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Latest News
1:14 pm
Sun August 12, 2012

Groups unsure about state drug plan changes

Louisiana's health agency must save $56 million on drugs for Medicaid patients to help balance the state budget, but doesn't yet have a final plan for doing that.

A top aide to health Secretary Bruce Greenstein say the changes will take effect Oct. 1, and emergency rules will be published in September.

Legislators, pharmacy interests and others tell The Advocate they are concerned about the lack of transparency and what they call a rush to make changes that need caution to avoid damaging health care. Consumer groups worry about restricted drug access.

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NOPD Academy
1:12 pm
Sun August 12, 2012

New Orleans academy graduates new cops

The New Orleans Police Department Training Academy graduated 28 recruits on Thursday, the first class subject to higher standards before being accepted as recruits.

The Times-Picayune reports applicants who completed the 23-week academy program were required to have at least 60 hours of college credit or the equivalent of two years of military service.

Movie Makeup
1:04 pm
Sun August 12, 2012

SLU offers makeup for movies class

Southeastern Louisiana University's Division of Extended Studies is offering a non-credit course on makeup for filmmaking.

Available for high school students and adults interested in the film industry, the course will be taught by Tara Bennett, a freelance makeup artist with experience in makeup for photography, film, and theatrical stage.

The course is scheduled on the university's main Hammond campus on Wednesdays from 6-8 p.m. from Sept. 12- Oct. 10. The cost is $125, which includes all materials needed, and one continuing education credit will be awarded.

Higher Education
1:01 pm
Sun August 12, 2012

Registration set at Nunez College

Registration begins Wednesday at Nunez Community College in St. Bernard Parish. Fall-term classes are scheduled to start on Aug. 20.

More registration information is available by calling 504-278-6467 or online at www.nunez.edu.

Assumption Parish Sinkhole
12:59 pm
Sun August 12, 2012

Company to pad fund to aid residents near sinkhole

A Houston-based brine company has agreed to make a "significant contribution" to a fund for residents ordered to evacuate their homes after a sinkhole formed in Assumption Parish that may be connected to one of the company's salt caverns.

The Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness said Saturday that Texas Brine Co. LLC's original permit for the cavern requires the operator to provide assistance to residents in areas deemed to be at immediate potential risk. The permit requirement arises in the event of a sinkhole and evacuation.

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Wildfire
12:56 pm
Sun August 12, 2012

Lightning sparks wildfire on Sabine refuge

Lightning from a thunderstorm has sparked a wildfire in southwest Louisiana on the Sabine National Wildlife Refuge.

The blaze is located within Management Unit 1 or waterfowl hunt unit E, located in the north-central portion of the refuge. The area is bordered on the east by Back Ridge canal, the south by Central canal, the west by Beach canal and the north by open water.

Haynesville Shale
12:01 pm
Sun August 12, 2012

Haynesville shale slowdown hits hotels

The hundreds of hotel rooms planned or under construction in Shreveport-Bossier City might be missing their intended clients.

The Times reports hotel operators had counted on guests in town for business in the Haynesville shale oil field.

But a slowdown of natural gas production has cut into room nights.

More than 1,300 hotel rooms are in final planning phases or under construction in Shreveport-Bossier City. An additional 169 rooms have gone into operation this year in Bossier City.

River Saltwater Intrusion
11:08 am
Sun August 12, 2012

Plaquemines may use barges to ship freshwater

Plaquemines Parish officials say they're prepared to use barges to supply fresh water to processing plants in Port Sulphur, Dalcour and Pointe-a-la-Hache if necessary.

The parish gets its water from the Mississippi River, but that source of water is being threatened by the intrusion of salt water from the Gulf of Mexico due to low river levels.

Besides using barges to ship in fresh water, the parish says it may rely on freshwater piped in from neighboring parishes.

Roadwork
11:05 am
Sun August 12, 2012

Some lanes of US 190 closed

Authorities in St. Tammany Parish say some lanes of U.S. Highway 190 from U.S. Highway 11 to Interstate 10 will be closed through Monday afternoon for repair work.

At least one lane in each direction will remain open at all times, officials say.

The lane restrictions will allow crews to replace centerline striping.

Unemployment
2:32 pm
Fri August 10, 2012

Louisiana 1st-time jobless claims increase

First-time claims for unemployment insurance in Louisiana for the week ending Aug. 4 increased from the previous week's total.

The state labor department figures released Friday show the initial claims increased to 3,216 from the previous week's total of 2,988.

For the comparable week a year earlier, there were 4,033 initial claims.

The four-week moving average, which is a less volatile measure of claims, decreased to 3,240 from the previous week's total of 3,426.

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