The Associated Press

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Video Poker
4:36 pm
Tue June 5, 2012

Conservative group asks for video poker bill veto

The conservative Louisiana Family Forum is asking Gov. Bobby Jindal to veto three bills that tweak the state's video poker laws.

In a letter sent to the governor, Family Forum leader Gene Mills says the changes would deregulate video poker.

One measure, sponsored by Republican Sen. Danny Martiny, would remove the mandatory license revocation requirement for a video poker operator who has three or more violations for letting someone under 21 years old play video poker.

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Louisiana Legislature
9:35 am
Tue June 5, 2012

Louisiana Legislature Ends Regular Session

BATON ROUGE — Louisiana lawmakers have shut down their regular legislative session, ending three months of bitter disputes over budgets, education and retirement. Gov. Bobby Jindal won a big victory for his overhaul of the state education system despite divisions between the GOP governor and some House Republicans.

Saints Bounties
10:52 am
Mon June 4, 2012

Vilma's Lawyer Challenges Ledger

The attorney for suspended New Orleans linebacker Jonathan Vilma says a ledger of cash bonuses and fines for Saints players shows no proof of bounties placed on targeted opponents. Lawyer Peter Ginsberg says the leaking of the ledger shows how "irresponsible" NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has been in handling the bounty probe. 

Costner Lawsuit
10:44 am
Mon June 4, 2012

Trial Opens For Suit Against Costner Over BP Deal

Two Hollywood stars could spend the next two weeks in a New Orleans courtroom rather than on camera, on opposite sides in a real-life legal drama.

Jury selection is scheduled Monday for Stephen Baldwin's federal lawsuit against fellow actor Kevin Costner over their investments in a device BP used in trying to clean up the huge Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

Both are expected to testify. U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman says every litigant must be in court every day because of the seriousness of the claims and in case of mid-trial settlement talks.

New Orleans Hotels
10:12 am
Mon June 4, 2012

New Orleans Hotel Rates Increase

New Orleans hotel operators say occupancy is the highest in more than a decade. They credit refurbished hotels, a jam-packed calendar and continued recovery from the levee breaches after Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Room rates are up, too. The Times-Picayune reports that Smith Travel Research quotes the city's average daily hotel rate at $154 — the highest since February 2002, when it averaged $159.40 a night.

Rates through April of this year averaged $148.61. That's 12.6 percent better than same four months last year.

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Louisiana Legislature
10:07 am
Mon June 4, 2012

Louisiana Lawmakers Wrap Up Work on $25.6B Budget

BATON ROUGE — The Louisiana House has agreed to a $25.6 billion budget for next year that includes hundreds of millions of dollars in spending above the figure sought by a group of conservative Republicans.

Lawmakers voted 62-40 Sunday for the Senate version of the spending plans for the fiscal year that begins July 1. The vote gave final passage to the measure, sending it to GOP Gov. Bobby Jindal. He supports the larger budget, rather than the deeper cuts sought by the conservative bloc.

Ledet Homecoming
10:03 am
Mon June 4, 2012

More Than 3,000 at Josh Ledet Picnic, Concert

SULPHUR, La. — "American Idol" contestant Josh Ledet gave a free outdoor concert in Sulphur. At the Saturday show, Ledet sang gospel music and songs made famous by Whitney Houston and Beyonce, as well as "Idol" fan favorites "When A Man Loves a Woman" and "It's a Man's Man's Man's World." 

Beach Advisories
9:59 am
Mon June 4, 2012

Beach Bacteria Warnings Up From Last Year in Mississippi

BILOXI, Miss. — Mississippi's Department of Environmental Quality has posted more warnings of high bacteria levels along Mississippi beaches so far this year than in all of 2011. But the head of the Harrison County Sand Beach Authority says there have been fewer sewer-related problems in the past few years than there used to be. 

Louisiana Rainy Day Fund
11:25 am
Fri June 1, 2012

Rainy Day Fund Legislation Advances in La. House

BATON ROUGE — The Louisiana House will take up a proposal to use $205 million from the state's "rainy day" fund to offset a deficit in this year's budget. The House Appropriations Committee voted yesterday to tap into the Budget Stabilization Fund. The move is overwhelmingly backed by the Senate. A bloc of conservative House Republicans voted against using the money. 

Upward Bound
11:21 am
Fri June 1, 2012

Upward Bound Awards UNO $5M Grant

The University of New Orleans has been awarded grants totaling $5 million over a five-year period by the Upward Bound program through the U. S. Department of Education.

The grants will fund three projects: UNO's Project Pass, UNO's Jefferson Upward Bound and UNO's Classic Upward Bound.

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