The Associated Press

Two top officials of a fund that pays compensation in connection with the 2010 BP oil spill have resigned, just months after the two were accused of engaging in improper conduct.

Program head Patrick Juneau confirms that CEO David Odom and Chief Operating Officer Kirk Fisher have resigned.

"They desire to move on to other business opportunities," he said in an emailed statement.

The process of paying claims will not be interrupted by their departure, Juneau said. Attempts at reaching both Odom and Fisher by phone or by other contact information were unsuccessful.

Authorities in Jefferson Parish say there will be no curbside garbage collection Christmas or New Year's Day.

Residents whose garbage normally is picked up on Wednesdays will have collections on Saturday, Dec. 28, and Saturday, Jan. 4.

Curbside recycling collections will take place on Christmas and on New Year's Day.

The parish's four trash drop-off sites and the Jefferson Parish Landfill will be closed on Christmas and New Year's Day.

A Baton Rouge judge is reconsidering his decision to throw out Gov. Bobby Jindal's revamp of teacher tenure and salary laws.

Judge Michael Caldwell had ruled the legislation was unconstitutional because it bundled together too many items spanning Louisiana's education laws. But the Louisiana Supreme Court vacated Caldwell's decision and asked him to re-evaluate his ruling.

A federal trial is drawing to a close for a former BP drilling engineer charged with deleting text messages about the company's response to its massive 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Jurors are scheduled to hear closing arguments Monday in Kurt Mix's trial on two counts of obstruction of justice. Mix didn't testify at his trial, which started two weeks ago.

Mix pleaded not guilty to charges he deliberately deleted text messages to and from a supervisor and a BP contractor to stymie a grand jury's probe of the spill.

Louisiana ranked poorly among states in overall health, according to United Health Foundation's 2013 America's Health Rankings.

The Advocate reports that Louisiana came in at No. 48 in the annual rankings, moving up one spot from last year.

The state's strengths included high-immunization coverage among adolescents; low incidences of pertussis, or whooping cough, infections; and little disparity in health status despite differences in education levels.

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration has proposed fines of $99,000 against Williams Olefins for a June explosion that killed two workers and injured 80.

OSHA on Wednesday cited the company for six process safety management standard violations, including one willful. OSHA says a willful violation is one committed with intentional, knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirements, or with indifference to worker safety.

A former New Orleans police officer has testified at his retrial that he thought he saw a gun in the hand of the man he shot and fatally wounded outside a strip mall in Hurricane Katrina's aftermath.

David Warren's testimony Monday marks the second time he has tried to explain to a jury why he fired a shot at 31-year-old Henry Glover less than a week after the storm's landfall.

Warren says he feared for his life when he shot Glover, but prosecutors say Glover wasn't armed and didn't pose a threat.

Lissandra Melo / <a href="http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-121588291/stock-photo-locker-room.html?src=I5BauM-UKx4diJFZCV45vw-1-8">Shutterstock</a>

Louisiana's state school board has backed a two-year delay for some consequences tied to the phase-in of more rigorous educational standards, called Common Core, at public schools.

Members of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education on Tuesday overwhelmingly supported the changes pushed by Superintendent of Education John White.

The plan will raise accountability standards — like the grading of students, schools and teachers — to match the Common Core in 2015, with a slow adjustment to toughen school grades set to phase in through 2025.

Railroad freight traffic could be shifted of tracks that run through one of Louisiana's most affluent neighborhoods if planners get their way.

But it could take $700 million to make the shift.

State transportation officials are studying whether to reroute freight trains from a track that bisects one of the most affluent parts of Metairie to a combination of tracks that would parallel Earhart Expressway and pass through the Hollygrove neighborhood on New Orleans' western edge.

The Breaux Bridge swamp tour guide that a national animal rights group accused of cruelty to an alligator has been cleared of one charge but admitted to a misdemeanor violation of illegal possession of an alligator.

Chester Cedars, chief prosecutor in St. Martin Parish, tells The Advocate Bryan Champagne was fined $250 plus court costs for the possession charge.

The investigation of Champagne followed a YouTube video that showed him striking the head of an alligator with boat oar while members of a tour watched.

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