Organizers of an Ascension Parish balloon festival have moved the event date a second time in two weeks, citing conflicts with local events and a major hot air ballooning competition in Albuquerque, N.M.
Organizers tell The Advocate the Louisiana Hot Air Balloon Championship Festival at the Lamar-Dixon Expo Center near Gonzales is scheduled from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sept. 21-22.
The Jackson-Bienville Wildlife Management Area is getting smaller.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries says its latest lease with the Weyerhaeuser Company will keep about 25,000 acres open to public recreation such as hunting, fishing, hiking, birding and nature photography.
It says about 7,000 acres will be closed to the public. That's nearly 22 percent of the original size.
The property is in Jackson, Bienville and Lincoln parishes. The department has managed it since 1951.
Xavier University in New Orleans, working with the New Orleans Public Library, has been awarded a grant to host "The Big Read."
The Big Read is an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts that is designed to restore reading to the center of American culture.
Xavier was one of 76 not-for-profits to be recommended to host a Big Read project. In a news release, the university said The Big Read in New Orleans will focus on the novel "A Lesson Before Dying" by Ernest Gaines. Activities will take place Feb. 23 and March 23.
A federal audit says the Jefferson Parish Housing Authority illegally paid board members nearly $107,000 and created a conflict of interest and violated federal rules by paying $91,000 to a state legislator's repair company.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development audit says the agency should repay the money and must either document or repay another $450,000. That includes $240,000 paid to four Jefferson Parish sheriff's deputies for security services, $95,000 to its attorney and $81,000 to its accounting firm.
Fifteen New Orleans-area elected officials have told Louisiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Katherine Kimball that she should take steps to ensure that Justice Bernette Johnson succeeds her as the court's chief.
Kimball retires next year. Louisiana's Constitution says the longest serving justice must succeed her. Johnson and Justice Jeffrey Victory each stake claims to being the longest serving.
State officials say they are ready for whatever the weather might throw at them this hurricane season.
Kevin Davis, director of the Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, said Wednesday the state is standing by should a storm threaten Louisiana. He added that he encourages citizens to review their own emergency game plans, before severe weather strikes.
The Civil Service Commission has narrowly agreed to a Jindal administration plan to hire a private company to manage a state employee health insurance plan.
The panel voted 3-2 Wednesday to allow Blue Cross/Blue Shield to run an insurance plan in the Office of Group Benefits that covers more than 62,000 employees and their dependents. The outsourcing will take effect Jan. 1.
The move will eliminate 177 state jobs — 121 of which are currently filled.