The Associated Press

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Bullying Ban
10:03 am
Thu May 17, 2012

Louisiana Lawmakers at Odds Over How to Ban Bullying

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana's lawmakers disagree over how to craft a new ban on bullying at public schools.

Two different proposals advanced Wednesday in the House, one by Baton Rouge Rep. Patricia Smith getting 71-16 backing on the House floor and another by Port Allen Sen. Rick Ward getting passage from the House Education Committee.

Abortion
9:58 am
Thu May 17, 2012

Abortion Bills Advance Through Louisiana Legislature

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Two bills focused on deterring pregnant women from getting abortions have been overwhelmingly approved by two legislative health committees. One bill gives women the opportunity to listen to a fetal heartbeat before an abortion is performed. The other would ban abortion after 20 weeks post-fertilization, excepted in limited medical cases. 

American Idol-Performances
9:54 am
Thu May 17, 2012

'American Idol'Judges Spread the Love for Final 3

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The three "American Idol" finalists earned nearly uniform votes of confidence from the show's judges. But it's the audience tally that will determine which two singers advance to next week's finale.

Joshua Ledet's gritty performance Wednesday of "I'd Rather Be Blind" had the judges on their feet — not an uncommon reaction to the Westlake, La., gospel singer. He also impressed the panel with "Imagine" and "No More Drama."

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Saints-Brees
9:42 am
Thu May 17, 2012

Brees Critical of Saints in Radio Interview

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Drew Brees says he's frustrated by a lack of communication with the New Orleans Saints in his ongoing contract negotiations and believes the club should show more urgency to get a long-term deal done.

In an interview with WWL radio in New Orleans on Wednesday night, Brees says he's extremely frustrated that he still is not signed and could miss the Saints' first organized offseason practices next week. 

Politics
5:45 pm
Wed May 16, 2012

Jindal headed to North Carolina for GOP meeting

BATON ROUGE, La. — Gov. Bobby Jindal is headed to North Carolina for a meeting of Republican governors.

The GOP governor's trip comes as the state's budget is mired in disputes, pieces of Jindal's agenda are stalled in the waning days of the legislative session and lawmakers are criticizing the governor for absenteeism.

Jindal spokesman Kyle Plotkin said Jindal was traveling to Charlotte on Wednesday and will return to Baton Rouge on Friday. Plotkin said Jindal is participating in a Republican Governors' Association policy summit.

Abortion Bills
5:43 pm
Wed May 16, 2012

Abortion bills advance through La. Legislature

BATON ROUGE, La. — Two bills focused on deterring pregnant women from getting abortions have been overwhelmingly approved by two legislative health committees.

Sen. Sharon Weston Broome said Wednesday that her proposal gives women the opportunity to listen to a fetal heartbeat before an abortion is performed. The measure is based on a similar law passed last year in Texas requiring that doctors conduct a sonogram, describe the fetus and play a fetal heartbeat for pregnant women seeking abortions.

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Katrina Pump Contract
9:56 am
Wed May 16, 2012

Judge Clears Way for Corps to Re-Bid New Orleans Pump Work

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — After months of delay over legal wrangling, a federal judge says the Army Corps of Engineers can re-start the bidding process for a $700 million contract to build pump stations at the mouths of three drainage canals in New Orleans. Two of the canals were breached during Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Gulf Oil Spill Indictment
9:46 am
Wed May 16, 2012

Former BP Worker: Evidence Proves Him Innocent

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A former BP engineer charged with deleting text messages about how much oil was leaking from the company's blown-out well in the Gulf of Mexico is claiming that evidence federal investigators did not possess will prove him innocent. Kurt Mix has pleaded not guilty to two counts of obstruction of justice.

Gulf Oil Spill Fraud
9:38 am
Tue May 15, 2012

Man Accused of Defrauding Spill Victims' Fund

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Federal prosecutors say a 41-year-old businessman who moved to New Orleans from Georgia after the catastrophic BP oil spill in 2010 has been charged with defrauding a compensation fund set up for victims.

The Justice Department says Dwayne Smith was charged last week on one count of mail fraud.

U.S. Attorney Jim Letten alleges Smith moved to New Orleans four months after the Deepwater Horizon explosion and set up a business called D&D Designs.

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State Employee Retirement
9:35 am
Tue May 15, 2012

Senate Waters Down, Passes Jindal Retirement Bill

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Gov. Bobby Jindal's proposal to boost the amount rank-and-file state workers pay for their retirement has been approved by the Louisiana Senate. The measure was approved yesterday, but only after several provisions were added that make it unlikely the full 2 percentage point increase would take effect. 

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