Jason Saul

Former Director of Digital Services + Corporate Development Officer

Jason Saul served as WWNO's Director of Digital Services. In 2017 he took a position at BirdNote, in Seattle. 

Jason Saul / WWNO

A 20-ton tar mat has been discovered off the coast of the Grand Terre barrier island, CNN is reporting.

The 40,000-pound mix of oil, sand, shells and seawater was dug out of the shallows by workers off Grand Terre over the last few weeks, according to Lt. Commander Natalie Murphy, a Coast Guard spokeswoman.

Murphy told CNN the tar mat was approximately 165 feet long and stretched about 65 feet wide, though only about 15% of the total weight was oil.

This year's dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico may be as large as the state of New Jersey, National Geographic is reporting. The publication quotes scientists who say that would make it the biggest dead zone ever recorded.

NBC33-TV, via WWL-TV

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.

Louisiana State Police and other officials say a reported explosion touched off a fire at the Williams olefins petrochemical plant in the Ascension Parish town of Geismar Thursday morning. One fatality has been confirmed, and 73 people have been transported from the site with injuries.

The New Orleans Zephyrs shut out the Memphis Redbirds 7-0 Thursday afternoon in Memphis, on the back of seven strong innings from pitcher Duane Below.

The Zephyrs offense scored four runs in the first inning and two in the second to jump out to an early 6-0 lead.

Below, who improved to 3-2, limited Memphis hitters to just three hits in his seven innings. He walked two and struck out three. The seven innings is his longest outing of the season.

Audubon Nature Institute

Three endangered African Blackfooted penguin chicks are now on display at the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas penguin exhibit, the Aquarium announced today.

The chicks, born in March, are growing quickly, the Aquarium says, and are products of the Audubon Penguin Breeding Program.

We've collected the first five episodes of our ongoing environmental series The Louisiana Coast: Last Call into one podcast.

You can play the stories on this page, right click on the player and select "Save As" to download it, or find all of our last call podcasts here:

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NOPD

The New Orleans Police Department is asking for the public's help in locating a stolen pig statue, snatched from in front of a business in the 3400 block of Esplanade Ave. on the morning of May 1.

The statue is a pig dressed in a chef's outfit, holding a sign that reads "EAT MORE CRAWFISH".

Police spokesman Frank Robertson says the statue is valued at $6700, and was taken from a business that had a themed marquee. He says the police don't have any leads at this time, "But hopefully we will after we air this."

The New Orleans Pelicans landed the number-six pick in last night’s NBA Draft lottery in New York City.

It’s the system the league uses to determine the order in which teams draft players each year. The Pelicans were hoping to reprise their lottery win last year, when they selected star Anthony Davis first overall. However, they only had an 8.8 percent chance of getting the top pick this year.

Instead, the Cleveland Cavaliers came away with the top selection for the June 27 draft. This is the Cavaliers’ second number-one pick in the past three years.

Orleans Parish Sheriff's Office

Akein Scott, the 19-year-old suspected of injuring 20 people by shooting into a crowd at a Mother’s Day second-line this past Sunday, was apprehended by the New Orleans Police Department’s SWAT unit Wednesday night in New Orleans East.

"Akein Scott is now in NOPD custody," police spokeswoman Remi Braden said in an e-mail to reporters. Braden said the suspect was arrested in the Little Woods section of New Orleans East.

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu has called for a "community response" gathering today at 6 p.m., at the corner of Frenchmen Street and North Villere. It's a response to the multiple shooting Sunday afternoon during a Mother's Day second-line parade that injured at least 19 people.

"On Sunday afternoon — Mother's Day — our community was subjected to another senseless act of violence," the mayor said in a press release. "Please come out and show solidarity in protecting our culture and delivering a message to stop the shootings."

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