The Associated Press

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Flood Insurance
10:53 am
Fri April 27, 2012

Vitter Pushes to Extend Flood Insurance Program

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — U.S. Sen. David Vitter is pushing for a long-term extension of the National Flood Insurance Program.

The Louisiana Republican wants to stop extending the program with short-term extensions. The insurance program, which provides help for people who are flooded, hasn't been fully reauthorized since 2004. The program is slated to expire at the end of May unless it is extended.

A bill sponsored by Vitter to extend the flood insurance program through 2016 is awaiting a vote before the full Senate.

Louisiana Budget
10:49 am
Fri April 27, 2012

'Rainy Day' Fund Use Considered by Lawmakers

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Lawmakers are weighing whether to use Louisiana's "rainy day" fund to fill a $211 million gap in this year's budget.

House Speaker Chuck Kleckley said Thursday that the state could get $215 million from the fund, if two-thirds of the House and Senate agree. He says he's willing to look at using the money because he's worried that higher education and health care would face deep cuts otherwise that could damage services.

The state's forecasting panel downgraded income projections this week.

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Smoker Discrimination
10:29 am
Fri April 27, 2012

Senators Reject Bill Removing Smoker Protection

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — A bid to repeal a law that bans employers from discriminating against smokers has failed to win traction in the Legislature.

The repeal, sought by hospitals and health care leaders, was narrowly rejected in a 3-2 vote by the Senate labor committee amid concerns it could lead to widespread firings by employers.

More than 20 years ago, legislators passed a law protecting smokers from workplace discrimination.

Louis Armstrong
10:18 am
Fri April 27, 2012

1 of Last Louis Armstrong Trumpet Records Now a CD

WASHINGTON (AP) — A live recording of Louis Armstrong playing his trumpet for one of the last times is being released to the public for the first time. The recording is being played Friday at the National Press Club in Washington where it was created in January 1971. 

NFL-Goodell-Saints
10:01 am
Thu April 26, 2012

Saints Players Still on the Hook

NEW YORK (AP) — NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell says the league is still doing interviews regarding player punishments that likely will be handed down for the Saints' pay-for-hits bounty system. Goodell says he doesn't expect to issue a decision this week but says he's in the final stages of working on discipline involving the players. 

Hornets-Tax Break
9:49 am
Thu April 26, 2012

Tax Break for the Hornets Fails in La. House

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — The Louisiana House has narrowly refused to extend an existing tax break given to the New Orleans Hornets that saves the team $3.7 million a year.

The extension proposed by Metairie Rep. Cameron Henry, a Republican, fell four votes short of passage in a 49-46 vote Wednesday.

The NBA team gets a tax break through the state Quality Jobs Program. Henry proposed continuing that for the length of the Hornets' new lease with the state, which is set to go through 2024.

Jazz Fest
9:45 am
Thu April 26, 2012

Jazz Fest Set to Begin Friday

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Jazz horns, Cajun fiddles, zydeco washboards and rock guitars — they'll all be heard at the same place when the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival kicks off tomorrow. Performances by soul singer Irma Thomas, the Beach Boys, the rock band Zebra, jazz clarinetist Tim Laughlin, Buckwheat Zydeco and others open this year's event. 

New Orleans Airport
9:41 am
Thu April 26, 2012

Early Mardi Gras Drives Up Fliers

KENNER, La. (AP) — The early Mardi Gras season drove up February passenger traffic at Louisiana's largest airport. The number of passengers using Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport was up 10.4 percent from February 2011. 

Katrina-Rebuilding
9:36 am
Thu April 26, 2012

New Orleans Agency Breaks Ground on 2 New Projects

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The New Orleans Redevelopment Authority has broken ground on a $2.7 million multi-family residential building in blight-stricken Central City and on an $8.7 million project to build a health clinic and storefront in another impoverished section of the city.

In Central City, NORA says it's working with builders to construct 10 condominium units on O.C. Haley Boulevard. There are efforts to bring stores and people back to the Central City neighborhood after years of neglect.

Hornets 83, Golden State Warriors 81
9:33 am
Wed April 25, 2012

Hornets Win Over Golden State Warriors

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — A goaltending call with 1.5 seconds left in the game is what allowed the New Orleans Hornets to pull out an 83-81 road win over the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday night. Marco Belinelli scored 23 points, including the game-winning shot, for the Hornets. 

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