State officials are investigating how many chemicals leaked from storage tanks at a facility flooded by Hurricane Isaac with about 10 feet of water.
Isaac's surge damaged the Stolthaven Braithwaite LLC chemical storage and transfer facility next to the Mississippi River in Braithwaite, a Plaquemines Parish community protected by levees overtopped by floodwaters.
The facility is owned by Stolt-Nielsen Ltd., a Norwegian company that ships bulk liquid chemicals, vegetable oils and other chemicals around the world.
Louisiana's property insurer of last resort says Hurricane Isaac has resulted in over 13,000 claims and they expect more to come.
Vice President and Chief Claims Officer of Louisiana Citizens Property Insurance Corp. Quin Netzel said Thursday most claims average a little over $5,000. He said they're expecting between 15,000 and 17,000 claims as a result of Isaac and so far 36 percent of received claims have been inspected, while 4 percent of claims have been closed.
State education officials say more than 4,900 students from poorly performing public schools have taken advantage of the state's newly expanded voucher program, which uses government money to pay private school tuition.
The figure was released Thursday. The state said 14 percent of students using vouchers came from public schools that earned a C in the state's school accountability program; most — 69 percent — were from schools that made a D; 17 percent were from schools considered failing.
The state Department of Environmental Quality is checking a report that as much as 191,000 gallons of toxic material may have been released during Hurricane Isaac from the Stolthaven chemical facility in Braithwaite. The company made the estimate to the Coast Guard’s National Response Center.
A Metairie man has been sentenced to 30 months in federal prison for defrauding hundreds of investors in a Texas real-estate deal out of millions of dollars.
U.S. District Judge Lance Africk also on Thursday ordered Michael B. Smuck to pay more than $789,000 in restitution that he still owes investors. Prosecutors say Smuck already has paid nearly $3 million to one group of investors he bilked.
Smuck, who pleaded guilty in May 2010 to one count of mail fraud, solicited investments in acquiring a Houston apartment complex called Briar Meadows.
A man who allegedly got a fully loaded AR-15 assault rifle from his car after being turned down for disaster food stamps is jailed in St. John the Baptist Parish.
Louisiana State Police say a claims processor in LaPlace told officers that a man had become irate after being denied Tuesday evening. Officers saw him get something out of his car. State troopers, sheriff's deputies and national guard troops quickly surrounded, subdued and disarmed the man.
Trooper Melissa Matey says that investigators also found a handgun and many loaded magazines of ammunition.
An Iberville Parish man is accused of polluting a canal with biodiesel waste while on probation for doing that in 2010.
The Department of Environmental Quality says its investigators arrested 56-year-old Tommy Francise of Plaquemine on Thursday. He's booked with polluting state waterways and illegal dumping of solid waste.
According to a news release, Iberville Parish sheriff's deputies and DEQ criminal investigators found a large area of greasy dirt and used cooking oil and grease being discharged into a canal behind Francise's house.