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Latest News
4:50 pm
Mon July 9, 2012

Chemical company says March fire was unexpected

GEISMAR — A Houston-based chemical company contends it should not be penalized for a March plant fire at its vinyl chloride complex here because an unexpected and unprecedented chemical chain reaction touched off the fire.

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Latest News
4:43 pm
Mon July 9, 2012

New head takes over FBI's New Orleans office

Michael J. Anderson, an agent with extensive experience in public corruption cases, has been named special agent in charge of the FBI's New Orleans division.

The 45-year-old native of Alexandria, Minn., joined the FBI in 1995 and has served as a supervisor in the FBI's public corruption unit.

The FBI says Anderson rewrote its public corruption field guide in 2003. He also played a supervisory role in the corruption probe of former U.S. Rep. William Jefferson, a Louisiana Democrat serving a 13-year prison sentence.

Anderson replaces David Welker, who retired in May.

Latest News
12:36 pm
Mon July 9, 2012

Audit: Waste tire program not tightly monitored

A new audit says the state Department of Environmental Quality didn't have proper controls over a state program meant to keep tires from being dumped illegally, allowing overpayments.

The report from the Louisiana Legislative Auditor's Office says DEQ allows waste tire processors to weigh their own tire shipments, rather than confirming the weight through a third party. Since the payments are based on weight, the audit says the lack of confirmation gives processors an ability to overstate what they've done.

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Business & Technology
12:33 pm
Mon July 9, 2012

Covington-based Smoothie King chain sold

Covington-based Smoothie King Franchises Inc. is being sold to a South Korean company.

Smoothie King currently has more than 600 units operating in 32 states, the Caymans and the Republic of Korea.

The purchase price was not disclosed in a news release on Monday.

Buyer SK USA Inc. is headed by Chief Executive Officer Wan Kim, a Boston University graduate who opened his first Smoothie King in 2003. Since then Wan's Smoothies Korea has opened more than 100 locations.

Street Repairs
12:08 pm
Mon July 9, 2012

Street work set to begin in 9th Ward

The state is set to begin reconstruction work on Monday on several New Orleans streets in areas damaged by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

All are in the city's 9th Ward.

Barrier Construction Co. is the contractor for the $2.4 million project, which involves segments of Forstall, Tupelo and Alvar streets.

The state Department of Transportation and Development said the work will include resurfacing, repairing curbs and installing handicap-compliant ramps. Completion is expected by October.

Education
12:04 pm
Mon July 9, 2012

Southern has new strategy to bring in students

BATON ROUGE — Southern University will compete for a share of Baton Rouge's community college market this fall as part of a strategy to boost sagging enrollment.

The student numbers have dipped during the past several years with the introduction of tougher state admissions standards.

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Jefferson Parish Recycling
11:59 am
Mon July 9, 2012

Jefferson Parish recycling has banner first week

Officials say about half of the households in unincorporated East Jefferson participated in the first week of curbside garbage recycling, a significant increase for a service they last had before Hurricane Katrina.

Director Marnie Winter of the Department of Environmental Affairs tells The Times-Picayune (http://bit.ly/MUJnkD) the overall rate of households putting out the new green bins Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday was 51 percent.

Before Katrina, Winter says an average of about 32 percent of homes participated in curbside recycling.

Curfews
11:56 am
Mon July 9, 2012

Earlier curfew being considered in St. John Parish

St. John the Baptist Parish could enact one of the earliest curfews in the metro New Orleans area if the parish council approves a request by the sheriff's office to require unaccompanied minors to be off the street by 9 p.m. on school nights. The curfew is currently 10 p.m.

The Times-Picayune reports (http://bit.ly/RMjOBP) the council will consider the change on Tuesday.

Councilman Michael Wright, who proposed the ordinance, said he did so at the request of Sheriff Mike Tregre.

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Business & Technology
11:53 am
Mon July 9, 2012

Oil rises slightly to near $85 on stimulus hopes

SINGAPORE (AP) — Oil rose slightly to near $85 a barrel today, clawing back some of a large drop from the previous session amid hope that weak U.S. economic growth may trigger new stimulus measures.

The Labor Department on Friday said the U.S. economy added 80,000 jobs last month, which was fewer than expected and prompted speculation that the U.S. Federal Reserve may implement more monetary stimulus measures known as quantitative easing.

Last week, the European Central Bank and the People's Bank of China both cut lending rates in the bid to boost flagging economic growth.

Arts & Culture
1:47 pm
Sun July 8, 2012

Spidey swings back to action with $140M launch

Your new friendly neighborhood Spider-Man has spun himself a $65 million opening weekend and $140 million in his first six days at U.S. theaters.

Worldwide, "The Amazing Spider-Man" has climbed to $341.2 million.

The movie started off as a smaller domestic moneymaker than the previous three Spidey films, but it laid to rest objections that it was too soon to relaunch the superhero franchise.

The new origin story for the Marvel Comics web-slinger comes just five years after Tobey Maguire and Sam Raimi's "Spider-Man 3."

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