lawsuit against Jefferson Parish say they will appeal a 9-3 jury verdict that found the parish was negligent in its emergency response planning but that the negligence didn't cause the flooding suffered by tens of thousands of Jefferson property owners during Hurricane Katrina.

Attorney Richard Martin tells The New Orleans Advocate the plaintiffs' legal team is still working out the details and may even go back to Judge John Peytavin's court with a post-trial motion first.

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Latest News
1:57 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

Audit Says Office Of Juvenile Justice Not Properly Monitoring Contracts

Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration is doing a poor job making sure the prevention and diversion programs it uses are helping to keep children out of youth prisons.

That's the finding of an audit released Monday by Legislative Auditor Daryl Purpera's office that looked at the state's Office of Juvenile Justice.

The audit says OJJ doesn't gather enough information from its contractors to adequately monitor programs that are supposed to provide treatment options for children and teenagers who have behavioral problems or who have been charged with misdemeanor crimes.

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Environment
11:00 am
Sun February 9, 2014

Volunteers Sought For Bayou Lafourche Sweep

The Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary Program expects to find a wide variety of junk in Bayou Lafourche when the group does its annual cleanup along 106 miles of the waterway March 15.

A spokesman says past finds in sweeps of the bayou, which provides drinking water for communities along its banks, have included old toilets and underwear.

The Daily Comet reports the group is seeking volunteers for the cleanup.

Transportation
10:57 am
Sun February 9, 2014

Baton Rouge May Get A Streetcar Line

Plans are in the works for a $100 million streetcar line in the fast-developing Nicholson Drive corridor.

Planner John Fregonese tells The Advocate the corridor is a hotbed of commercial and residential development. Fregonese is working to implement the city's master land-use plan, known as FutureBR.

He cites developments such as IBM's service center, the residential tower going up next to it, the Water Campus coastal research center and the mixed-use River District development.

Higher Education
5:40 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

Penn Law Dean Michael Fitts Named Next Tulane President

Michael A. Fitts has been named the next president of Tulane University. He takes over July 1.
Tulane University

Tulane University has selected Michael A. Fitts, the dean and a professor of law at the University of Pennsylvania, as the successor to retiring president, Scott Cowen.

Fitts takes over at Tulane on July 1.

At a news conference Tuesday, Rick Rees, a co-chair of Tulane's presidential search committee, said the panel unanimously selected Rees.

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