The Associated Press

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Beaches
7:16 pm
Wed July 4, 2012

La. beaches fare badly in groups survey

An environmental group's annual look at water quality at the nation's vacation beaches rates Louisiana's among the most contaminated.

The report by the Natural Resources Defense Council says 29 percent of water samples taken at Louisiana beaches showed elevated bacterial levels.

The national average is 8 percent.

An analysis of the report by The Times-Picayune (http://bit.ly/Ok1i3C) shows high bacteria levels were found in 44 percent of water samples collected at five Cameron Parish beaches.

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Plaquemines Parish Spray Drill
7:14 pm
Wed July 4, 2012

Nungesser upset parish not told before spray drill

Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser is upset that the parish wasn't notified before an apparent drill for pilots who spray oil spills dispersants. And he doesn't believe that the planes used in the drill were spraying only water, as he was told.

Parish official P.J. Hahn says fishermen called him June 13, saying low-flying planes sprayed something that turned to foam on the water and made their skin itch or burn.

Hahn says the Coast Guard told him it was a drill by the oil industry's Marine Spill Response Corp and that only water was being sprayed.

Shrimp Season
12:43 pm
Tue July 3, 2012

Inshore Shrimp Season Ends July 9 in Some Areas

BATON ROUGE — The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries says the 2012 spring inshore shrimp season will close July 9 in some areas to protect developing shrimp. The announcement applies to portions of the Pontchartrain Basin and to all of the Mississippi River, Barataria and Mermentau River basins. 

Gulf Oil Spill Indictment
12:39 pm
Tue July 3, 2012

Ex-BP Engineer: Most Deleted Texts Were Routine

Lawyers for a former BP engineer are pressing federal prosecutors to explain how their client impeded a grand jury probe by deleting text messages about the company's response to the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

In a court filing Monday, Kurt Mix's attorneys also seek a court order requiring prosecutors to specify which deleted texts form the basis for the obstruction-of-justice charges against him.

Medicaid Cuts
12:34 pm
Tue July 3, 2012

La. Medicaid Funding Unexpectedly Slashed by $859M

BATON ROUGE — Officials at Louisiana's health department are looking for ways to cut $859 million from the state's Medicaid program for the poor and uninsured. It would strip 11 percent of the funding for health services. 

Katrina Shooting
12:29 pm
Tue July 3, 2012

Judge: Man Can Stand Trial for Katrina Shooting

A Mississippi man has been found mentally competent to stand trial in August on charges he shot at three men in what prosecutors call a racially motivated attack in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina. Roland Bourgeois Jr., who is white, is accused of wounding at least one of the three black men he fired at with a shotgun. 

Hornets
12:24 pm
Tue July 3, 2012

Anthony Davis Sprains Ankle, Awaits Evaluation

Anthony Davis has a left ankle sprain that must be evaluated later this week before he can practice with the U.S. team. Hornets spokesman Harold Kaufman says Davis hurt his ankle at the team's training center in Westwego on Saturday and that the club considers his status as day-to-day. 

Hornets: Lewis Waived
12:51 pm
Mon July 2, 2012

Hornets Waive Rashard Lewis

The New Orleans Hornets have waived Rashard Lewis, a move they've been expected to make since acquiring the 14-year veteran forward in a trade with Washington. The Wizards had sent Lewis and the 46th overall pick in this year's NBA draft to New Orleans on June 20 in exchange for forward Trevor Ariza and center Emeka Okafor. 

Vets to Cops
12:47 pm
Mon July 2, 2012

La. Police Departments Get Funding to Hire Vets

Four Louisiana law enforcement agencies will get federal money to rehire community policing officers or to hire military veterans for new positions. The New Orleans Police Department and St. Helena Parish Sheriff's Office are the largest of the departments. Each covers three years of pay. Louisiana's total comes to more than $1.5 million. 

Southern University Cutbacks
9:54 am
Mon July 2, 2012

Leaner Southern University After Financial Emergency

BATON ROUGE — Southern University administrators tell The Advocate the university is now in better shape to concentrate resources on successful programs such as engineering and nursing, and better equipped to guide students toward graduation. The university is emerging from an eight-month financial emergency period with fewer students, degree choices and faculty. 

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