Louisiana's social services department has banned the spending of welfare money on cigarettes, alcohol and lottery tickets.
The new regulations were issued Friday by the Department of Children and Family Services. They also include restrictions that prohibit the use of a welfare electronic benefit card at liquor stores, gambling sites and strip clubs, as required under federal law.
Violators of the new regulations will stop receiving welfare benefits for a year for a first offense, two years for a second offense and permanently for a third offense.
State health officials say more than $800,000 in public money allegedly has been misappropriated by a Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals employee.
The Times-Picayune reports DHH said the theft was uncovered during an internal investigation. DHH's Bureau of Health Care Integrity began the probe after officials noticed unusual accounting practices involving the employee, whose name has not been released.
A lawsuit over a Denham Springs woman's light display, which extended a middle finger to her neighbors, has been settled.
Final dismissal documents were filed in federal court this week.
Sarah Childs said she put up the roof message in November because she believed a neighbor stole her dog. She said police threatened her with fines and arrest because of the lights. She and the ACLU of Louisiana sued the city, its mayor and police.
BP's head of drilling engineering for the Gulf of Mexico at the time of the Deepwater Horizon disaster testified he didn't believe deepwater drilling was a "high-risk" activity before the 2010 blowout of the company's Macondo well.
Jonathan Sprague's March 2011 testimony is contained in a batch of documents plaintiffs' lawyers submitted Thursday to the federal judge presiding over a trial for litigation spawned by the massive Gulf oil spill.
The City of New Orleans is asking a federal court to reject a proposed reform plan for the Orleans Parish Prison — a plan that the city says it will have to pay for even though the Orleans Parish Sheriff runs the facility.
The U.S. Justice Department and Sheriff Marlin Gusman agreed to the plan in December. That upset city officials who said it will add to the city's financial burden under a separate reform plan for the New Orleans Police Department.
First-time claims for unemployment insurance in Louisiana for the week ending Feb. 23, increased from the previous week's total.
The state labor department figures released Friday show the initial claims increased to 2,918 from the previous week's total of 2,426. Initial claims were below the comparable week a year earlier at 2,664.
The four-week moving average, which is a less volatile measure of claims, increased to 2,825 from the previous week's total of 2,821.
Greivis Vasquez capped a 25-point, nine-assist performance by hitting a running floater off the backboard with 12 seconds left, and the New Orleans Hornets beat the Detroit Pistons 100-95 on Friday night to snap a two-game skid.
Eric Gordon added 21 points and Ryan Anderson 19 points and 13 rebounds for the Hornets, who were short-handed in the front court with starting forward Anthony Davis sitting out his second straight game because of a sprained left shoulder.
New Orleans Hornets general manager Dell Demps says 7-foot reserve forward and center Jason Smith will miss the rest of the season because of a torn labrum in his right shoulder.
Meanwhile, the Hornets also say rookie forward Anthony Davis will be out for Friday night's game against the Detroit Pistons because of a left shoulder sprain which occurred Tuesday night against New Jersey and also sidelined him Wednesday night at Oklahoma City. Davis will be listed as day-to-day.
Re-enactors based in Thibodaux will tell the history of the Bayou Lafourche region during the Civil War and demonstrate camp cooking, military drill and other aspects of life in the Union and Confederate armies this weekend.
The unit called Hellfire Stew Mess/Bouanchaud's Battery will spend the weekend encamped at the E.D. White Historic Site.
A news release from the Louisiana State Museum and Friends of E.D. White Historic Site says the event is free and open to the public.