The Associated Press

Advocates of a south Louisiana flood control board's lawsuit against scores of oil and gas companies over erosion of coastal wetlands are making plans to fight legislation they say could undermine the suit.

Among other things, the bill filed for this year's legislative session would ensure Gov. Bobby Jindal's power to reject an independent committee's nominations for membership on the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East. Jindal opposes the lawsuit filed by the SLFPA-E last year.

Louisiana Department of Corrections officials have conducted a shakedown raid at a Covington work-release facility that houses state inmates.

The facility's director said 19 inmates were sent back to St. Tammany Parish Jail for violating state regulations.

Director Lester Mitchell said Sunday morning's shakedown was the second at the facility in the last two weeks.

The Mardi Gras calendar is disrupting lawmakers' review of Gov. Bobby Jindal's budget proposal.

Rep. Jim Fannin, chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, said he wanted to start combing through the governor's spending recommendations during the first week of March. But he says he couldn't compete with Fat Tuesday, which also falls that week.

Fannin says he didn't think it was a good idea to hold budget hearings if many of the committee members were absent, attending Mardi Gras parades.

Four conservation groups say they'll sue the National Marine Fisheries Service because it's taking too long to analyze shrimping's effects on threatened and endangered sea turtles.

A letter sent Wednesday began a 60-day settlement period required before suing under the Endangered Species Act.

Fisheries spokeswoman Allison Garrett says the agency doesn't comment about pending or active litigation. She says the analysis is underway.

New Orleans celebrity chef Susan Spicer will reign as Grand Marshal for the Mystic Krewe of Nyx when the all-female krewe rolls at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 26, on the city's traditional Uptown parade route.

The New Orleans Advocate reports Spicer will lead the krewe's 1,230 members in its third annual parade.

Spicer owns Bayona in the French Quarter and Mondo in Lakeview. She was inducted into James Beard's "Who's Who of Food and Beverage in America" in 2010 and is the author of "Crescent City Cooking."

A super PAC supporting Republican U.S. Sen. David Vitter is asking a federal judge to throw out the state's donor limits to political action committees.

The Fund for Louisiana's Future filed a lawsuit in New Orleans federal court Tuesday, challenging the limits as an unconstitutional limit on political speech.

Louisiana currently caps contributions to PACs at $100,000 for each election cycle. Super PACs can raise and spend unlimited funds to help candidates at the federal level.

msppmoore / Flickr

The state corrections department says the only way it can lower heat levels on Louisiana's death row to a federal judge's requirements is by installing air conditioning.

U.S. District Judge Brian Jackson ruled in December that death row gets so hot it violates U.S. constitutional protections against cruel and unusual punishment. He demanded a plan to cool the cells so the heat index never goes above 88 degrees.

Windows and fans are currently the primary sources of ventilation on death row.

A former New Orleans police lieutenant wants his job back and back pay after prosecutors dropped federal charges against him in the alleged cover-up of Henry Glover's burning and fatal shooting.

Travis McCabe was accused of doctoring a police report to make it seem like former Officer David Warren was justified when he fatally shot Glover four days after Hurricane Katrina.

McCabe was convicted in December 2010, but a federal judge granted him a new trial after ruling that an early draft of the report, discovered after the trial, likely would have produced an acquittal.

Attorneys who brought a class-action lawsuit against Jefferson Parish say they will appeal a 9-3 jury verdict that found the parish was negligent in its emergency response planning but that the negligence didn't cause the flooding suffered by tens of thousands of Jefferson property owners during Hurricane Katrina.

Attorney Richard Martin tells The New Orleans Advocate the plaintiffs' legal team is still working out the details and may even go back to Judge John Peytavin's court with a post-trial motion first.

Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration is doing a poor job making sure the prevention and diversion programs it uses are helping to keep children out of youth prisons.

That's the finding of an audit released Monday by Legislative Auditor Daryl Purpera's office that looked at the state's Office of Juvenile Justice.

The audit says OJJ doesn't gather enough information from its contractors to adequately monitor programs that are supposed to provide treatment options for children and teenagers who have behavioral problems or who have been charged with misdemeanor crimes.

Pages