The Associated Press

Pages

Union Election
12:55 pm
Sun July 22, 2012

Union seeks to represent workers at ConAgra plant

Employees at ConAgra Foods' Lamb Weston sweet potato processing plant near Delhi will decide next week whether to unionize.

Workers will vote Wednesday in an election administered by the National Labor Relations Board to determine whether they will join the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, reports The News-Star reports.

A ConAgra spokeswoman at the firm's Omaha, Neb., headquarters says it doesn't want a middleman between managers and employees.

Read more
Jefferson Performing Arts Center
12:52 pm
Sun July 22, 2012

Credit line blocked for JPAS project

Rep. Cameron Henry has blocked the use of almost $10 million in lines of credit intended for the Jefferson Performing Arts Center, saying he wants Jefferson Parish officials to explain why the project costs have skyrocketed.

The Times-Picayune reports the Metairie Republican asked the state Bond Commission for a 30-day delay in reauthorization of the line of credit.

Read more
National Guard
12:47 pm
Sun July 22, 2012

Louisiana National Guard top leader now a two-star general

The top officer in the Louisiana National Guard is now a major general, also called a two-star general.

Maj. Gen. Glenn H. Curtis was "pinned" with his new rank in a ceremony Friday at the Governor's Mansion. Gov. Bobby Jindal and Curtis' wife, Jill Curtis, pinned the new insignia on Curtis' uniform.

Curtis officially became the Louisiana National Guard's 49th adjutant general in December, taking charge of all state National Guard operations and training. In Louisiana, the head of the National Guard is appointed by the governor.

North Oaks Health System Expansion
12:45 pm
Sun July 22, 2012

Tangipahoa hospital expanding

North Oaks Health System in Hammond is expanding its emergency room and doing other improvements in a $9.3 million project.

The Daily Star reports the work should be completed by spring 2013 at the facility in Tangipahoa Parish.

Senior Vice President and Operations Office Michael Watkins said design work took a year.

The 27,450-square-foot expansion of the emergency room will double its size and should relieve long wait times for patients, Watkins said.

State Healthcare
12:43 pm
Sun July 22, 2012

Blue Cross wins contract to run state health plans

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana has been chosen by Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration to take over the job of managing a state employee health care plan.

The company was the lowest bidder, The Advocate reports offering to do the work cheaper than Humana and United Healthcare, beginning Jan. 31.

Contractor Fraud
12:42 pm
Sun July 22, 2012

Houma contractor issued fraud summons

A Houma contractor was issued a summons on a fraud charge Wednesday for allegedly taking payments for more than a year on a home improvement project without completing the work.

Houma police tell The Courier that John Hampton Ward, 52, had been paid about $12,900 since March 2011 to build cabinets at a local home through his company, Hampton Cabinets.

Detectives said they issued Ward a summons for home improvement fraud after the unidentified resident complained on July 13.

Louisiana Tax Breaks
12:39 pm
Sun July 22, 2012

A look at what tax breaks cost Louisiana

Louisiana gives out about $4.4 billion in tax breaks to businesses and individuals each year. A look at the major categories of taxes collected and tax exemptions in the just-ended 2011-12 budget year, according to estimates from the state revenue department:

Corporate Income Taxes:

  • Potential collections: $1.7 billion.
  • Actual collections: $198 million.
  • Estimated exemptions: $1.5 billion.

Percentage of tax loss: 88 percent.

Sales Taxes:

Read more
French Quarter Home Invasion
12:16 pm
Sat July 21, 2012

Police: Photos helped ID alleged home invader

New Orleans police say photographs taken by neighbors as a man ran away after a home invasion in the French Quarter helped them make an arrest within a day.

Police say 31-year-old Ronnie Tolliver was booked earlier this week with home invasion, aggravated burglary and aggravated battery.

Investigators say Tolliver allegedly followed a man home about 1 p.m. on July 15, forced his way into the residence, then hit the man over the head with an unidentified object.

Higher Education
12:13 pm
Sat July 21, 2012

More criticism of ULL gay studies minor

Louisiana Family Forum President Gene Mills suggested Friday that the University of Louisiana at Lafayette is drifting "into sexual politics."

The school's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender studies minor, which began in the spring, drew the ire of the Louisiana Family Forum last week as going against "Louisiana values."

Mills' email says ULL President Joseph Savoie is "fooling with fire" by allowing homosexual activists to influence university decision making, The Advocate reports. He urges the program's elimination.

Read more
Budget Cuts
12:09 pm
Sat July 21, 2012

Nicholls State, Southeastern lay off workers

Nicholls State University and the University of Southeastern Louisiana are laying off employees.

Louisiana State University, though, says it will cut its budget without firing employees.

The state's public colleges and universities are absorbing a fifth round of budget cuts since 2008. In the new budget, higher education was cut by $66 million, bringing total cuts since 2008 to $420 million.

Southeastern, in Hammond, says it will lay off 36 faculty and staff members and eliminate 80 vacant positions. The university says it's cutting $13 million overall.

Read more

Pages