BATON ROUGE — Louisiana's Department of Education says the state's annual dropout rate has fallen for three years in a row. A department news release says the percentage of dropouts in seventh- through 12th grades decreased from 3.5 in 2009-2010 to 3.1 in 2010-2011. That means 1,100 more students chose to stay in school.
The St. Tammany Parish Department of Animal Services is offering free microchipping of dogs and cats tomorrow. Animal Services will chip up to four animals per resident. Proof of residency is required.
A better picture of redevelopment plans for New Orleans' last barracks-style public housing complex will be presented to the public today. The Housing Authority of New Orleans is holding a meeting to discuss redevelopment plans for the Iberville public housing project, which sits next to the French Quarter.
BATON ROUGE — Lawmakers have agreed to create a new pension plan for future rank-and-file state workers. Their decision gives Gov. Bobby Jindal his first significant win in his bid to revamp state retirement.
NEW YORK — The New Orleans Hornets have won the NBA's draft lottery and the No. 1 pick overall. After a difficult season in which they traded All-Star Chris Paul, the Hornets have a shot to add another superstar. Kentucky freshman Anthony Davis is widely considered the best player available.
A day of sporadic gun violence in New Orleans, including an evening rush-hour shooting near a major thoroughfare, has left two adults and one child dead.
The latest police report indicated the child, a girl, was 5 years old. She was among those hit in the rush hour shooting in New Orleans' Central City neighborhood. Police said a 33-year-old woman also was killed. Three others, including a 10-year-old boy and two men were hit but their injuries were not believed life threatening. At least one man was seen firing a weapon. No suspects had been arrested as of Tuesday night.
BATON ROUGE — Looking to fill a deficit of more than $200 million in this year's budget, the Louisiana Senate has agreed to tap into the state's "rainy day" fund. Senators voted yesterday for the proposal by Sen. Jack Donahue, Republican chairman of the Senate Finance Committee. It would allow lawmakers to take nearly $205 million from the fund.
BATON ROUGE — Louisiana lawmakers have agreed to shorten voting hours on most election days, and Gov. Bobby Jindal must decide whether to accept the bill. Currently, poll hours run from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. The measure pushed by Secretary of State Tom Schedler will push back the opening to 7 a.m. on Saturday elections. The change will start in 2013.
BATON ROUGE — Gov. Bobby Jindal has signed into law a 10-year, $37 million tax break for the New Orleans Hornets, part of the state's deal to keep the NBA team in Louisiana.
Jindal announced the signing Tuesday, in a list of bills that he agreed to enact into law.
The bill by Jefferson Parish Rep. Cameron Henry, a Republican, extends an existing tax break that saves the Hornets $3.7 million a year through Louisiana's Quality Jobs Program. The rebate will be extended through the 2024 NBA season.